Coaching and Rewiring After Trauma with Rebecca Ching

Today’s episode features a conversation with Rebecca Ching. Rebecca is a veteran psychotherapist based in San Diego and has been practicing for over two decades. She is also a leadership coach and has her own podcast, The Unburdened Leader Podcast. 

I’ve been working with Rebecca personally for around two years on trauma-informed leadership and looking at my own trauma and how it shows up in my life. She is a great sounding board and someone I can run my ideas by. I’m excited to chat with her today about the intersection of being human and a business owner. 

Rebecca is a big believer that entrepreneurs get into meaningful work to heal and work through the hard things they’ve experienced. It’s a feeling that you don’t want someone else to experience what you’ve experienced. There are often creative solutions and ideas that come from pain, plus people often have a high capacity for discomfort (especially females.) 

If people struggle with boundaries early on or have a horrible boss or mentor, they learn ways to “suck it up” and push on through. The problem is that it becomes hard to see that energy is draining because it’s become the normal experience. Rebecca views herself as a pattern detector and dot connector and helps people see what they might have overlooked in their own behaviors.

Seeing Gaps and Challenges Led to Making a Change

One reason Rebecca got into coaching and consulting was that she kept seeing people focusing on personal and professional development, but they were getting worse. There was a lack of empathy from the coaches they were working with. It might be partially a generational thing with Gen X and Boomers, but there seems to be some discomfort that can make it difficult to lead and coach others.

Many people manage businesses and households, and it’s a tough balancing act. Working with humans means that things are constantly shifting and changing. Each person is consuming messages about what it means to be successful, but those messages are making us sick at the same time. 

I left my corporate job because of the crazy, unrealistic expectations that were laid out for revenue. The board and investors would get together and decide how much money they want as a return on their investment, which would be handed to the sales director. It’s no wonder it was impossible to keep someone in that role. There was no realistic way to meet the targets that were set. 

When I started my business, I knew I didn’t want to repeat those patterns. But at the same time, the things that define successful businesses are wild revenue numbers. I was surrounded by this message, but I couldn’t be authentic with my values, principles, and beliefs while achieving that. 

Rebecca often hears her clients call themselves lazy, and it’s important to unpack that. Usually, people just rest during the day after working really hard on something or caring for someone in the family. The relationship with rest is broken. People believe slowing down will harm their goals and brand, but it’s so important for our well-being. 

Rich Vs. Wealth

It’s important to understand the difference between the rich and the wealthy. Social media markets richness because you can see it. It’s a yacht in the south of France, Cartier bracelets, or multiple homes. It’s the physical manifestation of wealth, but if you go and do those things, you will not have wealth. Instead, you will have spent your wealth on things. Small business owners need to be focused on sustainability and stability. 

A good example is start-ups. Some people love a good start-up. They love the energy, intensity, and excitement. But then, when it gets up and running, it becomes boring just to maintain and run the business. There’s definitely a niche for that, but if too many people are chasing the novelty and excitement, there’s likely more happening under the surface. It can be a burden to believe that you need to impact millions or make six figures monthly. Business shouldn’t traumatize you. It should be easier on your energy. 

It Takes Rewiring to Be Boring

There is literally a rewiring process that needs to happen in your brain to embrace the ease and the boring things. Many intelligent people feel like they are slacking if their business is easy. It feels like they are doing something wrong. But with reps of rewiring and recalibrating your relationship with rest and play, it’s possible to redefine your relationship with boring. 

Rebecca also works with a lot of people who have faced trauma. Good marketing can hit our pain points and exploit them. We betray ourselves more than we betray anyone. We break our own boundaries before anyone else does. It’s essential to remember that and be open to working through these challenges.

In my business, I work to educate. I don’t want to be involved in situations where I have power over a potential client. I want to build relationships and give people the information to decide. I believe that humans have hesitations and concerns. I don’t want to sell someone something through their resistance. 

Final Thoughts and Advice

Rebecca wants listeners to know that discomfort is not your identity; it’s data. Learn about what brings you discomfort instead of denying or minimizing it. Identify patterns and stay curious! You’re a human in business, so your humanity will impact your business. It’s important to create a business that doesn’t traumatize you. 

There will be seasons, seasons of effort, seasons of hustle, seasons of healing, seasons of slowing down and resting, and seasons of challenges and problems in a business. But when you do have to step into that season of hustle or effort, do it for you. Be hustling for you. And contribute to the greater good when you aren’t stressed out. Connect with Rebecca on her website, www.rebeccaching.com, and on Instagram at @RebeccaChingMFT and listen to the podcast. Share this episode with your friends and anyone you think would find it valuable.