4 beautiful lessons from pain
Last week I was lucky enough to attend a special dialogue about pain and progress sponsored by Motrin and Tracee Ellis Ross. Eleven women were selected in order to share a challenging moment which has led to progress in their life.
During the dialogue, not only did I meet incredible, strong and successful women, but I also got to hear stories and life lessons which truly inspired me. From this conversation, I discovered 4 beautiful lessons from pain:
1) Pain is progress, don't let it stop you
Often when we experience discomfort, weather it be physical or mental, it can paralyze us and make it seem difficult to move forward.
Yet it is when there is pain that we must fight to keep moving forward and acknowledge that it is going to help us grow and progress in our lives.
This concept makes me think of times when I've had a really tough work out. There is a point when you reach physical exhaustion and you think it is impossible to keep going. That is when you hear the trainer say "push through - this is where it counts the most!"
2) Sometimes we have to take a step back before we can move forward
There are a few ways to look at this statement. You might see this as regression and progression. Like in a job, maybe you have moved companies and taken a pay cut or even changed careers and started at a lower level position. This can be tough on the ego. However, we can also choose to see it as a gift. Something that will re-light the fire under our ass and motivate us to do even better.
You could also look at this lesson as a step away from your knowledge or area of expertise and not be afraid to say "help" or "who can give me a different point of view?" This is what I refer to as gaining perspective. Ever find yourself asking "why didn't I think of that?" Often it takes someone who isn't in the thick of it, to offer a new way of looking at something in order for you to progress forward. After all it is Einstein who said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results!" We need people or challenges in our live to help us take a step back in order to develop.
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results!"
- Albert Einstein
3) Starting over is a great opportunity, push through the fear
Today I was talking with a friend who is having challenges with getting her business to the next level. After listening to her talk I recognized that she was allowing fear to hold her back. I finally offered a suggestion that she take the energy she was wasting on fear and turn it into action! If this means starting over or even taking a new course, it is important to keep moving and push through all the fear and self-doubt.
Lately I have been talking a lot about mindset and how this can really help or hinder us. Bottom line - push yourself, have the courage to see the beauty in pain and just take action!
For a taste of what I mean, press play on the video below. Will Smith does a great job explaining the journey of sky diving!
4) Allow yourself to go through the pain, this requires strength
Do you remember hearing the saying: "The hardest things are usually the right things?" Going through pain is not easy but essential in order to stretch ourselves and grow.
So why do we try to avoid, minimize or down play pain? We try to be so tough and brave by glossing over the pain. But what happens when we don't spend the proper time allowing ourselves to feel, taste and experience the pain?
Life is a marathon not a sprint. Those who have endurance and the mental stamina to endure the long race will progress. One of the things that struck me during my training for a few half marathons is that at one point, after you push through the physical pain, you experience this phenomenon known as the "runner's high." It is a state where you almost feeling like you are floating and you aren't in control of your legs anymore. It is when you go beyond the limits of what you could have imagined being able to achieve and find even more strength to go further!
When you experience pain, not only is it important to allow yourself to completely go through it, but you should also need mental toughness to get through it. How? Next time you find yourself in pain, ask yourself "what other moments have I gone through where I worried about the outcome?" This reflection will hopefully help you find the proof that there have been many moments in life where you found more strength than you thought possible and came out stronger in the end. This belief will enable you to push through this moment of pain too!
"In life, the hardest thing and the right thing are often the same thing."
I love how Motrin is reshaping the way we look at pain and offering women a platform to discuss what we have learned from these experiences.
Talking about pain and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable without worrying how others will think of us...that is when you are able to connect and grown on a deeper level.
At the end of our discussion we had a chance to share our mantras with the group. I will share mine:
Below are a few others that I was able to remember and I hope provide you with some inspiration! (Click on the quotes to learn more about these fabulous women).