Expanding Your Comfort Zone As A Highly Sensitive Person in Business
 

As highly sensitives, what causes us stress is when we're overwhelmed or overstimulated by something, may it be a person, a situation, an object, or an event. Anything that is over and beyond our optimal level of stimulation is stressful. As a fellow highly sensitive person myself, I find that the easiest way to get rid of the stress - or even just reduce it - is to remove myself from the situation. Sounds tempting, right? But if you're an entrepreneur wanting to grow a business online, it's essential to be able to live and thrive in spite of the overstimulation we experience on a daily basis.

Highly sensitives thrive in entrepreneurship and self employment because we're our own boss, we can control how much we get out in the world, we set our own hours, and we're not hassled by colleagues. However, given all those beautiful things... If you're an entrepreneur with an online business and your brand is YOU, there is a need to still show up and get out into the world, albeit online. This is where the nerve racking stuff starts: creating Facebook and Instagram accounts, posting your face in said accounts, talking about your story, engaging in those accounts + in the groups you'll eventually join, doing recorded videos to allow your audience to connect with you, doing live videos to allow the connection to further deepen, selling your stuff through posts, sales pages, and videos, hiring people to help you do all that, and more.

I hope to help you, my fellow HSP in living with these marketing activities and thrive in visibility in the online space.

First off, I want to make sure you're aware of where it all boils down to. I believe that we can create our own rules in business and it's a good thing because highly sensitives tend to have stronger intuition. Let's continue to develop that by trusting ourselves more, shall we? My suggestions below are simply based on my own experience and the experience of my clients who I've guided along the way. You're journey may take slower or faster. Either way is okay.

The ultimate goal of being visible is to show up as the light that we highly sensitive persons are. We innately process information deeply, we take time to think about things, and we are sensitive to subtle behavioral cues from the people around us. We're amazing! All those attributes help you be an effective guide, facilitator... LIGHT. All you have to do is to show up.

Showing up is not only done for the sake of showing up. You show up because people need you. Once you get your energy behind yourself, your purpose, and what you're doing, you'll see that showing up as you are turns you into a magnet of awesome stuff - a magnet of opportunities, referrals, and soulmate clients. It may take expanding your carefully curated comfort zone but it's so worth it!

Now, to live and thrive with these "stressors", here's what you can try:

The Step by step approach.

Expanding our comfort zone is my easeful tweak to the phrase "going out of your comfort zone". I'd rather expand it than to go out of it, to be honest. Leaving my comfort zone, for me, is similar to throwing myself off a cliff, or taking a leaping off a waterfall. It's too much. For the goal of reducing the overwhelm and overstimulation, I see that as going to the other direction. The step by step approach is perfect in expanding comfort zones.

Let's start with a goal... Say, you want to be able to go live on Facebook within 1 month.

You can then use the step by step approach by breaking that huge goal into sub tasks that you can then check off on a regular basis. For our specific goal, here are some examples of subtasks you can add:

  • Post a 15-second clip on Instagram Stories every single day. This is where you can start being creative, no need to show your face for now. Share the Stories automatically to Facebook (there's a setting inside Instagram for this).

  • Do this for the next 30 days...

  • Continue posting video clips on Instagram and start showing your face. If you're feeling too exposed, you can always use a filter.

  • Do this for the next 5 days then...

  • Post a photo of your face on Instagram with a caption that gives a peek into who you are.

  • Post a photo of your face on Facebook with a caption that talks about what you're passionate about in your business.

  • Post a series of 15-second clips on Stories. Around 4-8 clips is good practice. You can talk about a teaching moment or something laser-focused to the service you offer.

  • Do this for the next 5 days then...

  • Post another photo of your face on Instagram with a caption of your choice.

  • Post another photo of your face on Facebook with a caption of your choice.

  • Post a series of 15-second clips on Stories. Around 4-8 clips is good practice. You can talk about a teaching moment or something laser-focused to the service you offer.

  • Do this for the next 5 days then...

  • Create a private Facebook group with just you and a close friend (who wouldn't be notified of any updates) as the members. Go live inside that group for 5-10 minutes. You'll be surprised by how time passes so that's a pretty short It can still be overwhelming but you can be calmed with the fact that no one is going to watch it.

  • Do this for the next 3 days with the a laser focused topic then you'll feel that you get more comfortable with the tech and the energy of being live.

  • Go live.

As you can see, I became really detailed for each of the steps by not only adding steps for the main tasks but also for having to do it consistently for a period of time. This builds up that task to become more of a habit. By then, your audience will be more used to you, and you can see higher engagement coming in.

Not everyone may need as much subtasks but I find that the more comfortable you are with showing up with photos and clips of your face, the easier and the stronger you can show up in your own energy. Try this and let me know what you think!

 
 
 
expanding your comfort zone as a highly sensitive person by jennica.co mindset strategist
 
Taking Care Of Your Highly Sensitive Self
 

As entrepreneurs, we can really be busy whenever we shift into purposeless hustle mode and away from intentionality. It's easy to veer away from what we're meant to do and off to what other people say that we need to do. Say, sales funnels, shopping carts, ads, and a really pretty website. All those are a valuable extras, of course.

But before you can truly magnetise people with those practical tools, you have to actually show up with what your soul chose to do in this world.

Being highly sensitives, there's an even lower tolerance to being exhausted and overwhelmed by everything. It's because of how much information we subtly absorb and process - it's just too much! No wonder many HSPs in business are easily burnt out.

But this is truly preventable and actionable... Let me give you some examples on how to take care of your highly sensitive body.

SEE YOUR BODY DIFFERENTLY.

Consider your body as that of an infant's. What do you do when you hear a tiny cry of discomfort from a cute little baby? You go near it and assess what's wrong, right? You comfort the baby and make sure that the baby has all it needs at that moment.

That's how you can "parent" yourself as a highly sensitive person. If a certain business task drains you, have some rest. Even ask yourself if the task is worth outsourcing.

Be there for yourself as you would a baby. That develops strong self-trust.

SLEEP.

Believe someone who has worked night shifts for 3 years, sleep is completely underrated. I think moms, especially, would agree! The less sleep you get, the more cortisol (stress hormone) is generated, and the more cortisol, the less sleep. It can end up as being an endless cycle of simply being tired.

Create an environment where you can have uninterrupted sleep. This reduces cortisol, which leaves you in a relaxed state. I make sure to have my salt lamp inside my bedroom and that serves as my main source of light as I sleep. I give myself 30 minutes to cool down and just process what happened the entire day.

This is different for each and every one of us. I personally don't like sleeping through the night for more than 6 or 7 hours so 15-minute naps within the day is essential. Find what works for you.

EAT.

Highly sensitives tend to be easily overwhelmed by what's around them and what's inside them. No wonder I personally go hangry so easily. The sensation of hunger can be quite intense especially when we're not busy or preoccupied with something as a distraction.

How to love yourself through eating:

  • Don't starve yourself.

  • Eat food that sustains you in a healthy way.

  • Eat when you're hungry. Our society trained us to eat at certain times of the day but I believe that our body intuitively know when it's hungry and when it needs to eat. Intuition in itself is a developed skill but the more we listen to our body, the more we become in tune with its cues.

Feel free to use the comments section below to add more ways on how you take care of YOU.

 
 
 
taking care of your highly sensitive self by jennica.co mindset strategist
 
Jennica & Co.
Prioritise yourself. Set boundaries.
 

Because not everyone deserves your attention.

Not everyone who approaches you needs to take space, to suck your energy.

As a highly sensitive person building an impactful business online, we can only handle so much on an hourly basis. If you're not aware of this high sensitivity trait, you'll always be the "kind" one. The one who takes it all. The reliable one. The giver. The one that's always there. You're conscientious and empathetic.

But at the same time, you're also like a sponge of emotions. You tend to be more affected with stimulation that non-HSPs would simply shrug off, or maybe even not pay attention to. You're drained of energy that you unconsciously gave others even if you have your own set of relaxing activities waiting for you at home.

But now that you're here and you're reading this and you know who you are and you have a visual of what you can be... You don't have to take on whatever doesn't "spark joy", as Marie Kondo would say.

You get to choose to be better.

You get to choose to know who you are. Not as a label, not as an excuse... But as a way to empower yourself. To show you an evidence of how amazing you are. That's what high sensitivity is - initially seen as a weakness but in reality, is actual strength.

Now that you're in my journal, a space created for highly sensitives such as you and I, you can freely be yourself knowing that you're not alone, you're not that different. You can finally simply experience whatever's optimal for you.

Now that there's awareness, you can readily protect yourself by setting boundaries on what's available for you and on how people can treat you.

With that... There's a greater need to be strong and firm about what we're allowing, what's available, and what's a definite no.

Are you creating the boundaries you need to create in your life?

 
 
 
prioritise yourself, set boundaries by jennica.co mindset strategist
 
Jennica & Co.awareness
From Overwhelm To Clarity: Why Journaling Can Help Highly Sensitive Persons In Business
 

1. IT'S A QUICK FIX.

Maybe it's your first ever client... Or a client you want to fire... Or a business collaboration you were so excited about didn't push through...

Being in the climax of an overwhelming emotion in your business, especially a prolonged one, you would want a quick antidote to somehow lessen the intensity of what you're experiencing.

There's no need to speak to someone (yet) as that may just lead to further stimulation. So, my recommendation? Write things down. Literally write whatever you're feeling... All the anxiety, fear, anger, frustration, annoyance. Everything. And since overwhelming emotions do not only mean negative ones, feel free to start writing down how you feel when you're so full of joy.

I remember when my apartment, the one where I live on my own, was turned over to me last January of 2018.

I kept a facade of nonchalantness while I was with my family and rightfully so, it was the most reasonable thing to do for me back then. I didn't want my parents to think I was so excited to leave them!

*Cultural background: In the Philippines, kids don't usually move out until they're married. Many of them actually stay with their parents even after marriage and kids of their own. So, my decision to live on my own is a rare thing.*

In the ride back home to my parents' house, I felt the need to just be quiet while everyone else in the car were so excited with the new place (it is pretty awesome). I tried to forget how overwhelmed I was.

Well, until the next morning when I got sick out of the blue. I had a fever, a migraine, and body aches - the whole shebang. In retrospect, there was no reason for me to be sick. I usually can pinpoint a cause so I'm sure that my unusual sickness was caused by the overwhelm I chose to swallow the previous day.

I "cured" it by simply writing down how I feel - from joy, to pride, and a bit of fear as I'll be independent soon enough (and with lots of water, of course). From that day on, I vowed to always have a notebook around the house for moments when "it's just too much."


2. IT RELIVES PREVIOUS BLISS.

If journaling can release negative emotions and balance the overwhelm, it's also amazing with milking the good emotions as much as possible. Based on Write Yourself Happy, a book about using journaling as a tool in positive psychology, writing down experiences that made you feel good will bring back not only the memories of it happening but also how it felt. It's basically reliving your best moments. Who wouldn't want this, right?!

It's especially helpful for us highly sensitive entrepreneurs whenever we feel the down turn of the roller coaster of emotions being in the business world. journaling gives us a chance to go back to an important moment of our life, write about it and describe it, and re-feel the emotions felt. It can be when you first won an entrepreneurial award... A feature in an important magazine... A tax exemption of some kind!

It's amazing. I see it as having an arsenal of good juju to use whenever necessary.

I personally use this technique whenever I feel doubtful of my abilities to write guest blogs. I remind myself of the podcasts and Facebook lives I was interviewed in - which is a big deal because I, for some reason, hate hearing my own voice! :) Add to it the more spontaneous nature of being interviewed live. And I tell myself… “If you can do a podcast… If you can do an interview LIVE… You can write an amazing blog post. You can write something that will be appreciate by an insane amount of people.”


3. IT SHIFTS FEARS TO EMPOWERMENT.

It took me a ton of life experiences to slowly gain the confidence I didn't have when I was younger. It was ten whole years of going through life, all the trial and errors, tears and anger... With unshakeable faith, it's all good.

But when I learned about journaling from Amanda Frances back in 2017, my personal development skyrocketed. My goodness! My self awareness - together with my business - has greatly improved. There are still lessons to be learned but those problems somehow felt lighter.

If I have known about the magic of writing things down, I would have done it sooner. All the while preaching about it as I do now.

 

 

Have you journaled before? How was your experience?

If you have never tried journaling or haven't continued using it as a mindset tool, I invite you to this 5-day email series to activate your confidence by writing things down. You'll be receiving 5 days of journal prompts to help you ease into journaling and see the overwhelm turn to clarity.

 
 
from overwhelm to clarity by jennica.co mindset strategist
 
Jennica & Co.journaling