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WHEN YOUR INNER CHILD IS YOUR (not so silent) BUSINESS PARTNER


Building and running a successful business is a significant challenge, and for those of us who have survived childhood trauma, like myself, the journey comes with additional complexities. Our inner child often plays a significant role, guiding us through days of feeling unstoppable to moments filled with self-doubt, leading us to question, 'What am I doing?' or 'Am I really cut out for this?'


Whether you're in the early stages or well into your journey of managing that inner voice, this blog post is intended to cast light on the unique traits we developed as children to navigate our challenges. These characteristics, once survival tools, now present themselves as either blessings or obstacles in our professional lives, depending on how we choose to adapt and manage them.


Here, we'll explore the unique characteristics commonly experienced by survivors of childhood trauma, along with their pros and cons in a business context. Additionally, I'll provide strategies for balancing these traits to foster a happier and more harmonious life and business.


 

Perfectionism

Growing up, many of us learned to pay close attention to the smallest details – it was our way of coping. This skill can really shine in the business world, helping us create work of exceptional quality. But it's important to remember that constantly chasing perfection can set us up for unrealistic expectations and burnout. It's all about finding that sweet spot between doing our best and knowing when good enough is just that, good enough.


Setting realistic goals, learning to share the load by delegating tasks, and appreciating the journey over the destination can be real game-changers. It's about embracing the progress we make, step by step, rather than getting hung up on chasing an elusive perfect outcome.


 

Resilience

Those tough challenges we faced as kids often teach us resilience – it's like building muscle for handling the pressures and rapid changes in the business world. But let's not forget, it's equally important to keep an eye on our own stress levels and emotional well-being. It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and forget to check in with ourselves.


Fostering a supportive environment both at work and home and prioritizing open communication can really help. As we handle the ups and downs of our work, it's crucial to also give time to our own well-being. It's about more than just getting through the tough times; it’s about making sure we're taking care of ourselves along the way. Let's remember to pause and check in with our own needs, ensuring that we're not just surviving, but thriving in a way that keeps us healthy and whole, both at work and in our personal lives.


 

Hyper-Independence

Growing up, many of us learned to rely on ourselves, which can really boost our independence and confidence in handling things solo. It's a valuable skill, but it can also make asking for help a bit tricky.


We're comfortable being in charge, especially when it comes to our businesses. But learning to trust and depend on others is not just helpful; it's actually crucial for our personal growth and the success of our business. Bringing other people on board and valuing their strengths and support is a big step towards living and working in a more balanced way.


 

Empathy

Having grown up in tune with the emotions of those around you can be a real asset in understanding the needs and feelings of your clients and colleagues. This deep sense of empathy can do wonders for building strong, meaningful connections in your professional life. However, there's a delicate balance to maintain. Getting deeply involved in others' emotions is a common pitfall. It can be tough to draw the line and set firm boundaries, especially when you are a naturally empathetic person.


Learning to establish personal boundaries and reaching out for support when necessary can make a big difference. It's essential to remember that your empathetic nature is a valuable gift, but it's equally important to safeguard your own emotional well-being. Caring for others doesn't have to mean carrying the weight of their emotions on your shoulders. By setting limits on how much of others' emotional baggage you take on, you can maintain a healthy balance – one that allows you to be compassionate and supportive, yet still keep your own emotional health in check.


 

Risk Aversion

A cautious approach, often learned in our early years, can shape us into thoughtful decision-makers in the business world. This knack for careful consideration helps us avoid unnecessary risks and pitfalls. However, it's crucial to keep in mind that not all risks are harmful. In fact, some calculated risks are necessary for business growth and innovation.


It's good to be careful, but don't let fear stop you from trying new things. Before making decisions, take a moment to think about the possible risks and rewards. Don't be afraid to ask for advice from people you trust – they might have great insights. Set some clear boundaries about what you're okay with risking and what you want to protect.


 

People-Pleasing

The habit of putting others first, which many of us learned when we were young, can lead to creating positive relationships with clients and colleagues. However, sometimes, our eagerness to please others can go too far, causing us to neglect our own needs and forget to set clear boundaries.


Developing assertiveness and setting achievable expectations play a crucial role in maintaining a balanced approach. It's not just about being helpful to others; it's also about ensuring that we respect our own needs and boundaries as well.


 

Strong Work Ethic

A strong work ethic, often shaped by our early experiences, can drive high productivity and a commendable dedication to business goals. However, it can also pose challenges when it comes to achieving a healthy work-life balance and maintaining long-term well-being.


While our strong work ethic and commitment are admirable, it's crucial to recognize when you might be using overworking as a way to escape your feelings. It's vital to recognize the significance of balance and self-care on the path to achieving lasting success and happiness.


 

Intuition

The skill of intuition, often honed from childhood experiences, can make you an insightful decision-maker, capable of innovative thinking in business. Yet, especially for those who have experienced childhood trauma, we may find ourselves questioning our intuition and struggling with uncertainty about what the 'right' thing to do is. This inner conflict can both empower and challenge us in our professional journeys.


Balancing the power of intuition, especially for those who have experienced childhood trauma, requires a few key strategies. Firstly, it's essential to stay calm in the face of decisions. Take a step back, breathe, and allow yourself a moment to assess whether your choices are driven by genuine intuition or influenced by past fears and traumas. Secondly, practice self-awareness – get to know the difference between your intuitive insights and anxious thoughts. Trust your gut, but also learn to recognize when your past experiences might be clouding your judgment. Lastly, seek support from trusted mentors, colleagues, or therapists who can provide an outside perspective and help you navigate the fine line between intuition and fear. In this way, you can harness the power of intuition while making informed, confident decisions in your business.


 

If there is one thing I want you to take away from this, it's this: You are not alone.


The feelings of inadequacy, confusion, and doubt that you may encounter are all part of the journey. Your business is a significant part of who you are, and it's unrealistic to think that you can completely separate your past trauma from your business endeavors. It's okay to acknowledge where you are at and to be kind to yourself along the way. Accepting your experiences and treating yourself with compassion is a vital step towards finding balance and fulfillment in both your business and your life.


Wishing you peace on your journey, and please remember that I'm just a message away if you ever need anything.


 

P.S. If you do struggle with issues centered around childhood trauma, you may want to check out Patrick Teahan on YouTube.



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