Your Body Is Your Home
Your body is your home. It’s the only one you’ve got on this Earth and when it’s violated due to trauma, it essentially vandalizes your home. This can leave you with physical and emotional scars that last for years to come.
Trauma can come in many forms. Perhaps you were sexually assaulted by a caregiver when you were young. Maybe you grew up in a home where you saw domestic violence regularly. Perhaps you survived a terrifying accident or were bullied by your peers during school.
Your Trauma Keeps You Playing Small
If you’ve experienced trauma as a child or teen, you may have internalized fear of being seen. You may not have even realized it at the time but some part of your mind decided that if you stay safe the bullies or abusers couldn’t find you.
This is a valid survival tactic as a kid or teenager with no power over your situation. But it creates a problem as you get older and step out into the world. It’s harder to promote your business and grow your career because on some level, you’re still that scared kid who hopes you’re not seen.
The Trauma Continues
Your body may continue to send you messages that a situation isn’t safe because it triggers old responses. For example, right before a big presentation, you might get a terrible stomachache or fight back against a panic attack.
These are acute symptoms that go away after the situation that you perceived as dangerous is over. In the example above, when the presentation is finished, your brain no longer thinks you’re in danger and your symptoms improve.
But you may also experience long-term physical symptoms as a result of the trauma or bullying such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, sleep problems, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Understanding the connection between your trauma and your desire to be unseen is an important first step. Now that you’re aware of the connection, you can begin the journey towards healing with the support and compassion you need.
You Carry Your Trauma with You
When Marcy (all names changed for privacy purposes) was a kid, her father was an alcoholic. Sometimes, he’d get physically violent with her mother and she saw her father beat her brother a few times when he tried to intervene in the conflicts.
Marcy coped with the dysfunction by trying to be the “good girl”. She worked hard to get the right grades and a scholarship to college. Once there, she went into the nursing field where she was at the top of her class.
Later, Marcy went on to work at a local hospital. She enjoyed her job but as the years passed, she kept missing out on promotions. She couldn’t understand why until a co-worker pointed out that Marcy rarely acknowledged her own efforts.
She said, “You let others take the credit when a good job is done. I know you think you’re being part of the team but it’s holding you back from getting where you want to go.”
Like Marcy, trauma may be holding you back from achieving your career or business goals. Here are three ways you might be carrying your trauma with you…
You Numb Your Pain
Carrie loves her work as a hospital chaplain. She gets to bring hope and peace to families in the worst moments of their lives. But every night after work, Carrie goes home and drinks two to three bottles of wine.
Like many trauma survivors, Carrie was attracted to a field where she can help people going through darkness. But unfortunately, Carrie never dealt with her own inner trauma and now it’s frequently brought up as the result of her work. In order to cope, she numbs the pain at night with alcohol.
Even if you know it’s a bad idea, you might be tempted to quiet your trauma, too. Perhaps you drink too much, shop compulsively, or gamble excessively. Doing these things temporarily masks your pain and makes you feel in control again. But the feeling only lasts a little while before you have to seek your next fix.
You Try to Be Perfect
Marcy always focused on doing everything for everyone. Living through so much trauma left her feeling responsible for those around her. Now she worries about letting others down and wants them to think her life is perfect.
Not always—but sometimes—perfectionism can be a mask for deep pain. On some level, you’re hoping that if your life looks perfect from the outside, that the pain inside will finally stop. But this doesn’t work. It only further isolates you as you feel the need to keep up appearances.
You Don’t Want to Be Seen
You’re happiest when you’re behind the scenes. You’d rather make the magic happen behind the curtain than be the one upfront taking the bows. At least, that’s what you tell yourself.
While this strategy might make you feel safe, it also means you don’t ever get to take ownership of the amazing things you do. Instead, you’re stuck playing it safe and staying home from the ball.
It’s Time to Heal
You can’t grow in your career and business unless you let yourself heal from your past. It’s the only way forward or you’ll keep repeating this miserable cycle where you have to hideout.
It’s time to acknowledge your power and strength. You didn’t have a choice about the trauma and bullying that happened to you. But that doesn’t mean these things must define your life or become the whole story. You can begin again and write a new story at any moment you choose.
Why is EFT so Powerful for Trauma Survivors
What Is EFT?
EFT stands for emotional freedom technique. Some people call it “tapping”. It involves touching various parts of your body to release physical trauma. Everything that happens to you and around you creates energy. When you have positive experiences, your body holds onto this positive energy. This may explain why children from healthy homes often go on to have successful careers and fulfilling marriages.
But the body also stores negative energy, too. When you experience traumatic events, you may not realize that your body has absorbed the experience. If you don’t release it, you continue to carry it with you for years or even decades. Perhaps this is why children who come from difficult home lives have more challenges in their personal and professional lives.
How Does EFT Work?
EFT works to help you release negative energy. But you can’t just tap anywhere – there are certain pathways in your body. These are called meridians.
They are the connections between one area of your body and the emotions you experience. For example, if you’re feeling indecisive then tapping under your nose while you repeat a soothing mantra may be just what you need to start moving forward.
Why Is EFT Effective for Trauma Victims?
Most victims carry some physical form of the trauma even if they have no visible scars.
Depending on your trauma, a trained EFT Practioner can help you identify which meridians you need to target. While EFT may help you early on, it can take a few weeks to learn how to release all of the negative energy you’ve been holding onto. So stick with it and don’t give up if you don’t immediately feel better.
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