Deal with your pain to become a more successful leader
Are you familiar with the ice cold grip that surrounds your heart the moment a hope or dream comes to an end?
Do you know the darkness that clouds your vision leaving you clueless how to survive until the next day?
It happens in an instant. You get that call. You read that note. One little information and your world falls apart.
In the first days and weeks your brain goes on autopilot – somehow. You manage not to stink too much, to change your cloth regularly, sleep every once in a while and maybe nourish your body. You are in a tunnel, trying to survive, trying to get away from that painful information. Your reality is changed to a new setting that you neither invited nor created.
Eventually you come to the moment when the first shock decreases and you realize you have to do something to get out of the pit that you have been thrown into. If you are at that point, most likely you want to change your life immediately! Now! Pronto!
And this is a very critical stage where you have to make a decision whether you just want to cover the pain with better feelings or if you want to heal and be fully restored.
I encourage you to take the longer and more painful way to walk through your emotions, give yourself a chance to heal and become a restored person. Most likely you will find some sort of purpose of the painful experience at the end of your journey. At least this is what I have experienced and seen in lives of people facing the storm of their emotions.
How do I walk through the storm?
This is where the romance is put aside and the uncool stuff is settling in. A mentor told me, it will require 3 things: Talk, Tears and Time. This is when you cannot buy a quick fix or take the shortcut. This is when you need to decide walking. Walk with me.
Wrap your emotions in words. Speak about your scattered hopes, your unfulfilled expectations, the unbearable sadness. Talk to people who you trust – maybe even a professional – and speak about your feelings. I emphasize: speak. about. your. feelings.
This is not some lullaby-talk of a emotional-driven Johnny head-in-the-air. This is the real stuff. The hard way to get your scattered heart healed. Find words that describe what you feel. Anger? Hate? Sadness? Desperation? Take the effort and talk. Off limits. Everything can be said.
Every time you talk about your situation, your brain is forced to concentrate and to put the spinning mind into proper sentences with subject verb object. This structure helps. It sets a stop to the chaos in your head.
Same is true for writing: pin your thoughts to paper. Every time you feel overwhelmed, get a pen and start writing. Maybe a letter to an imaginary friend, to a loved one or even to God. The addressee doesn’t matter – it is a vehicle to get you into structuring your thoughts. Shortly after starting to write you will experience a calmness, because your thoughts cannot go quicker than your pen on paper.
Get ready to cry! If you think, you already cried more than enough for a lifetime during the first days of shock … get ready to experience another level. Same is true, if you didn’t cry at all during the shock phase. The road ahead runs by a river.
It is quite interesting that to the brain any type of pain is processed the same. Hence, it doesn’t matter whether your leg or your heart is broken – for your brain the signals regarding severe pain will be the same. This is why we actually can feel loss and heartbreak. There is actual pain.
In consequence, there are actual tears. If you break your leg while skiing, you probably cry due to intense pain. Same is true for emotional pain. Hence, crying is not a sign of weakness, but a scientific proven human reaction. It doesn’t have to be avoided. It actually is part of the healing process.
Fun Fact: Psychic tears even contain a natural painkiller, called leucine enkephalin – perhaps, part of the reason why you might feel better after a good cry!Dr. Nick Knight
Once you get used to crying, you will be more open and bold to talk about your life and feelings – even if that releases tears. And this is where the magic happens: while talking and crying over and over the same hurtful incident, the emotions are being processed. And all of a sudden you share a part of your painful past and you don’t have to cry anymore. The emotion is worked through, you made your way. The river dried.
If you didn’t like the first two advises, get ready for even worse news: you don’t know how long you will have to talk and cry until you are through.
There might be some well-meaning individuals that like to share their view on timing unasked … but don’t listen to them. Instead of thinking whether they might be right or wrong, start walking the road ahead and don’t lose time to get towards your full restoration.
Find yourself people and situations in which you can speak openly. Have your handkerchiefs ready [take the soft ones to be nice to your skin ;)] and off you go! In addition, get into journaling daily. Each feeling, each new view, every thought needs to be written. It is like medicine to your soul. Take it daily.
Personally, unknown timing was the toughest part for me. I like things to work my way in my timing. But this road is different. There is no sign that signals the distance ahead. You just have to walk and trust the process to work. And it works. Promised.
What are your thoughts right now? Have you ever walked that road and want to add/emphasis/contradict anything? Or are you just somewhere on that path and need some encouragement? Leave a note – or get in contact with me.