Go Where The Pain Is

One single, practical formula for success: Anxiety + Courage = Growth.

It’s like the age-old saying: no pain, no gain but applying on a much grander scale of your holistic life. Follow me through this thinking and how it applies to your life.

That pit in your stomach. That time when it was tough. You had not been here before – in this situation, with these people. You were uncomfortable, awkward and maybe afraid. 

Anxious feelings while exploring new territory are real and expected. Uncertainty of the outcome, lacking the skills and confidence in the new situation, lack of familiarity and trust of those around you; the list could go on for reasons why you feel this anxiety. So what should you do? Avoid those situations with all your might or go where the pain is?

During times when things are easy, complacent, slower-moving – it is pain-free and carefree but with ease comes complacency, boredom, and stagnation. Of course, there are times in life where you need to slow down and take a breath but what if you chronically avoided those awkward, tough situations?

Intentionally putting yourself in the face of pain doesn’t seem logical. But what if you forged toward them – straight into the face of the pain and anxiety? The unknown, the unfamiliar places you haven’t been before create anxiety because you are growing, learning, exploring new territory, experiencing new things. 

It takes courage and strength to embrace tough situations; however on the other side of those challenging feelings is a bright new landscape filled with personal achievement, self-satisfaction, and self-belief that you didn’t have before. Anxiety becomes joy, strength, security, and ultimately CHARACTER. So next time you feel that anxious pit in your stomach, know that it’s just reminding you that you’re growing, learning, evolving. Embrace courage and go where the pain is

Inspired by an excerpt from Fast Company Magazine, Mar 2000 

Reach your potential. Live a vibrant life.

Are you reaching your fullest potential? Or considered what could be if you reached for it? Few of us are. So what’s the hold up? In my experience as a leader and a coach, supporting people and teams in personal and professional growth, it typically boils down to one single thing that holds us back: FEAR.

What are we so afraid of?

    1. Failure – what if we fail!? It is so much easier to play it safe than take risks and chase dreams.
    2. Success – but what if we find victory? We question our deservedness; those dreams are for someone else.
    3. Judgement – we fear what others will think of us: our choices, actions, failures, successes, opinions… and more. 

What creates our fear?

    • Ourselves – we allow our inner voice to have unjustified power over our thoughts, actions and beliefs.  We often self-sabotage by the stories we tell ourselves.
    • Society – we’ve been conditioned to live up to society’s definition of success and encumber ourselves to live up to those expected standards.

A few provoking questions to consider about your own potential:

    • Where are you today and where do you want to be? 
    • Being totally honest with yourself, what has been holding you back?   
    • What would change for you today if you wholeheartedly believed you could achieve anything you put your mind to and more?

10 ways to get started living into your potential:

    1. Embrace a growth-mindset as you start the life-long and ever-evolving journey to becoming your best-self.
    2. Self-reflect to build self-awareness – gain insights about where you are and where you want to be. (It’s not about achieving MORE but about doing more of what fulfills you as an individual.)
    3. Focus – Block the noise (from inside and from others).  Zone in on yourself and on what is possible.
    4. Believe in yourself and be kind to yourself –know you are worthy and capable of a fun and fulfilling future without limits.
    5. Stop taking yourself so seriously ­–  Life is an adventure, live it to its fullest!   
    6. Be vulnerable and embrace courage.  Take a small step forward by making a decision, taking a risk, exposing an opinion that you may have been avoiding. 
    7. Journal  – capture your feelings and outcomes along the way so you can refer back to these important lessons.   
    8. Appreciate the good times, learn and grow from the bad times – That’s called life experience.
    9. Find someone to hold you accountable – a partner, a friend, a coach.  Someone who will support you as you continue to progress and build momentum.
    10. Be future-focused while celebrating your growth and wins along the way.    

Complacency is a wasteful place in which to rest still so many of us stay in this safe yet un-fulfilling place. By embracing courage, demonstrating resilience and persevering in the pursuit of becoming your best self, you will realize personal growth in all aspects of your life.  Through the journey you will discover your true self and a quieter, more peaceful way of being by learning to mute the inner dialogue and self-inflicted stress.   You will be an inspiration to others, living into your fullest potential and reaching limits you never dreamed possible, setting an example for others to do the same.  Go – explore the vibrant future that is awaiting!

Stay tuned for my upcoming blog posts about leadership, culture and team, all centred on potential.