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#55 Why the pain part VII: The unexpected gift of pain

Last week we looked at how your mind extends or amplifies your pain, which you can read here. This is the final email on our journey through pain and what it wants to give us.

I want to share with you an email that I received from someone as I was working through this pain series. Let’s call her Susan the Brave, because it takes courage to share something so vulnerable and honest.

“Dear Francois,

I’m not sure how I ended up on your mailing list and with a busy life (where I barely have time for myself), I’ve never read any of them. Tonight something inside prompted me to read your last email. I was in tears, it was as if you were writing to me. I went back to all the e-mails you already sent to me and I’m going to take the next few days to work through it.

I suffer from depression, I am addicted to sleeping pills, I drink pills to help calm me down, pills for anxiety, antipsychotics and antidepressants every day and I’ve tried to commit suicide twice. I am now with a very good psychologist and a psychiatrist, together we are going to get me right. But on top of that, I am terribly grateful for your emails and from now on I look forward to reading them weekly.

Please keep investing so amazingly in those of us whom you don’t even know - you are saving lives, I promise. Thank you very much!”

Grow pain reveals an unexpected gift

If you have read the earlier blogs in this series, you will know by now that grow pain is telling us that we are doing something important. It is pain that only starts surfacing once you start pursuing your goals and dreams. It is as simple as that.

You don’t experience grow pain if you don’t pursue your goals and dreams.

For me, this effect of grow pain was evident when I started creating videos and podcasts a few years ago. I still haven't shared some of them because I was practising and they were very awkward. If you watch the earliest videos I posted (yes, you can find them on YouTube!) you will see that I was still uncomfortable and the videos are far from perfect. But I pushed through the grow pain and kept on doing it.

I realised that if I waited until I felt comfortable before I started recording anything, I would probably never do it.

I had to realise that there were people out there (like Susan the Brave) who needed to hear my message, even through my imperfect videos. And that is the gift that my slow pain gives. It gives something to me because I develop and become a stronger person, but it is also a gift to others.

Whatever your goal or dream is, it will also be a gift to someone, somewhere.


What are the goals and dreams that you are not pursuing? Why? What growth pain are you avoiding? What are you afraid of? What are you imagining could go wrong? What are you imagining people would say? Now use your imagination to answer these questions: Why is it important for me to pursue my goals and dreams? Who will benefit from my grow pain? Imagine a picture of that person(s). How will my grow pain mean something to this person, these people?

If you have not yet started pursuing your goals and dreams, you may struggle to imagine this picture. If I hadn’t pushed through my slow pain, I would never have known about Susan the Brave. It was only once I took imperfect steps toward my big dream that I came to know her picture.

By going after your dreams and goals, one imperfect step after another, you bring an unexpected gift to yourself and the people around you.


What is one small step that you can take today to help you get a little bit closer to the dream and goal that is within you? What is the grow pain that I need to embrace?

Want to clarify your dream and get the tools and support to help you get there? Join the Clarity Quest, my couples program or my next workshop!

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