How to Not Waste Your Pain (In 3 Steps)

How to Not Waste Your Pain (In 3 Steps)

I wrote a workbook called Your Life Message to help people in the Summit Life coaching program answer this question:

What is my purpose?

The folks who ask this usually aren’t purposeless. They typically have a pretty good life, but they know there is something more. They want to make their next years really count. They want to make an impact.

I’m guessing you are in the same position. You know you have something more to give and you feel called to leave a lasting impact.

One of the most important questions I ask folks in the program is this:

Looking back at your life, what was the hardest and most challenging season and what made it so difficult?

This question is so imperative because I believe that our greatest power to impact the world doesn’t come from our success – it comes from our greatest struggle.

The Apostle Paul reminded the believers in Antioch, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God…”

God never promised an easy road, but he did promise that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Your pain can become your greatest tool to leave a lasting impact on the world. The key is to make sure you put all the things that have happened to you into right perspective.

Here are three steps to help you make the most of everything that has happened to you:

1.Slow down and process what has happened
Most of us are so overdriven and exhausted that we don’t have any margin to process. Experience alone is not the best teacher. Evaluated experience is the best teacher. It’s easy to make the same mistakes over and over again and never learn. You must stop to evaluate what actually happened. Get some honest, outside help. Then take some serious time to process, even if it’s painful to re-live the experience.

2.Look for the redemption
You must begin to look for the good that has come from the things you have experienced – good, bad, and ugly. We may never know exactly why things happened the way they did on earth until we can ask God himself. But we can learn to look for his redemption. Recognize any good that has come from everything that has happened to you – no matter how small.

3. Begin to systematically share what you’ve learned
Your story won’t have maximum impact if you keep it to yourself. Don’t let the shame of what happened keep you from sharing. Express it in a healthy way. That may mean writing it down. It may mean blogging. It may mean recording yourself telling your story. It may mean standing up in front of others (yikes!) and sharing your deepest pain and the good that has come from it.

If you want to make sure you don’t waste your pain – if you want to come out strong with a message to leave an impact – you must be willing to slow down, look for God’s redemption, and then share what God has worked into your life.

Do this and you’ll find your purpose. You’ll also find you will leave a lasting impact on those around you.


Still don’t have the Your Life Message workbook? Get it here: