"You’re far too sensitive, you have to learn to shield yourself more"
"You shouldn’t take everything to heart"
"You really need to develop a thicker skin"
"Don’t get so worked up about it, just let it go"
When I was growing up I often got told, by my parents and my teachers, that I was too sensitive. They told me I shouldn't take everything so seriously and that I needed to grow a thicker skin. They also told me not to take everything so personally and that I had to learn to let things go.
In hearing those words I create this story that I am not good enough and that there is something wrong with me, that I am weird or strange. I decided to suppress my sensitivity and to survive through my powers of reasoning to prove that I am a normal person just like everybody else so that I could get their approval and their love. I forced myself to be big and strong and to show a brace face to the outside world and to do what was expected of me.
When it all fell apart...
I am 32 years old and I am working as a project manager for this IT company. The company is struggling and as a result I am under a lot of pressure to make the project succeed. The customer is difficult, my boss is not giving me the support I need and I am responsible for my team and things are not running smoothly.
At the same time my boyfriend of 7 years ends our relationship totally unexpected. There were no warning signs, we did not even have a fight. One night after watching a movie he just stands up and tells me that he no longer wants to be with me and that I have to move out by the end of the week.
Consequently, I end up in a severe burnout and totally loose contact with myself. It feels like my reasoning and my feelings are no longer in touch and definitely not communicating with each other. Being able to think things through intellectually is no problem at all, but when it comes to my feelings, I just can’t keep up anymore.
O no, what now...
I suddenly have all these emotions I don't know how to handle. I cannot stop crying and I am so so tired and all I can think is “Why is this happening to me, I work so hard and I am a good person.”
During this time my boss tells me that he thinks I am an HSP, because his wife is one and he recognizes a lot of her in me. I did not know what he meant with “HSP” and I thought maybe he was calling me a name, because he was disappointed in me for failing and ending up in that burnout.
I thought “How am I ever going to get out of this burnout. How am I ever going to feel like myself again.” But also “What am I going to do with my life and who am I really?”.
I recognize so much!
But the term HSP stuck with me and one day I decide to google it. Boy did that open up a whole new world to me,
I recognize so much!
Hungry I read every book I can find on High Sensitivity and I become a member of all the fora I can find about high sensitivity too.
I am not weird, I am not strange, there is nothing wrong with me and, most of all: there are other people like me!! It really felt like coming home to myself and the more I read, the more I understand myself and the more insight I get into my own user manual.
I feel whole again
And while reading and learning, the process suddenly takes me back to my childhood and the things people told me. I now understand that they told me those things to help me, because they love me and want the best for me. They care so much that they want to shield me form the pitfalls of being highly sensitive and they want to make life easier for me.
Little by little, bit by bit I start to allow my sensitivity back into my life. And, finally, I feel whole again. My head and my heart have found each other again and I realize that it is OK to be me, sensitive and all.
I'm glad I ended up in that burnout
Looking back I am glad I ended up in that burnout. It forced me to take a good look at myself. It taught me to stay in touch with my own body more. To pay attention to the messages my body sends me AND to do something with them.
I know now that I can trust my body and my intuition, I know now how to protect myself and my energy and I know now how to feel my boundaries and how to guard them.
From that moment on, I honor my sensitive side because of the beautiful things it brings me. I know that you too will appreciate these beautiful aspects of being highly sensitive: Compassion, deep intuition, authenticity, empathy and the ability to heal.
I now also know how to handle the 'Achilles heel of high sensitivity', such as being discouraged easily, taking things personal, being overwhelmed easily, having a hard time setting boundaries, feeling tired or tense.
I take charge of my inner self and embrace my sensitivity
The moment I take charge of my inner self, I realize that the only reason I have never accomplished what I wanted in life was because I never fully use my high sensitive gift. By not fully embracing my sensitivity, I am actually sabotaging myself over and over again.
That realization, that was the moment I not only decide to embrace my high sensitivity completely, but I also decide to start my own company! A dream I have for a very long time, but one I keep on postponing.
In hindsight, because I did not have enough confidence in myself. And because it is scary to step outside of your comfort-zone. And because it seems safe to keep working for a boss.
But I do not regret for even a moment having taken that step to start for myself. On the contrary, I am happier now than ever, now that I finally have my own company. And this feeling, this is what I want for you too!
You are never to old to learn
I won't lie to you. Having your own company is hard. There is a lot to take into account. Especially when you do everything by yourself, like me.
You need to learn a lot of skills. Not just in your area of expertise, but also about how to be a successful entrepreneur, how to do your marketing, do your bookkeeping and so on.
But we highly sensitive entrepreneurs also need to learn how to protect ourselves and our energy. Especially when we work with other people and are for instance a coach, therapist, teacher etc.
But especially as a sensitive entrepreneur we have and advantage on our non-sensitive colleagues in the same area of expertise. We have an iron clad intuition and we sense things very precisely. These are just a few examples of the advantages that being highly sensitive has to offer.
This and much more is what I want to teach you:
- How to use your high sensitivity as your super power within your company.
- How do you feel like your effortless self and connect with your hearts desire?
- How do you protect your energy so you don't feel drained at the end of the day?
- What are the advantages of being highly sensitive and how to make the most of them.
- But also what are your pitfalls and to which area's in your life or business do you need to pay more attention?
A Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur is a beautiful entrepreneur!
There is a new power entrepreneur in the world today and it's you! You are on a mission. You have a dream, a vision. You have an amazing gift to share with the world and because of it you can build a hugely successful business where you get paid to share your dream and message with millions. You're making a massive impact on the world. You can change the lives of millions doing what you love. Have this beautiful lifestyle friendly business. This is for you.
You might be thinking, "Barbera, what are you talking about?" But, this is for the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur that wants to connect with their hearts desire to change a life and really make a difference in the world. It's for the HSE's that want to learn how to use their sensitivity as their super power. This is for the sensitive business owner that's tired of feeling drained at the end of the day and wants to feel like their effortless self. It is for the expert that's sick of feeling like running a business equals a struggle. This is for you.”
I offer a free HSE growth session to see what you encounter in your business, what is holding you back and where you want to go and how you can get there.
Do you want to know more about sensitive yourself, connect with your hearts desire and learn how you can be your effortless self while running a successful business and using your sensitivity as your business super power?