Recent winner of an International Business Excellence Award for Best Coaching and Training Company in West Midlands, NLP Trainer, personal development expert, and mindset coach for Boss Babe Inc., Ayódele O Kolade, outlines below why it is so important for business owners and entrepreneurs to place importance on doing the inner-work.

At the end of the day, we are people first, and our businesses are an extension of us. Whatever has happened to us in the past, whether physical or emotional trauma, impacts our present if we have not learnt to embrace the lessons and let go of the pain and trauma from the past. We know that unhealed trauma impacts every facet of our personal lives, but somehow, many entrepreneurs overlook the fact that those past experiences have the power to not only continue to negatively impact their personal lives, but also negatively impact their businesses too.

When we are open to doing the inner work, we allow ourselves to identify the blockages and limitations that keep us stagnant and prevent us from fully actualising our greatness. Once we learn to see and identify these things, as well as ensuring we have the support to swiftly move through them, with self-compassion, deep self-awareness and understanding, the possibility for us to really step into our greatness is presented, and so much more than we ever dreamed possible now comes into view.

I speak not only from my work with clients, but from my own personal experience. I spent most of my life in a very dark place both mentally and emotionally. Experiencing a very traumatic childhood, which seeped into adulthood and I suffered from clinical depression from at least the age of 5. I know just how painful life can be for some, experiencing constant self-loathing, low self-esteem, limiting beliefs keeping me from moving forward, imposter syndrome, self-sabotage and fear of showing up. The list goes on.

As a child my dream was to help others by being a doctor, but due to experiencing a significant trauma at the age of 15, I developed an extreme fear of blood.  At the time I didn’t have the skills or resources that I have now to have been able to overcome that fear. With becoming a doctor no longer a possibility, I had to re-evaluate my future and figure out how else I could help people. I realised that through my experiences, I was in a position to help others overcome the adversity and challenges they had faced in their lives – but I had to learn to overcome my own challenges first.  

After battling with clinical depression for the majority of my life, I eventually learnt the methodologies I now use in my work and was able to heal from my past. I learnt that working to overcome and truly resolve our past trauma and pain has the ability to aid us in showing up as our true selves in all of our radiant light. As entrepreneurs and business owners, we can get so fixated on making sure our business has steady cash flow, that we’re on top of the marketing and online presence, and so many other things that keep the business working and generating money, that the one thing that really requires our attention in order to flourish and grow both personally and professionally, often gets ignored and put on the back burner – ourselves and our wellbeing.

Mindset is everything when it comes to being successful. However, a commitment to healing from our past is also crucial if we want to be in alignment with our highest selves. As a business owner and entrepreneur, you are an extension of your business or businesses, and your business cannot perform at its best if the traumas and hurts you have been through continue to haunt and plague your thoughts, creating limitations of self-doubt, negative and hyper-critical thinking and self-judgement, comparing yourself to others and fear of failure.

Sometimes I do still wonder what my life would have been like without the traumas I have been through and where I would be now, perhaps living my life as a doctor and saving lives. The truth is, however, that life unfolds as it is supposed to and I’m still saving lives, just in a different way. It is up to you to write your own story, and it all starts by being open to doing inner-work.

To learn more from Ayódele, follow her on Instagram or YouTube for daily doses of inspiration. If you would like to work with her on your inner-work journey, you can check out The EMC² Personal Mastery Transformation Programme® here.