Betrayal impacts us physically, mentally and emotionally. While it can shatter life as we’ve known it, causing us to pull ourselves out of a dark place we never expected to find ourselves, it directly affects our health, our work, and our relationships.

We can see how that unhealed betrayal has shaken our confidence, prevents us from trusting easily, and has us feeling anxious and exhausted. But, did you know that it’s directly impacting your work and finances too? And we’re not just talking about a recent betrayal either. I’ve done the study and have the proof. The impact from that unhealed betrayal (even if it happened decades ago) can be directly impacting your work and finances now.

It’s common to think that a betrayal of a family member, partner, friend, or coworker impacts us personally. Here are seven ways that your unhealed betrayal is impacting you professionally as well.

1: Confidence. Think about it, a betrayal shatters our confidence. One minute we can feel safe and secure then a painful discovery of betrayal can shatter that sense of safety in an instant. Think about how that impacts your business if confidence is shattered. How comfortable are you asking for the sale, asking for the raise, introducing yourself at a networking event, or making a call to someone you’re hoping to collaborate with? Confidence is crucial in business and without it, it’s really challenging to convey your message in a way that you want it to come across.

2: An unhealed betrayal dramatically impacts your health and level of energy. Once the stress response is ignited from this type of pain, you’re headed for just about every single stress-related symptom, illness, condition, disease. Some of the most common symptoms left in the wake of a betrayal are digestive issues, and by that, I mean anything from Crohn’s, IBS, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, bloating…you name it. Extreme exhaustion, brain fog, mental confusion, insomnia, anxiety, sadness, anger and depression too. That’s just to name a few. So, managing these symptoms while managing your business, in addition to any other responsibilities you may have like raising your kids, running your household, or taking care of elderly parents, can make running a thriving business nearly impossible.

3: Body. One of the most common physical symptoms of an unhealed betrayal is weight change. We’ve had about 95,000 people take the Post Betrayal Syndrome quiz to see to what extent they’re struggling, and 47% of them have weight changes. In the very beginning, maybe they can’t hold food down. Later on, they may be using food for comfort. So, while immediately after that painful discovery, it may be impossible to hold food down, after that you’re using food as the way to soothe, calm, numb, relax. It’s a way to self-medicate from the pain that the betrayal created. The stress alone can drive fat storage, particularly around your midsection. So, think about doing videos, speaking, networking, or any other aspect of your business that requires you to be seen. Not feeling comfortable in your own skin means you’re not putting yourself out there the way you need to, and it’s affecting the amount of people who know about you and what you do.

4: Self-esteem. A betrayal shatters our self-esteem, along with our sense of worthiness. Because betrayal feels so intentional, we take it so personally. So, this direct hit has us questioning our very worth. So, imagine how that impacts your business. If you don’t feel a profound sense of worthiness, it shows in the way you speak and communicate what you do and who you serve. And if you don’t believe in yourself, how can anyone else? This directly impacts how many people are convinced that you are the one that can help them in the very specific way they need. Without your own conviction, how can anyone else feel confident that you can help them?

5: Ability to trust. One of the most profound implications of a betrayal is the shattering of trust. After we’ve been betrayed, we don’t trust in others and we hardly trust ourselves. We question ourselves asking: “How did I not know this?” “How could I be so blind?” “How did I not see this coming?” So, think about it, when we don’t trust ourselves, we don’t trust in our decisions, and we don’t trust in our own judgment. This makes it challenging to know if we’re making healthy or unhealthy business decisions. We also lose our trust in others, so we’re afraid to be a team player, do joint venture or collaborative projects and we question: “If the person I trusted the most proved untrustworthy, how can I trust that boss/collaborative partner/JV partner If I don’t know them nearly as well?”

6: Beliefs. Your belief system is formed by the repetition of something someone said enough times that eventually, it became your belief. It doesn’t make it right, it doesn’t make it true. It doesn’t make it anything…but yours. Over time, that repetition of that idea makes it your belief. If you’ve been betrayed, this breaking of the spoken or unspoken message often leaves us with the belief that we’re not valued, not good enough, not capable enough, lovable enough, just plain enough. And, we have between 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day, with about 80% of those thoughts being negative. Imagine how a negative belief is affecting you. From the thoughts you think to the actions you take, if your beliefs have you feeling you’re unworthy, undeserving or lacking in some way, how is that impacting the way you speak with prospects or the way you’re getting your message out to others?

7: Finances. When you add up all of the ways that an unhealed betrayal impacts you physically, mentally and emotionally, it’s so easy to see how it’s going to affect just about every area of life both personally and professionally. It impacts your performance, your ability to convey your message with conviction and confidence, the energy you have to convey that message, the way you look and feel, and ultimately, your finances.

Awareness is the first step towards making changes, and the gift in a traumatic experience, (yes I said gift) is that transformation-you becoming a healthy, healed, whole and completely upgraded version of you– is waiting on the other side of your trauma. That version never would have emerged had it not be from the experience.

The worst of it happened already. You owe it to yourself to use the experience as the catalyst to become more confident, healthy, healed, whole and happy. When you do, that’s trauma well served.

So take a look at your business, or how you’re showing up at work, and see how your betrayal (even if it happened decades ago) is impacting you today. Is it showing itself in your confidence, in your health, in the way you put yourself out there? Is it showing itself in those stress-related symptoms, illnesses, conditions, even disease? How would your career look if you had more energy, confidence or trust in others?

The good news is, you can heal from all of it when you move through the proven and predictable Five Stages from Betrayal to Breakthrough (out of the 5 Stages, most people get to and stay stuck in Stage 3). Betrayal doesn’t have to define you and it doesn’t have to leave you settling in any area. It can be the launchpad for unimaginable success in the areas most important to you. Healing and transformation is waiting for you, whenever you decide you’re ready.

Dr. Debi
Founder and CEO, The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute

313: How to release fear of betrayal W / Kate Semeniuk