Why You Have To Embrace Pain In Order To Grow

Run towards difficult situations, don’t avoid them

The Guvna


Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

We tend to run away from painful situations by nature. We are literally built that way; our brains are wired for survival.

But the truth is sometimes those situations are exactly the ones we should be running towards.

I was reminded of this recently when talking to one of my friends about their career. They had recently taken up a high profile role in their organisation that was causing them a lot of stress. They were being advised to go back to what they were doing before as it would make for an easier life.

Not long ago I would have agreed. Why put keep yourself in a situation that involves a high amount of stress? Especially when there is an easier path available.

Life is too short to be uncomfortable, right?

This view was honed to perfection when I worked for all of about 9 months for one of the world’s largest management consultancy firms and I hated every moment of it. I like to say that it was the 16 hour days trapped side by side in tiny meeting rooms dotted with people I couldn’t always relate to.

But the truth is I hated it because I was constantly uncomfortable. I was well outside of my usual zone of knowledge and I couldn’t handle that feeling.

After just 9 months I decided to hand in my notice and leave within a few days taking up a 6 week freelance assignment instead.

This was some 5 years ago and when I reflect on it now, though I have no regrets, I do spot an excellent opportunity to learn and grow that was missed.

Here’s what I learnt from the experience and reflecting on it that could help you:

1 — Set Your Goals Upfront

If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. — Thich Nhat Hanh

This seems so obvious but it’s very easy to get it wrong; set your goals before you take on a new challenge.

When you’re absolutely clear about what you want to get out of a situation it won’t matter how much time has passed or how…



The Guvna

I write about personal development, cycling, fatherhood and everything in between.