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Flip that Script: Pain vs. Pleasure


One piece of advice you hear from people who want to share their wisdom is to “Dream Big.”  Pretty simple advice really.  But how do you dream big when you’re too afraid to take a chance?  But why are people afraid to take a chance?  In the book, 4 Simple Steps to Massive Success, author Beau Norton shared the idea of the Pain-Pleasure Mechanism to explain why people tend to not dream big.  One of the biggest things holding us back is PAIN.

How Pain Holds Us Back

We tend to get comfortable in life.  And don’t we all want comfort?  Of course we do, but when someone suggests we try something new or strive for something bigger, we say, “Don’t rock the boat.”  We tend to love what we have and want to keep it safe.  We subconsciously associate pain with change or risking what we have.  We think that if we change, it will be harder, we may lose what we have, and we will have to make sacrifices.  And guess what, that may be true!!!   We may have to change our routine and do things differently.  And with change can come a little discomfort and pain.

Think about exercising for the first time in five years.  Yeah..that’s right…pain.  And since we tend to link pain with change, we often decide that we are fine the way we are, and not strive for something better.  But we have to flip the script…

Flip The Pain-Pleasure Script

Instead of linking pain with dreaming big and striving for success, we need to link pleasure to our dreams and link pain to staying the same.  We all have things in our life we wish were better.  “If only I had more money,” or “If only I had a better job,” are very common thoughts.  Since we are afraid of change and the pain associated with it, we tend to stay the same.  But if we can link pleasure to having more money and pleasure to having a better job, we can motivate ourselves for something more.  We can find the strength to take a chance, to go for what we want, because even though it could be tough, staying the same is even tougher.

If we can flip the Pain-Pleasure script and link pleasure with striving for what we want, and link pain with staying the same, we can convince ourselves to strive for bigger and better things.  If it is too painful to stay where you are, then you will find pleasure in going for what you want!!!

Final Thoughts

As Beau Norton says in his book, “The same forces that keep people stuck are the same exact forces that can catapult them to greatness.”  Pain is one force that can keep you where you are, in a fake comfort zone, or you can replace that fear of pain with the pleasure of success and use that pleasure to drive you to want something more.  The promise of pleasure can help push you through the challenges in your life, because, as you know…it may have to get tougher before it gets easier.  But going through the tough times will make the easier times that much better.

So, ask yourself…”Am I stuck in my comfort zone, afraid of the pain of striving for more?”  If you are, replace that pain with the idea of pleasure and use pleasure to spring you into action and keep you going when things get tough.  Good luck!!!

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