Is it worth the pain to stay the same?

by | Mar 4, 2024 | Health, Relationships, Well-Being/ Self-Leadership

How do you separate yourself from yourself?

These are a few common ways we disconnect from ourselves. In what other ways do you betray yourself?

  • Buy into the story that you are “too much” and attempt to contain yourself
  • Allow yourself to be criticized or spoken to in a demeaning manner
  • Speak to yourself in a critical and demeaning manner
  • Promise that you’ll start doing “x, y, z” for your own good, and then give that time away to someone/something else
  • Say yes when you mean no
  • Allow the opinion of others to determine your degree of success

You betray yourself because your past experience has convinced you that this is pain that you can survive. It isn’t comfortable, but it is survivable. Any alternative has an unknown outcome, making it feel like an unnecessary risk. But even familiar pain is painful. Change happens when you believe that the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of an unknown outcome.

You can use your awareness of pain to discover the stories and limiting beliefs that you have agreed to live with. Whenever you become aware of a painful emotion, pause to listen in on the inner chatter that is narrating your experience for you. Be curious about this story. Dig deeper into the story by asking yourself: Where did this story start, and what does this situation mean about me?

Here’s an example. Last summer, I was enjoying our backyard with my husband and some family members when I realized that I wanted a snack. I was about to get up to get this snack when Marco (my husband) also got up to go into the house for a shower. The need for a snack wasn’t urgent, so I asked if he’d bring the snacks out when he came back. I got a side-eye response and my nervous system exploded! What the heck? I didn’t think that my request was unreasonable. I really wanted to make him wrong in this situation. However, I had also been spending a lot of time with this idea that while our pain may be triggered by outside events, the trigger and pain are our responsibility. Was I willing to practice what I teach? In other words, would I be willing to be with myself long enough to uncover the pain that this trigger signals for me?

It took me a full 24 hours to get to my own pain. My story kept going back to Marco and what he did and what I expected; I kept going back to this external source of the pain. Yet, part of me encouraged me to stay with the process. I wouldn’t allow myself to buy into the story that Marco’s behavior was the cause of my upset. I was upset—the pain is mine—but what is it?

Finally, I got to the source. I realized that I was exhausted and the side-eye meant to me that I couldn’t ask for help and expect to receive it. It reinforced a belief that I have to do everything myself—the very belief that created my exhaustion in the first place. I also realized that I hadn’t been communicating this to Marco, so he had no way of knowing what I really needed in that moment. As soon as I was able to see this situation from my true pain, the solution was easy—I told Marco what I was experiencing and when I did, he was more than happy to support me in any way he could. In a situation that normally would have pulled us apart until my pain subsided, we actually came closer together.

If you are truly ready to take responsibility for yourself so that you don’t have to waste your energy in a never-ending pain cycle, I encourage you to practice self-awareness. Every time you experience a strong emotion, pause and listen to the story your inner chatter is narrating for you because this will reveal to you a limiting belief that is holding you in a place of pain.

Have the courage to explore this story rather than simply buying into it. My favorite question that I ask myself is, “What am I making this mean about me?”

Now, if you are like most people, you might be shocked to hear how you speak to yourself and learn what you have been willing to believe about yourself. This is where we begin to learn to give ourselves grace and self-compassion. With practice, you’ll find yourself coming closer to yourself, reducing the pain you experience on a daily basis, and beginning to use your energy to create what you want rather than defending yourself from pain.

Your pain comes at a cost. How does it impact your health, relationships, your business and your own sense of wellbeing? If you are no longer willing to pay these costs, book a call with me today and let’s explore what it would take for you to live with ease and release your painful, limiting beliefs.

About This Blog

I’m Mary Meduna-Gross, a professional coach and the founder of Plena Vita, a company that offers coaching services and products to help people rewire their success.

Embark on a transformative journey with me as we challenge the conventional notions of success. In our blog and Fully Alive podcast, discover a unique path that prioritizes energy management, enabling you to effortlessly bring your dreams to life by embracing a state of creative flow.