If you want to grow as a person, right down to your very core, you’re going to have to do some painful things.
Going through pain is what builds strength. Only by doing that which challenges you, that which pressures you, that which breaks you, will you build strength and grow as a person.
Stop running from your pain.
Embrace your pain.
Use it for personal growth.
Here are 16 ways to do that.
#1 Stop agreeing with everyone
Most people are followers, they just do what everyone else in their social circle is doing. They like what they like and do what they do. You need to stop doing that. Form your own genuine opinion and preferences. It will be painful at first to be the one in the group that is different. But in the long run, your life will be a lot happier when you’re doing what you want to do and being who you want to be.
#2 Drop your bad friends
Many people give up on their dreams and life as a whole during their 20s and 30s. It’s not just strangers — you will come to see some of your friends give up and adopt a negative mindset. Don’t let their mediocrity and negativity rub off on you. Remove those old friends in your life who are bringing you down. Stick with the friends that motivate you to push harder and grow.
#3 Talk to strangers
If you want to grab the really big opportunities and most exciting life experiences, you’re going to have to look outside your immediate social circle. Get used to meeting and connecting with complete strangers. Every person in the world has something to teach you because they bring their own unique perspective to the table.
#4 Go into monk mode
Monk mode is the grind. You buckle down at your job, your side hustle, or your main business with the goal of making huge strides and massive achievements. In the process, you’ll have to sacrifice some things: going out for drinks, Netflix, video games, and a lot of leisure activities. But the short-term sacrifice will be well worth it as you set yourself up for long-term success.
#5 Travel to a place outside your comfort zone
Most people from first world countries travel to beach destinations and stay in fancy hotels. But have you ever tried backpacking Europe or Asia? Renting a car in Australia? Or going on a real safari in Kenya or South Africa? Those trips are a lot more demanding as you have to figure out many things on your own. But that’s exactly what brings you the most learning and growth. That push to be resourceful and figure things out along the way. Get out there.
#6 Get rejected — a lot
Rejection is the price you pay for success in the long run. Before you get into a great relationship, you’re probably going to be rejected a bunch of times. Before getting your dream job, you’re probably going to be rejected a bunch of times. But you have to have the courage to go through those rejections. You will learn from them that rejection is not so bad and that you can still love yourself even if someone else doesn’t.
#7 Adjusting your dreams
After starting out pursuing your dreams, you may find that it’s not what you truly wanted after all. And that’s totally OK, your preferences will change over time. You should never give up on dreaming, but always be open to adjusting your dreams. They will undoubtedly change throughout your life as your interests and life values change. All you have to do is keep looking and keep pushing. Eventually, you will find the happiness that you seek, even if it looks slightly different than the first dream you had.
#8 Fail — again and again
Failure is a part of life. It’s the price you pay for personal growth. Doing anything new and worthwhile naturally has a high probability of failure. But that shouldn’t stop you from doing it. Know that those experiences which have the highest risk of failure often have the greatest rewards and opportunity for personal growth.
#9 Realize that nothing is guaranteed in life
Some people give it their absolute all in life. They work hard in their careers and do their best to maintain important relationships. But still, they end with what they consider a failure. You must learn that successes and failures are a part of life, nothing is ever guaranteed for sure. But the most important thing is not success versus failure, it is the effort. Did you try to be the best you could be? Did you give life your absolute all? Putting in the effort is the true success.
#10 Walk away
Time is the most precious resource you have on this earth. You must guard it with your life. That will require you to walk away from many things. Walk away from the job that isn’t your dream job, even if it pays well. Walk away from your girlfriend or boyfriend that you know isn’t your soulmate, even if the sex is great. Walk away from anything that isn’t moving you closer to your long-term success and happiness.
#11 Face-off against office politics
Office politics is one of the most scummy, disgusting things ever. It’s a painful experience to realize that the coworkers you once trusted turned around and stabbed you in the back, took credit for your work, or damaged your reputation. It’s also one of life’s most valuable learning experiences. You learn that not everyone is your friend and that not everyone can be trusted. At the end of the day, it’s all just business and getting angry about it won’t help. Learn to deal with it in your own way and maintain your own happiness.
#12 Fight for what you believe in
Not everyone is going to believe in you. Not everyone is going to think your dreams are valid or achievable. You have to fight for it. There might be no one there to help you, so you have to do it yourself. If you really, truly believe in something, if you love it, then the doubters should never phase you. If it’s a dream of yours, do it.
#13 Losing a loved one
Losing a loved one to death is one of the most painful experiences a person can endure. At first, there is endless grief and memories of what used to be. But soon, if you have the strength, you will realize that the best way to honour the memory of that person is to strive forward with courage.
#14 Realize that your parents aren’t always right
Your parents grew up in a different generation. Thus, you may find that their advice on things like career, business, and even relationships are totally outdated. But still, they’re only doing and saying what they think is best for you. They love you. Respect their opinion and show them love too while pursuing the path that you think is right.
#15 Going through a bad break up
When a long-term partner leaves you, it can be the most painful feeling of losing your self-worth. Many people fall into drinking addiction or go on a sex spree to cope with the pain. But those are the weakest things you can do. A break up is the perfect opportunity to practice your mental fortitude and self-love. Life goes on, and you’re still an amazing person who will learn to love and be loved again.
#16 Living with yourself
Many people look back on their lives with regret. They see all the mistakes they’ve made, all the lost opportunities, all the failures. But you must realize that all of those experiences, good or bad, have made you into the person you are today. You wouldn’t be as strong or smart or courageous as you are today without having gone through those things. You are yourself, your own unique being. Learn to love it, because it truly is an amazing thing.