What I’ve come to realize is that many of us who seek freedom and transcendence from the current systems via entrepreneurship are also the ones who have experienced significant trauma in our lives.
Our current oppressive systems and authoritative societal structures often retraumatize those of us who have been through physical, sexual, emotional, and spiritual abuse.
Which is why it makes total sense that often we are the ones seeking to free ourselves from these systems and experience liberation via financial autonomy in owning our own business.
In fact, we are the warriors on the front lines of abolishing the old paradigms.
What doesn’t help however is that the vast majority of entrepreneurial models, programs, teachings, etc. are not trauma-informed in the slightest.
Even the spiritual community separates trauma healing from the law of attraction, when they should be woven together.
They teach – ‘just do it, fake it til you make it, get back up when you’ve fallen down’ – without addressing the ways that these experiences can retraumatize those of us dealing with significant childhood or adulthood trauma.
And then the argument that we’re already whole and we don’t need healing comes up, with some rejecting the concepts of the law of attraction and the desire to make money.
But then those of us who are not receiving enough money to eat or to live in a safe space are left with merely the echoes of ’embrace your shadows’ tied to programs offered at high unattainable financial costs.
The ironies run rampant.
It’s not that we’re incapable of following the taught methods of ‘just do it’ and ‘fake it til you make it’, it’s that our mental health can be significantly harmed by attempting these methods without a trauma-informed understanding of what is happening to us when we fail.
If we experienced physical abuse by our caregivers, then we may have an inherent belief that we are unlovable, unworthy, unwanted. So, every time we struggle with getting clients or with making enough money to survive, these beliefs become even more deeply ingrained within us.
If we experienced sexual abuse in childhood, then we may have deeply ingrained shame that makes us feel like the world is ending any time we feel any slight embarrassment or anxiety. So, every time we make a mistake or step outside of our comfort zone, the fallout can be full-blown panic or shame-ridden depression, often with a significant biological response.
If we experienced emotional abuse as children, then we may have difficulty relating with healthy emotional patterns, believing that our empathic skills are telling us what our clients are feeling, when really they are reflecting back at us our own deeply ingrained projections.
So, every time we have a difficult conversation with a client or a community member, we may feel like we’re being attacked and fall back into distrust and keeping ourselves safe by keeping ourselves small. Which may result in us succumbing to fear of pursuing business success.
A trauma-informed approach allows us to understand exactly why we may be struggling more than most to grow our business, allows us to connect the dots between our current experiences and our past traumas, and allows us to have greater understanding, kindness, and empathy for ourselves throughout the process.
Often times, if we experienced trauma, we have an innate desire to help people because we are projecting out our own need to help ourselves. This doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t or aren’t being divinely called to help people. It just means we have to help ourselves find resolution to our own traumas as our number one priority.
Otherwise we will project our own lack of resolution out onto our clients and our business itself.
When we approach starting a business with the awareness that we are also entering into an incredible mirroring healing journey, we can be prepared for the deep shadow work and emotional healing that is required for the expansive growth that happens when owning our own business.
And with this knowledge, we know that when we aren’t succeeding in business the way we wish we were, we know it isn’t because there’s anything wrong with us or different about us. We know that our business is mirroring the internal fragmentation and trauma we’ve experienced.
The greater the fragmentation and trauma, the greater the suffering and difficulty we experience in our financial life.
Allowing our internal selves and our bodies to experience wholeness, allowing our emotions to be voiced and to flow, and allowing our minds to believe new empowering beliefs will also allow us to expand in our capacity for receiving money and for the resilience required of entrepreneurship.
As I mentioned in my intro series, owning a successful business requires expanding our emotional bandwidth to be capable of feeling and holding space for all of the emotions on the emotional spectrum. The really painful ones and the really blissful ones.
It also requires facing our shadows – the emotions we’ve suppressed, the parts of ourselves we’ve shunned, the blocked memories that have twisted into inner demons. These shadows will continue to show up in our lives until they’ve been acknowledged, seen, heard, and loved.
Entrepreneurship is the perfect mirror for the shadow work that’s calling to us. Taking the leap in starting a business is often like persephone descending down into the underworld. We’re allowing ourselves to become vulnerable, we’re surrendering to the universe, and we’ll see manifestations of our inner demons come out to play in our physical world.
The most transformative thing you can do is have this awareness. The awareness that business isn’t an isolated area of your life. Finances, clients, work, your perceived contribution to the world – they aren’t isolated from your healing journey.
They are intimately intertwined, woven together with divine archetypal mystery and the connective tissue of painful physical memory.
Lucky for us humans, we have access to infinite courage and infinite grace within us.
So remember to give yourself kindness and understanding when it looks like things aren’t going the way you’d wish they would. And maybe take the time to dig deep and see how your business is mirroring your prior experiences of trauma.
Simply bringing attention to it and allowing the emotions to move can bring timeless transformation.