Never Waste Your Pain

In Blog, Mental Toughness
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The higher your ambitions and the larger your goals, the more setbacks you’ll face. And some of those setbacks will be painful experiences.

When I got cut from my high school team for the 3rd year in a row, the pain was deep. I felt embarrassed since it had happened in front of so many people. People who didn’t even see tryouts mentioned it to me. I had to answer questions about my basketball future from people who’d seen me invest summer after summer in my game at Finley Playground. And I was facing the clock of life and basketball – a high school junior who’d never made it past the first day of tryouts?!

When I got out of college and told my parents I wanted to be a professional athlete, there was more than a small amount of shock. I hadn’t even played my senior year of college basketball. The couple high school games they went to, I didn’t even get on the court. And now I was going to be a professional? One real reason I became a pro is the you-can’t-be-serious conversation that followed my announcement.


Pain is energy.

Anger, sadness, sorrow, embarrassment and disappointment are dark feelings. These feelings have very useful energy in them. Energy is neither created nor destroyed; energy is merely transferred from one object to another. Thusly, learn to use these energies for your own productive purposes.

Here are 3 ways I do it.

  1. Think about the end game. Jay-Z rapped on Dead Presidents, just dream about the get-back when talking to a friend who was recovering from gunshot wounds. It was Jay’s way of helping someone in despair by painting a picture of a much better future.

    Yeah, you’re down right now and feeling like s***. But things won’t be this way for long. You will be on top again. Use the pain you feel right now to incision what it will be like. How you’ll feel, knowing where you came from. The looks on the faces of your enemies and naysayers. Get a really clear picture of it. Don’t forget it.

  2. When you think you’re too tired to work, remember the get-back. Don’t want to wake up to your alarm clock? Remember what happened at that last tryout. Not motivated to make 5 more sales calls? Think of how you couldn’t feed your kids two months ago. Feeling like taking a vacation? You told your a-hole former boss you were starting your own business. Remember what he said to you then?

    Constantly renew your motivation. Use the pain you’re feeling now or have felt in the past.

  3. Remember who wins if you lose or quit. Let’s say you stay in this pain and never make it to the top. You never get your get-back and the failure you feel like now become a permanent stain on your name.

    Who proves themselves correct with your failing outcome?

    Who can look at you and say I told you so?

    Who would be quietly pleased to find out you failed? [shareable cite=”@DreAllDay “]Who would be quietly pleased to find out you failed? [/shareable]

    Are you OK with that happening?

    I bet that’s the last thing you want to happen. You are a competitor more than anyting else. You know how to tap into the deepest areas of that competitive drive. And you know the great performance which results when you do tap into that energy.

    Can you think of a worse outcome than your detractors being happy? Is there anything lower than that?

In conclusion, pain is rarely what we want in life. But, used effectively, pain can drive you to your goals faster than any other energy you feel.