Let's Replace this Expression: No Pain, No Gain
We are human beings. We develop habits. We tend to believe
what we hear repeatedly. We tend to believe what we say to
ourselves. Teachers know this. Advertisers know this. Composers
know this. Writers know this.
A New Paradigm: Grow with Joy
Now is the time for a new belief system and phrases that support
this new belief system. It is time to accept this thought:
It is unnecessary to experience pain in order to develop and
learn. In fact, it is inevitable that we will learn and grow.
If we expect to learn from painful experiences, we will. If
we expect to learn from joyous experiences, we will. I think
this is a really good time to set an intention to grow from
joyous experiences. For those who are not quite able to claim
this, then this can be a time to affirm a readiness to grow
with joyous experiences. We start where we are.
I admit to belonging to a profession that has insisted on
the validity of this expression, "No pain, no gain," openly,
even arrogantly. Many of our clients have been willing to
believe it. It's cute. It rhymes. It's catchy. But it is also
incorrect, unless one believes it is true.
What? What did that last sentence say? Our beliefs and thoughts
serve as the foundation for our experiences. What we think
about or believe leads us to create the experiences that we
then offer as evidence or proof of our beliefs!
We all can recall experiences of learning -- even profound
learning -- during or after difficult, painful events. Most
people gain considerable learning about themselves and life
after being fired or making a major mistake on a project or
job or ending an unsatisfying relationship. So, indeed, it
is true that we can gain great wisdom from pain. But it is
an absurd leap to say that the only way we can gain is with
pain -- the precise meaning and impact of this popular phrase,
"no pain, no gain."
Please join with me in facilitating the replacement of this
expression. As we all become more aware of the language that
invites undesirable experiences, we shift our consciousness
using language as a tool to create the experiences we purport
The JoyPhrase Campaign: The 1996 Challenge
Initially, I approached this "no pain, no gain" phenomenon
with the idea of trying to eradicate the phrase. I soon realized
that this was not quite the right approach. It became clear
that we needed to use the energy of the popular expression
(even though disempowering) to create a more empowering expression.
We needed a replacement campaign. We might think of it as
the Cut and Paste Method of Eradication.
Many people who care deeply about empowered personal change
subscribe to an email list I sponsor, the DailyAffirm List.
These same messages and comments are available at DailyAffirm.
On June 3, the affirmation is "I let go of everything that
appears to prevent or block joy. I cancel the picture created
by the expression, "no pain, no gain." I challenged the subscribers
of the DailyAffirm List to participate in a campaign to replace
the phrase, "no pain, no gain:"
"I know that if we all put our hearts and heads together we
can arrive at an expression that is just as cute and catchy
as "No pain, no gain." ......One that is empowering rather
The idea was to develop an expression that describes learning
and/or growing and/or development with and/or through joy
and/or fun and/or enthusiasm.
I further challenged them to develop a phrase that is
......EASY TO SAY
The JoyPhrase Campaign included a contest that ran through
June, 1996. This is the vision of the campaign:
"The phrase we are looking for is so wonderful that advocates
of 'no pain, no gain' willingly adopt the new phrase and let
go of this devastating idea that the only way to advance is
through pain. We win if we start using an empowering phrase
right now!!! Just giving our attention to this campaign makes
us a winner."
As the Campaign Proceeded......
I observed that it was a challenge for many participants to
apply the principle of writing a JoyPhrase that is positive.
That is, many found it difficult to create a phrase that avoids
the use of negative words or disempowering ideas and makes
a positive statement. Here are examples of words that negate
a sentence: No, not, don't, doesn't, can't. A negative word
reverses the image or picture you are presenting and is confusing
to the part of us that manifests. When parents tell children:
"Don't touch the stove!" especially vehemently, this is interpreted
by the young child as an exciting invitation to touch the
stove! In is the young child within us who is actively involved
in manifesting (that is, in creating our experiences).
It became clear to me that there are two types of phrases
that are helpful in this campaign: (1) The direct response
to those who use the phrase "no pain, no gain" and (2) replacement
phrases. In the first category are included negative words
as a natural response to the phrase. Here are examples to
illustrate the difference.
(1) Examples of JoyPhrases that you can use when someone --
even you! -- says "no pain, no gain" before, during, or after
an uncomfortable experience:
* No pain..... Your gain! *or* No pain..... My gain!
* Life is too short to agree to pain.
* No pain? -- great idea!
(2) Examples of JoyPhrases that can be used instead of this
* Let go and grow.
* Live now... Experience the WOW!
* Play with the day
Participation is Ongoing!
You may participate, even though the official contest is complete.
Just use a replacement phrase or a response phrase any time
it feels appropriate! Let the phrases already submitted inspire
Copyright © 1991, 2005 Marshall House. All rights reserved.
Please visit Voice of Jeanie Marshall http://www.jmvoice.com.
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