Humans respond to pain. Of course there’s physical pain, such as a headache or a stubbed toe or a broken arm, but that’s not what I’m referring to. I mean the pain that comes from not being satisfied with how things are going in your life: personally, professionally, or both.
I term this Intended Result (IR) pain. IR pain is a little clumsy as a term, I realize, but the point is that we experience pain and frustration because we are not able to achieve the results that we want. IR pain is often rooted in displeasure with your career path, job performance, job security, or your financial situation; unsatisfactory relationships, poor business results, or generally feeling stuck and overwhelmed…seemingly without time to break the cycle, change your behavior and achieve better results.
But IR pain, like physical pain, has an interesting aspect to it: tolerance. We all have different levels of what we will put up with before we do something about it. As the pain increases and nears our point of maximum tolerance, our urgency increases, as does our stress and frustration. But why do we endure this high level of pain? Will people think you’re weak if you cry "uncle"? Are you too proud to stop and admit there’s a better way? So, is there a benefit to having a high threshold for IR pain? My friend and fellow business coach, Jerry Fons in Indiana, says that people will make a change because they are in pain and want to get rid of it, or because they see pain down the road and want to avoid it.
So what is causing you IR pain? What’s not going well? What results are you striving for but not achieving? And how much pain are you willing to endure before you finally begin to behave differently and make a change? A change that may be difficult and uncomfortable, but is the right thing to do. Leo Damkroger said, "You can change without improving, but you can’t improve without changing." So what are you waiting for? Lower your threshold for pain and initiate the change that will push you quicker and further toward your personal and professional goals.