This week we continue our discussion of how pain prepares us for our destiny, and how challenges promote growth. In particular, you’ll discover three tips on how to respond to and get the most out of discomfort in your life.
What’s your knee jerk reaction when facing discomfort or pain?
If you’re like most people, it’s to seek to avoid pain and seek comfort. But, that could be the very thing holding you back from growing deeper roots and producing sweeter fruit.
It tends to be the hardships in life that either make us or break us. But, focus for a second on that first part. That tough break in life could make all the difference to you achieving the destiny that God has called you to. How is that?
Most people don’t understand that uncomfortable challenges are the very things that prepare us for our future.
Chris LoCurto 00:00
Part Two of, "How Challenges Promote Growth", that is coming up next.
Chris LoCurto 00:14
Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show, where we discuss leadership and life, and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Welcome to the show, folks. Hope you're having a fantastic day. We are having a great day, little overcast. But you know, the sun's been out. So we're enjoying what we got. Today we're talking, we're continuing on with our discussion from last week, on how challenges grow us, right? How stress and strain grows us.
Chris LoCurto 00:48
So here's the thing; facing and even embracing the challenges of life is an important part of living a full life. Notice I did not say, "an easy life", right? It's a full life. Easy life just doesn't exist. Right? Even those who are trying to avoid challenges will eventually face challenges by not knowing how to handle challenges. So if you want to have a full life, not an easy life, not a complicated life, not a life not really worth living, then you need to learn how to face and even embrace challenges, right?
Chris LoCurto 01:32
We talked about this in the last episode, God always uses challenges, stress, strain, to grow us, to grow our character. So we need to learn how to find joy in the journey, not just in the destinations. I am guilty of this. My gosh, I am guilty of this. I am somebody who so looks forward to getting to the destination. And so I'm also somebody who will bust it like crazy to get to the destination. I don't have a problem in busting it. I don't have a problem and making things happen.
Chris LoCurto 02:08
But I will tell you as I get older, God starts throwing some stumbling blocks in my way, or maybe he's been doing it my whole life, and as I was younger, maybe I could just jump higher. He throws some stumbling blocks in my way to help me to look up and go, "Oh, that's right. I should be enjoying this part. I should be enjoying the journey." Right? I'm not somebody who struggles like crazy with adversity. I'm not somebody who struggles like crazy with challenges.
Chris LoCurto 02:39
I have them, a lot of them. And I solve a lot of them. But I will tell you, there's times when I can't solve stuff, or I'm struggling to solve stuff, that those are times I'm usually recognizing that God's not wanting me to solve it. He's wanting me to focus on him. He's wanting me to grow closer to him. He's wanting me to see and learn something, right? So I tend to be somebody who does not pray for God to stop the adversity in my life. I tend to be somebody who says, "Hey, don't stop this. Teach me how to get through it as fast as possible.
Chris LoCurto 03:17
Teach me the things you want me to learn." And when that happens, I find a lot of joy. We need to find joy in adversity. While you're in adversity, right? We also need to find joy in challenges, because the challenges absolutely grow us. It's not difficult for us to understand when you challenge your muscle. When you give resistance to your muscle, you're going to grow muscle, right?
Chris LoCurto 03:46
As long as you're also putting a decent nutrition in, then you're going to grow muscle, right? It's not difficult for us to understand that. It's the same concept when it comes to your character. It's the same concept when it comes to your intelligence. It's the same concept when it comes to your family, your relationships, we need to find joy in the challenges.
Chris LoCurto 04:06
James 1:2-4 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds." Why? "Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. So, well, let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Now I threw in the "why" and the "so" in there. But how powerful is that? "Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
Chris LoCurto 04:52
The more challenges I have, and the more I'm able to stand in those challenges, when the bigger challenges come along, I'm able to stand in those. That's the real growth. Next up, what paralyzes us and what to do about it right after this.
"Freedom, it's so powerful."
"I felt rejuvenated, almost renewed, to some degree."
"I just felt so welcomed and loved and accepted for who I am and not an ounce of judgment. So I was very comfortable there that had a really big impact on me."
"It's going to be worth it. It's going to be hard. But it's going to be even better on the other side."
"For me, it was just, it was very refreshing. And I want to say life giving, for me, it really was."
"You know, I would go to next level life again, and probably again, and probably again, because it's so powerful."
Chris LoCurto 05:50
I want you to ask yourself a question: Could you hear the sense of hope and freedom and their voices just then? I want you to know, that could be you. Look, it's easy to get trapped in old habits, negative thought patterns, and unhealthy relationships. It's gonna take some work. But yes, there is hope for you. If you want to experience the same kind of life transformation, the same kind of self-awareness and freedom that they have, or maybe you're just curious what the process would look like for you, then head on over to chrislocurto.com/nextlevellife.
Chris LoCurto 06:28
So what is the thing that paralyzes us? Well, we have a saying around here, "When you freak, you freeze. When you freak, you freeze." Ask any deer in the headlights, right? Fear has a paralyzing effect. That is a fact. Right?
Chris LoCurto 06:48
According to a Psychology Today article, "The truth is that staying in your comfort zone, particularly when you do so out of fear is not always exactly comfortable. By avoiding challenges, we don't have the opportunities to learn about ourselves, we feel trapped as if we were leading a life, that is not true to ourselves."
Chris LoCurto 07:12
Think about that. When you try to avoid conflict, challenges, stress struggle, when you try to stay in your comfort zone, there's an amazing thing that happens. We feel like we're not being our authentic selves. Why? Because we know better. We know we can actually accomplish those things, right? We know we can actually make it through struggles, we know we can make it through strains.
Chris LoCurto 07:45
We know that. And so there's this little piece of betrayal that we feel, and for some people might be a big piece of betrayal, right? When we feel like we're not living our authentic self, we feel like we're betraying ourselves. So how can we see challenges as opportunities? Well, we've got three tips for you today.
Chris LoCurto 08:06
The first one is you need to be heavily focused on *drumroll* catching your knee jerk reaction. Yes, that was my drumroll on the desk here. Catching your knee jerk reaction. What is your knee jerk reaction? Now, talked about this for just a few seconds in the last episode. But I want to really focus on this right now, I want to emphasize when challenges come along, how do you respond?
Chris LoCurto 08:40
I will tell you that there are times that my wife likes to point out that when I don't see the spider that's crawling on my arm, she knows that when I do actually pick it up, I'm going to jump out of my chair like a little kid. It is gonna freak me out. Right? I don't like spiders. I just don't like spiders. I don't like them. What's my knee jerk response when it's crawling on me? Jumping about 15 feet to the other direction. Right?
Chris LoCurto 09:07
So that is my knee jerk reaction. How do you face challenges, right? Instead of just looking at it and flicking it off with my finger. I try to get away from it as fast as I possibly can. But the truth is, it's probably jumping with me that 15 feet and it's still there and I still got to solve my problem. So when a challenge comes along, do you do the same thing?
Chris LoCurto 09:30
When something difficult comes along do jump about 15 feet away from it? Do you recoil from the adversity? Right? Now, think about this. A lot of times inside, we will have this huge response when adversity comes along of, "Oh my gosh, oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, don't let this happen known. Oh, crud. I'm going to be a horrible person. I'm going to not be worthy. I'm going to whatever." We go to these feelings of what it's going to be like to go through this adversity.
Chris LoCurto 10:05
Right? Think of what fear is, you know, we talked about fear just a second ago. When you freak you freeze, right? What is fear? Fear is the anticipation-unless you're being chased by, you know, something that's going to eat you. And you can see that and it's a fact, the fear that I'm talking about is the fear of what's going to possibly happen, what might happen, or what might not happen at all, right? What is fear?
Chris LoCurto 10:32
It's the anticipation of something bad happening. It hasn't even happened yet. So what happens when we face adversity? A lot of times, the first thing we can do as a knee jerk reaction is assume that it's going to be horrible. "Oh, my gosh, this thing's happening. Everything is gonna fall apart. Nobody's gonna like me, people are gonna be mad at me, I'm gonna screw this thing up." Or whatever it is, what is that knee jerk reaction that you tend to have when a challenge comes along? When adversity comes along? Do not recoil. The moment you recoil from it, and the moment you start that negative self-talk, you're losing. You're losing the battle.
Chris LoCurto 11:28
Right? Whenever you focus on your worth, trying not to lose worth in the situation, trying to protect yourself, trying to defend yourself, whatever it is, all of that time is time that you could actually be spending on fixing the problem. Solving the adversity, walking through the process.
Chris LoCurto 11:51
So one of the first things I want you to do is catch that knee jerk reaction of recoiling from adversity. Another knee jerk reaction is not seeing the opportunity. This is a big one. I dare say most of the time, we fail to see the current adversity as opportunity. How many times do we get through something that sucks only to go, "Wow, that actually worked out really well. Wow, look at what that did. Wow, I'm actually happy that that happened."
Chris LoCurto 12:29
So when we are focused on us, when we are focused on self protection, when we are focused on recoiling, what we miss out on is, hey, what is the opportunity that's actually in front of me right now? What can I do about this? Right? How can I solve the problem? How can I fix this? How can I learn and grow from this, right? The other piece that can happen in knee jerk reactions is that we don't experience the joy of the growth. For me, and like I say, for me and my wife, that's something that we pray for a lot.
Chris LoCurto 13:16
As a matter of fact, I remember a time, not too terribly long ago, that in my prayer with Heather. I'm praying and praying and praying and then I go, "And Lord, increase our prayer life." And I went, "Oh- shoot that just came out." And I knew, everything inside of me-it was like God was just waiting for that to come out. Or maybe he was drawing it out of me. But I knew the moment that left my mouth I'd said Amen, and I looked at Heather and we both just went "Well, that just came out."
Chris LoCurto 13:51
And for the next three or four days, problem after problem after problem hit, we knew it was coming. We were completely aware that it was gonna happen. We had a truck engine go out, you know, one of our vehicles, the engine went out, we had all all these little things that were-no, actually, it's not a little thing. We had to buy a new engine. with all these things that were popping up.
Chris LoCurto 14:15
And it's so funny, because as they happened, we would turn to each other and just go, "Well, great prayer that you asked for it. Here it is." And sure enough, we didn't recoil from it. We didn't struggle in it and go, "Oh, woe is us. We're victims now." We looked at this and guess what we did? Prayed. We prayed more. These problems hit and it was only about three or four days, but it was a long four days.
Chris LoCurto 14:45
But I promise you, it increased our prayer life. It worked. We spent more time with God. We thought we'd done a halfway decent job up to that point and we ended up spending a lot more time with God. So here's the thing. It actually became a joyful thing to walk through it, and pray and then watch him solve the problems. Because he actually solved the problems in great ways. Things that worked out. Things that work towards our benefit. So, guys, understand that there can be great joy. And there can be great growth right now.
Chris LoCurto 15:28
That stuff doesn't have to happen, you know, two years on the backside of your situation, it can happen in the moment. So catch your knee jerk reaction, number one. Number two, allow yourself to fully experience. So, I want you to embrace the situation, I am not saying that I want you to love that you're going through something painful, I am not saying that I want you to hold on to the thing so it stays a crappy situation.
Chris LoCurto 16:03
And maybe it's not even a crappy situation, maybe it's just a tough one. I'm saying that I want you to embrace the situation for what it is. When you do, instead of being a victim, instead of running away from it, instead of complaining to 17,000 people on Facebook, you'll actually face it. You'll actually want to solve it, when you embrace the situation just as it is, you'll actually want to try and work through it.
Chris LoCurto 16:38
If you become a victim, if you become self-protective, if you become defensive, then you're not actually going to spend a lot of time on solving the problem. You're going to spend a lot of time on complaining about the problem, right? And I keep saying problem. The adversity, the challenge, let me use that. Let me say that instead. Geez. It's even engrained in our minds. It's a problem. It's a challenge. It's a problem.
Chris LoCurto 17:03
No, not necessarily, right? Another piece of allowing yourself to fully experience your challenge is don't label it as bad, or hard, or awful, or as I kept doing, a problem. Don't label it. Because it may actually be good. And while it may be hard, it actually may be easy as you get in there and try and solve it. And while it may seem awful, it actually may turn out to be fantastic.
Chris LoCurto 17:34
Right? So don't immediately go in and label what it is. Because when you do, the last thing you're gonna want to do is fully experience the challenge. So look at it as an opportunity. Look at as something that can be good look at as a growth process, look at it as character building, look at it as a teaching tool, a training, whatever it is, and try to fully experience the situation.
Chris LoCurto 18:04
The other thing is, when you have an attitude that it's okay to experience challenges, then you will realize this is a part of real life. This is real life. Real life has challenges. Real life has adversity. Real life has stuff that sucks in the moment, but turns out to be phenomenal in the end. So if you're going to fully experience your challenge, your adversity or whatever, recognize that it's okay. This is a part of real life. Alright, when we come back, the third tip for greater growth.
Chris LoCurto 18:44
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Chris LoCurto 19:42
Okay, we're back with the number three tip for greater growth, when it comes to challenges when it comes to experiencing adversity, when it comes to stress strain in your life. Number three is learn from the situation.
Chris LoCurto 20:01
Guys, this is a big one, if we're going to grow, then we can't just go through the situation. I am somebody who can look back on my life and see that there are many challenges that I just got my butt through, that I wasn't focused on learning from, I was just glad to make it through. There are times in my young life where I killed it on things I solved things I got through things.
Chris LoCurto 20:31
And then there are some times I can see, I can look back into those days, and see really super painful situations that I just did not like. And I just wanted to get through it. I just wanted to make it through. And there's times that I was just glad to get through. And I didn't stop with a pencil and paper and write down 14 things I learned from this situation, right?
Chris LoCurto 20:51
So I was just glad to get through. Probably most of those had something to do with heartache or heartbreak or being used or treated badly by people, right? Sometimes you get in situations, you're just like, "I just want to get through this, I just want to make it through it." But here's something that you can do, if you're focused on it. If you're focused on learning from the situation, you can discover some amazing things in your life, like where you currently are, in that moment, with your own capabilities.
Chris LoCurto 21:30
What are your capabilities to solve, to walk through to create a greater opportunity to turn this thing around and make it phenomenal? What are your capabilities in the moment? Do you know how to get through this situation? Do you have the wisdom and the knowledge? The understanding? Do you have the ability to use this to help somebody else? Right? So when you're focused on learning, it's a great situation for you to look at and go, "Do I even know what I'm doing? Can I solve this? Do I have the right information? Do I have the ability to get through this?"
Chris LoCurto 22:15
Right? I am somebody who solves things for a living, right? But I've got an experience in my life. When a loved one had a brain aneurysm, I ruptured brain aneurysm, where when it happened in the moment, I did not know how to solve it, I couldn't solve it. I'm not a doctor, I'm not a brain surgeon. I've never even played one on TV before. I stood there in this moment going, "I don't know what to do.
Chris LoCurto 22:45
I don't know how to solve, I can't just fix this." Right? I can help you out if you fell off a bike and skinned your knee, I can help you out if you broke something, I can help you in all kinds of situations, I can help you out of struggles that you're experiencing in life, or worth issues, or controlling people in your life or you being a victim, I can help you with all kinds of stuff in life.
Chris LoCurto 23:12
But every now and then something comes along where you have to look at yourself and go, "I don't have these answers. I don't know what to do." And praise God, the only option was get experts who do right now. 911. Right? So a great thing that helps you in the growth, from challenges from adversity is learning what is my current capability? Right? Another piece of that is, what is my capacity?
Chris LoCurto 23:44
Can I do this by myself? Can I solve this? You know, maybe I've got the knowledge, the wisdom, the know how, but do I have the capacity to make it happen, right? And where do I need to increase my capacity? So two great pieces of that is, do I have it?
Chris LoCurto 24:02
There are things that we are trying to do with growing a homestead, a big plot of land that we're trying to build things up to help people have even greater experiences of healing and greater experiences through Next Level Life or through events. There's all kinds of things that are going on right now in my life and God has helped me to see you know, while I'm always somebody who who taxes the collective intelligence likes to get people to fill in and help out.
Chris LoCurto 24:35
There are some things that God is showing me, you don't have this current capacity. You can't do all of this with what you have as far as capacity. Which has caused me to turn to him so many times and go Lord, you know, I can't do this on my own. And by on my own I mean with the current capacities that I have, right? Team, stuff that we're doing, you know everybody here is busy, you know, I can't do this by myself.
Chris LoCurto 25:04
You've got to send more people, you've got to touch the hearts of more people that that you want to be a part of this. Right? That you want to bring, because my capacity it, because I currently don't have the capacity to make it all happen. So it is created yet again, a great opportunity for me to turn to God and go, "What is what is the thing that you're going to do, Lord? How are you going to tackle this?
Chris LoCurto 25:34
How are you going to make this happen?" And praise God, I look forward to seeing it. He's already doing certain things that have just blown me away. Just blown me away. That's who he is. Gosh, He's such a God of love. Another piece of learning from the situation, is determine what influences you need in order to develop in this area. Guys, this is a big one. This is a big piece of this puzzle. So many of us.
Chris LoCurto 26:08
And I know I'm speaking to a lot of you stubborn entrepreneurs out there, who wanted to become entrepreneurs because you didn't want people telling you what to do I get it, I understand. But you're here with us, you're following us, you're listening to this, right? You need quality influences in your life that can help you develop in the area that you're struggling in. You need quality influences in your life, that don't want to hurt you, that don't want to take you down a notch or two.
Chris LoCurto 26:39
But instead want to help you get the tools in place so that you can develop and grow in this. So this is a great opportunity to learn from the current situation that you're in, or situations by asking yourself, "Where can I go to develop in this, in getting through this, and growing through this?" Because if it's happened today, there's a really good chance it's going to happen again, or some different version of it. So how do I grow in this? So learning from the situation is just absolutely paramount. Right?
Chris LoCurto 27:15
Otherwise, it's a waste of time. So question for you. Is your life growing at a pace consistent with the new challenges that you're facing? Think about that. Is whatever the challenges are, no matter how big, how small, how few, how many, is your inner life growing at a pace that's consistent with handling those, with growing in those, with being able to develop better character to handle situations? Right?
Chris LoCurto 27:50
One thing we're very aware of is that you wouldn't have made it this far and found out what you were made of without challenges. But what are you doing to make sure that you're growing at a pace that will either be consistent with, or ahead of? I'm somebody who loves to continue to grow beyond and be prepared for when the time comes. For those of us that are believers, that's actually something God pushes us to do.
Chris LoCurto 28:17
Be prepared for when stuff happens. Psychologist Shelhamer Gain says, "It is often during the most challenging times when there is the greatest opportunity to redefine yourself." So to recap what we've learned today, one challenges are guaranteed they're gonna happen. You can't hide from them, it's going to happen. And if you're able to avoid the challenge, then by avoiding it, it's going to create a bigger challenge. Number two, their purpose is to provoke, provoke growth, character growth capacity, capabilities. Number three, your growth is up to you.
Chris LoCurto 29:00
How you choose to grow is up to you. And tell you, it is something that for me is a daily focus. How do I grow today? Especially for me, Bible study is a huge part of that, prayer life is a huge part of that. But every day I focus on how do I grow today? What can I put in that's going to grow me today? That's what I want you to think about. Your growth is up to you.
Chris LoCurto 29:31
Well, folks, I hope this has helped you today. If it has, let me know, drop me a note [email protected] Also, do me a huge favor. I'm asking for a big favor. Would you go and like these episodes, would you go leave a comment on these episodes, our goal is to help every person to discover this information and to help them change their lives. And when you do that, not only are you helping us but you're helping them as well.
Chris LoCurto 29:59
Also, if you know people in your circles that you need to share this with then share it with them, send it on over to them. As always, we want you to take this information we want you to change your leadership, want you to change your business, and most importantly, we want you to change your life. And join us on the next episode.