Know Thyself: How Highly Sensitive People Can Create A Thriving Entrepreneurial Life

Jan 07, 2018

If you’re a Highly Sensitive person, you’re already experiencing life full 'on'. That also means that you feel the need for passion and purpose in your life a lot more than the average person might. Big things draw you in, like parenthood. And entrepreneurship.

The only trouble is, life on its own can often be a lot for us to manage. Sometimes taking on extra endeavors like having a family or starting a business can take your life from intense to insane.

But trust me: there is room in your Highly Sensitive life for big dreams. I’m proof of that.

I’m a Highly Sensitive person, a mom, AND an entrepreneur. And I’ve managed to be all three for nearly all of my adult life.

Sure, it can be crazy and gut-wrenching at times. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I want to assure you that High Sensitivity doesn’t have to slow you down in any endeavors you wish to pursue, either.

You can take on the biggest of challenges and come out on top. You just need to know yourself first. And from there, create the environment that lets you use your High Sensitivity to thrive rather than to crash.

How do I know this? Experience.

Professionally speaking, I’ve been specializing in High Sensitivity and Giftedness since 2001. But the greater teacher has been my own life.

I had my first burnout when I was 18 years old, yet I managed to bounce back. I took on University and motherhood at the same time and proceeded to fulfill both of those dreams.

Not that I didn't have moments where I cried my eyes out and felt like my soul was dying, of course I did. Multiple times even.

But it turns out that these experiences were the teachers I needed. I learned how to manage High Sensitivity and see it for its gifts, not just for its challenges. I learned about energy healing, mindfulness, hypnotherapy, and psychotherapy, and how all of these modalities benefit people like me. I learned how to create the environment that I needed that would let me thrive while honoring my boundaries.

All of those experiences made me a better entrepreneur as well as a better parent. And I know that what I discovered can make a huge difference for you, too.

Let’s start with a quick recap of what it means to be Highly Sensitive (an extensive blog can be found here).

High Sensitivity is NOT a disorder but an innate trait and 20% of the population is born with this sensitive nervous system. It can’t be fixed, treated, cured, or healed.  ‘Know thyself’ is huge when it comes to living the Highly Sensitive Life because you can only learn to manage it by understanding yourself thoroughly, and not judging yourself for who you are.  Many of us have been hearing things like “you’re too sensitive” or “why do you feel so much?” all of our lives. That can lead to anger, resentment, and frustration as well as make us question our self-worth. 

 A significant  characteristic of Highly Sensitive people is how deeply we process information and stimuli, which often translates into intense emotions, overthinking, and perfectionism. We take all the information and stimuli we collect, and our brains goes wild with it all. One of the more prominent challenges for Highly Sensitive people is dealing with the negative energy of fear and anxiety that results from deep processing (which ultimately leads to also storing it deeply in our system).

So there is the baseline for High Sensitivity. Now let's talk about making the picture a little bit more complex by adding new life situations. Things like family and businesses.

Highly Sensitive people need a lot of alone time to process and restore. But when you become a parent, finding that time gets to be a tall order. Then you add the extra layer of entrepreneurship, and before you know it, you can be swimming in overwhelm.

How do you do the things that you dream about doing--like being a good parent and running your own business--without letting the ups and downs of High Sensitivity burn you out?

 The first step is to KNOW THYSELF. I cannot stress this enough. Knowing your purpose and why you’re doing what you’re doing is paramount for Highly Sensitive people. If you have no idea what excites you and what makes you want to get out of bed in the morning, life becomes a major chore. As Highly Sensitives, we need a purpose and vision. If we don’t feel aligned with what we’re doing, we FEEL it...we know it.

 But if you are entirely in line with who you are and why you’re going after all of these big goals, life can be an exhilarating and passionate experience. All that needs to happen next is setting the boundaries and cultivating the surroundings that will support your vision the most.

 What can you do specifically? Let me share my top four tips to keep your life feeling sane and in the flow, while at the same time moving forward on everything you desire.

 Ask yourself the following questions…

 #1:How many hours of sleep do you need? Lack of sleep is a big deal for everyone, but it’s even a bigger potential stumbling block for Highly Sensitive people. That’s because sleep is the main way we process the stimuli and overwhelm that builds up in our bodies a lot more so than it does in non-sensitives. So getting enough sleep is priority #1. Check out the blog I wrote on this topic for some tips!

 How do you know when you’ve slept enough? You're able to wake up without an alarm clock. If you’re sufficiently rested, waking up should be a natural thing.

Sufficient sleep isn't always an easy task when you're navigating kids, family, and businesses, but it’s a vital consideration. Think about how much work you can realistically get done in your business while maintaining your essential tasks--and work sleep into the equation however it is possible.


#2: Which situations trigger you into overwhelm? This is where self-awareness comes in. What kinds of day-to-day things make you feel stressed and out of control? Remember that we store a lot of energy and stimuli in deep within our systems. And because of this, when we fall into overwhelm, pain is often not that far behind. That’s why you see a lot of of health issues in the Highly Sensitive communities like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

What do you do to keep overwhelm from taking charge? One way is to allow a lot of recovery time in between big tasks. This means having time on your daily schedule to decompress in between projects, activities, clients, or whatever tasks fill your day.

 Focus on your most pressing tasks, but give yourself adequate recovery time.


#3: What are your constraints of reality? If you run your own business and you have children, let’s be honest. You’re not likely to have significant chunks of free time. And you know what? That’s OK. Don’t fight that reality--just work with it.

 For example, let’s say that you only have between 9 AM and 12 PM to accomplish the majority of your business tasks every day. Use that time for the deep work rather than doing the laundry or the grocery shopping. Making efficient use of your time is essential when your time is limited.

Luckily, working deeply and efficiently is one thing that Highly Sensitive people do well naturally, so this works in your favor!

Be honest about the amount of time that you have to work, and make the most of it. And save the grocery shopping, housekeeping, and everyday errands for later when the best of your focus is not needed.


#4: What feeds your soul, and what drains it? This goes back to knowing what you can and cannot tolerate. Do what you can to avoid circumstances that consume you, and focus as much as you can on the things that lift your spirits.

Of course, that might seem like obvious advice that applies to everyone. But recall that as a Highly Sensitive person, you respond more keenly to all kinds of stimuli. That makes it all the more important to see that the majority of the energy that you allow into your world is positive.

 Of course, life is what it is, and some circumstances are unavoidable. The best way to keep the "necessary evils" from dragging you down is to incorporate extra recovery time for yourself, if at all possible.


How well do you know yourself? The more honest you can be about your limitations and your needs, the better you can maximize your chances of living a vibrantly sensitive life. Use these questions to take inventory of your life. Then create a routine that lets you thrive on your terms.

Most of all, be brave. Have the courage to say what does and does not work for you, and stick to your terms. Boundaries are essential when creating a life that meets your sensitive needs.

After all, YOU are your business. You’re the parent and your children depend on you. Life becomes a lot easier when you know what you need, play to your strengths, and create a world that allows you to shine.

Everyone benefits. Your business, your family, and most of all, YOU.

Join me for my next blog where I'll show you how to create a routine that will nourish and sustain you! I'm going to be sharing the specific tips and tricks that I use to support my Vibrant Sensitive life, and I am sure they'll work wonders for you, too!


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