When Excitement Masks Pain

Recently, as I coached a leader, we discussed how difficult life had been over the past year but was now on the upswing. I then asked her to reflect on what had made the last year so tough and why was the present different?

The leader is involved currently in something that is very new and exciting, and she is passionate about it. So I asked the question, “How much of a difference is your improved situation tied to your involvement in something that you’re passionate about and is new and exciting?” The leader was quick to point out that although this new and exciting thing did help, it was not as big a reason as one might think.

The leader further explained that if she failed to deal directly with the root causes of the difficulties of the past year, processing them to a healthy place, she would only be using this new and exciting venture to mask the pain, anger and depression she was experiencing.

As I listened to her response, I wondered how many leaders have experienced significant pain, anger and depression only to mask it over with something new and exciting that ignites their passion? Or they use some form of addiction to mask their emotional woundedness.

For one reason or another, I have moved numerous times in my life. But I recall moving one time to something I thought was new and exciting. In retrospect I realized the move had more to do with masking my pain, anger and depression. I used both the move and addiction to cope with my woundedness. It took me some time to work through the pain, anger, and depression that led to that move and the need for my addiction. I thank God today I am free from my emotional woundedness and addiction and am able to lead in a healthy way.

How do you go about making sure you are not using what is new, good, and exciting or an addiction to masked the pain of your woundedness? Here are some suggestions:

  1. If you are emotionally wounded, angry and depressed seek professional help. A good counselor will help you process the cause of the hurt and get you to a place where you are no longer controlled by the hurts. Instead, you will control how you respond. There is a saying, “Hurt people, hurt people.” If you don’t deal with your emotional wounds, you will only end up hurting others. Leaders who lead from their pain usually blame others for their ineffective leadership.
  2. Get a coach to come alongside you to help you identify and achieve your goals. Coaching is not the same as counselling. Your counselor will help you explore the cause and depth of your hurt, anger and depression and ways to overcome them. The coach’s role is to help you set, clarify and achieve your goals in every area of your life.
  3. Take care of yourself. When in a place of emotional pain, anger and depression, it is extremely important to eat well, get adequate sleep, exercise regularly, and attend to your spiritual life. I know from both personal experience and working with people that self-care is usually the first area we neglect when are hurt, angry and depressed.

Have you dealt with or have been dealing with the pain, anger and depression in your life or have you been masking it with something new and exciting that you are passionate about? Are you using some form of addiction to mask it?  Most people may not notice it, they may even see it as advancement or you trying to better yourself. But only you know the truth, only you know if it is a mask for the pain, anger and depression you are experiencing.

If you are masking your emotional woundedness, I want to urge you to start the unmasking process today by seeking the help you need.

If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at errol@errolcarrim.com to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.