Trauma of one sort of another compromises our ability to function optimally which in turn, compromises our ability to lead our businesses to success, form successful relationships and navigate our world safely and securely.
Left unresolved, trauma shows up in our life in a variety of ways. Primarily, any form of disharmony that seriously affects your ability to function naturally and safely in the world, including relating carefully and compassionately with others, could be linked to trauma. This includes but is not limited to:-
Anxiety and panic attacks
Disharmony in relationships
Apparently irrational fears and phobias
Disrupted sleep patterns
Physical symptoms of tension, pain and other forms of physical discomfort
Broadly speaking, there are 3 types of traumas recognised:
1. Complex Trauma
This is the term used for a traumatic experience that happens repeatedly in a specific timeframe and specific relationship. The effects accumulate and can include (but not limited to) inability to feel safe, difficulty integrating into an emotionally and/or physically safe environment, inability to trust others and more. An example might be domestic violence.
2. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This can develop after a person is exposed to a terrifying event, has experienced intense physical pain or has been threatened with a view to intense physical pain.
3. Developmental Trauma
This is trauma that occurs in the first 3 years of a child's life and is related to the inability of the primary caregivers to meet the child's needs: neurological, cognitive and physical needs, and is usually unintentional. It can look like self-doubt, procrastination, lack of clarity, indecision, self-sabotaging behaviour that we can't shake.
All of these trauma's are resident in the body. Our nervous system is activated by these traumas, and we naturally and subconsciously adjust to the trauma by adapting our habits and mannerisms to cope with the experience.
These adjustments and adaptations may not always be as successful as we'd like them to be, and may show up regularly as if the trauma was happening or repeating itself right now.
What's happening to me when I feel traumatised?
How we express our nervous systems response is very individual, is perfectly natural and needed for our survival, and tends to fall into some noticeable categories:-
we have an urgency to fight
or to run (flight)
or we might desensitise (disassociate or freeze), check out and are no longer able to be present to the situation much like a bird does when a cat has it between its paws
some people also talk about the "fawn response" which is about becoming very complicit with an emotional or physical abuser in order to be loved, liked and/or cared for
How does unresolved trauma show up in my business?
The problems occur when we/our body is unable to go through the natural rise to our stress response, then recede back to it's natural rhythm of homeostatis. At these times we get stuck in a stress response that leaves a lasting resonance.
For those people stuck in a fight mode of coping with their earlier trauma, often perfectionists, they find that they quickly trigger into rage when others don’t meet their expectations. They’ll often find people reluctant to work with them, not completing contracted projects, and issues with cooperation.
Those stuck in flight mode of coping with their inner wounds, also often perfectionists, spend a lot of time and energy doing and busying themselves, and when they are not doing, they are planning and worrying about doing. Much of this doing is not focused, but rather a habitual means of distracting themselves from their inner wounds. This results in expending a lot of energy for very little progress, and leads to burnout.
For those stuck in the freeze mode of coping, there is a tendency to isolate themselves as a means of coping with the difficulties of the world. They struggle with showing up for their business which makes networking difficult. Being visible and promoting themselves in other forms online and offline is extremely difficult.
If you find that you have a tendency to meet everyone else’s needs, cater to every client's wish and overextend yourself without considering your own needs, you may have a fawning coping mechanism still operational subconsciously. This is the business owner who takes calls at all hours, and finds it difficult to draw boundaries around hours of availability.
Of course there are many variations on these simple explanations. Often a person will exhibit a number of these coping mechanisms, employing the one or multiple of strategies most suited to the situation as it arises.
Find a therapist to support you to work with the left over effects of your trauma. Remember it's not about reliving the trauma, but about how it's affecting you today. You want to be able to know that the trauma happened, but not have your life so badly affected by it that you can't function well in the world, in relationships, in your family, and have it compromising your business progress.
Do your inner inquiry work. Learn a process to explore your inner world deeply and honestly, understand and manage your triggers and free up your life so that it gets better. I can help.
Build your resilience and the life that you want to live, gently AND purposefully.
The NEW best version of YOU is about SELF-MASTERY
I’m a Well-being Mentor and Certified BodyTalk Practitioner. You are welcome to seek more information here and if you're ready to make the shifts to create the life you are seeking, let's talk. Make a time here to explore your immediate needs.