Redefine Your Identity to Embrace Pain

Tony Robbins once said a very powerful thing:  “Identity is the strongest force in human personality. We all have a deep and abiding need to remain consistent with how we define ourselves.

And Freud remarked that as humans, it’s in our nature to move towards things that cause pleasure and move away from things that cause pain.

With that being said, it’s important to realize the role that pain plays in our lives. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of us in this society are pampered from an early age. Most of us don’t know how true hardship feels such as having to look for food every day, being threatened by enemies of a neighboring tribe, facing brutal weather conditions, etc… And that’s fine. I’m glad to live in modern society and not have to struggle as much as our ancestors did. But everything comes with a price. Chances are you grew up watching t.v and being brainwashed by stupid shows like Spongebob that leave your brain feeling like a bowl of chili. It’s not your fault. But the truth is most of us aren’t wired to be strong, disciplined and ambitious. With today’s educational system, t.v programming, high-speed internet porn, junk food etc… We are all being wired to seek out instant gratification and avoid anything that requires will-power, personal growth, warrior mentality, etc…

Spongebob wired you to giggle like an idiot and eat crabby-patties(hamburgers). At least that’s all I learned. Most of the cartoons and t.v shows I watched told stories of weak men and goofy fathers who never achieved much other than being the laughing-stock of their families, schools, and peer groups. Often sitcoms depict men who are feminized and pussy-whipped.  Often the only lessons taught in these shows were surface-level repetitions of mainstream “feel-good” quotes.

The result is that our brains are literally wired to be weak. It’s TOUGH to undo the wiring. And that’s just from TV but other things that contribute to the weak wiring of our brains is the lack of fathers in our lives, mentors, shitty educational system, poor nutrition, video-games, etc… But this blog isn’t only about the core of the problem but how to solve it. And this is where you taking Spartan Ownership comes in. That’s right, only you can undo the damage that was done to you. You have the key to your liberation. Blogs, mentors, and books can only point the way. YOU must take the steps necessary in order to arrive. The sad part is that statistically, you’ll simply throw in the towel and be like most of the sheep surrounding us. But I believe in you and I know that you have massive potential but your wiring is fucked up so it’s a struggle.

But so what!? The warrior will always struggle! The word “war” is the in the word “warrior” mother-fucker!

That’s what this article is about. That’s what life is about. But no, we are so pampered. So comfortable in our homes where our parents/society provide for us. Dunkin Donuts has a drive-through, Netflix is the click of a button away, The Xbox is right on the other side of the room. Pleasure is so damn convenient and it’s fucking us up! Pain is so easy to avoid! And at the beginning of the blog, I said that Freud remarked that it’s in our nature to move towards pleasure and away from pain… Well, that’s just the god damn problem. It’s too easy to move away from pain. There are a million distractions you can indulge into numb the inevitable…The pain it takes to be a warrior. The pain it takes to take Spartan Ownership.

Who are you? Are you a warrior? How are you even supposed to know nowadays? Your brain is a mixture of Cheetos, Spongebob scenes, porn, and Call Of Duty. How the fuck are you supposed to be in touch with your inner warrior? In the beginning of the article, I mentioned that Tony Robbins remarked; “Identity is the strongest force in human personality. We all have a deep and abiding need to remain consistent with how we define ourselves.” So what is your identity? Chances are you don’t have a strong sense of it. Chances are you don’t identify as someone who is strong inside and on a journey to mastery (if you’re reading this article, you are getting there). But for that to truly be a part of who you are, for you to change your identity into someone who is capable of great things, you must eliminate distractions. And to eliminate distractions, you must make one small change to who you are right now and that is… You must identify yourself as someone who is Ok with varying degrees of pain. You must identify yourself as someone who thinks of pain as necessary and a part of who you are. Pain is simply part of the warrior’s journey.

Carlos Casteneda said that “To be a warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one. It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the very last moment of our lives. Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other.” So get used to it now brother. Realize that life is a grind. Realize that life is a struggle. Realize that life is a war on all areas of your life. This doesn’t mean that everything must feel like a struggle at all times in the sense where one cannot enjoy life. It simply means that in order to get what you want and be the man you want to be, there is an element of pain that comes with it. Make that pain your friend. Make that pain a companion. Realize that pain is part of you. It’s a price you pay for your dream self and life. It’s also one of the only things that are truly yours. Think about it…everything can be taken away from you. The only thing you get to keep is your pain, your awareness, your body and your knowledge.

Don’t be an average man running away from pain at every challenge. Don’t be the self-torturing sadist either. There’s a balance. And what I’m advocating for you is to make pain a part of your identity. Understand now that it will always be a part of you till the last day. A warrior struggles till his last day. Change the story you tell yourself about life. And make it one where the pain is your friend.

Making pain your friend can include waking up early even though you feel the pain of having to break out of your comfy bed. Making pain your friend is throwing out all of the junk food from your house even though you just bought it. Making pain your friend can be going to the gym even though you just watched 3 hours of Youtube and are feeling the momentum of laziness take a hold of you. Making pain your friend can include approaching a girl at the supermarket even though you spent the whole day feeling bad about yourself and don’t feel confident. Get used to it now. Make pain your friend. Tattoo it on your skin, if need be. “Pain is my friend”.

Let’s rise. Enough of this bullshit. Let’s be great. Let’s rewire our minds and become a great generation (even though most are a lost-case). They say that the WW2 generation was the greatest generation. Why? Because they went through pain. They made it their friend. They were strong. We are descendants from them! That means we are strong too. We have their genes. If anything, we are even STRONGER. Because we’ve made it this far. You are a warrior and you will have to struggle. You’re not alone. And those at the top only know pain too well. There’s a reason it’s lonely up there. Pain is an asshole of a friend but he’s one that is the right kind of asshole. The asshole that holds up a mirror to your weakness.

Your brother in arms,

Maximillian Giamarco

P.s. Would like to make progress on your journey to self-mastery? Check out the Spartan Ownership shop here for badass tools, gadgets, and training courses that will accelerate your growth. Also, if you would like more personalized help, book a coaching/strategy session with me here.


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Maximillian Giamarco

Entrepreneur, coach, and author. Spartan Ownership is centered on providing groundbreaking content, products, and services tailored to improving men's lives. Main areas of focus include masculine lifestyle design, character development, self-discipline, MMA, women, mind and body optimization, and more!

Reader Interactions


  1. Matt says

    Great article man! This is something I’ve been realizing for the last few months grinding away whilst working for myself.

    I just got back from a trip to Calgary where for the most part I was working by myself every day, living with strangers who I didn’t connect with and revolving my life around making cash, which I did. Every day though I would have to make the painful step of leaving my comfort zone, driving out to an unfamiliar neighborhood and start knocking doors to make money doing lawn care work. I can tell you that this process was a DAILY struggle, never was a day ‘easy’ to begin.

    Once I got going though and made my first sale, did my first job, started earning money I started feeling strong, capable, confident and momentum would build, I would then go home go to sleep, wake up and it would all start over again. Never got easier and for some reason it was always possible for me to forget the positive feelings I had out in the field and my brain would just about try any fucking thing to get me not to leave. Why our brains do this to us I don’t know.

    I just know that this is what separates the warrior from weakling, the willingness to make the first step or two which is certainly the hardest part!

    • Author says

      Very cool man! Once you realize that as a warrior you will always struggle on some level in your life, you just accept it and it becomes a part of who you are. A great saying is “Either suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret, it’s your choice”.

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