From Pain to Power with Self-Respect

One of Susan’s very first lessons in Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway is the Pain-to-Power continuum. On the left side is Pain. This is when fear makes us feel helpless, depressed, stuck. On the right side is Power. This is when we have power over our fear and we feel confident, energetic and choice.

As we are talking about self-respect this month, let’s look at that Pain-to-Power continuum as it applies to self-respect. When we don’t have respect for ourselves, we are on the Pain side of the chart. We act out of fear and neediness. When we are full of self-respect, we are on the Power side of the chart. We act with confidence and for the greater good. There is probably not one person who lives with unending self-respect, but we can all strive for it.

Just as we would do with our fear, we can chart where we fall on the Pain-to-Power continuum at any given moment on any given day. If we are mindful of growing our self-respect, we can begin to observe how we undermine it. The Pain-to-Power chart can help up keep track of how we’re doing. Here is an abbreviated version of Susan’s steps for working towards the Power-side of the chart:

  1. Draw a Pain-to-Power chart. Refer to chapter 3 of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway for a complete example, but it looks something like this:

PAIN –>–>–>–>–>–>–>–>–>–>–>–>–>–> POWER

  1. Put a marker on the chart where you feel you are with self-respect at this moment.
  2. Every day look at the chart and ask yourself if you have improved or decline in terms of your self-respect and move your marker.
  3. Keep in mind the direction you want to go as it will help you make decisions that can help you improve your self-respect.