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#51 Why the pain part III: Don't face your fear. Transcend it.

We will be spending the next few weeks looking at the question of pain, specifically trying to discover what pain wants to give us, what secrets are locked within our pain and what we can learn from them.

What slow pain reveals about my fears


Have you ever had a fight with your spouse and felt bad afterwards about some of the things you said or way you acted? You may have thought, “I should probably go and apologise”, but you didn’t because every time you thought about apologising you felt anxious. Then you justified not talking to your partner by getting angry all over again at what they did and what they said.


Does this sound familiar? Well, the real reason you are not apologising and having that conversation is fear. More specifically, fear of rejection.


You are afraid that when you are vulnerable and apologise, your partner will still be angry and not accept your apology, and that will make you feel rejected or even abandoned. So to avoid a feeling of rejection or abandonment, you stay angry and in fight mode.

What grow pain reveals about my fears


Because grow pain has to do with our goals and dreams, the feeling that we are trying to avoid here is the fear of failure. We are afraid that we will try something or create something and no one will like it. It will fail.


This fear may go even deeper. Maybe the failure will confirm the belief that you don’t actually have what it takes and that you are not good enough. So instead of trying to achieve your goals and dreams, you avoid them.


Your imagination is a powerful tool


When you are thinking about the outcome in these scenarios, you are actually using your imagination. You create the outcome in your mind, and based on that image that you see, you avoid taking action.


The picture we see when we imagine the rejection or the failure is actually very quick and fleeting, but this glimpse takes you immediately into fight or flight mode.

You get angry and withdraw and you use your anger to actually push our partner away. Or you avoid taking action and going after your goals and dreams.


What you can do instead


Imagine that worst-case scenario in as much detail as possible. Imagine exactly what will happen if that rejection or that failure becomes a reality, then imagine and create your response.

  • How will you feel?

  • What will you do?

  • How will you fix the things that got broken in the first place?

  • How can you learn from the rejection or the failure?

In imagining your response in detail, you actually equip your mind to deal with that situation.

By imagining different ways that you can act in each scenario, you help your mind get used to that feeling that you have been trying to avoid. By showing your mind different ways that it can actually deal with that fear, the fear will diminish.


Your imagination is a powerful tool. It can help you grow. It can help you heal.


Is your fear of rejection or failure keeping you in fight or flight mode?

Is your fear keeping you from living the life that you want?



If fear is keeping you stuck or preventing you from having the life you want, consider joining the Clarity Quest, my couples program or the next workshop!


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