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  • Writer's pictureTom Foxley

Pain + Reflection = Progress

Pain is inevitable. Whether physical or emotional, you’re going to get hurt in life.

You’ll perform poorly in comps, self-sabotage in nutrition, or get caught doing something you’re ashamed of. You’ll experience pain inside and outside of the gym.

In fact - and here’s the harsh truth of it - the more you aim up, the more discomfort you’re going to feel.

Pain happens.

You’re going to experience it. But don’t make this fatal mistake: don’t turn away from pain, try to escape it, or ignore it.

Pain is useful. Pain is a tool. Pain is good.

When you experience mental-emotional pain, you are being shown something important. There’s a lesson embedded in the uncomfortable emotion. The pain is trying to teach you how to avoid it in future, so be thankful for it.

But, pain is only a positive if you choose to be reflective about it and get curious. As soon as you wish pain wasn’t there, you’re choosing to stay the same. You’re choosing more pain.

If you broke your foot, and ignored the pain, trying to carry on regardless, you’d be foolish. Yet people do this with their mindset the whole time. They try to back away from the embarrassment they felt at the box in the last comp. They ignore the shame around their self-image.

To beat pain, you have to confront it. Face it.

Be reflective about your pain. It’s the only sensible path out there.

That’s why Ray Dalio keeps the principle of Pain + Reflection = Progress.

There’s another way to flip this equation. Progress = Pain + Reflection. In other words, to grow, you have to go toward what is uncomfortable then reflect on it. 

Chances are, you’re turning away from pain and you don’t even know you’re doing it. Finding this out is just one thing we will teach you to achieve in DMGLite. We’ll be opening up limited spaces by the end of this week, so keep an eye out.


Coach Tom


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