Guest Post by Dianne Ogle, reshared with kind permission from Leadership With Questions
Is there such a thing as being thankful for pain in our life? As Samuel R. Chand says in his book Leadership Pain “Reluctance to face pain is your greatest limitation. There is no growth without change, no change without loss, and no loss without pain. Bottom line: if you’re not hurting, you’re not leading.” If we are really honest with ourselves, it is through pain that our growth and development flourishes the most IF we yield into and ask ourselves tough questions.
What can I learn through this season of pain?
What mistakes do I need to learn from?
How can I raise my level of handling and persevering through the pain?
How can I come alongside, relate and help someone else that may go through this kind of pain in the future?
A few years ago I was speaking to a large group of working women in downtown Orlando and shared a story:
Pain is like the intense pressure pushing you down in a cold, frigid mountain stream. Pressure, rushing waters, deeper, plunging over the boulders, feeling like your lungs would explode, thinking you would die. As the pain pushed to the bottom of the bed; low and behold at the bottom were gemstones of every shape and color. Quickly gathering as many as could be held, the pain began to release. Slowly began the upward the process of releasing and eventually resurfacing. Breath, air, clarity, life… ‘I made it through.’ Then someone asks: Would you go through this pain again IF you knew all you would have to endure? ‘Why of course, look at these precious gemstones I gathered in the depths of my pain, now they are part of my threading, my character, my story, and a woven part of my legacy never to be taken away…a true gift.
No matter if our pain is self-inflicted or externally endured: professionally, financially, personally, spiritually, physically, emotionally; the challenge is not to deny, stuff or allow pain to paralyze us. Charles Swindoll says, “I am convinced that life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” Many are watching how we deal and lead with pain when it enters our lives. This can be a differentiating point between us and others based on how we allow pain to become a gift. Lean in, learn, grow and eventually offer empathy to others. There is always hope. Be willing to seek counsel of your trusted inner circle and embrace the freedom to ask the hard questions. Are in you a place to truly be grateful for this gift of pain?
Dianne Ogle is in her sweet spot as she coaches, encourages, and comes alongside women executives. She is the founder and President of Areté-Executive Women of Influence with chapters in Atlanta and Orlando. Residing in the Atlanta, Georgia area with their three sons, she and her husband, Barry, serve in their leadership consulting firm, Business Momentum Group, Inc.