“Man cannot remake himself without suffering. For he is both the marble and the sculptor.” Alexis Carrel
Emotional suffering and pain are an essential part of life. An unavoidable consequence of the human experience. The thing is, we often fail to recognise the gifts that come hidden within our own pain and suffering. At the very least, we spend most of our lives actively avoiding it at all costs.
What do I mean by suffering?
In the so-called developed world, we are blessed with more that most of the population on earth can dream of, yet we are still so often in pain. So, what is it? Is it a failure? Failure to achieve our long held life or career goals? Failure to reach a certain standing in society? Existential pain? The desperate search for illusive happiness? Internal conflict? Impostor syndrome? Not feeling good enough? Finding balance? The list is endless. Whatever it is, we all experience it. We all have pain in our lives. What’s more, we should learn to embrace it. Emotional suffering is an essential element of personal fulfilment.
Let’s be clear, in modern society, the active avoidance of pain, be it anxiety, depression, stress and so on, is often the greatest cause of those very things. I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me more anxious than trying not to feel anxious.
Pain is actually a guide. If we allow it, pain can guide us towards what is fulfilling and meaningful in life. Whats more, if we truly learn to listen, it can guide us away from the things that pollute and contaminate our lives. The paradoxical nature of life means we have to feel pain to find happiness. It’s a cycle. Both happiness and sadness co-existing – One cannot exist without the other.
I have been through many mental health challenges and no doubt I will again in the future. Should I feel ashamed of it? Does it mean I am worse at my job in helping leaders, executives and entrepreneurs navigate their own pain? Of course not. If anything, the opposite is true through shared experience. Suffering makes me human, just like you and the person next to you in the office, train or bus.
Just like you, I am a work in progress – both the sculptor and the marble.
How to transform pain.
It has to do with which lens we are viewing our life or business through. In my work and personal life, I use a regenerative mindset tool that transforms pain into a gift. Pain can become a powerful friend and the more you practice, the quicker the pain subsides. It may sound absurd, but pain can even become joyful when viewed through a particular lens- a spring-board if you like, to greater fulfilment, growth and success.
Are you ready to embrace pain and failure? These natural human factors are an unavoidable consequence of life that can serve you towards personal and business growth.
I know from personal experience that it is possible to develop a mindset that acts like an internal solar panel. One that helps you absorb the burning heat of pain and transform it into positive energy.
Thanks for reading.