Tell Me What Hurts (Plus a Summer Freebie!)

Note: There is a first come, first serve freebie at the end of this post, so scroll down for all the info on how to get yours.

Whenever I begin working with a new client, I’ll start at the same place.

I’ll take a deep breath and then say in my best “Doctor Sage” voice, “Tell me what hurts.”

Some people are a little taken aback that I go to that dark place first thing during a call, but let’s be completely honest here…

No one contacts a life coach when everything’s going well.

And I wish people would! I’d be able to give them strategies for holding on to those good feelings all the time.

But nope.

People reach out to me when they are most definitely hurting—maybe she just got fired, she’s going through a divorce, she has no direction anymore, or she’s about to close the businesses that used to fill her heart with meaning.

When I say, “Tell me what hurts,” I see a noticeable relief wash over them, like they are finally able to breathe after months of holding their breath. They were just waiting for someone to care enough to ask.

And on several occasions, they simply begin to cry.

If I could hand them some Kleenex through my laptop monitor, I would. But it’s enough that I’m there to witness their pain.

[Tweet ““To hurt is as human as to breathe.” JK Rowling”]

Have you ever seen someone who you knew was struggling? How powerful would it be if instead of asking, “Are you OK?” (which could make them feel like a burden or ashamed) you say, “Tell me what hurts”?

In my life, it would have meant so much if someone had acknowledged my pain instead of trying to get me to cheer up.

Life editing is about looking our hurts square in the face. Step 2 of the Life Editing Process involves deleting all the people, situations, and things that cause us pain.

You have to figure out why you’re hurting and make the appropriate changes before you can add new things to your life that can make you feel better.

[Tweet ““But better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie.” Khaled Hosseini”]

Sometimes hurting is less like an aching feeling and more like a constant numbness.

It’s easier to numb our hurting in the winter months when everyone seems to be suffering from a little seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

But it’s even worse to be hurting in the summer when the sun is shining and people are laughing and talking about fun vacation plans.

It’s enough to make you want to shove all those cheery people into the pool.

I don’t just focus on the pain during my client calls. After we get through the tough stuff, we talk about that person’s hopes and dreams for the future. I let her get really detailed about what her ideal life would be like. No limits!

And what about you?

What Do You Want This Summer?

  • To get a new job…where you actually get paid what you’re worth!
  • To start your own business…and say goodbye to the corporate world!
  • To take care of your mind, body, and spirit…and finally put yourself first!
  • To make a plan to reach your ginormous goal…and start living your dream!
  • To get rid of your emotional and physical clutter…and edit your life in the best possible way!

I’ve got a special freebie for you to hone in on what’s hurting and make a doable strategy to get what you really want out of life.

They’re Baaaacck!!!

Free Summer Strategy Call For You!

Just in time for summer, I’m giving away free life editing Summer Strategy Calls to the first 10 people who send an email to Please type “Summer Strategy Call” in the subject line.

How the Summer Strategy Call Works and What You Get

  • A 60-minute one-on-one strategy call with me though Skype, Google Hangouts, or by phone. Your choice.
  • Choose your most urgent problem or messy situation that you want to focus on this summer and come to the call prepared to make big changes.
  • We’ll work through the 5-step Life Editing Process for your issue.
  • You’ll come away with doable strategies to delete, add, and rearrange the parts of your life into a perfect flow. Then you’ll be all set to have a super, sassy summer!

Still not sure? Check out my Client Testimonials.

So…what are you waiting for?

These free Summer Strategy Calls are first come, first serve, so send an email to ASAP to reserve your call.

Seriously, reserve your free call today or else Pinkie the Flamingo will do something horrible to me. I don’t trust those beady little eyes.

[Tweet “Tell me what hurts.”]

What do you want for yourself this summer?

In the comments below, tell me what hurts.

This post focuses on Step 2 of the Life Editing Process, Delete Bad Influences. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.


  1. Tracy on May 20, 2014 at 10:45 am

    This summer I would love to figure out some kind of career plan/goal. I have felt totally lost in this part of my life for the longest time and feel like it is holding back so many other aspects of my life.

    • Sage Grayson on May 20, 2014 at 11:09 am

      That’s an awesome summer goal, Tracy! Your website is gorgeous, and I was wondering if you were planning to monetize your blog or turn it into a business. You’d make a fabulous style consultant!

  2. Erin on May 19, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Thank you for your inspiring posts, Sage! I was recently laid off. This isn’t the part that hurts. I was working in a job I didn’t enjoy for too long and I see the layoff as the push I needed to move forward. The part that hurts is that I allowed myself to be underemployed snd underpaid for too long. I fear that this will hold me back when I try to negotiate a salary that I deserve in a future position.

    • Sage Grayson on May 19, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      Hi Erin. I’m sorry you were laid off. A lot of people use a lay off as motivation to finally do what they want to do. Do your research before you go in for an interview so you can confidently ask for a salary that is in line with what other people in that position get paid in your location. is a good place to start.

      If the hiring managers resist because you haven’t been paid that much before, tell them that you understand that you were underpaid in the past, but you do have the expertise to do the work. Also, if they won’t budge on salary, try to negotiate other perks like more vacation days or flexible hours.

  3. Sarah @ Long Island Nerd on May 19, 2014 at 7:22 am

    What a great post Sage! You are such a caring coach, I can imagine the sense of relief your clients feel to have a safe place to discuss what hurts as well as their goals and dreams. I’ hoping to spend some time doing projects that are fulfilling and strictly for fun. I’m also working toward fulfilling my big dream/goal so I’m currently trying to figure out exactly what it is that I want and then I’m going to start strategizing how to get it!

    • Sage Grayson on May 19, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Thank, Sarah! I think everyone can benefit from having someone to share their pain and goals–whether that’s a coach or trusted friend. I’m happy you’re making time for fun projects! I like to start with a big dream and then work backwards breaking down all the little steps to get there. It makes it much more manageable.

  4. Dana on May 19, 2014 at 6:15 am

    In a recent conversation with my husbands future boss, he asked, “what do you both like to do for fun?” I honestly couldn’t think of anything we do for fun or the last time we had time for fun. I want to make time for fun in our lives.

    • Sage Grayson on May 19, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Eek! That’s shocking when you realize you’ve been busy with so many other distractions that you’ve forgotten to make time for fun stuff. Making time for fun in your schedule is as important as going to work or making time to exercise. Good luck!