10 minutes ago, I did the most terrifying thing I’ve done so far in 2013.
I asked my coworker if I could pray for his neck.
It was surreal. I felt like I was dreaming. There’s no way I just asked that – the question I’ve been dreading for the past 12 months. I just asked that? No way. Can’t be.
After I asked, he kinda of raised his eyebrows, and chuckled sarcastically, and said “Uhmm…no thanks.”
I told him that was cool, and then he left the office. That’s when I had my almost-anxiety-attack.
My dear gentle readers of StuffGradsLike – that was, in all honesty, the most terrifying thing I’ve done this year. My hands are still shaking as I write this.
In Tim Ferris’ book “The 4-Hour Workweek,” he talks about the theory that one’s measure of success is directly related to the number of uncomfortable conversations they can have (want to tweet that?). It’s a very interesting theory, and it’s really been challenging me these past few weeks. Read the book if you have a minute.
I’ve been wondering about some of the most uncomfortable conversations I could have – “asking my boss for a big raise” and “asking my coworker if I could pray for him” were pretty much the two that jumped to mind instantly.
Well, one down. Heh.
Why, you might ask? That’s the most uncomfortable conversation you could have, Anthony? I can think of way more awkward conversations. C’mon.
Perhaps; but people – this was big for me. Like, $@&*ing big.
I’ve been secretly praying for my coworkers (this one in particular) for the past year. I’ve dropped teeny tiny little hints that I go to church and I sometimes do church-stuff sometimes. And all the while, I’ve been beating the crap out of myself for not being more bold and being such a fracking wimp.
Truth be told, my coworker is just about as anti-God/religion as I can imagine – older fella, seems very set in his no-god beliefs, and probably doesn’t want his coworkers asking for prayer. I believed that for a long time. “If I ever ask to pray for him, that’ll be the day,” I told myself on so many car rides home.
I’ve even had chances. A few weeks ago, I had a golden opportunity: his dad was sick, and he was clearly upset. He even opened up a little (unprecedented, by the way) about it, and all I could say was a mumbled “I’m sorry/that sucks/hope he gets better/cool man.” Miraculously, I managed to fit in a tiny little “I’ll be praying for him” somewhere in there. Still, the rest of the day I was so regretful, so pissed at myself that I had chickened out.
Well, it happened again today. And damn people, there was a battle to behold going on in my head after he said his neck was hurting.
- Oh my gosh: I should pray for him!
- NO, he’ll think you’re weird and it’ll be super awkward from now on
- But what if it works, what if his neck feels better?? That’d be SO GREAT
- What if it doesn’t, you’ll look like an idiot and further push him away from God, it’ll be all your fault
- But I CAN’T CHICKEN OUT AGAIN. I can’t go the whole weekend knowing I chickened out
- But what if this changes everything, the whole office dynamic? You have to sit next to the guy, be realistic
I had been sitting starting off into super-stressed-out-space for about 2 minutes when he said “Alright, I’m heading out.” DAMMIT, THIS IS IT, ANTHONY. Go time. Ask him, confront your deepest fears in the office, or have a long, long car ride home wishing I wasn’t such a wimpy chicken loser. IT’S NOW OR NEVER.
“Hey man, I just wanted to ask, uh – I’ve prayed for my friends and they’ve felt better, can I pray *ahem* for your neck to get better?”
I blurted it. Just blurted. Blurtblurt.
He answered “no thanks,” and left the office.
Well, I stepped outside, hands still shaking, and called my girlfriend and told her for a minute. I used the restroom, came back, and wrote this blog in about 20 minutes. And here we are.
Well, I’m going to leave you with this question, and I hope you answer in the comments below:
What’s the most uncomfortable conversation you could imagine having?
What if, once you asked it, doors would open? Opportunities arose like never before? Things just started “working out?” What if asking that question was directly related to your success in life?
Let me know.