Pick Your Pain

To change, or not to change – that is the question…

You are motivated by either pleasure or the avoidance of pain and you will avoid pain at all costs when given the chance.

Change is hard, and at times, it can be painful. The truth is that you will not make the change you need to make until the pain of “not changing” is far greater and exceeds the actual pain of changing.

“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” – Tony Robbins

Have you ever found yourself at that tipping point? At the place where the pain and frustration of staying in a job becomes more than the pain and effort of a full-blown job search?

What if you are in an unhealthy, non-nurturing, and non-supportive relationship? Have you ever gotten to the point where the pain of leaving the relationship, and the fear of being single and alone, is no longer more hurtful than the pain and anguish of remaining in the relationship?

You will only make change happen in your life when the pain of changing becomes less than the pain of not changing. Regardless of your chosen path, you pick your pain.

A powerful component in goal setting is to state the goal, then write a paragraph about the pleasure or benefits gained by reaching that goal. What is the heaven if you fulfill it? This is the carrot aspect of goal setting.

The other side to that is the stick. What is the hell that you will experience if you do not reach your goal or make that life change? What are the negative consequences? When the negatives line up and are strong enough to gain leverage on yourself only then will you commit to following through and committing to making a change.

What happens is that when you pile up enough negatives, and you can see the pain that might occur if you don’t change, it will quickly outweigh any fear of discomfort that you might anticipate by moving forward. Simply put, it will scare the hell out of you and propel you take action.

So there you have it. Some rough examples would be, go through the pain of quitting smoking, or go through the pain of lung cancer? Give up a horrible diet full of sugar and processed food or go through the pain and inconvenience of diabetes?  If taking up running, jogging or walking is too painful for you, how about heart disease instead? I think you get the idea.

Never the let the potential pain of change prevent you from doing whatever it is that you need to do. Change and growth can be painful, but it’s that way for you to grow and to evolve. Pick your pain. Change or don’t change. It’s your choice.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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