Feelings

Sensitivity Tuning Dial

Day 3: Sensitivity

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Most of the time I consider my sensitivity to be my super power.

It’s something that I was born with.

I care deeply. I feel deeply.

As a child I remember with my close friendships, the closeness I felt was all encompassing. I was either having the best time ever playing with a friend, or I was crushed because they were upset with me.

As I look at how it serves me today, I believe that it makes me an amazing coach. I care deeply about my clients. I spend time outside of our sessions considering how to coach in a way that will be most helpful for them.

I show up for my friends and family because I care.

I have a deep appreciation for nature and animals because of my sensitivity.

High quality doesn’t miss me. I appreciate quality time spent, nice quality fabrics, good quality food. I believe my sensitivity is a part of the reason why. I am sensitive to quality. I notice it.

With all this good there for sure come some challenges.

I can’t watch a scary movie with my family if I tried. Too intense.

I hate the feeling of conflict. It is an almost instant physical reaction for me. I know it’s necessary and even helpful, but I have to work really hard at not reacting to things as a way to prevent conflict. (Hello fellow #peoplepleasers of the world!)

Because of being sensitive to conflict, I tend to avoid having tough conversations. Or I sensor myself before speaking because it feels like I can unknowingly and unmeaningly (is that a word?) make people close to me upset.

It can be an exhausting way to live. I’m working on it. I’m working on being ok with me being me, and allowing others to react however they want to without thinking I should have, could have said something differently so they could feel better.

I’m sensitive to loud, unexpected noises.

I’m sensitive to clothing. Especially the tags! I tend to tear them out.

What I’ve been practicing is turning my sensitivity dial up and down.

When I want more sensitivity, really focusing on creating more by thinking thoughts like.

“I want to give them 100% of my attention.”

“All that matters right now is being present.”

“I wonder what they’re thinking.”

“What if there was nothing to defend?” (when I feel defensive).

When I want to be a little less sensitive in a situation, I’m practicing dialing down my sensitivity and speaking up. Thinking things like,

“I get to choose how I want to feel about this.”

“How do I want to show up right now?”

“Speak up and stop sugar coating the truth.”

I’m also going to start picturing a giant sensitivity dial in my mind that I can tune to the exact setting that I’d like it to be at in any given circumstance.

In my mind, it’s a type of muscle, or skill really, that I can build up.

Do you consider yourself a highly sensitive person (HSP)? How does it show up for you? Reply in the comments. ~

~Shaun



The Need To Be Needed

Day 1: People Pleasing

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I just want to help...

It sounds like a pretty thought. Until you find yourself accomodating others at your own expense.

What do I mean by that?

If you love being able to help others, but find yourself panic-stricken, stressed out, overthinking things, worrying about how you may come across, and ignoring your inner voice, you may want to dig a little deeper.

If you worry about how someone else will receive your message, or what they may think about it. You may want to dig a little bit deeper.

If you think “helping” is creating an environment where someone else is able to feel safe, secure, loved, connected, and supported. You may want to dig a little deeper. That’s an impossible goal. How people feel is ultimately up to them. It’s based on all of their past experiences and their thoughts.

You can contribute to how somone feels, but you’re never responsible for it.

Let’s say that louder for the people in the back.

You can CONTRIBUTE to how someone feels, but you’re never RESPONSIBLE for it.

That goes the other way too. Other people can contribute to how you feel, but they are never responsible for it. Only you are.

Doing a good deed and helping out can feel really good. It's when it starts to feel bad that we want to take a closer look.

When we have a strong need to be needed, we can overlook our own needs.

Feelings of resentment, anger, frustration, and anxiety can indicate that deep down you may feel like if those around you are happy, then you can be happy. But you’re pushing aside your own needs to do so.

This is an age old message that many of us learned in childhood.

As children, we may have learned that if we behaved in a certain way, we would get the love and affection from our parents that we desired.

When we were "good girls and boys" they seemed happy. When we misbehaved, they'd get angry.

Monitoring our behavior became a way of guaranteeing that we could earn their love and affection. We learned that we were responsible for how our parents felt. That we actually could make them happy.

The thought was simple "do whatever we could to keep them happy. To keep the peace."

For some of us we carry that message into our adult lives.

We believe that the main way to interact with people is to be pleasing to them.

The problem is what pleases one person will not please another person.

We all have different likes and preferences.

We can become so busy pleasing others that we forget to please ourselves.

We may not even know what it is that we like, because we've never paid attention to that. We've made it our habit to only notice what others like and follow suit.

So how might this show up?

Maybe someone's...

  • having a rough day.

  • needing a favor

  • wanting to vent about something

  • just living their life when you suddenly see a way to make things even "better"

  • figuring things out

What do you do?

You may...

  • jump in to help

  • roll up your sleeves and get to work

  • rearrange your schedule

  • ignore your preferences

  • suck it up and keep your honest opinion to yourself

Why? Because you know, they're upset. Why not just keep the peace? It's not that hard to do.

Over time “keeping the peace” can chip away at you until you are a big ole bundle of nerves.

When I dug a bit deeper, the first step for me was noticing when I felt that small familiar flutter in my chest.

It happened in situations that for many people would seem like no big deal.

With friends when they’d say:

“That doesn’t work for me, can you come earlier?” then once I’d agreed to come earlier they’d ask at the last minute “I’m running behind, will a little later work?”

With bosses if they said:

“Why couldn’t I reach you yesterday?” or “What have you been working on?”

With family when they questioned:

“Why wouldn’t you want to (fill in the blank)?” or “What do you mean that’s not how you remember it?”

It was almost never about the words that were said, but rather the way in which they were spoken.

My brain would hear the tone with which they said something first, that implied that someone was upset with me. The tone sent a message to my brain that I was in dangerous territory and had better tread carefully. Or else.

Or else what?

That is the question I began asking my brain. What is the worst that can happen here?

In some cases, there would be tension, a disagreement, conflict. All of that is uncomfortable for me. I like smooth sailing. I mean, can’t we all just get along?

When I really asked myself what am I actually afraid of here? It was a feeling. It was the discomfort of disagreement, disappoinment, anger, judgement, dislike and conflict.

It was the fear of “what if I’m not expressing myself clearly and they misunderstand?”

It felt like at all costs, I needed to keep them happy. Because if they were happy I must be doing something right. It was proof that I was doing a job well done. That I was getting that A on my paper. Hearing clearly what was requested and responding accordingly.

I think when we have adhd tendencies one of the things that can happen is we distrust ourselves. We can be unclear on expectations. It can be hard to pick up on subtle social clues, so we can become oversensitive to ALL clues. We have our antennae up for when we might be headed for trouble and we try to avoid it at all cost.

Over time, when we hold peace as the end all be all, over the truth (our truth), what’s true for us that is, the conflict that we’re trying to avoid shows up as internal conflict.

We think we’re avoiding it, but we still experience it, it’s just within ourselves and feels just as bad if not worse.

Step one is just to notice when you feel uncomfortable. Notice where you feel it first. Like I said, for me it is a little flutter in my chest. My heart skips a beat or two and I feel a little light headed. So subtle.

Once you notice it, just breathe in and exhale slowly. Try not to judge yourself or the other person. Just notice what you’re feeling and name it.

I’m feeling nervous. I’m feeling anxious. I’m feeling scared.


Nothing Else Needed: ADHD and Feeling Like You're Never Enough

Day 18: Being Enough

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I’m not enough.

Have you ever felt this way?

I know I have.

As a woman with ADHD tendencies, there are those days where I simply feel like I’m not enough.

Like something within me is broken.

Like things that feel so challenging for me seem so easy for others.

Sometimes when you’ve spent a lifetime being subtly corrected for things like

being unorganized

running late

poor planning

taking a long time to finish somthing

not finishing many things

having piles of stuff

shutting down

being super sensitive

being unreliable

forgetting things

misplacing things

losing things

the list goes on…

you can feel like something’s gone horribly wrong. You may feel llike you’re not even really an adult. You can barely take care of yourself, let alone anyone else.

If and when you feel this way pause and remember that you are not your condition.

You are enough. Exactly as you are.

You are worthy. There is nothing that needs to be done to earn or prove that you’re worthy. You just are.

Every single one of us was born that way. Fearfully and wonderfully made.

When you are tempted to look outside of yourself for a solution…nothing else is needed.

When you are tempted to find another planner, chart, program, system…nothing else is needed.

Just start from the place that nothing else is needed.

Just you.

You are enough.

~Shaun