In one of our interesting conversations, Inge Solheim, the polar expeditions guide, told me that he encounters two types of people: 1 – people, who no matter what happens they just keep going and 2 – people who, do everything to avoid pain.
Guess, which type of people succeed more?
All people have different pain tolerance levels. We may prevent ourselves from succeeding depending on how we learned to react to pain or even expectation of possible pain because pain dramatically influences our decisions and behavior. Dealing with pain is not easy, but research proves that we all can train ourselves to tolerate it better.
Why road to success is so ugly?
From nothing comes nothing, but if you want something better you have to keep pushing and pushing is painful… Road to success is not a pretty one. The bigger goals you will set for yourself the more challenges you will encounter. To solve those challenges you will have to change and changing is very very painful! You will encounter every possible pain: physical, psychological, ego crushing, social rejection, humiliation, disappointment, failure, weakness, depleted self-confidence, anger, hopelessness, sadness, anxiety, shame… Mmm what a depressing cocktail! However, have you noticed, in life the more bitter the sip is the sweeter it gets in the end.
What makes the pain super painful?
I am sure you can agree that emotional pain is a very unpleasant feeling and it is harder to heal than a physical wound. For example, when the love of your life leaves you and it seems like the end of the world we are flooded with million painful emotions. We lose control, cannot accept the reality, start judging, feel extreme shame, hurt, need of love and acceptance. The intensity of pain depends on how much meaning we give to it. As in the example, the intensity of the pain will depend on how much meaning in our life we created for the person whom we loved so much.
The biggest trap is a self-pity and putting yourself in a victim position. We feel extreme pain when we identify ourselves with the failure and with that pain. The key is to realize that pain is not you, but it is part of your journey towards something beautiful!
How to survive the extreme pain?
My biggest fear in life is not to experience the most beautiful things what life gives us. This is the reason for me to set the highest goals there are: go to Olympic Games, win, start business from zero, make a difference in the world, and the most importantly learn to really love… I know that achieving these dreams will be a very painful road. I would prefer in experiencing the biggest pains instead of avoiding life. As matter of fact, I am trying to recover from the pain now… This is why I am super motivated to learn how to deal with pain better. That was the reason for me to do the research and share with you my findings. And the trick is to learn how to recover from the pain fast!
The only way to heal the pain faster is to work with the pain and deal with it in a very logical mater. We have to take care of the emotional pain as the physical wound. If not properly cleaned and treated the wound can get infected and get much much worse. If not treated the emotional pain, it can have the crazy symptoms for the rest of your life! So, here is the first aid of the emotional pain:
- Acknowledge the pain. It is OK and it is normal to feel it! If the pain is fresh and gets very overwhelming, if you need to cry, then cry, take deep breaths until the pain lessens. Please, never ignore the pain, otherwise you will never solve it and it will always stand in your way.
- Then start changing the perspective. You have to find the sound resolution for yourself why the pain happened and how to move on. Look at the situation from the third person’s perspective. By writing your thoughts search, if you are making any logical mistakes (I have another article about it here “abc article”). The point here is not to make yourself a victim or blame somebody for the pain. Life is crazy and not fair, but it should not stop you to move on for the better future!
- Spin a positive outlook. Remind yourself that pain is the part of the journey. The bigger things you will set yourself to achieve, the pain will be more intense and hurtful. It is natural and it is normal. Remind yourself that life is crazy and not just for you, but for everybody! Focus on the future – soon you will be the happiest person again!
- For pain to completely go away – distract yourself: be active, exercise, dance, sing, be among friends, people, go to events. Pack your schedule with fun things, find other parts of life which are nice and still exciting!
All these 4 steps are super important and you cannot skip any!
Like in anything with time and training it gets better! From now on, instead of being afraid of the pain you can expect to drop a little tear that crap happen again and after move on with a cute smile on your face because life is an interesting thing.
Welcome to the stronger you!
How to help those who are in pain?
If you want to help the person to cope with pain – you have to create a safe environment for them. You will be the most helpful by attentively listening and showing care. The most important is not to try to “solve” their pain for them or pity them. It only will make them weaker and your job is to make them stronger, give them motivation, remind them about all good aspects they have.
Some interesting facts about pain:
- Our memory lies. We tend to exaggerate the amount of pain when we remember it. We think it was much more painful when it actually was.
- Pain is learned. If we see others having high tolerance to pain, we can take more pain also true to opposite.
- Pain can be a conditioned response. Some only looking at needle, microphone or even deadline can start to feel pain.
- Pain limits our short-term memory, decision making abilities. When you are in pain it is hard to think clearly.
- Pain increases anger and aggression. People who are angry or aggressive the most likely they are in severe pain.
- Catastrophizing or interpreting pain as unbearable intensifies pain.