There’s the cone zone and the danger zone. But what about the pain zone?
Let’s be honest, no one really likes pain, at least not when it’s happening to them. Let me rephrase that, no sane person likes pain. I myself happen to have a very strong aversion to the stuff. I must be quite sane.
Pain is not fun. Pain is not enjoyable. Pain is highly unpleasant.
However, pain is a great indicator when something is wrong. Those who are unable to experience pain often end up causing themselves severe damage. They are a danger to themselves.
But what about those unwilling to experience it? It’s another sort of danger.
For many, pain is a limiter. Once they reach the threshold of pain, they stop. For others, it’s an open invitation.
After reading this post from Pressfield (who else?), I can’t stop thinking about what it means to be deep in the pain zone, and how to willingly stay there.
It’s a very short post, but in case you just can’t be bothered, here’s the gist: the difference between someone who is good and someone who is great is their capacity to go deeper into the pain zone and stay longer.
Personally, I’ve been holding this thought while doing my regular sets of pushups. Even when it’s burning and I want to collapse to the floor, I think, can I stay in the pain zone a little longer? Can I do just a few more?
Not all pain is physical. Indeed, some of the greatest pains can’t be felt in the normal sense.
How many get stuck, unwilling to press on because their own personal pain zone is too much for them to bear?
Does that pain zone keep you from accomplishing your goals and reaching your dreams? Does it leave you stuck in Decent-ville, right outside the threshold of Great-topia?
I invite you to feel a little bit more of that burn, to let the sting endure just a moment longer before you back down. Then, when you come back to it again, stronger than before, go just a little further.
Is it fun? Heck no. But when you learn how to endure and you finally watch your pain lead to progress, you’re gonna smile through the tears.