Don’t Stow Away Your Pain
“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.” — George S. Patton
Accepting your challenges opens the door to major breakthroughs, and the hidden opportunities surrounding them.
To run away from your problems without facing the real issue only delays the healing process.
Challenges can be difficult, especially when they emerge out of nowhere, whether it be: personal, professional, health-related, financial or relationships. They cut deep into your psyche and can leave you feeling vulnerable.
They erode your self-esteem if you put off dealing with the issue for a later time. This is because you are not engaging your inner resources to overcome the challenge.
Whilst I concede this may be a simplified example of what I’m trying to convey. If you wish to get stronger in the gym yet choose weights you can easily lift, there’s little chance you will gain the strength required.
However, if you step out of your comfort zone and increase the weights, you are on your way to building stronger muscles because you are stretching yourself each time.
Author and psychologist Rick Hanson explains in Resilient: 12 Tools For Transforming Everyday Experiences Into Lasting Happiness how your inner resources can help you to become more resilient to face your challenges: “Mental resources like determination, self-worth, and kindness are what make us resilient: able to cope with adversity and push through challenges in the pursuit of opportunities.”
To accept your challenges means to acknowledge what you’re experiencing. Most people run away from their problems or stuff under the carpet believing they will disappear — out of mind out of sight they say.
Yet, what you stow away is likely to build energy and come back to trouble you later, when you least expect it.
I’ve worked with emotions on a personal level and with clients over the years. I noticed that people who repress their emotions by stowing them away, will have them come back in the form of pain, illness or worse still: disease.
Whilst it may take years or decades, putting off what requires your attention awards it more power.
Fulfil Your Personal Evolution
“Success is due to our stretching to the challenges of life. Failure comes when we shrink from them.” — John C. Maxwell
The key to accepting challenges lies in engaging your inner resolve and personal fortitude. In rising to the challenge you learn to face your difficulties instead of cower in defeat.
You become a warrior with your sword as your weapon of courage and your heart as your shield of protection.
You realise that every battle you engage in is an opportunity to strengthen your character.
Author Jonathan Fields offers an insightful observation in How to Live a Good Life on how your greatest breakthroughs are often preceded by uncertainty: “There’s this odd irony in life. I wish it weren’t so. Every breakthrough is preceded by great uncertainty. If you think about it, this makes sense…Life’s greatest moments live in the space between desire and attainment.”
As you realise, breakthroughs are rarely found in a comfortable setting, but through hardship and misfortune. My greatest discoveries emerged through despair, heartache and loss.
Whilst I didn’t know it, when the pain and disappointment recedes, what’s left is far greater than I could have expected had I stayed in my comfort zone.
Acknowledging your challenges means to welcome what is taking place in your life, instead of pushing it away hoping it will resolve itself; it seldom does.
Rick Hanson says: “Challenging things happen to every person, and determination is the steadfast fortitude we draw on to endure, cope with, and survive them. A person can be wounded, frail — and very determined.”
Often what you push away will come back to you in a different form until you have made peace with it.
For example, if you are victimised at work by a colleague, to avoid dealing with the situation only intensifies the pain. Your anger and frustration is turned inwards because of your inability to confront the perpetrator.
Whilst the colleague may eventually leave the company, another person may show up in your life at a later period exhibiting the same qualities. Then you are back where you started.
Pain and troubles follow you because as author Neil Gaiman says: “Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”
You cannot escape yourself even if you change locations or move to the other side of the world. Your problems are uniquely yours and will appear in different forms until you have dealt with them.
For this reason, I believe life is an earth school though there is no test other than fulfilling your personal evolution throughout the journey. Challenges continue to arise until you gain the lessons embedded in the experiences.
That is why many people continue to attract the wrong partner in a relationship, which may go on for years, until they reconcile their beliefs or heal their childhood wounds.
Whilst these experiences are disheartening, they require introspection, courage and determination to examine the parts of your life that need healing.
This doesn’t mean you are broken, rather it requires tending to the fractured parts of your psyche which will lead to the integration into the wholeness of your being.
Challenges Reveal Dormant Powers
“Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” — Napoleon Hill
I don’t believe life punishes you through your challenges inasmuch as it provides vital experiences from which to grow and expand.
Inner growth takes place in the harshest conditions, not in fertile surroundings.
To accept your challenges requires trusting the experience is perfectly orchestrated to help you awaken your greatest power.
As you lean into your challenges, your inner genie comes to life and helps you overcome your problems. To retreat only delays the healing and transformation process.
Nevertheless, not all battles must be fought and one must know when to walk away from challenges they cannot win.
For the most part, the heart of an enlightened warrior leans into their challenges knowing their mental and emotional resiliency is realised in battle.
Your challenges are enrichments for your soul, since they help you to fulfil your destiny, regardless if you know it.
Challenges reveal dormant powers within you. Were it not for them, you would stay in your comfort zone.
Whilst I concede it is easy to dwell in the obscurity of the familiar, you must try to engage your greater self more often, to awaken your dormant powers.
“We often feel powerless facing situations that we know are critical to our success but are so difficult to perform because they are outside our comfort zones. The reality is that we do have power to overcome these challenges,” writes Andy Molinsky in Reach: The New Strategy to Help You Build Confidence and Step Outside Your Comfort Zone.
So whatever is taking place in your life whether it be a challenge, pain, suffering or something you have put off, I invite you to yield to it.
For it was the greatest mind of the Twentieth Century, Albert Einstein who once proclaimed: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
You must look upon your challenges with an open mind as though a friend looking at your situation for the first time.
Consider all possibilities and leave nothing to chance.
Invest in yourself and let go of limiting beliefs and disempowering emotions.
Release and reset becomes your anthem.
Leave nothing to chance and cover your basis.
You have what it takes to overcome any challenge life presents you.
The seed of power lies in your ability to face the challenge, thus opening the door to major breakthroughs.