You Could Be Helping Others: Turn Your Pain Into Purpose

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Turn Your Pain Into Purpose

You’ve been through some stuff, some seriously painful, emotional stuff in your life.  Some of you will agree, and some of you might not think you have been through anything difficult.  However, we’ve all had some sort of trauma.  If you made it through 2020, you lived through trauma.  

It’s possible to turn any kind of pain you’ve been through into your purpose for helping others.  

What is something you’ve been through that was painful?  Did you lose someone close to you?  Go through a traumatic relationship? Sabotage your dream life? Have an abusive parent relationship?

Perhaps you think what you went through wasn’t that bad, there are much worse cases out there, but what if your pain was worse than some people’s, or what if it is very similar.  You worked your way through it to the other side. (It’s okay if you aren’t quite there yet.  You are a few steps ahead of some people.)  There are people out there begging for someone like you to tell them how to take the first step towards healing.  

No, you don’t have to turn into a counselor, life coach, author, or speaker, etc.  You can find a volunteer opportunity, mentor someone at work, write an article, post on Instagram, or join a support group where you gain new insight, and also give encouragement to others.  There are so many options if you just look around.

And, hey, your life purpose doesn’t necessarily have to be born out of trauma or pain.  Maybe you saw something that you wanted to change about the world, to make it better for others.  

Having a Growth Mindset

If you have a growth mindset, meaning you are always wanting to learn and be better, you will continue to master new skills.  As you grow, you can share your insight with others.  You only have to be a few steps ahead of someone else to be able to help them. 

The great thing is, as you share with others, your own skills are being more ingrained.  You are reminded of how much you’ve changed, and just how far you’ve come.  

Find Your Purpose

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when trying to find your purpose.

  • Would you rather help children, teens or adults?
  • Do you like speaking in front of others, gathering in small groups, writing, or acts of service (like building schools, homes, water wells, etc.)?
  • Does working with animals or the environment seem more your style?
  • What are a few painful instances in your life that you grew from?
  • What could you talk about for hours, without running out of things to say?
  • What do other people praise (or even tease) you for? (For example, people always say that I speak too quiet, or I’m so patient.  Those qualities make me a safe listener for the women I help, who’ve been through trauma.)  The things people comment on about your character are likely qualities that make you unique, and therefore set you apart from others.  
  • What could you work on all day, and still have energy to keep going?

Hopefully, these questions gave you some insight into your life purpose. 

Examples of Turning Pain Into Purpose

I love reading stories about how people found their purpose. 

A client went through an awful divorce.  Her ex-husband was determined to build his own business.  In the process, he ran up all of their credit cards, opened new credit accounts that they couldn’t afford, and borrowed money from many family members.  He refused to face the fact that his business was not profiting.  He was the epitome of toxic positivity.  

My client got great at recognizing when someone was a charmer, full of sh*t, even when other people couldn’t recognize it.  (Her ex-husband came across as a wonderful, friendly guy, even when he was manipulating others to give him more money.)  This skill helped her create a very profitable sales career.  She knew what to do to instill trust in her clients (without manipulation), and she also knew how to help the company avoid scammers when new products were introduced.  

Her divorce was extremely painful, and it took her a few years to recover from the financial mess, but she came out a stronger person, and helped many people along the way.  She didn’t necessarily think of this as her purpose, but it’s an example of how as we grow, we help others grow as well.  She could turn the skill of recognizing bullsh*tters into a way of mentoring other women in business, other women searching for a romantic partner, or even promote to a leadership position within her company.  The options are endless.

Author and speaker, Anita Moorjani, had cancer, and a near-death experience.  That led her to heal herself, and dedicate her life to helping others heal from disease, and live as their authentic selves. 

Actress and founder of Honest Company, Jessica Alba, started her business of natural products for families and their homes because she struggled to find natural products for her own children.  Jessica had broken out in a rash after washing her unborn daughter’s clothes in traditional detergent.  That experience drove her to find her own solution, creating a company that has now gone public, trading on Nasdaq.

You learned some difficult lessons from your pain and trauma, just like these successful women.  Use the lessons you’ve learned to help others.  

Do you know someone who has a great life purpose story?  Share in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article, and would like to read more like it, consider joining me on Medium.com.  

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