How Childhood Trauma Affects High Achievers: Understanding the Link Part 2
High achievers strive for excellence and success in all areas of their life. And while society admires high achievers for their drive and discipline, they often struggle with their mental health, especially if they have unresolved childhood trauma.
My clients, who are high achievers, often seek therapy first for burnout. Specifically, the emotional dysregulation that affects their careers and relationships.
In the previous blog post, I elaborate on how childhood trauma affects high achievers. In this blog, I will introduce the skills that help high achievers address the stress and emotional dysregulation that are often consequences of childhood trauma.
High achievers with unresolved childhood trauma often avoid their emotions by staying busy. But, unfortunately, avoiding feelings makes emotional dysregulation worse. On the other hand, practicing mindfulness skills helps high achievers build self-awareness. Specifically, mindfulness skills help high achievers focus on the present and notice how they feel. Learning mindfulness skills also increases one's self-understanding and compassion, which helps with overall stress relief and self-care.
Distress Tolerance skills
When high achievers with unresolved childhood trauma experience emotions, they often feel intense and uncomfortable. Outthinking these intense feelings doesn't work. Instead, clients need to learn distress tolerance skills to reduce their misery and help resist the urge to overreact. By learning distress tolerance skills, high achievers can lower their stress response using their bodies until they can think more clearly. Distress tolerance helps clients comfort themselves until a moment of intensity passes.
High achievers with unresolved childhood trauma often don't have healthy boundaries. Instead, they display people-pleasing behavior and often grew up in families where they felt responsible for their parent's feelings. Interpersonal skills teach the importance of boundaries and how to communicate them to others. My clients who practice interpersonal skills find that their self-respect improves significantly over time. They also feel more connection and trust with others.
Emotional regulation skills
High achievers with unresolved childhood trauma often grow up with many myths about emotions. As a result, they think their thoughts and feelings don't matter. And they feel there's something wrong with them, especially when their feelings get more robust and are harder to avoid. Emotional regulation skills help high achievers with unresolved trauma get comfortable with feeling emotions daily. By practicing exploring and identifying a wide range of emotions, they learn when an emotion makes sense and when it doesn't. As a result, they can accept reality and use problem-solving skills so that emotions no longer become a stuck point but a resource they can trust.
Don't look for achievement as a way to prove self-worth. Understanding the role of unresolved childhood trauma in making striving for achievement so enticing is essential. Childhood trauma skews your perspective and leaves you insecure. Fortunately, you already have self-worth and can live accordingly. There's fulfillment in feeling your emotion and knowing how to act on them. There's also fulfillment in learning to take care of yourself and feeling good about yourself regardless of your success level.
Begin Therapy in Mahomet, IL
If you're a high achiever struggling with emotional regulation and ready to recover from burnout, therapy can help. Like Lekko can help equip you with the tools to work through past pain. Together, you can build more self-compassion and receive the support you deserve. Text or call to schedule your therapy appointment today. To start working with a therapist in Illinois just follow these simple steps.
- Take the step by calling or texting 217-402-7817
- Schedule your first appointment at my Illinois-based practice to address overworking
- Start coping with unresolved trauma in healthier ways
Other Services Offered with Live Lekko
I offer a variety of services to provide you with mental health support. My services include counseling for women and grief and loss counseling. I also offer counseling for people-pleasing and therapy for childhood emotional neglect. Whether you are in Peoria, Springfield, Mahomet, or somewhere in between in Illinois I can help with teletherapy. Feel free to visit my blog for more helpful information.