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How Personal Trauma Can Impact Professional Performance

Everyone tells you to leave your personal life at the door. That when you enter the workplace, you have to be all about your business. But the truth is, your personal experiences inform and shape how you act, react and take action as a professional.

In fact, you are in the ‘business’ of being you. And when everything is aligned to how confident and capable you feel, your work performance becomes enhanced. I have spent years working in various environments, from the non-profit sector, to the corporate world and now I am an entrepreneur. I have learnt that how we feel about ourselves, is reflected in all of our business dealings. If we have experienced rejection, failure and job loss, all of these moments in time become ingrained in our subconscious mind and inform how we behave in our professional life.

We actually only operate with 5% of our conscious mind and 95% is subconscious, so what drives us is mainly below the surface of what we see or are aware of. It is almost as if our brains are on auto-pilot, receiving and accepting information exactly as it has entered. Thoughts are things, and if we don’t actively learn to process, accept and learn from traumatic or painful experiences, we carry that with us and it impacts our daily working mindset. If we have a low concept of ourselves, we cannot perform optimally and with the certainty of someone who feels secure about who they are and what they bring to the table. Our bodies and minds are hardwired to react from a survival instinct, that sometimes prevents us from doing the real work and the real healing. We get familiar and almost comfortable in our past pain and our internal system responds with fear. But when we pull up the problem from the roots and transform its purpose, truly recognize limiting patterns and beliefs and substitute that for empowering thoughts, then we can actively choose a new path for our minds.

One concept I came up with that I use to help my clients personally shift, so they can professionally excel, is the process of F.E.E.L. This stands for:

F - Face It

E - Embrace It

E - Extract the goodness from it

L - Let it go

I believe that every experience we have is an opportunity for growth and learning. Even though there are uncomfortable situations, we can find the deeper understanding in everything to fuel our passion and determination at work. Facing it, means acknowledging what it is that is causing our internal and external struggle. Embracing it, means being grateful for the chance to positively shift even though something may have been a negative experience. Extracting the goodness, refers to identifying and learning from the lesson in the pain. Letting it go, means leaving behind and releasing what no longer serves you.

In fact, we all have to F.E.E.L. our way to heal. The more we lean into our personal growth and potential, the more confident, capable and clear we become and the easier it is to maximize our impact in and out of the office.

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