Do you know that you can turn your pain into power? 
Everyone has a story to tell. Is your story a painful one or a powerful one? 
Do you have an empowering story? Most people have, but not all see that. Often it takes time and lots of courage to start seeing our past as an empowerment to us.  
What about a painful story? I’m sure we all have one. A bad relationship, a failure in business or career, a tough situation in life.
But my question is, do you carry these painful stories in your life into your present and your future?
Has the story you’ve been telling yourself turned you into a better and stronger person today or has it been limiting you, keeping you at where you were back then? 
The Stories We Tell 
The stories that we tell, be it to ourselves or others when done often enough through repetition, becomes a reinforcement. What we repeatedly say reinforce what we think and believe about ourselves. 
How you tell your story in the past has determined your present and it will determine your future progress in life. 
It can be a good or bad thing, but the best thing is, you can turn your pain into your power.
Turning Pain Into Power
How do you change your painful story into a powerful one?
The stories we tell ourselves can be very powerful, or very disempowering. Especially the ones we subconsciously repeat in our mind. 
I’m never good enough. 
I can’t do this. It’s too hard for me.
I’ll never meet my happiness because I don’t deserve happiness.  

You Have A Choice
Whether you have failed in relationships or work or life before, you can either choose to bring your past into your future or leave it where it is. 
It is vital to recognise that you have a choice. You had a choice then. Even when you said you had no choice, it was a choice to stay in that current situation. 
So it is a choice today, for you to decide whether you want to rewrite your story or not, whether you want to change your pain into power. 
If you are ready to start, here are the actions you need to take step-by-step and I’ll run you through the steps. 
  1. Notice (silent) patterns
  2. Face the facts
  3. Realise where you’re giving your power away
  4. Identify lessons learned 
  5. Take responsibility on your part
  6. Take your power back 
  7. Start seeing yourself and tell your story in different light
  8. See yourself as a victor, not a victim
  9. Start taking positive actions 
#1 Notice (Silent) Patterns
The first step to any change is always to raise awareness within ourselves. Until you know that there is a recurring pain in your life, you won’t know when to start looking.  
What are some of the stories you keep repeating, to yourself and to others? Do you often tell the same disempowering story? 
If you find yourself repeating the same story as you’ve shared with everyone else, take note and see if you can find a pattern in your conversations. 
For instance, if you have broken up a relationship more than six months ago but you still talk about that relationship, notice what are you telling yourself and your audience? 
In other instances, there are disempowering stories that you tell yourself too. For example, when new opportunities come up be it in your work or personal life, do you find yourself pushing it away even though you know you can do it well enough? What story are you telling yourself internally? 
If you have successfully lost weight the healthy way in the past but find yourself rebounding back to the same old habits of unhealthy diet and quitting exercise after a few months, what are you telling yourself subconsciously? Do you see patterns in self-sabotaging
Do you constantly deny yourself opportunities because you have always been told that you had or lacked certain factors in the past?
What silent patterns have you found in your behaviours, thoughts and words? 

#2 Fact the facts
There are times when we can get so clouded by our own perspectives and experience in our past that we end up being on the extreme side. 
There may be sides of you that you are not willing to recognise. Or you could be feeling so indignant about what happened that you missed some actual parts of the situation.

Take a step back and see yourself as an outsider watching your story on replay. 
As a Chinese proverb saying goes, “You can’t see the forest for the trees, but onlookers see the whole game”. This means that when you’re in the situation, your perspective is often clouded. The bystanders’ views are clearer. So you will act as a bystander who’s watching you in your story. 
Notice what actions, behaviours, words and thoughts you have had. Notice also what others do, think and act in your story. 
For instance, you might find yourself telling and retelling stories about your past relationships, how you would end up with similar kind of partners and how your relationships end similarly. After a breakup, there are bound to be times when you think more about the good times than the bad. While you may feel anger and frustrations towards yourself and the other party, take the time to cool down and take a few steps back and watch your story replay as a bystander.
You might find out that there have been times when you both didn’t share the same values at all, or that your characters were totally different but you were too much in love to realise. You might notice that you started quarrelling over the smallest matters because you didn’t have trust in him or vice versa. It could be that you have been giving too much and expecting returns which were not reciprocated which eventually led to your disgruntlement in the relationship that escalated to the breakup.
When you take a few steps back, you are often able to see from a bigger view.
Also, notice times when you get aggressively defensive.  
Do you find yourself getting defensive when presented with suggestions to change or improve? Do you find yourself covering your story up with reasons and justifications?
Reflect on what you are feeling at that point. Notice what you are struggling to admit to yourself.  
Does the discomfort of admitting your vulnerability cause you to be more defensive? How can you let go of this defensiveness and be more open to changing your perspective?

#3 Realise where you’re giving your power away
In those painful situations, can you recognise times when you have given your power to others without you realising? 
How did you allow yourself to be treated in the previous relationship? Were there times when you could have been a better partner yourself? Did you expect your partner to know what you want from the relationship? Do you depend on others to make you happy or a better person? 
Did your career or business fail because of lack of attention or commitment from you? Did you depend on your boss to pave your career for you? Do you tell yourself that when you achieved a certain level of income then you’ll feel free and do what you enjoy only to be met with more stress? 
Are you always waiting for the right moment or person to appear before you start doing anything for yourself? 
You are giving your power away in these instances.

#4 Identify lessons learned 
There are lessons we can pick up from almost all bad experiences and tough situations in life. What lesson can you find from yours? 
For every painful experience that you come across in life, know that they are your building blocks to become a stronger and better you, but only if you are willing to face it. 
You might have learned more from that relationship that ended sourly which could help you define what you want in your future happiness. 
Or you probably realised that you have gained more experience from your failure in your business or career that prevents you from repeating the same mistake in the future. 
Unless you are open to change and willing to accept lessons learned in life, it will be hard to move on to the next step.
Instead of letting a tough phase in life pull you down, and having your past turn you into a victim of your situation, start seeing your past as lessons learned that give you valuable takeaways you can bring forward into your life.

#5 Take responsibility on your part.
It can be hard to admit but what we did or didn’t do in the past, does contribute to where we are today. 
Facing truths can be very tough. Often it takes courage and lots of tears and frustrations, especially when these have been rooted in us long enough. 
Change is painful. Raking up a hurtful past is painful. So is admitting that we had a part to play in our screwed up past. 
However, you need to face them head on in order to move forward. 
Understand that whatever painful history you have gone through, and still carrying onto your present today, you have a part to play in it. 
For instance, being born into a difficult family may not have been your choice, but choosing to stay in it is. You might not have directly caused yourself the hurt in the past, but if you are still replaying that same story today, it is your choice to keep that story. 
Have you allowed the same kind of people into your life that caused you pain? Have you been rejecting the good people into your life because you think you are not worthy?
Do you give up easily because deep down, you have a voice telling you that you are not good enough? Do you feel anger towards some people in your life because you felt that you have given too much without any returns? 

#6 Take your power back 
Do you recognise that you have a part to play in all your relationships? In your past achievements and mistakes? In your happiness and sadness?
When you recognise that you are living for others, or blaming others for your unhappiness in life, you have given your power away because you are depending on others to make your life better. 
But the moment when you recognise that you had a part to play in leading you to where you are today, that’s when the real shift is because now, you can do something about it. You can take your power back and make that change. 
How can you get your power back? Start looking inwards and start taking actions for yourself. 
Instead of waiting for the right person to change your life, be the one who makes the changes. Be the one who makes yourself happy. You are the only person who can make yourself feel happy and fulfilled.
Similarly, you are the only person who has been locking yourself up in pain. Release yourself from that prison. 
If you are waiting to achieve something before you start doing anything for yourself, realise that our time on earth is short. In fact, too short to wait. Start living the life you want for yourself without waiting for anyone.
When you achieve a higher level of income or goal, you will always be moving that goal post further. You will never really be happy unless you choose to be. 
Realise also that when you constantly put off living for the sake of others, in most cases, your loved ones, you might find yourself more and more unhappy and frustrated. With time, it will definitely strain your relationships with them. Why not start communicating with them and let them know what you want? Instead of keeping all your frustrations to yourself, why not work out a way that benefits you and them?
If you have been waiting for the right moment, now is the right moment.

#7 Start Seeing Your Past/Story In A Different Light and Telling It Differently. 
Now, see your story and tell it from a different point of view. How?
Instead of having a blaming approach towards what happened in the past, recognise that there are many sides to a story. And the best thing you can do for yourself is to tell yours in a more positive and powerful way that can empower you to be better.  
Perhaps you have realised that you did have a role to play towards the relationship that ended. Instead of blaming yourself or the other party, acknowledge that both had contributed to the breakup. But now, you are more aware of who you are in a relationship, what you want in the next relationship and how you can contribute better to be a better partner. 
Instead of feeling dejected that you lost your career or business opportunity, identify what you have learned from that experience, what you have done wrong before and how you can do it better the next time. Recognise that you have good qualities and that you have succeeded with achievements before. 

#8 See yourself as a victor, not a victim.
So many people have been victims in life with difficult, tough and even unfair situations. But in the end, would your history define your future? Or would you decide to win amid all the challenges you have faced?
Changing your story requires you to change your perspective. If you don’t believe in it, you will hardly be able to change.
If you believe that you will always be in pain, you won’t recognise happiness even when it’s right at your face. Similarly, if you don’t believe you can win in life, everything else you do will direct you towards failure.  
A bad breakup cannot determine your future happiness. A failed business or career in the past cannot define your capability. A bad situation in life will not determine your future. 
Start seeing yourself as a victor instead of a victim. Start seeing yourself enjoying the happiness and success you have always wanted. Believe that you can change and live a better life than before. Trust that you can change your pain into your power.

#9 Start taking positive actions. 
When you start believing in yourself, that’s when you can make lasting changes. 
It’s what you decide to do from this instance that will determine your future. How a bad story can have a good ending depends on how you want your story to end. 
Life experiences can be empowering and disempowering at the same time. It depends on how you see it. Would you risk your better future and happiness because you fear the pain of reliving your painful past? Or would you brave the pain of facing it now so that you can heal and move forward? 
Just like in life, when you are dealt a hand of cards, you might receive good and bad cards at times. Regardless of what cards you are holding, you need to play your cards well. If you turn laissez-faire when you get good cards, would you be sure that you’ll win? Sometimes the winners are those who are dealt with bad cards initially.  
The stories we tell ourselves are so powerful. What story will you tell yourself from now on? 
What can you do today that will change that pain that is making you powerless, into a powerful version of you? 
Empower yourself to make that shift in you.

I help individuals gain clarity on where they are stuck and show them how they can move forward in life. Currently, we have a free coaching course on How To Move On From Your Past and Live A Better Life for a limited time. Do check this out. 
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Related Post :   Why We Need Challenges In Our Lives


camila · July 29, 2017 at 4:38 am

I absolutely love how your empowering people to share their stories. Silence gives pain power!


Nadalie · August 3, 2017 at 1:39 pm

SOO true. Our story and our pain are our power. There is freedom in owning where we’ve been and everything that’s happened to us, good or bad. Thanks for sharing!

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