The Purpose in Your Pain
It’s not hard to find a story involving pain. Pain ultimately finds its way into every life. Sometimes it is the physical pain brought on by a tragic accident. But more often, it is mental, emotional, or spiritual pain that affects us. This less specific but very real pain is experienced when our expectation exceeds our reality.The pain looks different in each life, but it’s still pain. For one, it may be the expected support of a friend that never materialized, while for others, it’s the hurt of a failed business. Pain is never fun, but neither is it completely negative. Pain can be positive. Find the purpose in your pain.’

We’re quick to see our lack of talent, connections, opportunities, or funding. For most it is harder to see what we have.


Pain reveals your tolerance levels.

You can’t lead past the level you can endure. In his book Leadership Pain: The Classroom for Growth author Samuel Chand says, “When you interpret your pain as bigger—more important, more threatening, more comprehensive—than your vision, you’ll redefine your vision down to the threshold of your pain.”

You don’t know what you can tolerate until you’re tested. At some point the pain level rises to the point when you say, “That is enough.” Congratulations! You have just discovered your limitation in that area of life.

Your pain may be a warning sign that you have hit your level. Not everyone is supposed to be a CEO or a business owner. Not everyone is called to be an author, speaker, or tv personality. Being a star athlete is beyond almost everyone despite what we tell our children or even ourselves. The math on this is easy. The higher you go the more severe the pain becomes. Few people have died climbing low hills, but the list of those who have given their lives on the slopes of Everest is long. Don’t sacrifice your life climbing Everest if you are designed for hill climbs.

There is no shame in recognizing your level, but there is great pain involved in operating outside of your design.

Pain defines your potential.

Maybe the areas beyond your endurance are currently unreachable, but that means everything within your tolerance level is now clearly identified as your potential. This is great news! We’re quick to see our lack of talent, connections, opportunities, or funding. For most it is harder to see what we have.

When God called Moses to lead the people of Israel out of the slavery of Egypt Moses was quick to point out his lack. God asked Moses one question, “What is in your hand?” Moses said, “A staff.” God responded by saying, “That staff is what I’m going to allow you to use to deliver Israel.”

That staff represented the potential in Moses’ life. His full use of what was within his tolerance level led to his great success. There is no difference between the person who wastes their potential being lazy and lethargic or the one who consistently reaches beyond what they are designed for.

The greatest successes in life are those who recognize the purpose in their pain. Next Level Leaders squeeze every ounce of potential from their lives while operating within their design. In finding the purpose in their pain they release all of their potential. In the end…pain allows you to lead strong.