One of the things I’ve realised about myself is that I’m a sensitive person – and this has caused me no end of problems over the years.
When I was in my twenties and I worked in corporate marketing, I hoped my sensitivity would go away. I did my best to try and ‘bury’ it and hide it at all costs. I thought I had to act tough. And let’s be honest, I probably came across like a bit of a brat.
I worked as a classroom teacher in my thirties. I have a passion for helping others and I loved working with children, but as a sensitive person I’d often get overwhelmed by all the noise, colour and perpetual demands on my attention.
Once I had my own kids and there were demands on my attention at home too – I realised teaching was a no go. It was just waaaaay too much for me, and I quickly became burnt out.
Then I was lucky enough to do a brilliant online social media course for mothers. This was actually a blessing because the people I’ve met as a result of doing this course have been awesome – plus – my social media skills are kick ass. Always useful right?
But again, my sensitivity became an issue – Sensitivity and being always ‘switched on’ running social media channels is a match made in hell…
Like hangovers – my sensitivity has gotten worse as I’ve got older.
It was only in my forties where I ‘flipped’ my weakness and said:
‘Imagine if sensitive were OK. Imagine if I worked WITH it rather than against it….Where could being sensitive actually come in handy?’
Answer – Often in writing and arts but also …coaching and psychotherapy!
I did lots of thinking and realised the answer for me at my current life stage is coaching. Maybe later I will start down the psychotherapy route.
As a coach – being sensitive actually HELPS. It’s not a problem any more.
I use my sensitivity to understand people and help guide them. Suddenly – in the right context – something I saw as a weakness is now a strength.
If anyone out there isn’t sure what work would make them feel fulfilled, at any age, I would encourage them to ask themselves:
“Where is my weakness a strength?”
You’ll probably unearth your superpower in the process.