Very frequently people want to make progress in their life and instead they experience pain. I’m not only talking about physical pain, but life pain, life-circumstance pain, professional pain» READ MORE
Very frequently people want to make progress in their life and instead they experience pain. I’m not only talking about physical pain, but life pain, life-circumstance pain, professional pain, relationship pain, and the pain of personal growth.
In my twenty years of taking care of people, I have found that the following five steps can be profoundly effective in moving from experiencing pain to experiencing progress.
The first step is to realize that the pain is an indicator that something must shift or change now. So often, people become distracted by the pain in their lives and try to combat it like it is an enemy instead of a friend. They will keep everything exactly the same instead of considering that the presence of pain means something needs to change. Pain is a signal that is trying to get you to pay attention to where the real change has to happen in your life for you to move forward.
So now that we agree that pain is an invitation to change, let’s talk about what it’s signally your body to do. Pain is associated with insufficient function, insufficient capacity, insufficient energy, and inefficient resources to maintain the current experience of your life. We are not just talking about your physical structure, certainly a relationship, job, or anything else in your life, can cause physical and behavioral patterns that can cause pain. That is why the spine is a phenomenal place to start to improve overall life function since the nervous system controls the overall function of the body. When the spine and nerve system are less than optimal it is very hard to experience any kind of progress or to have efficient, effective, and optimal progress.
The third step is embracing that being pain-free is not really the main goal; the main goal is forward progress. Often we can’t achieve progress because we are actively trying to stop it, as counterproductive as that may seem. Then pain occurs. Value and appreciate the pain for the messenger that it is and seek to understand the type of pain you’re having. Are you having pain from trying to avoid suffering? Are you having pain from not being able to manage your life experience as it unfolds? Are you having pain from not making enough progress or not making progress fast enough? Are you having pain from not seeing, sharing, or accepting the gifts of yourself or others? Realizing what the pain is really about allows you to put your energy where it is needed to make appropriate progress.
Step four is about deciding what you want to move toward to replace the pain. The more attention you give to pain, the more pain you’re going to have in any area of your life. Where you put your focus and your energy is where the energy goes. If you put your focus and energy on pain, then that is a prescription for pain. Instead, determine what you want to replace the pain with – you have to have something to reach toward to move forward. Take a pen and notepad and write down what you want to enjoy in your life instead of pain. What do you want to have to replace the pain?
As you reflect on what type of pain you are experiencing, what you want to replace your pain with, and recognizing that the pain is an invitation to change, consider your primary way of making a change. The triad of change consists of structure, behavior, and perception. Think about your past best efforts to create effective change. Is changing the structure of things how you change your life, like moving around the furniture or house or changing the timing of when you go to the gym?
Is it shifting your behavior, as in, not turning on the TV or breathing deeply instead of reaching for snacks? Or is it shifting your perception, becoming more aware of the choices you’re making and how you’re living your life? You can create effective ways of making a change and moving towards progress.
Pain is very challenging to many of us in different areas of our lives. The solution is to have a different relationship with it and use these five steps to move from pain to progress. Learn more about how my team can impact your health and progress at a complimentary consultation by clicking here or calling 303-998-1000. We will work with you to determine what you want to have less of and what you can have more of in your life.
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