Life can fucking hurt.
Between people dying, hearts breaking, and a million other things which make us physically ill…we’re guaranteed to feel powerful negative emotions at times.
Yesterday, my coach told me, “There’s no system for grief.”
In other words, sometimes we’re sad and we don’t fully know why and there’s no formula to make it go away right now.
We have to just sit in it. And learn from it.
As readers of this blog know, I try to find the lesson in everything I do. After a painful experience, I allow myself to feel my feelings, and then I’ll ask things like:
What was the value in this?
What have I learned?
How can I use this as an opportunity to grow?
It doesn’t make shitty circumstances and more pleasant. But it is a long-term strategy for drastically improving as a person.
I handle myself with grace and respect when it comes to breakups, tough conversations with friends, and uncomfortable business dealings. I don’t take things personally and I never lose my temper.
How have I gotten so good at these things?
Because I was shit at them in the past.
I’ve tried to shame women into being with me (oh, to be 20). I’ve treated friends like garbage until they did what I wanted (sorry, Phil). And I’ve been stunned and speechless on the phone when a potential client told me “No thanks” (this year lol).
It’s through moments like these—memories that make us cringe—where the real growth happens. If someone doesn’t have any cringy memories, I assume they’re the same person they were in high school.
I treat women with respect because I know from experience how awful it is when I don’t. I’m open and honest with my friends because I’ve seen how sustainable and fulfilling that is over being passive-aggressive. And I’m detached from outcomes in my business because I’ve felt the agony of obsessing over a result and it not going my way.
It sounds David Goggins-y, but we learn from pain. Only if we let ourselves, though. Only if we seek the lessons.
We all want wisdom. But we don’t want the thing that brings us wisdom.
Feel…but learn as you do so.