Today’s pain is tomorrow’s power

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You have all kinds of blocks (or obstacles) that get in the way of your long-term personal growth. And believe me, there are many! Emotions, beliefs, people in your environment that you spend a lot of time with, even your own body can be an obstacle. 

Let’s take a closer look, step by step, at all those blocks, so you can start to identify and eliminate them today.

1. Your self-image

What about your self-image? Do you like yourself? It’s a clichéd quote, but it’s one with a lot of truth: “You can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself.” In short, what you think others think of you, is how you think of yourself! 

I consider myself the luckiest person in the world. I have had so many opportunities in my life to get to where I am today. I am so grateful for who I am and I am very sincere here! So haven’t I had any shit? Sure I have! Shit hit the fan more than you can imagine, believe me! Am I never sad then? Absolutely yes. Do I get up every day with the same full enthusiasm? Hell no! Like everyone else, I’ve had my dose of challenges and they still come my way daily, my obstacles! 

I could write a book about my path and maybe I will one day, but in every situation, no matter how difficult or painful they were, I have always taken responsibility for all of them and learned lessons from what happened to me. Each time I was grateful for what happened and made a solemn promise to myself to learn from it, grow and move on. People are sometimes amazed at my infectious energy, but I firmly believe that it is because of my positive attitude. I love myself so much, that I can genuinely love my surroundings as well with all my heart.

2. Fear and other negative emotions

Go back in time; the time of the very first day at school in first grade or even first high school. The night before, you were tossing and turning in your bed, unable to sleep and a small sense of dread crept up on you. Fear of the unknown. There are so many forms of fear: fear of failure, fear of making mistakes, fear of being rejected, fear of change, and so on… Well, let’s put a stop to that feeling once and for all. That feeling of fear takes place in only one place and only there and that is in your head. Fear is an imagination of something that could happen that hasn’t happened yet and may never happen.

Just read the following sentence out loud, record the audio on your smartphone if necessary, and listen to it over and over again whenever a feeling of fear creeps up on you: “An imagination of something that has not yet happened and may never happen.” And you know what the good news in all this is? In most cases, it will never happen either!

3. Limiting Beliefs

Besides fear, your own limiting beliefs are your biggest blocks to grow. If you are self-confident that business is not for you, I can guarantee you will never become a businessman/woman. In fact, you will never try with this belief because your subconscious mind will stop you from trying, to protect yourself. 

Beliefs are really just assumptions we make about ourselves, about others, about the world around us. We have all these ideas and theories about how things are. Beliefs are important for us to understand the world around us. But they can also hold you back from moving forward towards your dream life. And then suddenly that belief becomes negative. And that’s annoying, because it’s precisely those beliefs that are holding back your growth. 

4. Bad habits

Habits, especially bad habits, will keep you from growing further in life. We live on autopilot for most of our time. We do things because we are used to doing them, without thinking too much about it. Think for a moment about that car ride from your home to the office, or to your parents, or to your favorite restaurant. This drive happens on autopilot, you don’t have to set your GPS, because you know the way. You could drive there, so to speak, with your eyes closed. This is a biological mechanism that is actually very useful. 

When we first learn something new, the prefrontal cortex is very active. That’s the part of the brain responsible for your behavior, personality and decision-making. It puts a lot of energy into analyzing, learning and performing a new skill or task or something else new. But after a while, your brain starts downloading that newly learned skill or behavior into your reptilian brain. This part of the brain controls the vital functions of the body, such as heart rate, breathing, body temperature and balance, but otherwise it is very passive. This process of downloading allows your prefrontal cortex to regain disk space to learn new skills and behaviors. 

What does this mean? It means that the downloaded habits will be on autopilot. Now that you see and understand this, you also understand that this happens to bad habits. 

5. Your own body

Take care of your body, it is the only place you have to live in! Something you absolutely must not forget is that pain (especially chronic pain) has a huge impact on your health, especially your mental health. Pain has the capacity to send signals to your brain, causing your brain and all its functionalities to change. 

Remember I talked about your prefrontal cortex, where all your thinking happens, where all new skills are learned before it’s downloaded, where by the way all your emotions are controlled. Well, there yes, your pain is also taken care of. When that prefrontal cortex has to cope with too much pain for too long and too much, your middle brain is triggered, called the Amygdala. This part of your brain is programmed to detect danger. 

Symptoms such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, phobias and even autism can be linked to the Amygdala not functioning optimally. So you have every interest in listening to ALL the signals your body is giving you to take immediate action and eliminate those signals before a bulldozer (read: doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, …) is needed to get them out of the way.

6. Your environment

Believe it or not, but where and how you live has a huge impact on who you are. And it doesn’t matter if you live in a small apartment or a luxury villa. What matters most is the neighborhood you live in and the way you live. If your house is full of clutter, then I can guarantee you that your brain is also one mess. If you live near a factory, where you have daily noise pollution, this clearly has a great impact on your state of mind. And all these feelings are of course passed on to your subconscious! 

I’m sure you’ve heard of Marie Kondo and her tidying method? Fact is, we all allow too much “clutter” into our lives. Clutter that we may not really be aware of initially, but that continues to haunt our subconscious and so we need to get rid of it. 

7. Relationships

In a relationship, you are 100 percent responsible for only 50 percent of what happens within your relationship. We are, of course, fully responsible for all our relationships. But, we are only responsible for our part of the relationship. However, it is our conscious decision whether we want to accept the other 50 percent as they are. Relationships are an essential part of our lives and obviously have a great influence on our subconscious and our success. Some relationships, of course, you choose for yourself. Think of relationships with your partner, friends, colleagues, … 

Other relationships are the result of your environment where you have not consciously chosen for. Think of your parents, parents-in-law, other relatives. But, whatever relationship you’re in, it is YOUR choice to accept, change or give up that relationship. A relationship must always fulfill one important action and that is to make you feel good. If you have a sour feeling within a particular relationship, then the message is very clear, no matter how painful this may be, but then it is time to let go of that relationship and move on. A balanced relationship is one in which both parties feel good, from which you receive support, which challenges you, which makes you happy and which encourages you to grow!

Good luck in your life. I sincerely wish you all the best. I believe in you, do you?


During our Time2Reconnect Experience Weekends we focus very much on your personal growth and we work together on your obstacles. A real eye-opener for many during these sessions. We reach out to you to work on your new ‘I’. Your ‘I’ of tomorrow!

You can register for one of our weekends via the following link: https://www.destination.be/time2reconnect

This article has been written by Ellen Van den branden for Time2Reconnect

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