After my daughter was in a near drowning and subsequently in a coma for about a week, I used to tell people "I don't wish this pain on anyone but I feel sorry for people who haven't experienced it."
I had my worldview changed so dramatically because of that experience it's like I was living a different life with much more value placed on every moment of every day. I never felt that before and I imagine that was the case for most people who had never had their world rocked like that.
That painful event changed my perspective, it shifted my purpose, and it's been part of what's helped me become more vulnerable and open about my life.
I saw the quote above on Twitter one day and it hit me like a ton of bricks. So many people struggle trying to figure out their purpose and even their platform. This statement is so incredibly true, I knew it had to be the very next podcast episode.
What If Your Pain Wasn't a Sudden Tragedy?
Keep in mind, it doesn't matter what kind of pain you've gone through in your life, if you've come through it better off than you were before, you have an opportunity to build your platform on that series of events so you can help others who have similar situations.
I know a lot of us who identify as misfits have experienced pain that isn't sudden or abrupt but still life-altering and potentially debilitating. Your pain of never feeling like you fit in or always feeling like a failure in a world which doesn't value your talents is a pain which is just as real and could become your platform.
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Obviously the process of surviving a painful situation isn't all that's required for you to make it your platform. In fact, determining it qualifies as something on which you can build is just the first step in the process. But it's a step a lot of people never take.
The 3 Critical Steps You Need to Take
Let's talk about the work it takes to go from painful experience to world-changing platform. Keep in mind, if you're not willing to endure what follows, I'd suggest you rethink your desire to have a platform.
There's a responsibility that goes along with having your place on the world stage. You need to be strong enough to carry that responsibility and the only way that will happen is through confidently walking through the following three steps.
Step 1: Acknowledge Your Pain
We've all been conditioned to believe it's a sign of strength when we don't express the pain we've had to endure. We've all been told to "walk it off" or "be a big girl and stop crying" because big girls don't cry. Now that you really are a big girl, there's no way you're going to feel comfortable letting people see you cry.
Keep in mind, your pain can manifest itself in many different ways. It's not always clearly pain, sometimes it's anger, depression, anxiety, or even physical pain. These are all manifestations from your experience and each one needs to be acknowledged.
Remember, acknowledging your pain doesn't mean you've defeated it, it simply means you're able to take control of it. Like a vicious dog barking in your yard, ignoring it doesn't make it go away. The first step is to realize what you're dealing with and then you can determine how to best handle it.
There's a balance that must be struck, between being bold enough to proclaim the pain and putting the pain itself on the platform. Nobody wants to deal with either person. If all you do is talk about the pain and how bad it was, you're not going to help anyone. On the other hand, if all you do it brag and boast about how you've used super-human powers to overcome your pain, nobody is going to relate to you.
Step 2: Allow Forgiveness
If you thought the first step made you uncomfortable, this one will really cause you to stretch. Even thought you may not want to go through this process, it's critical or you'll risk having those manifestations of your pain rising up again and again.
Forgiveness isn't something you do to let the other person off the hook, it's what you do to let yourself off the hook. Forgiveness is putting down the bagege so you can move forward at your pace.
It's in our human nature to want vindication. We think there's some sort of equalizing of forces in the Universe when we are able to cause pain to the person who caused us pain. In actuality, there's a compounding of the forces and a perpetuation of the pain.
Getting even means following the other person down a dark and lonely road they're traveling in order for you to feel better. All that does is leave you at the end of a dark and lonely road. When you forgive, you take intentional steps down the path you desire towards the goals you're seeking. You do this independent of what they're doing. That's freedom!
Step #3: Learn From Your Experiences
It's vital you're cognizant of the process you're going through for two particular reasons, to help you better handle the inevitable pains you'll feel in the future, and to equip you to help others do the same.
Helping others get through their pain is how you'll build a platform out of your own pains. This is why people will give you a place on a stage, so you can add value to other's lives. That's vital for you to remember in any endeavor. When you can bring value to the lives of others, people will lift you up so you're voice can be heard.
Whether you've already gone through the first two steps or you're going through them now, take the time to journal what you're experiencing. Write down the feelings you're having and your reaction to those feelings. Describe the challenges you're facing because of those feelings. This really is like drawing a map for future reference. The more descriptive you can be, the more clearly others will be able to follow along.
If you journal through the process, you'll be more capable of authenticity as you recount your journey and authenticity is the key to having an impact in the lives of others. When you can be open and honest about your pains, experiences, and challenges, you'll be much more relatable to your audience.
Listen to the Podcast
I go into a bit more detail in the podcast and give a few more illustrations to help you turn your pains into your platform. If this is resonates with you, I'd strongly encourage you to take a listen and even give me some feedback on what you're dealing with and your goals for turning it into your platform.
Comment below or reach out to me in private and we can work together on helping you reach your goals. I'm pretty beaten up and scared so you don't have to worry about any judgement on my part.