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5 Ways to Leverage Your Pain, Disappointments and Hurt Why do you believe what you believe? Once you start asking questions, your outlook may change.

By Meiko Patton Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Let's play a game. What if you viewed pain as fuel, hurt as something to look forward to and disappointments as your servant. How would that change your outlook on life? On your relationships? On your business?

Indulge me until you finish reading this article. I want you to question why you believe pain is something to be avoided, heartache is bad and struggle is something negative. Ask yourself why you believe that. I think it's because along this journey of life you have picked up messages of mass thinking. Don't worry, I have too. But fortunately, we can change our thinking.

Related: Why Some Startups Succeed (and Why Most Fail)

Did you ever hear your mom say, "Money doesn't grow on trees." Obviously, it doesn't, but did the idea of scarcity get implanted in your mind? If you heard that phrase often enough, you probably picked up that mass thinking as fact and never stopped to question it. Or if you heard your dad say, "People can't be trusted," you probably inadvertently picked up that mass thinking and have never bothered to question it either.

What makes us suffer as humans are our own thoughts -- the mass thinking we've adopted. As Tony Robbins says, most people don't ever master their thoughts, and that's why they are in anguish.

"Thoughts are simply programmed," said best-selling author Jack Canfield. "We are conditioned by our parents, school, church, culture and so on." Because of this conditioning, we rarely revisit thoughts or beliefs that no longer serve us.

So how do you, in a sense, re-program your long-held, deeply seated beliefs?

According to motivational speaker Brian Tracy, you simply need to question the thoughts you currently believe. For example, let me ask you two questions. Do you believe it is possible for a person to become a millionaire? Now, do you believe it is possible for you to become a millionaire?

I'm pretty sure the majority of you said yes to the first question but no to the second question. Why? Why do you believe that?

If you simply change that belief -- that it is possible -- you will unlock your subconscious to look for ways to become a millionaire. But if you continue to believe that it is not possible for you, you will never unlock your potential power to find a way to make it happen.

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So how can you leverage your negative, harmful, painful thoughts to serve you instead of hinder you? Here are five ways you can do so according to leadership expert Robin Sharma. He calls it his five "ings."

  1. Journaling. Sharma said on his YouTube channel that journaling saved his life. He believes the antidote to pain is gratitude, so he writes what he is grateful for. In addition, he says that you can never escape your pain; you can only feel yourself through the pain. Journaling allows you to process the pain and use it as a servant, not as a cruel task master.
  2. Talking. Sharma says that talking releases the energy of the pain. If you don't talk about how you feel, that energy stays inside you, and you end up making yourself sick. When we repress, we only hurt ourselves.
  3. Communing. Nature is something you must commune with. You have to go outside and walk, breathe and be at one with nature. Being in nature gives you much needed perspective on whatever ails you.
  4. Moving. You have to move in order to improve. When you exercise, you will shift your psychology, your neurobiology and your metabolic rate by releasing endorphins in your brain which is a natural motivational drug.
  5. Resting. We can only get better if we recharge. Studies show that it is only during sleep that the body and brain have a chance to do their repair work -- to undo the subtle damage suffered by millions of cells over the course of each day. So get some rest.

Instead of viewing pain as something to avoid, try to look at it as something to embrace. Pain, disappointments, hurt and heartaches are just the natural parts of the process of you becoming a stronger version of yourself.

Related: This Entrepreneur Shares the Most Important Factor of His Success

And remember, whatever you are going through now is only temporary. It may last a while, but eventually this too shall pass, and you will be a stronger person because of it.

Meiko Patton

Amazon #1 Best-Selling Author

Sacramento-based Meiko S. Patton is a writer for the federal government and author of How a Postage Stamp Saved My Life.

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