• Have you ever been told you need thicker skin? Sometimes, sensitivity is not appreciated for the powerful quality it can be

  • Coach Tara Jackson shares her own experience of learning how to honour and work with her sensitivity

For so long I felt that there was no way sensitivity and business could go together. In fact I hated being sensitive when it came to business – working for others and then later for myself. When I was working in an office I really struggled with commuting. I could feel drained in an instant or suddenly angry and not even know why. Until I learned tools and strategies to support me.

I dreaded networking events and would use alcohol and food to cope and get through the small talk, which I struggled with. I also used to take it so personally and feel it if someone was in a bad mood or annoyed, and I was told on a number of occasions to grow a thicker skin.

When I first started working for myself, I found it hard to balance my needs with that of my business and couldn’t do it the way others did – seemingly working all hours – or I would get overwhelmed and exhausted. I found it hard to stay consistent and struggled to keep up as my energy and moods changed on a monthly basis.

I felt there was something wrong with me, and that maybe I wasn’t cut out to be in business as a sensitive soul, or at least not working for myself.

It took me some time, un-learning and re-learning to embrace my sensitivity and see it as a strength.

Today, I can empathise, relate and give so much compassion to others, which is invaluable as a coach, and in my opinion, as a fellow human. I can feel and tune into what clients need and support them on deeper levels. I am creative and able to connect to states of flow and magic that make me tingle. I can feel this world so deeply that a huge part of my mission on earth is to help others and the environment, so I have made big changes in my life, and will be contributing and encouraging others to do what they can for the environment and one another, for the rest of my time here.

Something else I now know is that looking after myself as a sensitive person requires a consistent commitment. It needs more spaciousness, nourishment, gentleness and boundaries, which then ripples and reflects outwards in a positive way to all those I come into contact with.

  • Have you ever felt that your sensitivity is a negative thing?
  • Have you ever been told to ‘toughen up’?
  • Have you ever felt that your sensitivity made you ‘less than’ or ‘not good enough’?

If any of these questions resonate, here are some ways you can begin to honour your sensitivity and see it as a strength:

  • Being sensitive likely means you are able to pick up on what is going on with others, beyond what is simply said. So, you can empathise and have compassion, thus creating meaningful connections.
  • As you are able to pick up on the more subtle nuances of what is going on you are able to come up with wonderful ideas and ways of moving forward that can benefit more people, as they come from a place of empathy and understanding.
  • Being sensitive can mean that trying to do too much, or the wrong things (for you), can have adverse physical, mental and emotional effects on you. So by honouring your sensitivity you end up doing less and focusing on the things that feel good, which leads to a happy, healthier existence, which can ripple out to all those you come into contact with.
  • Sensitivity is linked closely to feeling a lot. Being in tune with your feelings is what the world needs to help bring it into balance as over-working, burning out and ignoring what you are feeling has become the norm.    

I know many of us have grown up feeling and thinking that sensitivity is not a strength and so every day throughout September I am sharing a contribution from a different sensitive entrepreneur to show that it is in fact the opposite, and so, so needed in these times. Each contributor is sharing how it brings so much incredible beauty, intuition, creativity and magic into this world.

If you would like to receive the submissions and join in the conversation, as well as receive an e-book with all of them in, you can sign up here .  

Tara Jackson is a holistic health coach and author

Further reading

Why self-compassion is the key to success

5 self-care tips for highly sensitive people

Why therapy benefits the highly sensitive person

What's the downside of empathy?