Have you ever experienced, or are you currently experiencing overwhelming emotional pain or difficulty?
I know I have, actually, I spend a decent amount of my life in pain and discomfort. There have been many times, especially in the last year, I have been so overwhelmed I wanted to quit, I almost didn’t want to go on living any longer. I felt like I couldn’t handle the pressure, the pain, and the uncertainty. You know the feeling right? When you can barely stand life the way it is, when you become overwhelmed with fear of the unknown, or you can’t seem to get over how difficult things are for you, sometimes it feels like the entire world is out to get you.
I have learned a few tricks that have allowed me to turn my personal feelings of pain, discontent, and desperation into a powerful tool that drives me to achieve more and accomplish tasks that I once believed were impossible. This article will show you how to use the same tricks to greatly increase your happiness, effectiveness, and potential.
I want to start out by showing you a few examples of pain, just to set the context for what I am about to tell you.
Example 1: Weightlifting: when you lift weights it is hard, uncomfortable, and many times painful; if you stay consistent and continue to push through the difficult workouts, eventually your body will change for the better and you will become healthier and usually look better too.
Example 2: Starting your own business: when you start your own business, you have to start from ground zero; you have to deal with the uncertainty of your next paycheck, you have to make financial sacrifices all with the knowledge that many businesses fail in their very first year, if you don’t give up and continue hard work, you will eventually make profit and many times become financially independent.
Example 3: Bad relationships: when you are in a bad or unhealthy relationship it often hurts to think of a life without the other person; over time as we fight more and more, as more resentment and pain builds we get to a place where we just can’t stand it any longer and we end the relationship. The pain might be overwhelming for a time and everything can seem meaningless, but eventually life regains its color and we realize how much better off we are now than we were before.
Pain and discomfort (and fear) all come from either an active change taking place, or from our dissatisfaction of a situation growing stronger.
So when we experience pain or discomfort there are two options: either stop whats is causing the discomfort, or push through it.
Pain can be a powerful indicator that we should change what we are doing, for example: if you hate your job, you hate going there, you hate everything about it and it makes you miserable, it is a sign that something needs to change. Your discomfort in this example is a powerful indicator that you are unhappy: it is a sign that you either need to change your perception, get a different job, or something else needs to change. If you make the change you will experience more discomfort temporarily, but after a time, you will feel better and be in a better situation- which leads us into our second type of pain or discomfort…
Pain and discomfort comes at any time of transformation, and at any time of personal growth.
Just like you experience pain and discomfort for your muscles to grow, your mind experiences discomfort or pain in response to the challenges that allow you to grow as a person. Consider the process of studying for an exam: it is challenging, it’s hard work, and it just plain sucks right? But, as you continue studying and push through the challenge, you learn the information and get a better grade on the test, because you pushed through the discomfort of studying you got smarter and learned new information.
Such is life, as you push through the things that are difficult you get stronger, and as you push through pain and discomfort you are like steel being forged by a blacksmith. Each challenge, difficulty, and discomfort makes you stronger.
So how can you use pain and discomfort to increase your personal power and effectiveness?
Each time you feel afraid of something, or uncomfortable doing something, do it anyway (unless it is going to seriously hurt you or cause harm). I developed the habit of just doing things that make me uncomfortable, because I believe in myself, and I believe that I am going to grow as a person by doing it.
So if I am out at a party and I feel like being shy and not talking to anyone, you know what I do?
I RUN out there and start talking to someone immediately.
If I am afraid to record a video in front of a bunch of people at a park, then I go out and film the video in front of all the people at the park.
Each mistake, each setback, each failure, each time we push through pain and discomfort, we build something powerful inside our mind: our self confidence raises a little more, we believe a little more strongly, and our mind gets stronger. If you learn to listen to the messages that pain and discomfort send to you, you can achieve anything. No challenge, no failure, no fear will ever be great enough to stop you from living life and becoming a better person.
That is mental strength, that is bravery in its purest form: knowing that the challenge ahead of you, the uncertainty around the corner can’t kill you, it can only make you stronger.