Why Your Challenges, Your Strengths and Your Path Forward are Unique

One of the questions that arises again and again as I work with clients—and as I discuss my work with other counselors and coaches—is why one person who lives through major losses in life or whose family dynamics are challenging would find him- or herself very pained by those realities, while someone else with similar losses or relationship issues would appear not to be.

Here’s the short answer:  No one really has anyone else’s life story.  Each of us is truly unique.  There are so many variables that impact our psyches that to try to compare one person’s reaction to any particular stress with that of another person’s just doesn’t work.  Everything matters.

Were you a social person or much more reserved?

Did you have support from a sibling or were you bullied by yours?

Were you physically strong or slight?  Was your family financially stable or were there always financial worries?

Did you move frequently or stay in one town as a child?

Were your parents well-matched or not?

Was there a spiritual dimension to your upbringing or not?

Did you have a best friend to turn to when things seemed especially dark or not?

Did you have a mentor, even for a while, who saw you as special and made that known to you?

Did you find learning relatively easy or have learning challenges?

I could go on and on and on, with hundreds of questions.  That’s the point.  Each and every one of them would matter.  That’s why I frequently say, “Your story matters.”  It really does—in its details and nuances, not just its general themes.  The details significantly influence the patterns you will develop, the challenges you will face and the very personal, individualized path you can take to a more powerful life.

Pain-2-Power is based on this reality:  No one’s life story is anyone else’s life story.  There’s nothing cookie cutter about understanding the forces that operated in one’s past and are influencing one’s present, then harnessing those understandings to become less anxious, happier and more productive, in the future.

Never judge your journey by anyone else’s standards when you struggle to move forward in life or when you design to take the next leap in life.  Invest in understanding yourself.  Yours is a story unlike any other.

Dr. Keith Ablow

    

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