Sensitivity – an asset? I hear you ask incredulously. Surely being sensitive can only hold you back in the world of business and entrepreneurship?
Well, sometimes it can, especially if you don’t realise you’re part of the 20-30% of the population who share the naturally occurring trait of High Sensitivity. You may be held back by perfectionism, frozen into inaction through overwhelm or maybe you can’t even get your business past the starting blocks because you’re too busy comparing yourself with everyone else. These are some common challenges the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur needs to face and overcome. Once they have though, this is when their trait comes into its own.
- The Highly Sensitive Person – HSP – thinks and processes thoughts deeply. This depth of processing is innate and is due to the sensitive brain being wired differently to others. Ask an HSP a question and they can take a while to respond. When they do finally respond, it’s likely every angle will have been considered, including ones you hadn’t even thought about.
- Sensing the Subtleties, i.e. noticing small things that others miss, is also a key characteristic that HSPs share. They will often come up with creative solutions or make innovative links because they’ve managed to see some detail that everyone else has overlooked. Very useful in problem-solving or when you want your business to stand out from the crowd.
- Empathy, the ability to sense what others are thinking and feeling, is another strength HSPs have. Knowing when to offer reassurance, or back-off when a client needs time to consider your offer, is invaluable. HSPs have an uncanny ability to tune into what’s really going on and sense any incongruity between a person’s words and true feelings.
Having read this, you may be wondering how to work out whether you have a Highly Sensitive trait. The quick way is to consider whether you have the 3 strengths just listed. If you do, it’s likely you can also get easily overwhelmed at times. Depth of Processing, Overstimulation/Overwhelm, Emotional Intensity and Empathy, and Sensing Subtleties are 4 key characteristics that all HSPs share. If you have all 4, even to a small degree, you are Highly Sensitive. Alternatively, you can complete a questionnaire on www.hsperson.com. This is Dr. Elaine Aron’s website, the psychologist who called the trait ‘High Sensitivity’. Even though the trait has been around forever, it was Elaine Aron who identified it as a separate trait and named it.
These are just 3 of the ways the Highly Sensitive trait can be an asset in your business. Once you start to understand and embrace your sensitivity, the ability for you and your business to thrive is limitless.
About The Author
Personal Development Coach to Highly Sensitive Women