What’s your pain? What pain is holding you prisoner and controlling both your life and thoughts?
What pain are you dealing with that’s keeping you from doing the things you want to do, and from being the best you?
We had to ask these questions because a lot of people struggle to get through their pain. So many allow pain to keep their hands, legs, mind and spirit shackled to the point of being immobilized. Some people’s pain create a blindness that impairs their health, and restricts their hope, vision, and possibilities. But, I’m not talking about blindness in the literal sense, I’m referring to having eyes to see with; yet, you walk around with blinders on and are paralyzed by the emotions you’ve encountered during your pain, and you just can’t let it go.
When you think about it, pain is a necessary part of life. It often dictates the choices we make and how we live our lives. In other words, the harder the pain, the more devastating the impact, and the more we are left to decide how we will respond to it. The source of the pain plays a key role in our decisions, as well. If we look back over our lives, there are many forms of pain that each of us have endured. Some have been used and abused, some have lost loved ones, some have been neglected and rejected, some have been bullied, some have been lied to and cheated on, and some broken down to the point of self-endangerment. Also, there are others who have suffered with physical pain from sickness, while others have suffered with emotional pain. The point is no matter what type of pain you have suffered, your life has been shifted or altered in some capacity. And where you are in your life right now shows how you chose to respond to the pain.
But how many know that you don’t have to stay in your pain? No matter what you have gone through, you have the power to redirect your focus and your energy from weakness to strength, from pain to purpose, from hate to love, from loss to gain, and from being broken down to being built up. Furthermore, you have the ability to change your life by deciding to take back your power. No matter what, you can change your thinking if you rethink how you look at the things that have happened to you. For example, you can use the pains of your past as a stepping stone and catalyst for the greater good by telling and using your story to impact the lives of others.
With that in mind, we would like to introduce to you, Anika Woods-Wilson as she tells her story, and provides you with steps to help turn your pain into power.
Article Below Contributed By: Anika Woods-Wilson
Anika Woods-Wilson is a woman who once was a broken girl. Trauma, abandonment, multiple episodes and variations of abuse led to a career in Criminal Justice/ Law Enforcement, Investigations, Children’s Services, Drug Counseling, Mental Health Counseling and Trauma Coaching. She spent her life making sense of her constant exposure to adversity by educating herself on the topics at hand. Through education, experience and grace, she became a Woman on a MISSION; and fighting chronic illness and trauma led to her calling of helping others. Her education includes a BA in Criminal Justice and a MA in Clinical Psychology.
My journey began as a little lost girl who always felt awkward in her family, school, life and body. This continued for 14 years, until one day when I was sexually assaulted. As a product of a single mother, the courts felt I was expendable and sentenced the rapist to only 2 years’ probation. In my mind, I felt completely broken, torn up, chewed up and spit out. But waiting in the wind was a boy who wanted to help me “heal” my pain, if you know what I mean. Little did I know, at age 14, I would become pregnant. It was a trying time for me because while I was trying to understand my mind and body, I was struggling from the pressures and trauma of my mother “ruining her image,” which led me to voluntarily commit myself in a hospital for two weeks. Though I made it through the institution, I continued to get bullied, and was isolated and targeted by others. Nonetheless, I was still able to finish school with honors, and get a scholarship to college. Also, I became a law enforcement officer.
However, my confidence continued to be an issue, which lead me down a path of experiencing many toxic relationships with men, and with my family. In many instances, I felt used by others despite my education, professional success, and determination. “Drama” seemed to be magnetic in my life. In fact, every time I had any success, someone pulled me back down. This continued for 15 years leading to a chronic illness, 3 children, 2 “baby daddies,” 1 marriage ending in divorce, and a subsequent disability.
After all the drama, what I realized and couldn’t escape was the fact that I had a calling on my life. Knowing that, I finally surrendered and became active in church, even after being considered by others as, “a problem, too forward, and too transparent.” Still, I continued to speak my truth, influence others as I healed, and gained my confidence; thereby, maturing into the woman who God designed me to be. As I began to evolve, I fired my boss, started a business, and began driving for Uber, so, I could sustain my business and feed my children.
While starting my business, a man from 20 years in my past resurfaced. A man who was “too good” for me back then; but, later we married as he changed my perception of things and us. This caused me to re-evaluate my life, business and roles.
Armed with new information, resources and love, I launched a Podcast called, “Your Voice; Your Power with Anika,” allowing others to speak with their voice, find power in their story, and overcome the fear of speaking their truth.
In addition, I created the Women of Impact Conference Series in an effort to share vision, education and resources with other women across the country. It’s purpose is to allow entrepreneurs, authors, wives, mothers, and experts to share their expertise and vision with women who need to be exposed to powerful women.
I went on to serve the community for 20 years as a law enforcement officer, therapist and case manager, which led me to consulting as an Activation Ambassador for Business, Life & Events. So, later becoming a consultant just made total sense.
“Women have to be willing to use their stories, pains, losses, victories, education, experience, relationships and vision as LEVERAGE.” Anika Woods-Wilson
When I think about it, our roles as women are complex and contradictory from birth, marriage, divorce, career, maturation, and passing on. For instance, we are told to be strong in childbirth, but weak in relationships. Further, we are considered “fussy” when we advocate for ourselves, yet we are expected to endure the pain when we respond to life events that can affect who we are, and how we treat others. My words of advice to you is do not let your pain determine your destiny; instead, let it define your ability to fight. Understand, there is no testimony without a test, and the best experience to any endeavor is wisdom.
Learning how to turn my pain into power revealed a revelation to me. For starters, I learned to use everything that happened to me to help others heal, learn and grow without the trauma. Many women have the desire to start their own business, start new relationships, escape old relationships, relocate, and leap into better opportunities; however, fear deters them from progressing towards fulfillment in their life, business and family. Therefore, we must learn to ask for guidance in order to obtain the resources that are necessary to move forward without feeling inferior to others. With that said, hiring a coach, enrolling in therapy and exercising self-care are some ways we can seek assistance. In fact, it is your right as a woman, not a privilege, to get the help you need. We have to do better and follow through with the things we need to move forward. Equally important, we have to activate action in our lives to change our perception of the things that have happened to us, and use them for our benefit.
Below, I have given you steps to help turn your pain into power. Remember, nothing happens by coincidence, so take note that if you are stubborn, the lessons will come much harder.
Here are 10 Steps to Turn Your Pain into Power:
- Take inventory of your pain, then re-evaluate the lessons you’ve learned in order to shift the pain into your SUPERPOWER!
- Promote and demote the people in your life that affect you favorably vs. adversely
- Change your environment
- Seek help: therapy and/or coaching
- Build a village (support system)
- Make personal development a priority
- Set attainable goals
- Train your brain
- Expect abundance
- Determine what your experiences mean to your life, what you have learned from them and implement ways to use them in your job, daily life or through helping others.
We are armed with everything we need to be successful. We have to believe it and USE IT FOR POWER, not PAIN!
“Use Your Pain, Speak Your Truth, and Walk in The Power of Your VOICE!”
You can contact Anika using the information below:
Email address: Nobodygreaterllc@gmail.com
Owner of Nobody Greater LLC: https://nobodygreaterinc.com/
Co-Owner of NBG Home Solutions: https://nbghomesolutions.com/
President of Project Greatness Inc
Curator of Women of Impact Conference Series
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