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4 Reasons Why Emotional Pain Can Be A Positive Breakthrough In Life

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How do you feel when you think about emotional pain? What do you connect to it? Have you ever thought about it as a positive thing in your life? If your answer is no, I have to disagree with you. Feeling pain in your life has pretty much the same concept as experiencing failure.

We don’t like it, but it is necessary for a better life. The same impact has the pain. Not everyone sees it this way; it is a matter of perspective. I would like you to look at the pain as a value and a good lesson. You are going to experience it from time to time; it is a rule of life.

Take a look at these four reasons why pain can be your friend and more than that, a teacher:

1. It moves you forward

Pain can move you forward and make you take action. It pushes you when you are not happy with what you have or see or who you are. With pain, you will move forward faster. When you feel unhappy, what do you do? You are trying to figure out what will make you happy and get you out of the pain.

You are more likely to change and make progress. Do you know what is worse than pain? Feeling comfortable. If you feel that where you are right now, it’s “fine,” you have already started your dying process. Feeling unsatisfied and always wanting more is a great indicator that you wish your life to be different.

You know that out there is a better world and better opportunities. You know that you were born with a high potential, and you don’t want to waste it. Keep moving forward and your pain will disappear step by step.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

2. It makes you grow

Being in emotional pain is tough but without it, you wouldn’t appreciate the pleasure. It gives you the real life lessons, and it makes you grow. Dwelling on the past and asking yourself why this or that happened to you is pointless. I believe that every negative experience has its meaning in life.

Things don’t just happen. Everything is a lesson for you to learn and maybe realize certain things about yourself. I love this quote from Deepak Chopra; “Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment, are precisely the one you need in your life at this moment.” But what if you are in a bad relationship? How can this benefit you?

Maybe you are, or you were in a relationship which didn’t work. Maybe your business partner betrayed you. These are situations you have attracted into your life. It makes you grow and become the person you need to be.

 

3. It gives you experience

As I have mentioned above, the pain will become your best teacher. You and I know that the actual lesson of life comes from your downfalls. When you hit rock bottom, when you get the real smack on your face. It’s like passing an exam in a very unusual way.

Look at your life right now and see your past. Was there any painful experience? I bet it was and I bet you have learned from it. Whatever has happened to you was meant to happen. Have you ever heard about someone with a very rough past? And after all, they are the ones who are helping people, they create support funds, organizations for people in need.

Why do you think they went through hell? Because their purpose came from what they experienced. They know how it feels, they decide to support others and change their life. They do magnificent work because of their pain in the past, and they have outstanding results as well.

 

4. It motivates you

Pain is the best motivator. It challenges you to make changes and progress whether you like it or not. It motivates you to change yourself, your life, maybe your relationships. How would we know what is right for us without feeling pain? Pain is an indicator that something in your life is wrong, and change is necessary.

Feeling emotionally uncomfortable, motivates you and sometimes inspires you to do remarkable things. Some accomplishment or success in your life wouldn’t happen if you were not in enough pain to pursue it.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

No one likes to experience emotional pain, but you have to understand that it is a part of your journey. Make it your best friend and learn from it as much as possible. Take it as value for your personality and experience. Use it for your personal growth and self-development.

What have you learned from your pain? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Silvia committed her life to many things but one of them is helping people in turning their pain into power and teach them how to find benefits in the most difficult events of their lives. She is a motivational speaker and founder of CourageWithinYou platform.  She has written well over 200 articles oriented on personal development, success, and healthy mental growth. You can connect with her on Facebook or on her personal website www.silviaturon.com.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Silvia

    Mar 24, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Thank you for Krishan for your comment. Training our minds will determine our lives. I have to agree with some people that it is hard at the beginning, but what isn’t? As long as we have a purpose and inspiration, we must go on and deal with circumstances we have no control over.

  2. Krishan

    Mar 21, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with the points you’ve mentioned in your article. Especially point 2, because that one for me is very relatable on a personal level. There is always a good thing in everything, as long as we train our minds to see the good in everything 🙂

  3. Silvia

    Mar 8, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Hello Andrew. I definitely agree with you. Everything bad happens for a reason and sometimes pain makes us move in the right direction. Pain is only temporary. 🙂

  4. Andrew Denny

    Mar 7, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Love this! There is always something positive to come from a negative situation. You just have to change the way you think. It’s a lesson I’ve learned along the way and a value that I live my life by today. Nothing bad lasts forever 🙂

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5 Simple Hacks to Help You Develop the Habit That Will Transform Your Life

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It’s excruciating when we know what’s killing us but we can’t do anything about it because as you know, it is not easy to pull the brake on a high way. According to Napoleon Hill, “remember this always – the best (and one might say the only) way in which old habits may be removed is to form new habits to counteract and replace the undesirable ones”. (more…)

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Why Do We Have An Unconscious Bias and How Can We Manage It?

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When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?

As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?

Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.  

Let’s park this one for now and we will come back. 

Categorization is essential to our survival

There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses. 

The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.

An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.

In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.

When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting! 

Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.

  1. lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin 
  2. lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin

The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.

Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored. 

This amazing skill has its drawbacks

As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.

Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)

Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.  

This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.

Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.  

The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people

We can overcome unconscious bias 

Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals. 

Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms. 

Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds. 

The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals. 

What was the most interesting part of this article for you? Share your thoughts below!

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The Problem Is Not Actually the Problem: Here’s Why

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With my understanding of the Three Principles, which is deepening month-by-month, I’m becoming more curious about whether the ‘problem’ that we think we have, is really a problem. Not for one second am I dismissing a persons’ experience; I’m human after all and I encounter challenges and what I think are ‘problems’ just like the next person. (more…)

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5 Things You Can Do to Fend off Boredom and Stay Focused

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Curiosity is human nature and it’s only natural that humans will lose interest in a topic after a while. This has been a topic that has been extensively explored among children, teenagers and adults by a psychologist with similar results being reported from each of the categories. Human’s minds are therefore prone to boredom, making it important for each professional to spend some time to understand the factors that drive boredom and strategies the individuals needs to use to overcome boredom and focus on their profession and development. (more…)

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