The Power of Pain and Fear: How Can It Positively Transform You?

Have you ever experienced a turning point, where you felt that you could no longer continue on as you were? That something had to CHANGE? That the pain of feeling “stuck” and afraid was far worse than the fear of taking action, maybe even massive action?

We are conditioned to avoid pain and discomfort and to seek pleasure. Don’t judge yourself for having fear; it´s normal! The same goes for not taking action in some cases.

I lived my life like that for many years, too caught up in the cycle of fear to do anything about it. Living a self-limited life. Until the pain of staying where I was, the avoidance and self-induced guilt of not trying to change, became too much to bear. I then learned that taking charge and changing my approach would be the only thing that would make me feel better.

Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” ~Tony Robbins

One of my most defining moments was about 7 years ago, when I was desperately seeking a program to help me with my fear of public speaking and social situations. I searched for weeks, having finally mustered up the courage to seek help. When I finally found Janet’s website and workshop, I knew I was ready. My fear had already transformed into enthusiasm and I eagerly anticipated attending the workshop. Of course, I experienced some anticipatory anxiety, but the excitement was much more prevalent. I felt hope and a deep desire for change.

Looking back, I now think of my fear as one of my greatest gifts, to fully becoming who I was meant to be, to reaching beyond my highest expectations, creating a community of like-minded individuals, and most importantly coming to peace within myself.

How can you perceive fear as a gift?

• Fear can signify that you are about to step out of your comfort zone and take action.
• What lies outside of your comfort zone? Your passion, dreams, energy, enthusiasm, meaning, growth, contribution and
feeling fully ALIVE.
• It means that you are about to do something meaningful; something new or that is not part of who you are fully yet.
• Fear goes hand in hand with success. You’ll never unlock your potential if you hide within the shell of your comfort zone.

Making the resolution to face your fear is the first step towards change, which requires some form of action. Do you find it challenging at times to motivate yourself into taking action?
Sometimes, I still catch my mind making excuses, and occasionally I end up avoiding the action altogether. When this happens, my self-induced guilt strikes me with a vengeance!

There will never be a good time to do anything. There’s always adversity, fear, uncomfortable sensations, problems, distractions and so on. We tend to believe that we first have to overcome of all of these obstacles before we can actually take action and do what we want in life. Understanding that things won’t change until action is taken is important. If anything, they’ll probably get worse over time.

Ask yourself this question: “What if I won’t ever be ready to take charge of my life?”. The answer to the question is that you’ll never be ready. What successful people have learned more than anything else, is to take action in the face of fear and uncomfortable feelings. It’s important that you start going out into the world and make new experiences regardless of your fear.

Guilt often comes from trying to avoid something:

• To feel guilt, not only do we have to create it, but we also have to accept it.

• It’s anger, disappointment, or shame in ourselves for something we did or didn’t do.

• Real guilt comes from failing your own expectations for yourself.

• Real guilt needs our permission to exist.

You can learn to use guilt to your advantage. Appreciate your feelings of guilt because they can tell you a lot about yourself and what actions you need to take to improve your life. By using this knowledge, you can turn your feelings of guilt into motivation.

You may tell yourself that your lack of trying has nothing to do with being afraid. There are a thousand ways to rationalize your lack of action. However, the outcome of avoidance is usually in the form of guilt for failing your own expectations. If you are unable to hold yourself accountable, find an accountability partner to help you increase your motivation and commitment. For tips on accountability, please click here to see a previous blog.

Successful people are risk takers, but they’re also able to set aside their fears in order to accomplish their dreams. They’re able to look at their fear through rational eyes. This does not mean that they are fearless – they have trained themselves to take action – despite their fear.

The good news is that you also have the strength and the power to take action towards your goals – no matter what you fear.

Now is the time to change. The key is to start before you think you are “ready”!