If something is really important to you, can you go to the mat for it?
Do you know how to negotiate and stand up for what you want? Or do you avoid the conflict and potentially end up living with regrets?
Knowing when and how to fight fair for what you want is part of being a boundary boss and essential to living your most satisfying, self-determined life!
That’s why in today’s video, I’m walking you through how to pick your battles wisely, how to stand your ground, and how to negotiate like a pro.
How to Pick Your Battles Wisely
Picking your battles wisely is about getting clear about what you want, why it matters, and what your motives are.
Fighting because we’re in a bad mood or for no good reason is not good for our relationships and not good for us. You need to get crystal clear on how important whatever it is you are fighting for is to you. Make it a general rule to fight for the things that really matter.
I wrote Boundary Boss during a global pandemic while my mother was going through cancer treatments and let me tell you, I had to uplevel my discernment skills and pick my battles extremely wisely throughout the entire writing/editing/publishing process.
I got so much more comfortable letting go of the things that didn’t matter and standing my ground for the things that did. I learned a lot about humility, but also about patience throughout writing a book. (And my mom is cancer-free now btw! 🙏)
Getting clear about our feelings and where they are really coming from, especially if we are feeling defensive or reactive, is part of this process as well. Learn how to take a breath, take a pause and think about the other person’s point of view. Is there wisdom in what they are saying? Why are they resisting the thing we want?
Knowing when and how to fight means working towards responding mindfully instead of reacting immediately.
How to Stand Your Ground
Like any skill, learning how to stand your ground, whether in your professional or personal life, gets easier with practice. If you are conflict-avoidant, this process might make you uncomfortable. And a little discomfort never killed anyone.
Many of us who don’t like conflict often feel like we want everything tied up in a neat bow immediately. We want to stay in our comfort zone. But…
Much of the time your comfort zone is just a comfortable prison.
Standing your ground and fighting for what’s important sometimes means putting a pin in it and taking space to think through what we really want. If it matters to you, it’s ok to be uncomfortable.
We’ve got to get clear when we are standing our ground. Sometimes we can be too inflexible or too activated. It’s important to get to the bottom of our true feelings.
Why are we holding on so tightly? Is it an ego thing? It is a desire to be right? Is there any emotional transference?
If you’re having a transference it means your reaction to the situation in the present is being driven by unresolved feelings or an emotional injury from the past.
Having an emotional transference does not negate the validity of what you might be fighting for, but deactivating the old response so you can be here now is key to mindfully negotiating for your needs. We have to be able to be masters of ourselves.
In this week’s downloadable guide, I’m giving you additional questions plus a tool I use to help you gain clarity around any emotional transference that might be adding unnecessary fuel to the fire.
The most successful negotiations and the healthiest conflicts come from keeping our own side of the street clean, so grab your guide here now.
How to Negotiate Like a Pro
Here are my best tips to set yourself up for success:
> Get clarity about your why. Are you negotiating for a preference or a need? Why do you want what you want? Where are you willing to compromise? Do you have any deal-breakers around the issue? Before you go into making a boundary request or fight for this thing, whatever it is, you need to make sure that you have a plan.
> Write out how you feel! Grab your journal and get to it before you have the conversation. If there’s anything sticky or heated, dive a little bit more deeply, because it can be really helpful to clear your mind and clear your emotional space.
> Practice the conversation ahead of time. Think through what you want to say and how you want to say it. Visualize it and try to feel the feelings of it going well ahead of time.
> Set a positive tone from the outset. If this is in your professional life, acknowledge the other person’s position and start with respect. Don’t take anything personally.
> If this is in your personal life, try to stay in the mindset of “This isn’t you against me. This is us against the problem. I have no doubt we will figure it out.”
> Stay calm. Stay clear. There is no way to make an effective point if you’re yelling it, trust me. Being any kind of activated is how you give up your power. My feeling is if you can’t stay relatively calm, then you’re most likely not ready to have the conversation.
> If you are feeling activated or it’s getting heated, take a break and go inward.
> Accept that sometimes we have to agree to disagree. Finding humor can be helpful if you can mutually let off steam, have a laugh, and bring some levity to the situation.
I think there is nothing more painful than having regrets. So no matter how uncomfortable I might feel in the moment, nothing is worse than wishing I had said something different or wishing I hadn’t accepted something I did. Ruminating and feeling bad over letting myself down is worse to me than any conflict or negotiation I could find myself in.
You can do this! My greatest power in any negotiation is to never let anyone else’s behavior inspire me to lower my integrity. I aspire to live the Michelle Obama saying, “When they go low, we go high!”
I hope that this was helpful to you. I want to know what you think is worth fighting for! So please, drop me a comment here or connect with me over on IG @terricole and let’s keep this conversation going!
I super appreciate you being a part of my crew. Let’s open up a dialogue in the world this week and as always, take care of you.