Carolina Chanis

May 5, 2022

How my trauma response has been screwing with my freelance business

I've been freelancing for 8 months now and the #1 struggle I've had is my relationship with time.

I have no problem doing what needs to get done, but doing the things to grow and to develop my ideas is like pulling teeth.

I thought that my genuine excitement would carry me through. When it didn't, I had to dig deeper.

Why am I resisting? Why am I not going all in?

When I started to learn about trauma responses in business, things started to click.

While "making it fun" is an important piece (why would you build a business to be miserable?), it is just as important to make the process safe for your nervous system.

I had no problem giving myself grace and self-compassion as I challenge and change stories I have around money and success.

But, my relationship with time was a constant source of stress that put me in freeze/flight/fawn mode. I told myself so many stories about time and work but what finally clicked for me was understanding the safety piece.

IT IS SAFE TO TAKE MY TIME. IT IS SAFE TO CONNECT. SELF-ACCEPTANCE IS SAFE.

The last two have nothing to do with time per se, but when you feel this way, of course you'll have resistance to show up, day in and day out, especially in the beginning when you have zero guarantees that this is going to work out.

As a result, I squander my time.

This is why I keep dropping the ball on my ideas. I had to do a lot of inner work to just have an online presence. It's going to be the same process as I am in the building phase.

I'm definitely fed up with my start and stop energy, so here's what I am doing to cultivate my internal safety:

  • I am cancelling the Monday coworking sessions and moving them to Tuesday through Thursday. I no longer subscribe to the idea that Mondays must start with a BANG!

  • I decide that those coworking sessions are all I need to build my business. I do not need to be ON 24/7 and losing sleep so the hustle pays off.

  • I am using Friday mornings for skills development. I sort of do this already, but I'd feel guilt because I felt that I wasn't doing enough of the "revenue generating" ideas to say that I "earned" my learning time. This is why I am using constraints to my benefit and deciding that those 6 hours per week are enough. It's my way to keep my workaholic tendencies in check, which is another reason why I start and stop. I work too hard and then I need to take long breaks. This madness ends today!

If anyone wants to join my coworking sessions, send me a DM!

Carolina Chanis

Letting you in on the process of healing from perfectly hidden depression and the courage it takes to create without the torment of the inner critic.

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