How Trauma Produces Emotional Blocks

How trauma produces ‘Success Inhibitors’

We all have experiences in life that are not particularly pleasant, or that are down right traumatic. Nearly all negative experiences contain some element of trauma which causes a strong emotional reaction; whether the trauma is of the big ‘T’ or little ‘t’ variety doesn’t matter. This emotional reaction to the trauma, in turn, usually causes physiological reactions which we feel in our body in a variety of ways.

As part of our mental processing of the trauma, these emotions become lodged in your emotional memory of the traumatic experience. Later, when the memory of such an experience is recalled, the associated emotions are also brought back often creating the same physiological reaction of the original trauma. This can happen even many years after the original experience. It is this recall of the emotions, and the resulting physiological reactions that are what cause us the continuing ‘hurt’ of the original experience.

For many people, the surprising thing about this process is that the original experience doesn’t actually need to have been traumatic in the usual sense of a big, bad experience: such as a major car crash or some form of physical abuse. Even the most innocuous incident, experienced under specific circumstances, can leave an emotional scar that can last a lifetime and affect one’s ability to truly reach one’s goals and fulfill one’s aspirations.

Research has shown that the circumstances most likely to result in long-term emotional scarring are:

  • When the hurt is delivered by a caregiver or someone we are emotionally connected to e.g. Parent, teacher, friend
  • When the recipient is humiliated by the experience
  • When the recipient feels helpless to react or defend themselves
  • When the experience is so bad the recipient ‘freezes’ in the moment

It is often as likely that a throw away remark or a cursory glance, if delivered in the right circumstances and by the right person, will leave a long-lasting emotional scar just as potent but probably less obvious, as a serious accident or abusive childhood. For example, a teacher or parent telling a 10 year old child that “You will never be good at singing” (even just one time), can leave that child growing up with the sincere, and powerful, belief that he or she will never be able to sing. This is even more likely to produce an emotional scar if the remark is made in a situation where others see and hear the criticism, which leads to the child feeling humiliated in front of his or her friends.

How this affects your success

All of these negative experiences and their emotional attachments may adversely impact on our ability to reach our true potential because they can form what I call success inhibitors. Success inhibitors are those unseen but very real inner doubts and insecurities that hold us back when given opportunities to grow and shine. For example, the child who was repeatedly told he or she would never be good at anything may turn down the opportunities to join activities due to the fear of failure or humiliation if they don’t perform well. Later as an adult they may continue to refuse to voluntarily accept projects and responsibilities because the emotional memory from the past (“You will never amount to anything” or “You are useless at everything”) may be triggered resulting in the need to avoid a possible repeat of the original humiliation suffered as a child.

This type of limiting behaviour caused by the unconscious need to avoid repeating a hurt from the past may literally stop, or at the least severely reduce, a persons’ ability to achieve what they want. These success inhibitors, and there may be more than one, can have a severe affect on a persons’ career, and on key work relationships.

Tap the ‘True Potential’ of your team members

Fortunately, the emotionally charged memories that most people carry inside them and which adversely affect daily activities can be resolved with my EFT executive coaching. This emotional resolution frees the individual from the limiting effect of the past negative experience(s) and allows them to achieve more in every area of their life. This of course is good news not just for their families but for their employer and colleagues too as an emotionally balanced person is capable of higher levels of performance and achievement than an emotionally blocked person; and is usually also more positive to work with!

Contact me now to find out how I can help your executive team leaders be even better!

Important: I am always interested in your views so please go ahead and take a moment to leave a comment below.

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