It can turn out to be your superpower.
Those things in the past can become the very stepping stones that give you the power to become better, to become someone worth listening to.
That power can give you the possibility and capability of being able to help someone else past whatever their roadblock is.
What’s hard is when the pain won’t stay in the past, when it consumes your thoughts in the now, and it’s getting in the way of you making any forward progress.
Maybe you’re in the thick of the pain at this very moment. Do you need to “get over it” before you can move on?
In fact, you don’t have the luxury of waiting for the pain to stop, for the past to heal, before you move into your future.
So what can you do?
You can come up with mechanisms and devices that will help you push through the pain, so you can still go do a thing.
A thing like start your own business.
I’ve learned some practical ways to take my distracted thoughts captive, to keep them under control, to focus them in the direction I need them to go.
Here’s one of them.
Back when I was first starting my business, I bought this watch-like device that vibrates every 15 minutes. At the end of each 15-minute interval, I’d pause and check in with what I’d been thinking about in the past quarter-hour.
It didn’t necessarily give me the ability to resolve anything that happened, but I put myself in a position where I could ignore what had happened long enough to focus on what I wanted.
I was basically tracking how many times my thoughts got off track, then taking that extra step to put them back on track. This helped me get work done, instead of getting lost in unproductive, damaging thoughts all day and night.
And I had a LOT of work to do. I was frantically doing everything I could to build my business from the ground up. We were squatting in a bank-owned property. I printed flyers at Kinkos six to a page and cut them all out. Then I spent every night from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. putting them on everybody’s cars, often being followed by cops.
Lots of things weren’t perfect then, but I needed to be able to set that aside and see into the future.
The one thing you don’t want is the compound interest effect where you can’t do this, so you can’t do this, so you can’t do this.
You need a way to get those thoughts under control.
What is getting in YOUR way of you being able to produce better results, more results, and/or get your business off the ground?
And what imperfect action can you take TODAY that will help you turn your pain into your superpower?
Maybe it’s mindfulness meditation. Or yoga. Or a time you set aside for prayer each morning. I know many of these things have been helpful to a lot of people.
Maybe you need to read a book (or 10) that will help you get your thoughts under control.
I recommend The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles. It’s a really old book, but it has withstood the test of time. It’s all about containing and controlling your thoughts, directing them intentionally, taking them captive.
Hurts in our past can really slow our momentum, especially if we keep rehashing painful events over and over in our minds.
But think of it this way: Some of the very things people intended to keep us back become the very things that make us strong.
When people place a lot of weights on your back, your shoulders—when they make things as hard as they can for you, think of what happens when those weights are lifted.
You’ve gained so much ground with the weights on. Think of what you can do with them off.
And think of how much fear that must bring to the people who wanted to keep you down.
Speaking of fear, you can learn how to use your fear as a catalyst for growth in your life and business.
I went rock climbing with a friend recently, and it was really good for me mentally. It was one of the most mentally engaging things I’ve ever done as a sport. I completely lost track of time.
Listen, I’m a tall person. My body is not compact, so it doesn’t come naturally for me. (And bugs? Well, I’m not a fan. Thankfully we didn’t see many.)
My fear of falling off, even though I was strapped in, was pretty high. It was stressful, to say the least.
So I decided to let myself fall.
To get over my fear, I had to purposely let myself fall off the wall and see what it felt like so that my fear of failure didn’t paralyze me from climbing higher.
Once I did it a couple of times, it didn’t scare me as much anymore, and it gave me the courage I needed to climb.
Put yourself in an environment where failure is not only okay; it’s celebrated. I love it when my team tells me things they’ve tried that didn’t work. Good! You’re trying! You’re not giving up.
You may see me struggle, but you won’t see me quit.
Watch me turn my pain, my past, my weakness, my fear into a superpower.
And you can do it too.