Growing pains are often experienced by children and teenagers supposedly when they are growing fast. According to the Mayo Clinic …
Growing pains tend to affect both legs and occur at night. In many instances, growing pains will wake a child from sleep. The term “growing pains” may be a misnomer because there’s no evidence that growth hurts.
While there may be “no evidence that growth hurts” in the physical development of children, what about in the personal development of people?
How does pain help?
When you are in a comfort zone, pain increases your desire to change — to embrace growth opportunities.
John sold his company and was now in the midst of a major transition after a successful career of 30 years. We were listening to the truth in his Story when he said, “I didn’t hurt enough, so I didn’t make the changes 5-6 years ago.”
Change leading to personal growth is often hindered due to a high pain tolerance. No, I’m not talking about physical pain.
Think about taking a hike — how long would you tolerate a small pebble in your shoe? Now, when offended or taken advantage of by someone, how long do you tolerate anger, bitterness, resentment?
What’s the difference?
When pain is present, a solution is available. Most of us stop as soon as we feel the pain of the pebble. What about unproductive behavior in your leadership? How long do you tolerate the pain and make a change?
Resistance to change has many causes, with fear being the top driver. However, I’ve noticed three other scenarios that can encourage a resistance to behavior change.
- You know something is holding you back, but you’re just too busy to deal with it.
- You know something is getting in your way, but don’t know what to do.
- You don’t realize the self-limiting behavior, but others do; it’s a blind spot.
People committed to personal growth and success notice unproductive behavior and engage in a process of change, to expand their personal influence and improve their performance. It’s a powerful response. Your influence increase as others observe real, sustained changes in behavior.
Comfort Zone — It’s Painful
As an executive coach, I build trust, provide a process and objectivity to support my client’s development. This can be uncomfortable, if not downright painful. The desired outcome — improved performance and expanded personal influence — brings a even greater success with less stress and unnecessary conflict. It’s awesome, the pebble is out of the boot!
Opposition to change (personal growth) stands in resistance until your pain pushes you to a break through.
How much is “enough”?
If your pain tolerance is high, it will take more pain to jolt you into action. In other words, a high pain tolerance hinders your ability and willingness to learn and change.
Pain invites you to listen to the truth in the Story. You have a choice, you can:
- Manage the pain by using busyness, distractions, chaos, or self-medicate — all lead to unintended consequences.
- Embrace the pain, which begins with a desire for something better. That usually minimizes the resistance to change, leading you to greater freedom and success.
No pain, no change. No change, no gain.
Pain as emotional or mental distress is a gift designed to help us stop, take stock, and engage the process of growth. And it’s never too late to engage the process of growth.
Creating Space for Reflection
- Consider this: on a scale of 1 to 6 (1 = very low; 6 = extremely high) what is your pain tolerance? If it is high, how is this affecting your willingness to change? What is that costing you?
- Where are you feeling pain in your life today? What needs to change?
- What support do you tap into to help you change?
- Who is on your “support team”?
Here’s to your break through,