3 Steps to Processing Pain

A few weeks back, I interviewed Jay Passavant for my Learning to Lead podcast. I asked Jay a new question that I have added to my arsenal of questions for leaders. The question is: How do you process pain as a leader?

I thought there was so much wisdom in his answer, that I had to share his process with you. First, he said that we will all experience pain. It doesn’t matter if you’re a leader or not. Therefore, how we process pain is extremely important. Here are his 3 steps:

1.) Acknowledge to God that you’re feeling this pain – You don’t have to pretend you have it all together. God understands your pain. We need to be real with God about how we are feeling. The Bible says to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us. When we experience pain, we need to bring that pain to God.

2.) Find someone to share the pain/failure with – We need to recognize that it’s ok to not be ok. The Bible says that we are all going through the same tests and trials. You are not the only person on the planet dealing with pain. The key for this step is to share the pain with someone who can actually help you. I see too many people sharing their pain with people who maybe able to relate and console them, but can’t actually do anything to help them through the pain. Find a mentor, a counselor, or someone who has gotten through the pain you’re experiencing and are doing well.

3.) Recognize that this pain will end – This is extremely important. Everything you’re going through is temporary.  Think about things that caused you pain five years go. Odds are, the issues that caused you pain five years ago seem small in comparison with what may be causing you pain today. Why? Because it was a temporary issue. You got through it.That is the saddest part about teen suicides. The pain most teenagers are going through is extremely temporary, even though in the moment it may seem like an eternity. In most cases, if they would have just slept on it another night, they would have been ok. We all need to realize that the pain we’re experiencing is temporary.When you finally get that, you will have the hope and strength necessary to make it through.

You will experience pain in life. When you do,acknowledge it to God, to someone who can help you, and recognize that it is temporary.

What do you do to process pain? 


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