Pain is part of everyone’s experience of life – sometimes caused by external factors (retrenchment, death of a loved one, frustrating circumstances, etc.) or occasionally caused by internal factors (bad decisions, inability to make changes, feelings of disempowerment, unhealthy self-image, etc.). Many people find themselves “stuck” – in bad relationships, in a work context that inhibits growth and self-development, in endless cycles of debt – all of these debilitating and potentially impeding the individual’s potential growth and slowing down progress. When progress is thwarted, people lose hope and end up without vision and goals for the future, the same potentially leading to depression and feelings of loss.
Pain need not be a dead-end, however, as hurt can possibly be just the spring-board that one needs to explore new opportunities and make necessary changes in one’s life. If willing to work through it, pain can potentially help do the following for you:
- Develop a greater self-awareness – self-discovery regarding one’s set of values and motivations and desire for progress in life is always the starting point of necessary change. Having an established awareness of one’s inner purpose can lead to a re-alignment of effort and energy to start realising one’s life mission.
- Assess strengths and weaknesses – coming to terms with one’s weaknesses and focusing on using one’s strengths always lead to a greater sense of self-worth and enable meaningful contribution. As one contributes, one starts to discover new doors that are opening for one, new possibilities that may excite one.
- Plan for a better future – making changes and setting new goals for one’s life kick-starts new energy and hope. Without vision, we perish. Having a clear sense of direction, setting milestones and achieving goals one by one will instil fresh “spark” to your life.
- Develop new meaningful relationships – aligning yourself and connecting to people that are forward-looking and purpose-driven will invigorate you and provide encouragement for the journey ahead. Use networks wisely.
- Connect to your passion – pain can be a great passion discovery process – an understanding of your giftedness and special skills. Using these skills brings joy again.
- Say “no” to the things that hold you back – take decisive steps to deal with the things that produce pain in your life. A mentor/counsellor may assist in giving one guidance with difficult decisions.
When our needs are not being met, the result is pain in one form or another. When this pain gets strong enough, we are motivated to change. The pain needn’t have to get too strong, for by getting in touch with our beliefs and inner values, we can effect change that will considerably cut down on the suffering. Utilising the opportunity brought about by the pain may just assist you in unleashing your real potential.