• The Hopefulist

Understanding Pain....

When it comes to fear, what we are mostly afraid of is feeling any type of pain. Once we understand the types of pain we are afraid of hopefully we can move past it.

I'm going to tell you something I don't talk about very often. I don't talk about it because I don't want your opinion of me to change and it often does when people find out. But here goes. I smoke. I am a smoker. I started when I was 12 years old. I have quit several times. The first time I went a whole year and went back. Then, I quit for SIX years and went back again! It's terrible. I've been back to smoking full time for two years now. I hate that I smoke. I hate what I am doing to my body. I hate that I reek of smoke. I hate that it yellows my teeth and contributes to fine lines around my lips. I hate that I spend so much freaking money on it. But until I'm willing to go through the pain of quitting, I will continue. I will be using my smoking as the main pain point through this blog but think of something you're afraid will be a painful process and apply these principles to that. Like getting healthy or starting a business or finding a new job.

Once again leaning on my friend Brendon Burchard, he goes over the three types of pain we are afraid of. The first is loss pain. This is a fear of changing your life to start something new will cause a loss of something. So you don't want to do it. When I think about quitting smoking know it will be painful to lose those breaks I look forward to throughout the day. I will miss having so many chances to stop and go outside and take in nature (even though I'm killing myself while I do it). I know, and people say all the time that I can still do that. But I don't. Not on the same level as while smoking. It's the same with dieting. You likely fear the pain of losing your favorite foods.

The second thing we fear is process pain. Change is already hard but the actual process of making the change can be very scary. We think about what we will lose. Leaving a job with a steady paycheck to start your own business could means years of nonstop hard work before any sort of payoff. When I think of quitting smoking, I'm not thinking of the freedom that comes with not being tied to an hourly habit and how much healthier I will be. I'm thinking about going through withdraw and the fact that I will obsess and think of nothing else beside the fact that I can't smoke anymore. With dieting, it means shopping differently, cooking differently, I'll have to start exercising. It's going to cause me pain.

The third type of pain is outcome pain. What if we give up all these things and all the hard work it takes to make it happen but the outcome isn't what we hoped it would be. What if we don't lose weight as quickly as we would like? What if I can't breathe easier once I stop smoking. What if the process isn't worth it?

But here's the thing. If we get stuck thinking this way, we will never change anything. We have to focus on the positive outcomes we will get instead of fearing the worst and concentrating on how hard it will be. How free and healthy I will feel once I kick that nasty smoking habit. A healthier lifestyle means tasting new real foods that you may come to love. You'll also feel better, have more energy and may fit into some clothes you've been dreaming of wearing.

When you're obsessing about loss pain, process pain and outcome pain, the harder it will be to make the change. Focus on how much better life will be. Sit down today and ask yourself what is it you really want in life? Why haven't I been progressing faster? This should bring up some of the pain you are afraid to face. And then you can switch your inner dialogue. Keep at it...it gets easier over time.

It's Monday! My favorite day of the week after Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A brand new week full of possibilities and opportunities. Now go make some great things happen. I'm cheering for you. And make today, your best day yet!

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