Trauma At Work

Richard ArthurAdvice

This is a much older article from Neil on life….

We all have a “core wound” from our childhood that we can heal to improve our lives and relationships – especially our relationship with ourself.

The first step of doing this is to identify the wound.

One way to do this is to look at our childhood experiences. But another, less obvious way, is to look at our adult outcomes.

Here’s a principle to use to guide you in this: You can tell a trauma is at work when your strategy is producing the exact outcome you’re trying to avoid.

For example…
If you believe that you’re unlovable, and fear ending up alone, you may feel the need to put on a polished false persona…

Because, to you, that strategy seems more likely to get love and approval from others, which helps avoid the outcome of being alone, and proving your core wound (which we can also call a core lie)…

But in the end, even if that works, you still end up feeling lonely and unloved, because people are only approving of your mask, not what’s behind it.

Even more tragic, the mask creates shallow, superficial relationships.

People sense an inauthenticity, and so your mask actually pushes away the potential for deeper love relationships rather than inviting them in.

That’s how someone can be an international rock star, with millions of fans, surrounded by people each day, and still feel desperately alone. Over decades of being a journalist I’ve met plenty of them…

Here’s a more common example of this pattern: In a relationship, someone who’s afraid of abandonment may be constantly needy for reassurance.

They may obsessively try to control or limit their partner’s social life. And, in other moments, they may accuse their partner of lying or cheating.

The net effect of this behavior is that they drive their partner away, whether that means a break up or emotional distancing or the very lying they’re worried about.

When this person fears abandonment utilizes a faulty strategy to prevent abandonment, ends up creating it.

One last example: the person who’s afraid of failing in an artistic or entrepreneurial endeavor might never get their project off the ground because they don’t want to face the chance of failure.

The result of never completing the work: Guaranteed failure

At some point in our lives, the majority of us engage in such counterproductive strategies, as a result of a core wound.

Fortunately, because they follow a distinct pattern, they can often be identified fairly quickly…