How to overcome the pain of getting tattooed

Instructive pain – how the pain of getting tattooed can advance your personality

One of the most posed questions around tattoos is if getting a tattoo hurts. Especially persons that haven’t had the experience before spend quite some time thinking about this. Whereas those thoughts might simply occur and go away again or, unfortunately, obtain a dictating nature as in where to place their tattoo or choosing the size of the tattoo. Here is some food for thoughts on a different, more positive perspective to it.

The philosophy of pain

When potential clients call me for the first time, they often have one initial question: “How does it feel to get tattooed? Does a tattoo hurt?”. Now for me, this is actually a very philosophical question. Because I believe pain is really more a question of attitude than an actual physical sensation. It’s about how you deal with discomfort, physically but also mentally. According to my experience, there are generally two ways of how people handle the pain of getting tattooed. 

On one side there are those who fear the pain and whos entire body responds to the discomfort. They shake or flinch every time the needle strikes their skin. With that not only do they make their discomfort bigger, they also make it harder to create a beautiful design. Even worse, they allow their fear to dictate the size and location of the tattoo, missing out on having the tattoo they truly dream of and that does them right.

On the other side, there are those clients who accept the pain and actually move towards it. Rather than flinching, moving, or looking away, they accept the pain and even study it. They use the tattoo session as a chance to not only get a craft of art on their body but also learn about themselves. By staying calm and giving in to the experience, they not only feel less stressed and therefore less discomfort, but they also create the best conditions for the tattoo artist to create a unique and beautiful piece of art.

Pain – the currency for change & growth

I believe in life almost everything that is actually beneficial for us, comes with a certain degree of pain and discomfort. The question is, which attitude we have towards it. One possibility is, to avoid situations that might bring initial discomfort. But with that, we risk missing chances to grow, evolve, and become better versions of ourselves.

If we make decisions based on fear of discomfort, we most probably will avoid things that would actually benefit us. It’s the same as if someone stays in a miserable relationship, because of the emotional pain associated with the decision to end the relationship. Or as if someone wants to improve her or his health and fitness, but at the same time doesn’t want to feel the discomfort of waking up early, exercising, and dieting. In both cases, the persons will never reach their full potential or goal because they let the fear of discomfort lead them.

A person willing to persevere through the pain will archive more and be in a better place in life. Simply because gaining the ability to overcome pain is a life-lesson that will enable one to make decisions in life not based on one’s level of discomfort but really true to oneself.

I experienced this by myself since as a child, I used to be very anxious about dentist visits. Even the thought of them caused me extreme anxiety attacks, each and every time. As an adult, I started sensing the same old feeling before getting heavily tattooed. But this time I chose to accept the pain and work through it. Of course, it still hurt, but by changing my attitude towards it and studying the pain and my response to it, I was finally set free from the fear of pain itself. Since then the simple act of studying my discomforts has created so much value in my life. 

Art demands sacrifice – give in & evolve

In tattooing, pain is a given obstacle. At the same time, if you find a way to move towards the pain and not allow it to dictate your decisions, you will achieve a greater outcome. Choose freely and fearless when it comes to the right positioning and size of your tattoo and you will be happier with the result. The pain is temporary, but a good decision is lasting.

So in short, the answer to the question of if getting tattooed hurts is: Yes, getting a tattoo hurts. But by overcoming that pain, you will grow stronger and more confident in all aspects of your life. And: You’ll be the proud owner of a unique piece of art, always reminding you of how far you can go if you’re willing to give in and grow.

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