Embracing the Joys of Fear and Pain
Fear and pain motivate you to stop, run, avoid, or stubbornly dig in. They don’t move you forward, they move you away.
Fear and pain may, however, ignite passion to change. Politicians create fear that galvanize constituents around a cause and garners votes. The problem, fear only works for the short-term. It creates a huddling effect but doesn’t create a future.
Fear and pain are good if they drive you toward courage and joy.
A few years ago, I let fear and pain motivate me to seek a new future. I’m learning that pursuing what I want is an ongoing, incremental process. What I don’t want is quick and easy, pursuing what I want is slow and hard.
What I’m learning:
- Fear comes with us when we move forward, accept it.
- Faith answers but doesn’t eliminate fear. I’m learning to trust God, myself, and my friends in new ways. It’s not a magic pill; it’s a process.
- Conversations change me. I’m fortunate to have conversations with some of the world’s brightest people; their stories, experiences, and wisdom inspire me.
- Courageously sharing my inner-most thoughts took time. However, the more I do the easier it gets.
- My journey makes some uncomfortable. Because it does, I’m learning the good and bad of people pleasing.
- The bad side of people pleasing is it motivates me to make decisions based on other people’s values and opinions.
- The good side of people pleasing is it motivates me to explore and understand what pleases others.
- Exploring and understanding what pleases others opens the door for me to explore, understand and communicate what pleases me.
- Doing what’s best for others isn’t people pleasing as long as it aligns with my values.
This list began with “I’m learning,” not “I’ve learned.” I haven’t learned anything.
What are you learning that’s changing you?
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I agree that learning is the process and as long as we learn, we enjoy our lives. When we stop learning, we stop enjoying our lives. I am learning to fulfill expectation of people I am connected with. It is the expectation not in terms of monetary gains but in terms of learning to make money, new strategies by ethical and right means. I try to be different in terms of my contribution to people and society and I enjoy it. I also agree that pleasing others is good, as long as it does not compel you to compromise with you values and principles. When you compromise, then pleasing becoming dangerous. We should always remember to know the boundary of pleasing, Please forget the boundary and they make all sorts of compromise. We should lift others to make their lives.
I believe good human being knows to understand the need of other human being. And those who believe in this process, live life.
Good morning. this is a great post to start the week. We are always learning, even when we sleep. Everything and everyone that surrounds us is a treasure trove of knowledge some to embrace and others to help gauge what truly suits who we are. Learning as yousay is a process. We struggle to become not a better version of someone else but a unique mold and union of all our dreams, our exspectations, our needs, our strengths and our weaknessess. You mention Faith and that is key for a genesis of a better self is rooted in belief. The trajectory of life is never straight and we can only see as far as our horizon allows Faith and hope expand our view and lets us reach beyond our dreams. The only finite event is the experience that attempts to stop us if we let it. I would submit that pauses for reflection are healthy in our jouirney of learning. As long as our inactivity does not morph into complacency we will always be moving forward which we may at times only realize when connecting the dots looking back. Positive attitudes and optimistic thoughts will always take us ahead. Our attitude is the pebble that creates the ripples that keep our river flowing. Cheers 🙂
couldn’t agree more..your comment is the best!
Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Have a great day. 🙂
Dear Al Diaz,
I absolutely agree with you. We need to introspect our journey, success and achievement from time to time. I also believe that cicumstances make us, support break us. Odd circumstaces provide us opportunity to look back and see whether we are on right track or not. I agree that connecting dots looking backward seems obvious to move ahead.
What are you learning that’s changing you?
You know, I see 10 or so quotes a day when looking at social media that I think, “if I could just do THAT,” I could leave my angst behind. An example is “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” (not sure who gets credit for saying that).
But I think the process of “change” is often, as you said, Dan, incremental. There are small things in my life where I am getting better at saying “what’s the worst that could happen?” I have mentioned before that our management staff is undergoing a training based on the DISC instrument, and there is a consistent theme of comments based on my response to the instrument such as the idea that a key to motivating me is “reassurance she is doing the job right.” I am learning to reassure myself without relying on third parties – and the reassurance based on making an effort, not always overt “success.”
I read the most beautifully phrased piece yesterday – it was the mom of a premature infant who is still facing very serious health obstacles. She shared this conversation between her husband and her:
“As I sobbed and broke and felt myself giving into the panic, [he] took me into his arms and said, “join me in the middle of the pool”. “Let go of the edge, stop trying to get out, and come join me in the middle. We will tread water waiting for the way to show itself and then we will swim together toward our new life.” When I told him I didn’t think I could let go of “before” he replied with, “you have to. In time, if you don’t, you will go crazy trying to get out.”. He told me he would wait for me in “the middle” and when I was ready, we would do this new thing together.”
Fear keeps many of us clinging to the side of the pool. Sometimes life forces us into the middle; other times we should choose to go there in order to find out what we are really capable of.
(The “middle of the pool” content came from the Facebook page of Alecia Silva. Her website is: http://www.theportraitplaceweb.com/)
Paula, I love your story regarding the “middle of the pool.” It is so true but sometimes we take for granted that everyone knows “how to swim” when in fact they don’t and are terrified of the water. My wife never learned to swim and to this day still does not know how to hold her breath under water. My point is that we need to be sensitive when asking people to join us in an endeavor they are not equipped to do. And yes I have tried and others have tried as well to help her learn but her fear is overwhelming so we compromise and use the “raft” to navigate the rough waters. My message is that when someone does not join us in the “middle of the pool” it is not always for lack of wanting and yes we are the ones that may need to swim to shore and ready the boat. Thank you for the inspiring story.
Morning Dan, you know, I will take a few ‘quick and easy’ learnings from time to time, probably won’t celebrate them too much and then move on. Sometimes, on the surface, they appear quick and easy and may in fact be a culmination of many long and difficult steps.
My other thought around fear is that fear is an internal emotion (often grounded in perception) and an energy that can be converted to anticipation or excitement. Scared/excited two sides of the same coin. Are you scared going up the first drop of a rollercoaster or are you excited or both? The framing can create the emotion and f/u actions.
What am I learning that’s changing me? Positivity is contagious, wanting to learn leads to learning, learning is growth (and painful) and making the time to reflect on learnings needs to be a priority or else we zoom from experience to experience without a needed course correction or two.
Doc are not experiences just another source of knowledge? Also book knowledge is great as a foundation but are not the actual events we encounter the true test of learning and what will stay with us longer good or bad?
Re: true test-definitely Al! Experience and knowledge are not always learnings…or else I would stop eating so much chocolate. 😉
Ah Doc but there is so much to learn from comestibles! “As you ramble on through life searching for your soul, keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the hole! 🙂
Be kind and your kindness will be rewarded.
First time reader, loving the blog so far! Great thoughts and insight, such a great outlook
Fear and pain always held me back. I always thought “what are they going to think of me if I fail”? “What are people going to think if I can’t do something”? I’ve been learning not to emphasize what everyone else thinks and concentrate on my own strengths. If I fail at something, I try to attack it from another direction and see if I can make headway that way. I’m learning that if the end result was failure, then so be it. Everyone fails at something. No one is perfect. How many times did Edison have to reinvent the lightbulb to get it right? It’s the person that just quits who fails. I on the other hand just pick myself up, dust myself off and keep plugging away till
I get it right no matter what anyone thinks.
My entire life has been formed and guided by fear and pain. I am slowly learning to embrace, inspect and ingest what I can learn from the life that happens in fearful, painful places. I have found freedom in the celebration of fear and pain. Instead of spending energy on avoiding pain and fear, I work to face it straight on and to make choices that reflect my desire to have courage there. I have only been able to do that by accepting faith, by allowing the help of others and by letting myself become vulnerable. I am grateful to have found your blog, and I look forward to your wisdom… MMF