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  • Writer's pictureRenikko Bivens

5 Ways That Unhealed Trauma Hijacks Your Calling

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

Unhealed Trauma

While we each have a special purpose in life, unresolved soul wounds from our past can hinder our ability to fulfill that purpose. When we haven’t made time to address those issues, we allow them to fester and prevent us from moving forward with our goals. Soul wounds are just a spiritual way of explaining the traumas that people have experienced in their lives. Those traumas have long-lasting effects on a person, influencing their outlook, feelings, and actions, making it difficult for them to live up to their potential. Unresolved trauma can invade a person’s sense of purpose, resulting in insecurity, fear of failure, a skewed sense of self, emotional outbursts and anxiety, and stifled creativity. This article will explore how unresolved trauma can keep you from following your God-given calling.

#1 Self-Doubt and Insecurity

The first way that unhealed trauma can interfere with your calling is through self-doubt and insecurity. Traumatic experiences can shake a person’s self-confidence and belief in their abilities, and they may question their value. A lack of confidence can keep a person from following their passion. They may doubt their abilities and decide against pursuing their dreams. Constant self-criticism and negative self-talk can create a self-fulfilling prophecy in which the individual’s self-doubt prevents them from taking the steps necessary to achieve their goals. Loss of trust in oneself, others, and the world is a common outcome of traumatic experiences. They might have trouble believing in their judgment and skills, which can cause them to feel insecure and unsure of themselves. These insecurities will undoubtedly spill over into your perception of how God views you. It will cause you to project your self-confidence issues onto God, and you will believe that how you feel about yourself is also how He thinks about you. We forget God knew all about our shortcomings before he called us.

#2 Fear of Failure

The second way unresolved trauma can take over your life’s purpose is by making you afraid to try new things. Fear of rejection and failure can develop after a traumatic experience because of the person’s increased sense of helplessness and vulnerability. This apprehension can be so debilitating that it causes them to stop trying to achieve anything. They might give up before they even try because they think failure will prove how inadequate and unworthy they are. As a result, they may be unwilling to take risks and make the courageous decisions necessary to discover their calling. On the flip side, those who have been traumatized may adopt a perfectionist outlook to reclaim their lives. Some people may feel they have to be perfect to prevent further hurt or bad things from happening to them. They may worry that they won’t succeed, and their anxieties about making a mistake or failing stem from believing that they aren’t good enough, leading to an insane cycle of self-doubt.

#3 Distorted Sense of Identity

A distorted sense of identity, identity confusion, is the third-way unhealed trauma can interfere with your calling. One’s sense of self can become shattered when they experience trauma and become emotionally, mentally, and experientially dissociated from their previous state of wholeness. A false perception of who they are can hinder an individual’s ability to know themselves and their goals in life. Their inability to articulate their core beliefs and goals may leave them feeling aimless and confused. The cloudiness of their calling can make it hard for them to move forward with conviction and assurance. The victim of a traumatic event may blame themselves for the unfortunate circumstances, even if they had nothing to do with the incident. By constantly finding fault with themselves, people can develop a skewed sense of self-worth, believing they are bad people who don’t deserve happiness.

#4 Emotional Outbursts and Anxiety

Overreactions and anxiety are the fourth ways unresolved trauma can derail your life’s purpose. Emotional dysregulation and severe mood swings can develop because of trauma-induced chronic stress and anxiety. Because of the uncertainty and confusion resulting from emotional turmoil, a person may struggle to concentrate on their goals and remain on course. This can leave them feeling helpless and unable to control their emotions, which can then lead to destructive episodes that do even more damage to their self-esteem and sense of direction.

#5 Suppressed Creativity

Sacrificing your ability to be creative is the fifth-way unresolved trauma can derail your life’s purpose. The inhibition and self-censorship brought on by trauma can cause a person to stifle their creativity and imagination. Suppression can prevent people from pursuing their interests and passions, leaving them dissatisfied and disengaged. They may be hesitant to take the kinds of creative risks that could lead to breakthroughs and success because of their fear of expression and the accompanying self-doubt.

Conclusion: Healing the Trauma

Were you able to identify with any of these five trauma-related purpose-killers? If so, it’s time to focus on recovery; lingering emotional wounds can hinder success in many areas of life. Trauma can erode self-assurance, self-esteem, and a sense of purpose in various ways, including fear of failure, identity confusion, emotional outbursts and anxiety, and the stifling of creativity. If you or someone you know is struggling with the aftereffects of trauma, it is essential that you get the guidance and support you need from a trusted pastor or other mental health professionals.

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