Why is it so important for women leaders and entrepreneurs to heal from trauma and build resilience?
Let’s face it. It is important for everyone to heal from trauma so they can live fully alive and not run from their own pain and not crumble under every difficulty and setback.
For you, my female leader friend, it’s even more vital to heal from trauma because others are watching you. They are looking to see how you’ll handle situations as their role model. They count on you, not to be perfect, but actually to be imperfect, real, compassionate, loving, kind, and strong, all bundled into one YOU.
This may sound like a tall order, because it is. However, it’s doable as you’ll see in this blog where I describe what trauma is and how to build resilience in the face of overwhelming challenges. You’ll see that it’s less about what happened to you, and more about how you interpret life’s adverse times that determines your resilience.
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What Is Trauma?
Trauma is a disruption in your body’s energy system that is in conflict with reality. Something (an event) happens, and you interpret it in a way that causes you to suffer. In other words, you believe a lie about reality.
Why is it a lie? Because no matter what happens to you, if it causes you to suffer, you’re believing something about yourself, others or circumstances that is not true. How can I make this bold claim?
I can state this because no matter what happened, IF you’re suffering, you’re saying, “That THING should NOT have happened,” or “THIS should have happened instead.”
Right? You’re arguing with reality, and the inevitable conclusion to resisting reality is suffering. This resistance, clenching, tightness, gets stuck in your body, and settles deep into your cells as trauma.
Trauma = Overwhelm to the body. It’s the same experience. You’ll sense a heaviness emotionally. Physically, when your body is in a trauma response, it presents as overwhelm, brain fog, gut and skin issues, exhaustion, heaviness, etc.
How Trauma Affects You in the Workplace and in Your Personal Life
When you’re experiencing trauma, due to the exhaustion factor, you won’t feel motivated, enthusiastic or creative. Quite the opposite. You’ll feel lethargic and slow moving, slothlike.
If your leadership role requires you to be on your A Game, to be able to think on your feet, to be a creative problem solver, to be present to others, to be focused and clear headed, it will be difficult.
When you’re experiencing a trauma response, which can often be unknown to you, the overwhelm will prevent you from being creative and resourceful. Can you see how this would impact your leadership role?
Further, details will slip through the cracks because you’ll likely have brain fog. This makes sense because trauma negatively impacts the gut, which is the “second brain.”
At home, you’ll feel more short-tempered and irritable when having a trauma response. We tend to take out those big emotions (fear, anger, guilt, and shame) on those we love most, don’t we?
In essence, trauma has a huge impact on your work and personal life when it’s not dealt with.
How Can Resilience Help You Overcome Adversity
Resilience is the ability to bounce back after experiencing trauma, such as receiving difficult news and going through physically, mentally or emotionally challenging events.
When you are resilient, you perceive life through a different lens that allows you to assimilate and accept life on life’s terms.
As I was saying, trauma is a disruption in your body’s energy system that is in conflict with reality. When you experience a shock to your nervous system, you can remain destabilized and in disequilibrium, because you resist your new reality.
It’s important that you develop your resilience muscle for personal and professional growth. Without resilience, it will feel like you’re a boat without sails, unable to determine the direction you want to move forward. It will perpetually feel like the “other shoe is going to drop.”
Strategies for Building Resilience
To build resilience, you want to learn to manage your energy, your emotions, because they drive your actions. In order to do this, you need to be able to rewire your thinking. Does your current thinking serve you or doesn’t it?
To modify your beliefs, you need to get to know yourself. Become self aware and question your beliefs, your view of reality, your world view.
Then, and only then, will you have the desire and drive to do something about it. Your current reality needs to suck a little bit (or a lot) before you’ll feel that nudge (or shove) to be ready to shift into another narrative and belief system.
If your belief system (BS) is limiting and causing you suffering, isn’t it time to change it? Not saying this is easy. It’s not. The EGO and/or some subconscious part of you will try to hold you back and keep you stuck in the status quo.
Strategy 1: Begin having alone time every single day, even if you start with one minute where you sit down, breathe and feel what you’re feeling. No running away from the feelings. Just sit with YOU.
Strategy 2: Seek support. This is a sign of strength, after all. Have the courage to ask for help and live the life that is most alive and true for you. There is no one else like you on the planet. I’m standing by to receive your heart, your truth.
It’s vital to heal from trauma because others are watching you as their role model, and trauma keeps us stuck in suffering. Trauma is a disruption in your body’s energy system that is in conflict with reality. Trauma is less about what happened to you, and more about how you interpret that hard time.
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