In between all the tears over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about the point of emotional pain.
I decided to do a little stocktake of the stand-out horrible and stand-out bloody good moments of my life so far to see if I could find a pattern in the madness.
When I was bullied at highschool, it was one of the most memorably painful experiences of my life, even though technically worse stuff has happened to me. My social anxiety stemmed from there, and I still to this day find it hard to believe and trust female friends as a result. But back then, despite being some of the lowest times of my life, I was eventually adopted by some very kind, empathetic girls and they took me under their wing and became my best friends. They’re still my good friends today even though we’ve lived in different countries for many years now.
Every time in my life when I’ve felt very low, the suffering always gets to a point where it’s
bad enough that I force myself out of my hermit cave and seek out the support of family and friends.
Every time I’ve managed to do that, it’s enabled me to become a lot closer to my friends and family, and to feel really connected for a change. I’m so bloody independent that I often find it hard to connect with others, so this has been a huge lesson for me –
pain brings me closer to those I love.
More specific times I’ve felt bloody awesome and also bloody terrible –
The elation of finally feeling close to a group of friends and having the time of my life living in a snowy mountain village in Switzerland.
This was preceded by the excruciating social anxiety of a very insecure me moving into a new house in a new country with cool snowboarder people who scared the shite out of me.
The pain lead to greater confidence, improved social skills, improved snowboarding skills, and a bloody good time.
Backpacking Europe solo for 4 months and getting to know myself a tiny bit
the very painful breakup with my first ever love in the same week as I got my wisdom teeth out and my Dad was sentenced to 9 years in jail.
The pain kicked me into action to go travelling and look for things to heal me and bring me happiness.
I soon realised that not talking to anyone in hostels was making me fall into a very dark place with countless calls home in floods of tears,so the pain also forced me to face my fears and meet new people. This lead to improved courage in social situations, greater confidence, a better understanding of myself, and a great deal of sangria.
My second experience in my life of feeling like I “belonged” with a group of humans while living and working in a crew of 25 onboard a 70 million dollar superyacht for 2 years.
Preceded by: my second very painful break up with my second ever love who I thought was “the one” (I got confused), and the huge stress of living in close quarters with people and being unable to hide the not-so-perfect sides of myself.
The pain lead to me take action towards something I’d dreamed of doing, I learnt a whole heap about myself,
had my perfectionistic tendencies stripped away and exposed and realised that people still thought I was ok anyway,
and my confidence and social skills grew once more.
Starting my own location independent business and finally finding one of the things I’m bloody passionate about.
Preceded by: Feeling useless, guilty and selfish for constantly travelling and doing odd jobs, feeling of complete hopelessness and lack of understanding of myself or my direction.
The pain of not knowing what I wanted and feeling unfulfilled and useless kept me searching and never settling
til I finally found something that made me feel like I didn’t need to look anymore.
To get to this level of fulfillment and success in business I’ve jumped through a million hoops of overwhelm, panic, self doubt and fear, and some days I still do.
Growing Project Self to where it is today, with a team of 12 phenomenal people working on various areas of the business.
Preceded by: one million melt downs featuring me surrounded by to do lists on many bits of paper, sliding down off my office chair to cry on the floor under my desk.
I was so overwhelmed, frustrated, and stuck in procrastination for the first year of business,
I eventually had no choice but to hire people to help me. I started with a cleaner and my first VA, then my 2nd, and then all of a sudden there were 12 people supporting me and Project Self!
I would never have gotten past my perfectionist/ control freakery and fear to build my own team if I hadn’t suffered badly at the hands of my good friends panic and overwhelm. Project Self would never have become a sustainable business or blog without that pain.
Have a look at your story.
You might just find that behind every triumph was your good friend pain and suffering.
This is a thank you note, to all the pain and suffering I’ve ever encountered,
and all the pain and suffering that no doubt awaits me in between the good bits in the future.
Thank god for you.
You’ve lead me to everything I have today.
I welcome you wholeheartedly into my life, in whatever car you arrive in.