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Why Experiencing Pain is Your Next Gain as a Leader

We all experience pain in some form or fashion. But what you may not realize is that these pains are the key to your ultimate success! You cannot win without failure. So instead of wallowing over the growing pains, make them work in your favor.

Types of Bad Experiences

Each experience we go through will cause us to feel a variety of emotions, sometimes good, but also sometimes bad. You could feel disappointment about a situation you regret, experience conflict with another human being, react badly to change, or let someone down with a hard decision. All of these feelings are painful, but also normal! You must go through these in order to achieve personal growth. Everyone experiences them – you’re not alone.

How To Turn a Bad Experience into a Positive One

How someone handles a problem says a lot about him or herself as a person. Someone could lose a promotion to a colleague and wallow in the fact that they aren’t number one, or they could use it as motivation to learn and grow in their field. As leaders, we must embrace the value of bad experiences. They really do teach us a lot. 

Define the problem

To turn a bad experience into a positive one, you must take responsibility for your actions and the situation at hand. Then, define the problem. What is the bad experience you are going through or have just experienced?

Understand Your Emotion

Although some of us are very in tune with our emotions, not all of us are as intuitive and will have to do the extra work in defining our feelings. If you can name it, you can process it and work towards shifting your behavior away from negativity. For example, recognize when you feel envy and think to yourself, “I really admire what they have and will work towards achieving that for myself.” 

Articulate the Lesson

What is this bad experiencing teaching you? Is it teaching you that this change may be a blessing in disguise? Or perhaps the extra responsibility you’re facing is challenging you to be better at what you do? 

Identify a Desired Change

If Financial Loss is your pain, what would be your ideal financial situation? Just like goal planning, you must identify and write this desired change down. Once you’ve identified the change, brainstorm numerous pathways to achieving it. To stick with the example, maybe you could open up a separate investment account with steady, slow risk to avoid further losses. 

Implement a Course of Action

Work towards your desired change and choose to maintain a positive life stance every single day.


Making good changes after having bad experiences will make you a much better person and a stronger leader! Remember, it’s not the obstacles, but how we handle them that counts. 

This article was written by Ron Nursey who is a member of the John Maxwell leadership team. If you are interested in growing yourself and your business please reach out to me in an email at RonCNursey@gmail.com.

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