How To Embrace Your Pain So You Can Transform It Into A Life-Changing Moment

    Have you ever noticed that when life changes direction it’s often in ever so subtle yet profound ways? 

    I bet if you and I were having a drink, you could tell me about a seemingly ‘small’ decision you made years ago that completely changed the direction of your life. 

    Maybe it didn’t seem like a big decision at the time - yet it changed your life in ways you could not have imagined. 

    Hopefully that moment was for the better. 

    And brought you great happiness and rewards. 

    Perhaps it was saying yes to something - a new relationship, a career opportunity, a choice to pursue further education, a decision to start a family, a choice to change where you live etc.

    Or perhaps it was a decision to say no – no to doing a job that no longer interested you, no to a relationship you’d known was over but hadn’t acted on, or no to a belief about what is possible, for you. 

    Each of us have moments... 

    Course-changing moments. 

    Driven by a seemingly insignificant decision.

    What are some of yours? 

    Take a couple of minutes to think about them and what you learned…

    Would you repeat them again, if you could? 

    If the results were ‘good’ we tend to say yes! 

    It’s a no brainer, right. 

    But if the moment (or more specifically the consequences from that decision and moment) caused us lots of pain, we want to look away and forget about it. 

    We even have words for our decision in moments like this: 

    A mistake. 

    Or if it was a real doozy - a regret. 

    If we are particularly harsh and unforgiving to ourselves: 

    “A total f**k up! What was I thinking?” 

    Got any moments like that? 

    But pain can be our friend. 

    Sometimes life’s moments can be painful - but if you are wise enough to listen - there can be tremendous lessons in that pain. 

    And ample fuel to propel you forward to a better future.

    The reason so many people struggle to get what they want is because they let their past pain and ‘mistakes’ filter everything they do in the present. 

    Almost like a magnet snapping in to place. 

    Unknowingly they have organized their perceptions of what occurred, to filter for and be sensitised to that pain. 

    So they are afraid to make another change in that area. 

    For fear, it might result in more of what it is they DON’T want that caused them so much pain, embarrassment or perceived loss. 

    If you look closely, people’s lives are full of these. 

    So how do you help someone (or yourself) - to transform this type of pain into a life-changing moment? 

    The big moves go like this: 

    • Use the pain, feel it one last time so you can use it as fuel to propel you forward.
    • Remove the harsh self-judgement.
    • De-criminalize the (presumed faulty) behaviour/judgment/decision.
    • Reconnect the intended purpose of what you were trying to pursue or do
    • Make note of the lesson you learned from the undesirable consequences that choice created

    Suddenly it’s like a heavyweight lift right off your shoulders. 

    Then decide what new empowering function that moment in your life will mean, going forward.

    And how you’ll use it to change your behaviour in the present. 

    Rehearse the new behaviour several times and create context and markers that you’ll see/hear/feel in the world so your brain knows what you want it to do and when to do it. 

    Change (and even painful moments) can become straight-forward and easy. 

    And every experience can be a guide that brings you back to who you are when you’re at your best (or a better version of you from yesterday.)

    Give it a go.

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