Aug. 4, 2021

E94 How to Overcome Trauma | CPTSD and Trauma Healing Coach

In this episode, I talk about something practical today that I believe you're going to carry with you in your life and talk about the five steps to healing and how to overcome trauma.
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In this episode, I talk about something practical today that I believe you're going to carry with you in your life and talk about the five steps to healing and how to overcome trauma.

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Hey! What's up, my friends! Michael here. Hope that you're having an amazing day wherever you are in the world, super excited to be with you here again today.

I was thinking about like; how do you like really overcome trauma? How do you really truly overcome trauma? And to be honest with you, I think that it's a journey and it requires a tremendous amount of patienceand I talk about this all the time, but I want to give you something practical today here that I believe that you're going to be able to carry with you in your life.

And so I was thinking about, like, if I broke down this process in the like five steps, what would it look like? What would be the 5 steps to healing and overcoming trauma? And so, I'm going to walk through this with you in a way that I think will help you understand this journey a little bit more in-depth.

So step one if I were to label it would start with acknowledgment and acknowledgment is a word that I've used quite a few times over the course of this podcast and Think Unbroken, and with my clients and, you know, even if you see me posting on social media and acknowledgment is really powerful because what it does, is it gives you the ability to step into creating a framework of understanding with yourself,that something has happened.

And I want to be clear, acknowledgment is not the same as culpability acknowledgment as about looking at your life, looking at the things that have happened to you and saying; ‘Yes, those happen. Yes, I have these bad things occur in my life. Yes, I was abused or I had this kind of trauma, whatever that thing maybe.’ Culpability, on the other hand, is the responsibility and I tell people all the time and you probably see this all over social media and you read it in books that you're not responsible for the things that happened to you in your childhood.

You're not responsible for the abuse, you're not responsible for neglectful parents or a community that doesn't support you and take care of you and that is true, you are not culpable for the things that happen to you.

So, what role does acknowledgment really play in an acknowledgment is about looking at life saying yes, this happened to me and within the context of that, giving yourself space and grace, and freedom, to start doing the work,because if you don't acknowledge that something has happened, how do you look at it directly to create change around it, right? It's like if you think about this if you just sweep the dust under the carpet, the dust still going to be there and you would have done nothing with it but by acknowledging and I'm looking at, and not pretending that it isn't there that it doesn't exist. Well, you go to the closet, you grab the broom and the dustpan, you sweep it up and you put it in the trash where it needs to go. I think about that in regard to trauma, think about it in regard to this journey and someone asked me like what was the most important first thing that I've done in my own personal journey and it was just acknowledging bad things that happen, you know, I can look at my hand and if you're watching on video, you might my mother cut my finger off and I would pretend that didn't happen, I would pretend that wasn't real, I'd pretend that it didn't bother me. That would sweep it under the rug, I'll go, oh no, that it doesn't matter that happen. When in fact, it does, because the thing we understand is that we are the sum total of all of our experiences in life. So of course, it would make sense that we'd be impacted by the bad things that happen. We're also impacted by the good things that happen, we're just more likely to acknowledge the good things because they're good things, and so when you acknowledge the fact that something bad has happened to what you're able to do is step into.

What I'll call step two, and that is CHOICE.

So now you've looked at the dust on the floor and you're like, okay, what am I going to do about this? I'm going to sweep it under the rug, or am I going to do the thing that I should be doing with my life? And grab the dustpan, and the broom and sweep it up and put it in the trash?

And in choice comes the ability to start thinking about what it is that you want out of your life, what it is that you want to do with that? I think subconsciously, we all kind of know. Well, when you come from a traumatic background and you need to continue to move forward in life, the thing that you need to do is to make a choice about what's next, often, we don't because multiple reasons one in part is, I think that many people are scared of the potential that they have in their life on the backside of doing the work, and the other part of it is, they're afraid that they're going to make the wrong decision. And so when you contemplate, this idea of choice, you kind of way counterweigh and balance the potential versus what could happen. And in that, one of the things that happen is you put yourself into this place of basically, here's what I think about when you're faced with the choice, when you're faced with something in front of you and you have to make a decision, that's the way that you create change.You make this decision, it might be something we call contemplation, and then through contemplation real growth happens as you step into action.

And so contemplation is really important in this journey because I think especially if you've come from trauma and my experience was this was I needed to weigh the options, I needed to understand whether it was going to therapy or group therapy or not drinking or, you know, going getting in shape, whatever that thing was. Also, the books that I was reading the education, I was getting the coaches, I was working with, I was always thinking about, like, well, what happens on the backside?  Well, part of the issue of choice, while it is important it helps create a context for what's next is that without action choices pointless, you can't think your way you can't just contemplate your way into what's next in life.

And so that's step three. You have to take action and the action around the choices that you make is everything.

And one of the things that you have to think about in the actions that you make is asking yourself, why am I doing this? Talk about intention all the time to put life into perspective, you have to really understand the intent behind everything that you're doing, how are you showing up? Why are you showing up that way? What are you trying to accomplish? Where do you want to go? And my journey early on, I looked at, I'm gonna pack up my life, I'm going to travel the world, I'm going to go see certain therapist, I'm going to go see certain specialist, I'm going to get educated by people like Pete Walker and Bustle Vendor Caulk around the trauma of business coaches, I'm gonna have life coaches, I'm gonna have, you know, all these things. The action was always about making my life better, trying to remove the impact of trauma. And again, I've said this before, I don't know that ever goes away, I still have my systems, my processes, I still have my daily routines, I still do the things that I need to do to create the life that I want to have because I'm not there yet. I still am not, and to be honest with you, I don't know that I'll ever be exactly in the place that I want to be in life, because I'm always trying to go to what's ahead to what's next, not in a way that I'm not appreciating the present moment and indulging in it, definitely at times, but more so trying to move towards these big dreams goals, and ambitions that I have.

And so the actions that I take are always intentional and they're always about moving me forward to what's next. So when you're contemplating and you're moving into action and now you're actually making change happen in your life. That's where I believe that the biggest aspects of growth happen in your trauma recovery.Why? Because you're starting to understand yourself in a different way, you're starting to do things differently, you're starting to move towards, your wants, needs, and interest. You're creating this framework for the life that you want on your terms. That's the key to what I believe action is inhaling traumas, making your life on your term. And in doing so those actions will help propel you forward will help you create this framework for understanding who it is that you want to be, who it is that you are, who it is that you believe you're capable of being. And in that one of the things about acting is you're always challenging yourself because challenging yourself in this is so important, you have to and this can be hard to understand until you really start to do it. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and you hear this all the time but in a practical way, the only way you get uncomfortable is by making actions in your life that make you uncomfortablein this means doing things outside of your norm so that you can discover something new about yourself because that is the place in which life creates a shift, you start to understand something new about yourself through the things that you're doing, based on the choices that you made that began with acknowledging that you needed to make a change, to begin with.

And then step four, MOMENTUM.

And I've talked about this a few times, especially recently, because it's really hitting home to me how important momentum is in this journey and momentum is about continuing to show up for yourself day in and day out through the hard days, through the easy days, in-between days. Momentum is about continuing to make the right choices, decisions, and actions based on what you need for yourself every single day.This morning, I woke up and I was like, man, I'm just going to take the whole day off, I'm not going to do anything. I had this moment of looking at this idea that man, I'm exhausted, and what I recognize this morning was like I wasn't actually exhausted, I was procrastinating and so what I have to do I did think about, okay, well if I procrastinate today I've done all this work. I've done all these things leading up to this moment and if I don't continue to go forward, I'm going to lose my momentum. If I lose my momentum, what's going to happen is I'm going to fall off-kilter, now if I fall off-kilter what's going to happen, I'm going to go to that place we call the vortex, and then if I am at vortex then I'm going to rewind all the blah blah blah blah blah right? And then becomes a spiral and so I had to sit on it and I thought for a moment, okay what do I need to do? What is the one action that I need to take right now at this moment to continue to have momentum? And then I did that thing and that's what this journey is really about in those moments in which you want to quit when you don't want to do it anymore, where it's hard, where you're questioning, am I really tired or my procrastinating and you start to ask yourself what's really going on and you create action, then you continue to have momentum.

So in those times when you are like, I just don't want to do this and you have clarity about it because you've acknowledged how you've gotten to that moment and you look at it and go, okay, actually, what's happening it's not that I need a day off. It's actually that I'm procrastinating, right? Which does happen happens to me all the time but in that, I'm going, okay, I'm going to take action anyway so I can continue to have this momentum so that the next time that I hit this wall of, I am, I procrastinating or I'm tired. I'm going to ask myself the question and if I'm truly tired, I will take the day off, right? I think that's the part of the momentum, you have to stop things that are not bringing value to your life, and then, if I'm not tired and I'm like, I'm actually, I'm just procrastinating or I'm just afraid of the challenge or I'm not doing the thing because of pressure whatever, then I just force myself to do it anyway because momentum is so important.

And this isn't about not letting off the gas because I don't think that's the context here. It's really about, can you continue to move forward every little every single day by taking actions that make your life better, and the more that you do that the further along you will progress and it's a process, and this is why part five is patience.

Patience is everything and I know you guys have heard me say this a million times, but it truly is everything you have to be patient in this journey because you're going to have days like I had today. You might be having that day right now we're like I just don't even know, I don't know what I'm doing, I don't know why I'm bothering blah, blah blah, right? We all have the story and then when you start to look at the reason why you're taking the action because of the choices that you've made in the acknowledgments that you have and then you understand the patient.

Ok. I’m gonna give myself a bit of grace here, I'm going to give myself space to just sit with this for a moment and it could be something simple from an analogy perspective of going to the gym, right? This is low-hanging fruit, this is an easy conversation that I think anyone can understand right now.

Well, you have a moment of choice between like, waking up, looking at your shoes, and then putting them on and going down to the gym, to do the workout, and in that space is a perfect place to apply grace, to be patient with yourself about what's happening, where you're in this place of, you could call it self sabotage, you can call it not showing up for yourself, you can call it whatever you want. And in that, asking yourself, well, what life is it that I want to have? And what does it take for me to get there to have that life? I think from a perspective of healing trauma in this journey, you'll never do one course, you'll never read one book, you'll never go to one therapy session, you'll never listen to one podcast and your life will be different. It just doesn't work that way, like I've said before, there's no Disney moment, it doesn't exist, but through momentum, you create this massive change,but momentum requires patience because it's going to take a long time to get to that place where you finally have, what I think about and healing trauma, what I think about that moment of overcoming is this word peace. Can I get to peace in my life and my definition, and you'll need to figure this out for yourself, but my definition for peace is I'm living life on my terms every single day and every single moment and you'll battle with yourself, you're going to have the back and forth. It's a part of the human experience, but can you move towards that as much as humanly possible, every single day, knowing that on a long enough timeline, you can have the life that you want to have.

That may mean a lot of therapy, that may mean a lot of journaling, a lot of yoga may take you seven years, 12 years, 25 years, I don't know because it's going to be different for everyone, but can you define for yourself what it means to overcome trauma? To have that moment for yourself where you can feel at ease, where you can feel like life is on your terms.

But the only way that“I believe that you get there is through acknowledgment,choice, action, momentum, and patience.”

 So something for you to think about my friend.

Thank you so much, as usual for being here for listening to the podcast, for all of the comments, for all of the reviews, it means the world to me.

I read the reviews all the time, so please leave one, it means the world to me, helps me know why I do this, every single day.

I appreciate you.

Please, like, subscribe, comment, share with a friend.

And until next time.

My friend, Be Unbroken.

-I'll see you.


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Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.