Pain and reflection will bring career progress

Pain: human’s best friend. Not many would agree with this hypothesis. It’s simply easier not to. And who could blame us? Not a single soul, not even a clinical masochist, would willingly indulge in what might appear as ceaseless torture of the mind and heart. Our dams are precious. They prevent us from disintegrating, no matter how severe the circumstance. After all, keeping safe from harm is innate to all living things. So, why do we so freely suffer, and what good does it bring, if any? Things we have little to no control over are plenty, and they often result in pain. Past loves, friends we leave behind, places we miss, unexpected losses. To put it in culinary terms – life juliennes our hearts repeatedly. So, how do we grow from our wounds, and how does it all connect to our professional side? As unbelievable as it may sound, pain and reflection will bring career progress.

Positive psychology backfire

We live in a world of personal and professional mantras. Gurus, life coaches, and inspiring spokespersons are a hotline for those experiencing discomfort, whether a quarter-life crisis or a full-blown tragedy. Our minds are fed positive thoughts (through subtle imperative) daily. The message we receive from media, our coworkers, or even our more intimate social circles often incapsulates the same, repeating essence: “You have to stay positive. You have to work harder. Put on a smile. Let nothing bring you down. Try positive affirmations. Create a vision board.” An imperative of forceful content is our only loyal ally, it seems. But does it work?

pink and orange balloons with smiley faces
Positivity is a path of least resistance. Pain and reflection will bring career progress.

The anatomy of pain

Pain and reflection live in symbiosis. Action – reaction. A simple law of nature. But, yet again, humanity is a peculiar animal. Our consciousness is an iron fist, driving away all potential dangers. Protecting us also takes away the nurturing side of the “negative spectrum.” The truth is, we are masters of diversion when it comes to pain. No matter how in tune with our inner processes, most of us experience an involuntary response to threatening stimuli. When an unsettling emotion sets in, we tend to shift our focus on other things, thus, missing a unique opportunity for reflection and consequent growth. The ability to reflect on our sources of pain will shed new light on our professional sphere. Many individuals who gain insight from reflection change their career niche into purpose-driven work.

How it helps your career

If you’re determined to go after your goals, avoiding pain is not an option. Each intricate layer of an individual’s life makes a coherent whole, and they all share the same mechanisms, no matter the affected area. Pain is nothing more than a mere signal indicating a much-needed change. It compels us to find a solution to the existing issue to ensure progress. Developing, or rather, practicing, an embracing, reactive mechanism that instigates reflection rather than avoidant patterns will lead to immediate learning, which will consequently transform into your professional evolution. Moving experts from report the company has witnessed an increase in long-distance requests, suggesting only one thing: career mindfulness.

young man walking on beach depicts how pain and reflection will bring career progress
It’s time to have that monologue.

Pursuing your truth

Pain and reflection will bring career progress; the question is how. Our professional growth and success (or personal, for that matter) ride on our ability to relentlessly pursue the truth, the greyhound of curiousness. To achieve professional enlightenment, we must become subject to auto-vulnerability, leaving our defenses to rest and our minds open to identifying our strengths and weaknesses. Only when we disconnect from our ego can we objectively perceive our work, environment, relationships, and our multifaceted persona. The moment we take the ego off the table and finally see the big picture, making logical decisions comes naturally. Each and every one of us has faced turbulent, challenging times at work; the key to progress is building resilience.

Pain builds resilience

The challenges we face at work test us, week in, week out. Toxic working environment, injustice, passive aggression, not feeling appreciated or heard – we’ve all swum the turmoil pool. The initial enthusiasm we experience is quickly replaced with being content with the status quo; in return, our professional persona becomes agitated and paralyzed. Why? It’s simple. We’re not pushing our limits. Without maximizing our potential, frustration is the only tangible product. Another ugly truth: we avoid failing out of sheer fear of failure. If we’re not failing, we’re not progressing; there are no breakthroughs. That’s where we loop back to the anatomy of pain and how avoiding potential rejection, failure, and vulnerability will bring our careers nothing but a perpetual standstill. Can we live with it? Is it better or more comfortable than a little bit of pain? The ones who haven’t turned a deaf ear to pain now enjoy happier, healthier careers, even if it means moving across the country. If you’re one of them, get ready for this change. Everything becomes easier when you prepare.

window sign
Get to know failure. It will take you places.

Embrace the discomfort

After reflection comes strength. Strength, like pain, results from encountering our barriers. Nothing comes from a hit-and-miss, only from full-impact. A tone of bricks straight on the heartstrings is water to our strength plant, but only after reflection. If we’re unable to reflect on our failures and lessons, the chances are that we’re headed towards a new cycle of making the same mistakes. Confronting our fears, failure, rejection, pain, and disappointment is crucial. Making peace with it will make way for setting goals and doing things differently on the next try. Intelligence does not play a significant role in smart decision-making; our character does. Career progress is obtainable for everyone, especially with jobs without degrees being on the rise.

Final thoughts

There’s no doubt about it; pain and reflection will bring career progress. We just need to be courageous enough. If you want to know more about career paths and potential progress, visit, the free go-to source for career exploration of the web.

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