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Mastering Emotional Pain

Have you ever felt sad, overwhelmed, lonely, or frustrated and wished you could quickly feel happy, in control, connected, or excited? Of course, you have - you're human. In today’s quick-fix, always-be-happy, immediate-satisfaction, suffering-is-for-losers mentality, we tend to totally underestimate the power of despair, loneliness, frustration, sadness, and many other uncomfortable (better than calling them negative) emotions.

If you start falling into the trap of trying to avoid these uncomfortable and sometimes painful emotions, you may be robbing yourself of some of the most powerful teaching tools that evolution provided us. People see suffering and pain as an interruption to life rather than a part of life. Interestingly enough, as we work with and study Sustainable High Impacters, we see that those people who embrace these emotions, examine them, question them, and let them do their magic actually develop more resilient, powerful, and mentally-agile mindsets compared to those that avoid them.

Growing up listening to my favorite singer, Jackson Browne, I could always tell which songs he wrote when he was working through uncomfortable emotions and which ones he wrote when he was in his happy place. The former are almost all of his greatest hits. When interviewed about his, his reply was, “Life is tough - for everyone, but the only way through it is through it. You either grow from it now or you pay for it later.” Another one of my favorite singer-songwriters, David Wilcox, wrote the classic, That’s What the Lonely is For. This song actually identifies a room in your house where you go when you are experiencing these uncomfortable emotions and where immense insight and growth emerges.

As you go through your days, weeks, and months, you will no doubt be faced with some of these uncomfortable emotions. Try to remember that suffering and pain is not a river to be crossed just to get to the other side; they're visitors that teach you things that contentment, happiness, and joy can’t. As you learn to embrace all of your emotions, you not only grow your Performance Mindset and resilience immensely, you also make your uncomfortable emotions a lot less scary.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.

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