To change and grow is a painful process. It leaves you bruised and fragile in the moment, so most of us avoid it.
I have noticed in myself that the more I crave and achieve personal growth, the more I walk towards the pain and not from it.
Anything in life worth doing or having will require conscious, strenuous, and continuous effort.
And this process hurts.
There are many facets of my life where I have used and experienced discomfort as a method to move forward.
I have chosen the career path of being an entrepreneur.
This has probably been the second hardest and most tedious goal I have ever tackled.
Everyone wants to be successful.
Not everyone wants to experience strain to get there.
I have seen other entrepreneurs around me faltering.
Is it because they are less capable than me?
It is because I have taught myself to run towards pain and to embrace it with everything I have. Because the reward at the end of the road precedes any form of discomfort I experience to get there.
And just like happiness and calmness are skills that one must learn and practice, so is the art of accepting pain as a normal and healthy part of life.
In my case, practice makes perfect. It gets easier every time I do it.
In the media, we hear a lot about comfort zones.
I would rather talk about discomfort zones.
What makes up my discomfort zone?
What are the things I avoid that stunts my personal growth?
And why do I avoid them?
Nine times out of ten the answer to the last question is: pain or feeling uncomfortable.
I have gotten to the point of feeling a tinge of excitement when I feel discomfort because I know that the process is working!
I am changing and evolving through a difficult period of discomfort.
Physical fitness is another example of growth that requires pain.
It’s no wonder that we have so many unfit people walking around.
Exercise requires effort and pain on a continuous basis.
Just like building a business from the ground up, getting and staying fit requires a long period of commitment to discomfort.
In my personal journey with fitness I have learned that the more I stare the pain in the face and move straight through it, the easier this gets.
Seeing the physical results also helps with my motivation of riding through the storm.
To me, the reward is well worth the effort.
I experience the uncomfortable moments for only 4 hours a week, yet the physical results in my body are always present.
To me, that is a pretty decent trade off!
Listening to others and changing one’s opinions is another agonizing endeavor.
If being an entrepreneur is the second hardest challenge I ever took upon myself, changing my mindset and inner dialogue comes out on top as the hardest.
Mustering up the courage to listen to another person’s point of view can be excruciating.
We are wired to protect ourselves.
We are trained to listen to defend and not listen to understand.
It takes a hell of a lot of mind power and control over one’s emotions to break this cycle.
And it is something I myself struggle with regularly.
What works for me is to practice extreme self-awareness and compassion.
If I am not aware of my actions, I cannot alter them.
If I don’t feel authentic compassion and empathy towards other humans, I cannot break through my defensiveness barrier.
It’s really hard to sit and hear something I don’t agree with and take the other persons perceptions into account.
It’s a lot easier just to react instead of responding with kindness.
That pivotal moment of releasing control is painful.
But the amazing thing is, I always feel super content if I succeeded in doing so.
There comes a great sense of inner peace when I master my thoughts and actions in a moment where everything in my body wanted to do the opposite.
Another side effect of facing this type of mental torture is the amazing deeper connection I can create with people.
My life is richer and fuller because I have connected deeper with fellow human beings.
Having tough conversations with loved ones is never easy.
But by avoiding the painfulness and not stepping into my discomfort zone, I cheat myself out of the chance of having more meaningful relationships.
Relationships not built on foundations of trivialities, but on actual deeper understanding.
That is quite powerful & rewarding.
I have noticed in my lifetime that most people cannot properly apologize.
If I end an apology with a BUT… I completely blew it.
Authentic and sincere apologies do not have a BUT in them.
When I apologize, I try to keep it to the point and not give too many excuses.
If I was rude to someone else, they really do not need to hear that I had a bad day.
I am in control of my own words and actions and if I genuinely want to make right with someone, I need to skip my reasons.
I will only bring up more details if the person I apologized to feels the need to ask me further questions to try and understand my frame of reference.
An apology should always be about the other person, not about me.
Saying sorry the right way is very, very painful.
It takes a lot of strength and I can understand why some avoid it.
It’s the pain of being vulnerable in an emotionally charged moment.
I honestly believe that I can give a good apology and still stay true to myself. I do not have to break myself down, but I also cannot make the apology about me.
The magic about an authentic apology is the unexpected inner peace it brings to me. I immediately feel calmer after I apologized. It is like a non-chemical high.
When I run towards the pain, feel it, move through it, and experience it to its fullest degree, I come out a stronger, happier, and more peaceful person on the other side.
To me, that is the definition of growth.
I want to have an extraordinary life.
I want deep connections, rich experiences, and high rewards.
I want to grow and evolve as I age.
I want to be anything but mediocre.
I cannot achieve those goals without embracing pain as a natural part of my process.
Every personal achievement I have ever made came hand in hand with discomfort.
The bigger the reward, the more painful the experience was.
Mastering pain is a wonderful road towards extreme enlightenment.
I am not afraid of discomfort.
I thank it for its lessons.