These stages may not heal the pain, but it can teach us how to accept it and live with it!
Our reaction to any particular crisis differs from one person to another depending on our experience and maturity on the subject, our ability to handle it and embrace the means to go over it. Understanding the life cycle of our crisis or our pain may enable us to approach it with more acceptance and growth. The pain here can be subject to any sudden hit in your life like a difficulty, a hardship, a loss of a job, a beloved person or a sudden heath crisis including a physical pain; a pain that can create inconveniences in your life but you still can have control on it.
My goal through this post is to respond to different requests, and share my approach on how I managed to overcome a physical pain that lasted for more than five years, during which I went through a set of stages before relief. This post does not rely on any scientific research; but it reflects a personal life experience inspired from my technical background in product life cycle management (PLCM)
Just as human beings have a limited life cycle that starts at birth and ends at death, a Product life cycle (PLC) has also a definite cycle that consists of introduction, growth, maturity and decline or withdrawal.When the product is introduced into the market, the company is conscious that the emphasis should be more on brand awareness than on profit. Also, during the growth stage, the sales will take off to reach their peak at the maturity phase. However, the product will ultimately reach its saturation point.
Why do you think is it important for a marketer to understand the evolution of these stages? Understanding these clearly defined stages make us not only conscious and alerted to the health of the product, but also proactive for the coming steps. The global concept of the PLC highlights the evolution of the product and how we can adjust our strategies to sustain revenues. For instance, marketers may approach decline with full acceptance and will even attempt to revive the product in an attempt to maintain the market share, or decide for a withdrawal.
What about if we don’t have a comprehensive knowledge about the product life cycle? Are our strategies or reactions will be the same?
You may be wondering now what all these phases have to do with the pain itself. Why is it important to understand these stages to overcome the pain? What about the life cycle of the pain? My experience in marketing combined with the PLC management and the SIM card life cycle allowed me an enlightened understanding of the stages I went through each time I was in a heath crisis. I ended up with identifying four main phases that are identical to the PLC, but each with its own characteristics that mean different things.
The four main stages of Pain:
Phase 1: Shock
You may all have experienced somehow this phase after a loss of a beloved family member, a hardship or a health crisis. This stage is inevitable, but crucial which can determine the direction for the coming stages.
“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.” Henry Wordsworth Longfellow
Phase 2: Resistance or Rebellion
Just as a decline stage can end up with a revival or withdrawal, a resistance stage can be a key factor to either be in a complete opposition state of mind or go beyond the crisis to adopt acceptance. I was faced with deep migraines, a bleeding eye, and many inconveniences that I had to handle alone! I had to go through different surgeries that often ended up with many other side effects. I had also to handle pain, frustration, but in a mute mode to keep everything going on. Only after many years that I managed to skip this stage to give place to acceptance and relief.
Being resistant will change nothing but will simply add more frustration to your initial one. How many of you spend weeks, months if not years in an opposition state of mind in regards to a minor crisis compared to others? Have you ever solved anything this way? Did you think about the waste of time you left behind instead of exploring new skills that can be more fulfilling?
If it took me many years to understand this point, my aim today is to contribute in helping others skip this stage or at least make it as short as possible!
Phase 3: Acceptance
You may be questioning on how acceptance can relieve pain? Acceptance is not only an attitude, but it can hide a tangible transformation of our metabolism allowing more positive hormones to take place and shape our psychological state of mind.
Acceptance can allow us to focus more on other positive sides in our life than on the crisis itself.
“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” J.K. Rowling
Phase 4: Relief or Recovery
Not all sorts of pain end up with a relief. In some cases, the pain can disappear; in other cases, it may persist. The loss of a beloved person or a disability can be an eternal pain; but our acceptance and willingness to change our focus are the key factors that may accelerate our recovery.
Understanding the roadmap of these four stages enabled me to have a broaden vision about life different crisis, and to know exactly what to expect. In some cases, it gave me even the capacity to enhance my control to the two first stages by applying acceptance from the very beginning of the life cycle and accelerate relief.
I am not pretending that I am a hero, but I simply understood that I don’t need any more to argue about the things I cannot change. But, I am always eager to seek change for the things I am able to improve.
It’s true that sometimes we cannot avoid going through all these stages; I myself could not from the very beginning. Understanding them is important but it is not the final solution. It can be a basic step towards a more positive attitude that will help you not necessary live the life you dream about but at least live a peaceful, rewarding life.
What about you? How do you handle your pain or stress?