Why your suffering will teach you more than your success ever could is a common question I get. People are always asking me things like “how do I find away to get unstuck?” “I'm always finding myself overtired.” “I've been working a long time, long days, and I don't know what to do.” “I feel confused, and I'm not sure where to turn.” But, that's a common problem to feel so lost and uncertain. We've all been there at different times, and it absolutely is a challenging thing to figure out where to go and where the next step is.
Finding out who to ask might be the quickest answer, spending some time investing yourself is the way to go. But the biggest thing, I think, is for you to start finding a way to change your perspective on how suffering actually helps you and doesn't defeat you.
So, number one is to understand that failure is part of the process. I've been building my business, in this case the Sledge Hockey Experience, there's no way that I could have gotten to where I'm at, 18, 24 months from the day it was an idea without having to go through several moments where I felt like I totally wasn't getting it right. And that goes for everything like sending out the wrong documents to wording things the wrong way to showing up, or figuring out maybe 48 hours before the event I don't have what I need. And maybe I couldn't deliver on something that was thankfully a smaller detail, but I knew that I had to fix it for the next time. And if I didn't go through those failures, there's no way that I would've gotten to the point where we're now delivering a polished event every single time we arrive at the arena.
And Randy Pausch has a quote that said "The walls that are put up in front of us are put there for a reason, and that reason is to keep those people who don't want something bad enough out." And when I heard that, it made me really think about a lot of the obstacles that are in front of us, especially the ones where we're going after something for our own desire versus what we need in life. It's there for a reason, and so I want to decide in my mind that I'm going to be the guy or girl, whoever to break through that barrier and find my way to make my suffering become part of my success.
Number two is to remember that you should always be taking things one step at a time. When I was in the hospital learning how to walk again, people always asked me the question, "How did you learn how to walk?" And I wish I could just say something as simple as I took a pill. Sometimes I throw it as a joke, and it always flops. Because the truth is is that it wasn't easy. It required me going through several weeks of seeing zero results, trying to wiggle my toe just by me sending the brain signal down and looking at my toes. And when I finally got it to work, it was one toe after six weeks, and then one more week til I got my second toe, and then another week until I got three toes, and then three toe, and then an ankle, and an ankle. Then I was learning gravity, and a walker, and a wheelchair, and then walking holding on to walls, and then learning to walk every day.
And it was such a remarkable lesson because I just literally learned that the process of learning how to walk at the age of 23, not when I was a child, was one step at a time. So remember that no matter what it is you're going through, an obstacle or getting yourself out of a bad position where you're struggling might seem impossible or super far away, but just recognize that it takes several small baby steps, one step at a time.
The third thing I want you to think about is that it's okay to ask for help. When you're struggling, whether you're consciously aware of this, trying to build a business, going through some form of therapy, or if you're in depression for example, is to recognize that it's okay to ask for help. There's several times where I've had people come to me and say, "Kev, what do you think about this or what do you think about that? What should I do?" And I say, "Let's talk to someone. Let's call somebody or go here for help." And that person will often comment to me, "No, no, no, it's okay. I got this." And I'm like, "Do you really have this because if you did have it, you wouldn't be coming to me asking for help. That means that you don't need help." So it was an ah-ha moment one day when I realized that that's the moment where you get to choose to be the hero in your own movie is to actually have the courage to ask for help. Because so many of us are suffering in silence and it doesn't need to be that way.
Anyone who wants to help you, just needs to understand and know that you are struggling. But it requires you asking for help, so just remember that. Let's review real quickly the three things.
When you're struggling, failure's part of the process, to remember to take things one step at a time, and that it's okay to ask for help. So I challenge you to start viewing your suffering as part of your success and understand that it's going to help make you stronger It's going to help you create more resilience in your life by deciding in your own mind that you're going to go through this process, and that it's okay to ask for help. And that my friends, is your opportunity to be the hero in your own movie.
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About Kevin Rempel:
Paralympian, keynote speaker, and founder of the corporate team building program, The Sledge Hockey Experience, I help people change their perspective about life and people with disabilities. Visit www.kevinrempel.com for more information.