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CEOs and Early Trauma: How Your Early Experiences Could Affect Your Business

CEOs and Early Trauma: How Your Early Experiences Could Affect Your Business

Whether we like to admit it or not, we’re all human. CEOs are just as susceptible to trauma, substance abuse, and mental illness as anyone else – in fact, they may be more likely, considering the significant amount of pressure they experience on a daily basis. We cannot control our experiences in childhood, and unfortunate traumatic experiences do shape the way we perceive ourselves, others, and the world at large. If you’ve been affected by a traumatic incident during your younger years, it’s important to consider how this has shaped your decision-making in your own business today – if you haven’t sought treatment to heal from traumatic events, your company’s success could be at jeopardy.

What many people don’t realize is that the stress from traumatic events in early childhood can bleed out into other areas of life, not just one’s personal life. A 2017 article published by the London School of Economics suggests that even experiencing a natural disaster during one’s early years could affect a CEO’s comfortability with financial risk taking; the authors determined that natural disaster exposure could actually give future CEOs direct experience with risky situations, making them more confident in firm risk. As stated by Forbes Magazine, if early exposure to trauma is something other than natural disaster-related causes, the business industry itself could make it difficult for a person to heal appropriately:

  • Constant competition can be wearying
  • Heavy workflow can make it difficult to focus on simple things needed for healing and restoration
  • Detachment from your “former” self could make it more difficult for you to contemplate your own self-identity
  • If you’ve grown up with wealth, it may be very difficult for you to navigate disparities, thus placing you at a disadvantage in terms of mental health
  • The industry can be quite unrelenting, often with no compassion for those who are struggling with mental illness
  • Whether due to the traumatic incident or because you have not properly sought treatment to move past it, your values may change over time (and not always for the better)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects approximately 5.2 million people each year, and CEOs are not exempt from this. Early traumatic experiences can shape a person’s decisions, including the ones they make within their company. If you haven’t been able to heal from your past, it’s time to seek treatment, today.

If you haven’t already, speak with someone from a professional treatment center to learn more about programs to best suit your needs. Optimal recovery is possible, and you are not alone in your pursuit for happiness, health, and wellbeing.

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