Often in my life I have held back something I needed to communicate or hesitated because I haven’t wanted to hurt someone’s feelings. I don’t want things to be messy and I don’t like the idea of people not liking me because I hurt their feelings. Yuck. This is a small way of thinking that leaves me feeling suppressed and ineffective.
Being kind is important and one of the things I feel we could all get better at. However, being kind is completely different then avoiding hurting someone’s feelings. Making decisions coming from avoiding hurting someone’s feelings is an example of living life from what you don’t want. When you live and make choices based on what you don’t want (hurting someone’s feelings, being broke, being fat, being judged), this will stop you from living a life of meaning and contribution. It will leave you with regret and missed opportunities. The other, more fulfilling option is to have what you do want drive your life. When you resolve to create from what you do want (to be kind, to be courageous, to make a difference, to be of service, to be in love, to experience financial freedom), this gives you a brand new context from which to live your life. You will have the challenging conversation that could possibly hurt someone’s feelings if it supports you and the people you are impacting in making the difference you are out to make.
Anyhow, it is impossible to live a life where you are contributing big things and new ideas and people don’t judge you or people’s feelings don’t get hurt. And this isn’t your responsibility. It is your responsibility to be kind and generous and transparent, and it is not your responsibility to ensure how other people react. It’s not even possible. So have your conversations and take your actions. Have them and take them with love and kindness. Stop listening to the small voice of what you don’t want. If you make choices based on what this voice has to say, you will never be able to make your difference. Start living from what you do want and free yourself up.