How To Turn Your Pain into Fuel To Success and Happiness?
If I look back today, I feel really grateful that I've been threw all the painful moments of my life, because that pain was the stepping stone to my happiness and success today. Of course, at the time when I was going threw all these tough moments I was cursing my life, getting into despair, crying, even losing the hope and purpose, but if I look back today, the truth is that if I did not hit the bottom, I would not decide that I am going to change or that I will change my life from scratch.
Dropping out of Medical College when I was 22 years old was the turning point in my life, as so many things which happened afterwards I made that decision have shaped my life in a way that I could have never imagined, helped me to be at the place where I am today and live my dreams beyond my wildest dreams.
I remember the day when I took my dog into the grass fields near the woods and sat down in the grass. He was playfully running around, playing hide and seek game with me, and he was so excited. I was looking at him, how he was enjoying in the moment and I was feeling so heavy and sad. That was the moment when I decided that it was enough and I am going to change my life.
I made a decision that day that I am going to drop out of college and I never regretted it. I decided to leave that burden out of my shoulders and the moment I officially dropped out I felt so free and relieved. I did not know where will I be in next one, five or ten years, what life has in store for me, what will I do or how, but I knew one thing:
I wanted to enjoy my life and do things that I love. I wanted to be happy. Not stressed-out. Not serious. Not strong. Not successful. Not important. Just happy.
I enrolled into Journalism College with a desire to study about something that I will find interesting and fun and it will set my mind and soul on fire. I did not care about the career, about success or what will I achieve in life or how much money I will make. I just wanted to feel the spark inside of me, thirst for knowledge and passion to read the books. I wanted to have fun and enjoy the lectures and that's exactly how I felt each and every day during the four college years. Happy. Excited to wake up in the morning to attend the lectures, although I'm not a morning person. Fired up to study and open up my exam books. I was feeling most of the time more like I'm reading some interesting books of my choice which I would pick to relax and enjoy, than like I'm preparing for the exam. On my way to college people who would meet me would ask me why I'm so happy and I would reply that I'm on my way to attend lectures and feeling excited about it (they wouldn't get me, of course:).
Getting over depression and dropping out of college was the most difficult thing I went threw, but everything that happened as a result of that turned out to be in my favor and today I'm actually feeling grateful that things turned out the way that they did.
Due to stress burn-out during my Med Uni days my health got that bad that I had to be on hormonal therapy for more than one year and I ended up being diagnosed with a severe depression, but as a result of that I changed my diet and started practicing yoga, which helped me to build healthy eating habits, strengthen my body, balance my mind, build the self-discipline of steal, deal with stress and learn so much about how my mind and body work together.
While studying Journalism I discovered my passion for writing and online communication and started writing a blog, later on articles and it all lead me to my freelance-writing career, and finally to life coaching.
And here I am today, in love with my work and happy, thanks to all those things that happened for last ten years of my life. I've learned some very important lessons on the way and I know for sure today that our pain can be the strongest fuel for us to make a radical change in our lives and achieve amazing things.
HERE'S HOW WE CAN TURN OUR PAIN INTO FUEL TO SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS
TURNING PAIN TO FUEL TO HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS STEP #1: IT CRUSHES OUR EGO
Until I've hit the bottom I used to be a bit arrogant and would think of myself being VERY intelligent and smart and more ambitious, hardworking, stronger, more of this, more of that... than other people around me. After I've hit the bottom myself I realized that sometimes even if one gives 110% of himself into achieving something and puts up a lot of hard work and mind into it it can end up with a negative outcome and that doesn't mean that person who did not achieve something is necessarily lazy or not capable or smart enough: sometimes it just happens in certain circumstances. Going through a difficult period in my own life made me a better, less judgmental, less arrogant person. It helped me to understand people who are struggling and going threw tough times better, as I have been there. It has certainly made me a better life coach today, as I can very deeply relate to my clients and help them to rise up and get the courage to start new battle in life, just as I did, seven years ago.
TURNING PAIN TO FUEL TO HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS STEP #2: PAIN MAKES US REALISE WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT
Not only I realized that giving 110% of yourself won't necessarily make you successful, I also realized that it will make you sick! I realized that exhausting ourselves to sickness in order to achieve any kind of success is just not worth it!
After dropping out of college I realized how much I was missing time spent relaxing in the nature, chatting with my friends, and other small things I was cutting of in order to be more "focused" and "dedicated" student. Once I started having a tight time while on Journalism college due to all the responsibilities at home and exams, in order to have the time for blogging and writing I decided to cut of watching the TV (it's been almost five years and I don't watch it even today), not time spent with my beloved, friends and family and the activities that bring me joy (like swimming, dancing, watching a good movie, long walks, shopping...).
Like wise Maya Angelou would say: "When you know better, you do better".
TURNING PAIN TO FUEL TO HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS STEP #3: PAIN MAKES US ASK FOR HELP
When we hit the bottom then we need someone to give us a hand and helps us get up. In those moments, we let our ego and pride down and we ask for help. And by asking for help, we grow and we help the other person who has helped us to grow as well.
To me, the turning point was when I started recognizing all the symptoms related to depression in my behavior and I sat down with my father to have a deep conversation about my condition. The very next day I booked the appointment with the psychotherapist. And very next month, thanks to the recommendation by my therapist, I was sitting on the yoga mat. My dear friend which I met on the yoga class recommended me a book by Eckhart Tolle "The New Earth" which literally changed my life! All together helped me to recover and rise up.
If you are feeling stuck do not do it all by yourself. Ask for help. If you feel like you want to change your life and achieve some amazing things, hire a coach with a specific niche (health coach, life coach, business coach, dating coach, fitness coach...). If you want to grow professionally, hire a mentor. If you feel sad or depressed, get a therapist. Asking for help is not the sign of weakness! Hiding your weaknesses fearing that other people would not find out in how deep sh... you are and pretending that you are OK (or that everything is perfect) is the sign of weakness!
TURNING PAIN TO FUEL TO HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS STEP #4: PAIN MAKES US SELF-REFLECT AND SEARCH FOR THE ANSWERS
I would have not have found the time or had a desire to practice yoga, see a therapist, read all the self-help books, dive deep into "The New Earth" book and realize what was keeping me stuck and do some deep inner work if I was not in that much pain that I had no choice but to do it.
When we hit the bottom that's usually the turning point in our lives, because we have no choice but either to change something radically in our life or to keep on sinking and drowning and that's when all the magic happens.
TURNING PAIN TO FUEL TO HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS STEP #5: IT MAKES US WANT TO HELP OTHERS
I always had a desire to help others (there from my interest in Medicine at the first place) and human behavior dynamics (I was in love with Psychology since my early age), but after going threw a difficult period my passion for helping others was fueled up tenfold, especially in those areas which helped me to recover. I started giving yoga classes, blogging to help other people who wanted to go vegetarian to change their diet, writing articles about healthy eating and embracing the healthier lifestyle, and as a result of reading so many self-help books and my favorite magazine for a happier life (Sensa) which made me so fascinated about life coaching I became a life coach.
Today, I really flourish when my clients achieve their own personal transformation and I feel so blessed and grateful that with my articles I can reach (now) to so many people around the globe (as I'm writing in English) and be the channel for the inspiring and life changing message.
TURNING PAIN TO FUEL TO HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS STEP #6: PAIN IS AN INDICATOR THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG
I love the definition of pain said by amazing Iyanla Vanzante:
WOW! Pay attention inwards now! That is what pain actually is: it's an indicator that something is wrong. Like when we get burned or stabbed or we have the inflammatory process in our body, pain tells us that something is wrong, so that we can remove our hand very fast or know when it is the time to go to doctor. The purpose of emotional pain is the same: to tell us that something is wrong and we need to remove ourselves form that particular thing which is hurting us, get the help and heal. Pain is an indicator that we are not happy, that we are bleeding deep inside and that there is something that needs to heal.
TURNING PAIN TO FUEL TO HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS STEP #7: PAIN TEACHES US IMPORTANT LIFE LESSONS
Pain is present in our life to teach us important life lessons and help us grow. The biggest lesson I got after going threw my own pain was that everything happens for a reason and for my highest good (although it took me years to connect the dots and get this but now if I look back everything makes sense). It was my dream to become a shrink as I have a passion human behavior dynamics and Psychology and self-improvement and I was imagining myself spending my work day advising people to solve their problems, running a private practice (which was another dream of mine, to work for myself). When I dropped out of college this dream of mine crushed and I was so very sad about it.
But, as they say, life always writes the best scenarios, so today I am actually earning my income by "advising" people and I am working for myself, only I do not have patients, but clients instead. I work with healthy, generous, passionate, hardworking, ambitious women who want to improve, change, grow, achieve their goals and dreams, have more personal and financial freedom, travel, enjoy, have more fun in their life.
Not only I have amazing clients, and job I love so much, I am also location free (I find offices very boring :), I can work as per my own terms and I could even merge with it one more passion of mine: writing! I could not even imagine seven years ago that I will be so happy one day, this all is so beyond my wildest dreams. When I remember how much I was crying that time, I feel like laughing now at myself:) .
If I look back, I would not change a thing.
Pain is not wrong, it's just there to tell us that something is wrong so that we can become aware and make a change.