Personal Development

How to Convert Your Pain Into An Opportunity to Rise

Carefree happy woman lying on green grass meadow on top of mountain edge cliff enjoying sun on her face.Enjoying nature sunset
Kassey Vilches
Written by Kassey Vilches

You’ve seen the constant plague that any society fights nowadays.

You’ve seen people slowly deteriorate and slip in this world. You’ve seen how it can destruct any person and life.

It’s painful to see. And you wish you can do something about it.

Drug addiction is the unwanted practice some people use to numb the pain. They want to escape reality for a few hours to get some form of relief.

All of us have different ways of dealing with pain.  Avoidance. Escape. Running Away.

But all of these will only get you to a certain degree. It will never solve the problem and will always nudge you if left unattended.

Unfortunately, for some people, their way of escaping the pain leads to their deterioration and destruction. The news is filled with stories of famous people who seemingly have it all, yet, lose their lives because of the way they deal with pain.

Your Response Determines The Outcome of Your Life

No one is immune to experiencing pain. However, the difference lies in how we perceive and respond to it.

Pain is a test of life that gives you two options: surrender and fail or fight and rise over it.

Too many people choose the first one. When they receive few punches of life, they retreat to their shells. They surrender to pain which eventually leads to the collapse of their creativity, passion, and motivation.

Most of the successful people I know had to confront their pains, instead of avoiding them.

Jon Morrow confronted his pain of not being able to move anything except his face and be a successful blogger.

Oprah Winfrey confronted the painful comments of others when they said she is not fit for TV.

Charles Mulli confronted his pain of being a beggar and worked his way up to become a millionaire. He eventually gave it up to care for orphans and street children in Africa.

Many people fall into the traps of immediate pain remedy because of the instant gratifications it provides.

Believe You Can Overcome Pain And You’re Halfway There

A few weeks ago, someone told me about my aunt’s comments toward my life now. She regrets that I got married, moved to another country and missed the opportunity of advancing my career.

It was so painful to hear it. I respect my aunt so much because she always believes in my abilities. But now, for her, I am a failure. My game is over. No opportunity to grow.

It’s painful to realize that the person you love is no longer believing in you. My immediate reaction was to confront her. But chattering is a lame response. The sweeter response is to prove she’s wrong and I can be better than what she thought.

In order to numb that pain, I seek opportunities to grow.

When you let pain overcome you, you already lost half of the battle. Your mind is clouded with negativity and everything blurs away except the pain.

When you overcome pain, you’ll find ways to escape it. You’ll release your energy into something that leads to your growth. You’ll start producing and creating instead of distracting yourself through immediate means.

Psychologists refer hardships and pain as suffering-induced transformational experiences where you experience a firmer sense of self. These happen when you reconsider your situation and reflect if you are willing to make a change or stay where you are.

Each of us suffers different degrees of pain. It never fails to amaze me when I see people who suffer a great amount of physical pain, yet, they are hardly bruised.

I don’t know how children with disabilities or suffering from cancer can smile and rejoice despite the pain they experience. And yet, many of us feel defeated on sudden job loss, overweight, heartbreaks, and other personal reasons.

Not that I’m saying that these are not valid reasons. But if a child suffering from pain can rejoice, how much more an adult can. Mary Tyler Moore once said, “Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you. ”

Right now, there is a pain that is constantly bothering you.

Maybe it’s the pain of not squeezing into an airline seat. Or the pain of not measuring up on the expectations of others. Or the pain of missing your family dinner every holiday. Or the pain of nurturing a relationship that constantly fails.

I don’t know what it is. But you will never overcome that pain unless you reach your “I’ve had it!” moment and make a decision to act something about it.

Your desire to remove the pain can convert it to the pleasure you desire. The pleasure of self-confidence, comfort, stability or self-esteem.

It is time to define that “one pain” which haunts you.

What makes it really painful?

What coping mechanisms do you do right now to address those pains?

How Not To Let Pain Control You

Most people become so consumed with what happened that they become incapable of dealing with the reality.

Unless you think your way out of the pain, your control muscle will get weaker over time. Victory will be far from grasp.

The only way out is to construct a world where pain is your friend. A scenario where you become better because pain nudged you to evolve. Instead of cowering over it, you fight it with a determination to win.

You can overcome pain using PAIN itself.

P- Permission

Permission is an open invitation that you are ready for a better “you”.

Give yourself permission to feel the pain for a moment. But after mulling over it, you have to make a decision to use it for your transformational growth.

When you condition your mind there’s no better relief than to advanced forward, you have won the battle halfway. You don’t allow pain to grip you.

No matter how strong the pain is, there is always an opportunity to turn it into your advantage. You just have to purposely seek for it.

A – Action

Action is the only force that will set every decision in motion.

Before you even know the entire “how”, commit that you will act through. Decision is nothing without the actual application. It’s in your moments of actions that your destiny is shaped.

You do it by continuously exercising your “risk muscle.” You intentionally look for better opportunities to alter that pain. You go and fight because the “how” will reveal itself in the process. As you go along, you’re able to match your decisions to cater to the differing demands and conditions.

I – Inspiration

Inspiration is the fuel that will keep your wheels moving.

Treat pain as an inspiration. That mean comment towards you, let it play in the background but not enough to ruin you. This is the perfect opportunity to convert the discomfort of pain into the satisfaction of personal growth.

When people believe you can never lose weight, what a better way to shame them than to show that you actually can. When they think that what you’re doing doesn’t make sense, what a better way to make their jaws drop than by proving how limited their expectations are. When they are confident that your game has ended, what a better way to reverse that than showing how far you’ve reached.

N – Navigation

Navigation is when you see the world through the eyes of others.

When you allow pain to navigate other areas of your life,  you’re also able to contribute to the quality of others’ lives.

On your transformational journey, you will see that you are not the only person suffering. As opposed to your self-centered mindset before, you’ll understand people in your situation. You’ll see that your story is important for that one person out there.

When you reach this point, you’ll be confident that pain wasn’t able to control you. You know how to circle around it and rise over it. You don’t simply lock in your room pitying yourself because you are busy inspiring others to do the same.

This Is Your Ultimate Time To Rise

When you let pain control you, you’ll slowly lose control of yourself. You’ll let it dictate you. Opportunities will start to stale because of your negative perceptions of yourself.

Many people have gone through the destruction because of how they deal with pain. Don’t let yourself be part of the statistics.

Life is precious and dwelling on pain is the best way to waste it.

Overcoming pain is not simply denying it or pretending it isn’t there. It’s facing it head-on and developing the courage to convert it into an opportunity to rise.

It’s knowing that pain is just an unwanted visitor and can drive you to a new level of success. It’s when your goals are met despite the bruises and wounds you got from fighting.

It’s your time to rise. Do it.

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About the author

Kassey Vilches

Kassey Vilches

Kassey used to be an elementary teacher and her transition when she migrated to another country rekindled her love for writing. She is one of the top writers for Inspiration on Medium. Grab her free cheat sheet: Reveal Your Best Self: A “Checklist” To Find Out If You Are Performing Based On Your Inner Drives.
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