How to Encounter Pain on Your Terms
Without a doubt, we don't like feeling pain. Pain sucks, bro.
Our brains are wired to avoid it any way possible - and we're still programmed to behave just like we did in caveman times. Meaning if we think a future event is going to bring us pain - we will do anything to avoid or delay doing it.
From a survival standpoint, this makes perfect sense because our earliest ancestors knew running into pain could very well mean a potential life-threatening situation. (If your arm is being bitten off by a giant predator, odds are you are screwed). But in today's modern world, this mindset can work against us. It's the very reason why we procrastinate on what really needs to be done NOW - we think about how boring, tiring, or potentially embarrassing something might be in the future, sense a great amount of pain coming, and hold off on doing it.
But by now you should have already realized that most of life's greatest rewards require a good amount of discomfort.
In order to get into excellent physical shape, you need to not only possess the tolerance to handle sore muscles and exhaustion, but also the discipline to closely watch your diet on a daily basis.
To become financially free, you must practice self-control with your spending, making sure you save up your left-over income so that you can use it for investments. This means withstanding the knee-jerk desire to purchase the nicest television set, car, and house on the market.
To find a truly remarkable relationship, you need to be willing to endure rejection, a plethora of bad dates, ignored phone calls, and missed chances.
You get the picture. The most important pieces of life require discipline, self-control, and a strong tolerance of pain. (I wrote about this whole self-control idea here).
How about I let you in on a little secret to deal with this?
CHOOSE TO ENCOUNTER PAIN ON YOUR TERMS
The reality is this: you're going to encounter pain one way or another in your life. You can choose to try to run from it (like most do) and manipulate your daily habits to hide from it as often as possible (procrastination, skipping the trips to the gym, making excuses, etc.) OR you can meet it face to face as a man willingly.
What I've discovered is that the more you try to run from pain, the more it catches up with you. You will pay one way or another: you either pay with an exhausting workout today or you pay down the road with that twinge of regret when you look in the mirror and think, "eughhh."
From now on, make it a point to attack your days by doing what is most painful as early as you can. This is often what you have been procrastinating on the most and can usually lead to some huge results in business, health, and success. By doing what is painful in spite of discomfort on a consistent basis, you grow MUCH stronger as a man. Your discipline and work ethic will invariably increase and you will become far more productive in all you endeavor to accomplish.
Brian Tracy talks about this in his book Eat That Frog (that's not an affiliate link by the way). He suggests that we wake up and do the most difficult thing we can to start the day. This way, everything from that moment forward will be easier and we can build some excellent momentum. He calls it, "eating the frog" based on the famous Mark Twain quote: "If you eat a frog first thing the morning, that will probably be the worst thing you do all day."
So what are your biggest frogs? What do you have a habit of putting off and avoiding? What painful activities do you know you need to do that you keep shying away from? Find them. Attack them. Welcome them into your life. See what happens when your biggest, scariest "to-do" item is crossed off before the day even really gets going.
Remember to encounter pain on your terms. Accept that it is a necessary part of life and that the more you setup your schedule to reflect this fact, the easier your life becomes.
About Byron Van Pelt
Byron Van Pelt is a Certified Life Coach, entrepreneur, and published author of Unshakable Swagger: The Man's Guide to Being Confident Any Time, Any Place...Period. He is now happily married with his wife, Bethany, and lives in Jacksonville, Florida. With over eight years of dedication to the world of high-end personal development, he utilizes an arsenal of skills to accelerate his clients' breakthroughs in business, dating, health, and fulfillment. Byron specializes in teaching men how to explode their level of confidence in everything they do and ensure it resonates in even the most challenging circumstances.