In today’s environment, it’s imperative to handle things that make us feel uncomfortable. Maybe you have to say no to a noisy colleague or avoid going to a party with friends, or say no to a family friend. You may also need to raise a challenging issue with your manager or peer.
To improve the way you deal with uncomfortable situations, build your emotional courage. Start by thinking of what kind of skill you want to get better at, giving feedback, listening, being direct — whatever you want to grow in. Then practice that skill in a low-risk situation. For example, let’s say you want to get better at being direct. The next time there’s a mistake on your phone bill, call customer service and practice being succinct and clear. Notice how you want to react — Get angry? Backpedal? — and focus on resisting those impulses.
In summary, practice your emotions in low-risk situations and get used to them. These are the same feelings you’ll encounter in higher-risk situations at work, so learn to push through them. Continue to practice until you feel comfortable and can respond the way you’d like to.