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The One Practice That Will Help You Face with Every Challenge Much More Easily

The One Practice That Will Help You Face with Every Challenge Much More Easily

Do you see a challenge and immediately start feeling anxious? Do you worry that you won’t be able to make your dreams come true because of the roadblocks in your path? We’ve all been there—but you don’t have to keep looking at problems in the same way forever—value-based affirmations have the potential to make your life a lot easier.

It can be very difficult to prepare yourself for a challenge or roadblock, because emotions can so easily take over.[1] This can paralyze your decision-making, and make it difficult for you to find the best solution or meet the challenge head on. While simply taking a deep breath and diving in might seem like the best way to proceed, it doesn’t help you find the right solution or help dispel your anxiety about the situation.

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We all have challenges and goals in life, but if you don’t have a method for meeting these challenges, then you may not be able to achieve success as often as you’d like. The good news is that there’s one simple (but not easy) practice that will help you face any challenge you come across: value-based affirmation. This practice will help you lead a more empowering and focused life, and you’ll likely experience less stress by having a method for meeting challenges head on. So how does it work?

Visualizing what you want beyond the roadblocks is the key to overcome them

Mindset has a huge impact on how you deal with problems and challenges, and value-based affirmations affect your overall mindset to help you succeed.[2] So how does value-based affirmation work? Basically, it is a practice in which you see the desired result in your head before you begin a task. The idea is to affirm your own values before you begin in order to be more open to the change ahead and avoid getting in your own way. Value affirmation may be the reason that people tend to only make healthy changes in their lives once they’ve realized the importance of doing so on their own—not because of someone else telling them they should eat well, exercise, or even meditate.[3]

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This is why you need to work on visualizing what you want, in order to overcome challenges in front of you. An example of how value-based affirmation works would be visualizing the desired outcome of a test (seeing an A) or running and completing a marathon—then having the willpower and motivation to make that visualization reality. In practical application, this can be very powerful—a friend of mine, who had twice failed the CFA exam tried this practice—and ended up acing the test through value-based affirmation. See the outcome, don’t say it.

Try using value-based affirmation on small things first

Now, you can’t just start off using this technique and expect to run a marathon immediately. You have to develop your skills and belief in the practice before you can use it to meet a very demanding task. Instead, try using value-based affirmation on a task that you know you can accomplish, but is slightly challenging. Building on these successes will allow you to develop the technique and use it to meet even the most difficult challenges over time.

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Don’t let obstacles stop you. The right mindset helps you get through them

If you’ve ever been discouraged about achieving your dreams, practicing value-based affirmation could help you reach them—provided you use the technique to develop the right mindset. Many entrepreneurs have successfully used the practice to design the future structure and success of their business before they even get it off the ground. Seeing the success they want allows them to face setbacks and make good decisions during the challenging first few years in business.

Many successful celebrities have also used mindset to become the best of the best in their industries. Michael Jordan, for example, used a form of this technique on the road to becoming arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. Jordan practiced the growth mindset, which allowed him to push through innumerable setbacks. His own words sum up why using value-based affirmations is so important to success:[4]

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“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

Visualizing that success beyond the roadblocks is the first step in getting past them. And the best part? You don’t need any special skills to successfully leverage this technique, and it can work for everyone. You just have to start using it and believing it—the rest will follow.

Reference

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Last Updated on February 19, 2019

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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