Pain Points Identified; Fears Resolved
Fear receives too much air play. So many of us say but so few act. Fear is holding people back and I think it is so common in our every day language. What are we afraid of? Identify your three pain points and your fears may be dissipate,
We aren’t being chased by wild animals that are trying to kill us. Most fears are negative contemplative thoughts that we keep playing over and over again. Then, we begin to have pain associated with those thoughts. Most fear is just bad management of our own thoughts.
Neuroscience has shown that we have much more powerful capabilities than most of us think we do. Most fear, once you understand what it actually is, then you know how to over come it. What is fear?
What are you so scared of? What is this thing we fear that will bring us so much pain in our lives? Once you understand things more they aren’t so terrifying. Once something becomes knowable, then you can develop competency around it. Once you develop competency around it then you can develop confidence around it.
In psychology, we call it the ‘competence confidence loop’, which is the more you understand something the more confidence you have in that area. We all fear three types of pain.
1.The Pain of Loss
If I make that big change in my life, I might lose my job. I might lose my relationship with my spouse, lose my connection with my kids or lose a passion or a benefit of my current job.
When I wanted to start my own private practice, there were others generating all this fear in me by saying, “Be careful this is very dangerous.” What about your 401K, you’ll lose that. You will lose your benefits. You will lose all that security you have. Reality is that part of that was true. My job did provide security.
I would lose the steady paycheck we all want. I would lose the predictability of my career path. I would lose that nice peer set, I loved my co-workers. I would lose some of the work that I loved. So you think about all the things you’re going to lose and that stops you from making the decision to quit.
The same is true about dieting and trying to quit smoking. They’re going to lose the smoking break or if they change their diet, they’re going to lose the foods they love so much, so they aren’t going to change. They fear loss.
Focus instead on what you will gain
So part of re-orienting our lives is focusing not on the things we’re going to lose, but on the things we will gain. I might lose my security for the short-term, but over the long-term, I may gain freedom. I’ll gain grater challenges and grow faster, because I’m going to be doing things faster on my own. I’m gong to lose that 401K, yes but I’ll make a million dollars over here by focusing on those gains.
The fearful mind starts asking the question, What if…? It follows that phrase with a negative statement. What if this terrible thing happens? We stew within our fears that literally trick our minds into thinking we can’t change. But once you understand that loss pain is something you’re dealing with, you start focusing more on the things you will gain.
2. Process Pain
When we change something, it is going to be difficult. The process of change is hard. We will lose in doing something new. When I thought of staring my own business, I was terrified. The process is scary, so we don’t change.
It’s the same thing for that person who thinks of quitting smoking and living healthier. They aren’t thinking of being able to breathe and get up the stairs, they’re thinking about the process of dealing with quitting and the withdraws, frustration, and the potential shakes. The person trying to start a new diet is experiencing the same thing. Process pain, they’re thinking I’ll have to shop in new places to get fresher food. I will have to learn to cook new meals. I’ll have to start exercising. Process pain is all the things that will be hard in doing those things.
Part of the mastery of life is learning to see change as a game, learning to see challenges as something that we can joyously enter, to become the joyous master in the processes of our lives. Yes, they may be challenging, but challenge is good. Challenge will develop us. Challenge will help us reach our highest self. Challenge will be engaging, fun, exciting and new. It will bring variety and spice into our lives, so we can look forward to the process of change. When we switch our minds that way then we start to change more often.
3. Outcome Pain
The third thing most people fear is outcome pain. They’re scared that, what if they lose all these things in changing. What if they go through all this terrifying and difficult work and then things aren’t better. What if I don’t earn anymore money or have a better lifestyle? What if I don’t grow as fast? What if, on the other side of the fence it’s not any better? So we sit and think what if it’s not better and I would have to go through all that?
If we’re stuck thinking that way, we never change. Part of the maturity and mastery of life is realizing that instead of focusing on the outcomes that are negative, we can start thinking and dreaming about, visualizing, and giving our attention and focus to attracting the things that are powerful, good, satisfying, fulfilling, happy and joyous on the other side of the fence.
Refocus your thoughts to hopes on the other side of the fence
If I quit smoking, I’ll finally be able to feel good again. I’m not going to have to be addicted to something that’s killing millions of people. I won’t perpetuate a disease in my body or in my family. I’ll feel fit, happy, vibrant and energized on my own again.
When I start that diet, I’m going to enjoy tasting some new foods. I’ll actually enjoy going out with people again. I’m going to enjoy shopping again to find clothes that fit my body. If you start thinking about all the things that are positive from that change and when you do that you start to master your mind and direct it better.
Loss pain, process pain and outcome pain
When you are obsessing about loss pain, process pain, and outcome pain, the more you focus on those; the more you obsess about those types of pain, and your brain and body go, “No, don’t do that.” We are unbelievably driven to avoid pain.
You and I both know what would improve our lives. Why aren’t we doing it? Because somewhere we’ve probably associated a lot of loss pain, process pain, or outcome pain to it. So today might be a great day to sit down and say, “What do I really want in my life?” “Why have I not been progressing faster?” When you explore that question, you might discover loss, process and outcome pain at work. You can flip it and focus on the gains, the joys, and the positive outcomes. When you start doing that, you’ll find yourself pursuing your goals and dreams. You may discover that dreams really do come true.