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From Highly Sensitive to Highly Functional

101. Highly Sensitive Small

You’ll know if you’re highly sensitive. 

And just in case you’re not sure, here’s a list of questions by Elaine Aaron who first started researching highly sensitive people in the 1990s:

  • Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?
  • Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
  • Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
  • Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?
  • Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
  • Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
  • Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
  • When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?

Most of these characteristics sound like disadvantages, even weaknesses, that make the life of a highly sensitive person challenging. And that’s true. I had no idea about any of this when I was younger, but I definitely would have answered yes to all but the last of those questions. 

What many people are less aware of are the incredible gifts that develop through high sensitivity. Intuition and healing are among the most common ones, but there are many others.

In fact, I would say that if you’re highly functional AND highly sensitive, you have a significant advantage, especially in business. You’ll find ways of operating that are kinder to people and planet. You’ll communicate in ways that aren’t pushy or manipulative and your clients will be more relaxed as a result. You’ll have the ability to sense what’s going on long before others are aware, which enables you to make better decisions and respond quickly to what’s emerging.

Over time, you may develop more advanced abilities, based on a kind of super-intuition, that enable you to solve problems that others say are impossible and achieve extraordinary results. I call these superpowers. 

If you’re intrigued by the opportunities that arise from being highly sensitive, here are a few resources to get you started:

Our Youtube channel for highly sensitive people

A fascinating interview with a highly sensitive business owner

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