By Robert Pagliarini,
Tribune Media Services
There's one thing that's holding you back more than any other. It's not your education, who you know, or even how much time you have. It's fear of pain. It's that simple. The bad news is that the challenge you face is yourself. Of course, this is also the good news. It's not the economy, your mistakes from the past, a bad childhood, or anything else. The problem is within you, and so is the solution. Your ability to deal with the fear of pain effectively is your golden ticket to your best life, job promotions, health, and better relationships.
If you are successful at avoiding pain, you're a loser. There really is no way around this. The old exercise adage is true: "No pain; No gain!" Are there countless examples of people who experience no pain but who have succeeded in an area of their life? Absolutely! They're in the zone. They love what they do and are masterful at it. Does this mean they never experienced pain in order to get to this point? Think about Olympic athletes. They're graceful, poised, and appear to perform with pleasure and ease. But think of the pain and sacrifice they experienced to get to this point.
I'm sure you've heard the story of the little girl who witnessed a master pianist perform at Carnegie Hall. After the performance, which had the whole crowd cheering, the little girl went backstage and enthusiastically told the pianist, "I'd give my life to play like that!" The pianist smiled and said carefully, "I did, my child. I did."
Pain, is, well, painful. But it's often short-lived. What typically happens is, we'll trade the relief from short-term pain for long-term pain. We'll use the escalator to avoid the immediate pain of taking the stairs, but in doing so, will sacrifice longevity and vitality in the future.
Think of an area of your life -- there's at least one -- where you want to make more progress. Maybe it's your health. You're overweight and have no energy. Getting up an hour earlier to walk and drinking a kale smoothie is painful. Don't kid yourself. I don't care how much you focus on the wonderful long-term benefits, this is painful. In order to experience success with your health, you must experience some pain and sacrifice. If you're unwilling to experience the pain, you won't succeed. The same holds true for mental pain. If you want to double your sales or get a promotion, there will be things you will be faced with that will cause pain. Maybe you need to make more sales calls, travel more, speak publically, work later, come in earlier, etc.
Try this little experiment. Think of an area of your life where you want to see massive progress. Focus on the fear. What's the source of the pain you're trying to avoid? This is probably a good place to direct your efforts because the thing we're afraid of doing most is usually the thing that will give us the greatest result.
If you're not in pain, struggling, or being challenged on a regular basis, then you're leaving too much on the table. You're selling yourself short. The greatest fallacy is that success should be easy. It's not. Success takes sacrifice. Welcome the pain in order to welcome the progress.
Robert Pagliarini is a CBMoneyWatch columnist and the author of "The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose" and the national best-seller "The Six Day Financial Makeover." Visit YourOther8Hours.com.
This was printed in the September 8, 2013 - September 21, 2013 Edition