Today's personal development podcast was with Lewis Howes and his School of Greatness podcast, one of my faves, and he was interviewing the wonderfully insightful and fabulous Glennon Doyle Melton. Her first book Carry On Warrior made me laugh and cry at the same time and I'm definitely putting her new book Love Warrior on my reading list.
Part of the conversation focused on the topic of pain and how sitting with discomfort is the journey of the warrior. Only when you finally start to sit with the pain and feel the pain and try to understand the pain can the journey truly begin. Glennon said that the wisest people allow the pain - fear, loneliness, anger, envy - to come in rather than shut it out or avoid it. We can use pain as an arrow instead of a hot potato, to guide us on our path rather than create more pain and discomfort.
Pain is different than suffering - suffering is what happens when we avoid pain, and suffering is a choice. Pain is not a choice, but we need to learn from our pain. We can instead be curious about what the pain is trying to teach us - what is the reason that it has shown up in our lives?
We can relate this idea to exercise - how many times have you felt pain (not physical of course - fear most likely, or maybe insecurity) during a workout (or even before?!) and felt like you just couldn't get going or push through that feeling? The thing is, when we feel fear or insecurity related to fitness, the reason we feel that fear is because we are scared that the pain won't stop. That it's never going to get better or go away. And so we stop because pain is uncomfortable. Fear and insecurity are incredibly unsettling. They hinder confidence, which is the feeling that most of us really desire.
Next time you feel pain that is fear or insecurity during a workout, push through. You think that it's going to get worse and that's why you're so worried. But just keep going! Breathe. You WILL get through it. Anyone can be uncomfortable for 20 seconds, 30 seconds, a minute. Feel that it's there and keep going. Fear is not real. It's a choice that we have every single day.