How To Accept Pain & Grow


Pain teaches us a lot about ourselves. It shapes our experiences and it validates our reality. It can be a motivator and it can lead us down a dysfunctional, habit-forming path. Pain can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Whatever form it takes on, whether that is physical, mental, or emotional, pain can motivate or detour our actions and our lives.

Actions and a positive mindset are the biggest factors in having successful personal growth. When pain is present, it makes the personal growth process challenging and vulnerable. If we don’t accept pain in its usable form, it can eat away at our existence and cause dysfunction. I know this personally and quite well because I have lived it.

I have exhausted many dysfunctional avenues when trying to deal with all forms of pain—the physical, the mental, and even the emotional.

I was blindly successful at burying the pain and pretended it never existed in order to survive. By doing so, it led me to greater forms of distress that negatively distracted many, many years of my life. With much conscious effort, guidance, and research, I’ve been able to work through the ashes and obstacles.

If the pain is consuming you, your life, and sabotaging your goals, I’d like you to commit to the following:

Step 1: Let Go, Go Live

Let go of your past self. Drop the emotional and mental bricks that are weighing you down. Learn how to leave old emotions, damaging thoughts, and detrimental habits you don’t need, behind. Don’t shed fresh tears over old grief. Tell yourself you’re strong and be strong.

“Continuous pain means continuous damage, and that eventually leads to our demise.” ~ Tony Robbins

These words resonate with me. They could not ring truer.

But how do you let go of the past? You can’t just snap your fingers are let the wind whisk it all away. You have to do some heavy lifting and some soul-searching.

You can attempt to it on your own by doing some self-discovery like journaling and reading some self-help books, and listening to some podcasts (you can check out my Top 10 Podcasts, HERE). Keep one thing in mind though—this process is going to require discipline, dedication, and an understanding that you may discover that some of the things you’ve been emotionally and mentally holding onto are easy to let go and painfully difficult.

And guess what? That’s ok. Just commit to starting it and formulate a process that you can realistically and routinely follow.

If you can’t do this on your own, please consider counseling or therapy. There is this stigma attached to mental health that needs to take a permanent backseat. Therapy is incredibly therapeutic. It provides you with an opportunity to discover, accept, and resolve without feeling alone.

Look at this self-discovery process like a journey. You can either go on this road trip alone or you can bring someone along for the ride. Whatever you choose to do is up to you, just commit to packing the bags and not bringing them back with you when you’re trip has ended.


Step 2: Focus & Plan

Once you let go of your past self and residual pain, it’s time to become truly present and get laser beam focused. First, remove and eliminate all of the negative people, places, and things that are causing you distraction. Next, become truly present and prepared.

Grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down the following questions:

• Who do I want to be in six months?

• Why do I need to do this?

• What goals do I need to set to achieve that?

• Where will I need help in achieving them?

• When will I start working on these goals?

• How will I be successful at doing so?

After you answer these questions, focus your energy and tackle one effort and task at a time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Step 3: Live with Intention

Now that you’re on the right path to creating your own world, live your life with intention—live it with purpose and with integrity.

• Have A Daily Vision: When you wake up in the morning, and before your feet hit the floor, visualize what your day is going to look like. Paint the picture in your mind. What do you want to accomplish today? Spend the first 10 minutes either thinking about it or writing it down.

• Eliminate Doubt: You are your own worst enemy. When you feel like you’re going to fail at doing and achieving something, remind yourself how you felt before you started this journey—the person you once were—and focus on the person you want to be. Some people require physical reminders. It could be a mantra magnet on your refrigerator, a note taped to your bathroom mirror, a bracelet or string around your wrist. Whatever you need it to be, make sure it will work for you.

• Create Small, Realistic Daily Habits: This will help you create a foundation for achieving small and large goals.

• Simplify Your Life: Get rid of the emotional, physical, and mental clutter. When you streamline and simplify, you have less chaos and distraction.

• Commit to Your Health: This is not just your mental health, but also your physical health. Eat well, exercise routinely, and make certain you are giving your body and mind the rest it needs. Rome wasn’t built in a day (and it collapsed from the inside). You have the time to get everything done, but you won’t be able to if you’re burnt out and in pain.

I wholeheartedly believe you can overcome pain. I say this because I have spent a greater portion of my life doing so. Some of it has been physical, some emotional and mental. When you become greater than your present environment, you start to develop new emotional connections with your experiences.

Be courageous.

Be mindful.

Be committed.

And most importantly, fight.

Fight like hell.

When life hits, hit back. Knock that pain on its ass.

You only get one shot sometimes, so put your best out there RIGHT NOW.

~ Coach Joe Giustino