If you’re struggling with moving your career or business forward, you need to look internally to see what is actually going on. You may not realize it, but there are thoughts going on in the subconscious that are keeping you ‘stuck’ in a vortex that spirals nowhere. The gain-pain exercise is a great tool to help you take more action by uncovering what is the root-cause of not going after your goals.
Essentially, you identify:
- what is your current pain – this refers to the pain of the problem or situation you are currently dealing with, such as wasting time or getting distracted
- what is your future gain – this refers to what you will gain stopping the identified behavior, so wasting time becomes being more productive and achieving more, and getting distracted become being more focused
- what is your current gain – this refers to what benefit you are getting from the behavior; whether you realize it or not, there is a benefit we get which does not mean it is positive. Going back to the examples, wasting time can mean you don’t have to worry about failing or disappointing someone; being distracted means you can avoid dealing with issues – both of these aren’t beneficial but you do know how to deal with them now
- what is your future pain – this refers to what will happen if you keep in the same mode – getting nothing done; getting written up at work or, worse, losing your job; feeling anxious or depressed over self-disappointment, etc., and what needs those costs will lead to
Identifying your blocks, or what prevents you from moving forward, is critical to stopping those behaviors. Often, our past values and beliefs stand in the way of which we don’t realize how impactful they are. Think of statements you may have heard when you were younger: children should be seen and not heard; money is the root of all evil; be respectful of your elders. Determine how you feel about them now.
Each of these examples can lead to behaviors, such as: not speaking up for yourself because children should be seen and not heard; holding yourself back from going after a high-paying job because if you get it, money is the root of all evil; feeling fearful around high-level executives because you need to be respectful of elders and you might say, or do something, that would look disrespectful.
The pain-gain method can help to get you out of the loop; once you uncover reasons for your thoughts and behaviors, you can now focus on future gains that would move you forward and lead to a more positive and achieved life.