Summer 2020 has been a whirlwind between COVID-19, social injustice issues, rising violence and so many things that have people in a heightened state of anxiety and uncertainty.
To top it off, there are record levels of unemployment and people are concerned about their families, health, careers or burning out trying to do it all.
And now, decisions have to be made about sending (or not sending) kids to school in the fall.
It’s enough to be a hollywood blockbuster.
I’m definitely aware of the pain and overwhelm that many are feeling. It’s hard to find a way to transform your pain into something that useful when everything seems to be stacked against you.
Here are 5 ways to transform your pain into power.
1) Reflect on the lessons
When we run from pain, we bypass transformation. Reflect on the lessons in these moments. Lean into your emotions and into the pain.
Be honest about how you’re feeling and find a safe and trusted person to share with. That could be a spouse, counselor, pastor, friend or anyone who has put enough into your “trust bucket” for you to know they’ll protect your trust.
If you want a great breakdown of Trust (and who to trust), listen to Brene Brown’s “The Anatomy of Trust” SuperSoul session. You can click here to check it out.
If you can’t find someone, breakout your journal with pages and pages of trusted space. No matter what, know that when you face your pain, it can transform your life and lead you to your purpose.
2) Have tough conversations
These are not the times for surface-level conversations. Many people are finding their conversations to be deeper, richer and more honest right now. Those could also be new conversations at work or discussions around how we work to create a better workplace for all.
Don’t fear having tough conversations around topics that we typically give “surface-level” answers to. We’ll never be able to truly transform ourselves, our communities, fellow human beings or this world without talking about the deep rooted things and being empathetic to truly understand each other’s experiences.
3) Help someone else
Mark Nepo said “To be human is to look far enough inside of you to see myself.” One of the best ways to transform your pain is through service. Serving others in your community, workplace and family can have a tremendous impact on your perspective.
You may realize your pain was not just something you went through. It’s something you can help others walk through. The best “trail guide” is someone who has already walked the trail and knows the in’s and out’s of the terrain.
“Trail guides” know the path so they help others avoid getting lost along the way. This is what your pain can do for others if you transform it into service.
4) Create your “overcomer” list
Pull out your journal or a piece of paper (you can do this now or in a moment of doubt or fear) and write your “overcomer” list. This is a list of all the thing you’ve overcome in your life up to this point. You should include at least 10 things on the list, but can include more if you want to go crazy with this exercise.
Next, fold this list and keep it in a wallet. When you feel the doubts and fears saying, “I can’t do this” or “I’m not sure if I can handle this” whip this list out and read everything that you’ve overcome.
No matter what’s happenin’ around you, you’re an overcomer, my friend! This too shall pass and you’ll overcome this!
5) Show self-compassion
At the end of the day, whether you feel accomplished or a little defeated, give yourself some grace and self-compassion. Be kind and loving to yourself. We’re all human and there’s no perfect person that has it all figured out or has their emotions in check 100% of the time.
So, when you’re on your 100th Zoom call and you feel like screaming, that’s okay (yes, we all feel your pain) or if you said something you regretted out of frustration, that’s okay, too.
You’ll find your way. Stay in the right environment, find the right support and be compassionate to yourself. Take some time to care for your own mental health and rest to recover because we need YOU!
You were born for a purpose, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
You don’t have to do ALL the things on this list. I challenge you to do at least one of these things within the next 3 days.
Sharing this post with someone is one action you can take today to help someone who needs to hear it.
Nicole is a primary breadwinning wife, mom, corporate executive, thought leader, and online entrepreneur. She is also known as The Career Disruptor™ and created Nicole Andrews International, LLC offering career coaching, consulting, speaking, online courses and other events all focused on teaching and inspiring ambitious women in the workplace how to disrupt traditional thinking around their careers to reach their full potential and build their dream career and life.