Episode 220: Top Strengths of the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur With Heather Dominick

Game On Girlfriend Ep220

As entrepreneurs, we’re living in a time when we get flooded, overwhelmed, and hit new heights of frustration or even fear. There is so much change, so much intensity, and as humans, we’re seeing a collapse of faith and institutions and movements for social change. It's enough to send highly sensitive humans running for the hills.

 

Heather Dominick is both highly sensitive and highly successful. For more than a decade, she’s trained and mentored highly sensitive entrepreneurs and leaders so they are able to work less, while making more impact and income.

 

If you've been having those moments of overwhelm lately, if you've been feeling burnt out, this might be a really helpful conversation for you to tap into. I really hope you listen for the moments where Heather shares what the experience can be when you're highly sensitive and also what other people are going through who may not be as highly sensitive but can be supportive as well.

Who are highly sensitive people?

As a highly sensitive entrepreneur, Heather is committed to creating self-employment and leadership success without personal crisis and cost. Since 2021, Heather says everyone has been tapped out, and there has been a lack of awareness around how to manage the challenge. So, in a way, the challenge keeps compounding, and some people try to deny what they’re experiencing – whether it’s anxiety, loss, or even trauma.

 

This starts to feel less and less manageable. And for those who are highly sensitive, meaning that your nervous system is wired to take in stimulation at a much higher degree, they will feel it more deeply.

“For those of us who are highly sensitive entrepreneurs and leaders, we're going to take that feeling of deep sense of challenge and rather than running from it or getting flooded and overwhelmed, we're going to rise to meet it,” says Heather.

Heather outlines 12 shadows and strengths of highly sensitive people from her research and leadership programs.

Heather says the main challenge of our times is lack of certainty. Change is happening so frequently. If you are a highly sensitive person who is called into self-employment, success or leadership as a whole, then you will be able to accept the challenge of managing your nervous system so that you can be present to yourself, those who are important to you and those you are here to serve in the face of unpredictability and uncertainty.

Three strengths of highly sensitive people

Heather outlines 12 shadows and strengths of highly sensitive people from her research and leadership programs.

Intuition

The top strength is intuition. She likes to describe this as thinking of the nervous system like an antenna that takes in stimulation.

When you’re trained, that access to stimulation isn’t only negative. She does a lot of work in leadership training programs is to train oneself to intentionally use intuition. Your heart, your intuition, knows three to six seconds ahead of your head – that’s your intuition. So when you can flex that muscle, you’ll be able to use to support you in decision making and understanding what those you serve need.

Empathy

The second main strength of the highly sensitive is empathy. Empathy is really being able to utilize, again a nervous system to have a clear, keen understanding of what another person is needing, when another person is feeling what another person is thinking.

Going deep

And lastly, Heather groups three together – though they are each their own separate strength: deep thinker, deep feeler and deep listener. These are all systems that will support you when you it comes to setting up systems for operations, marketing, selling and leadership.

Relationship with time

The way that Heather refers to working with time as a highly sensitive is your relationship with time. Most of us are taught to manage time. But the 20% born into the world as highly sensitive, this strategy might not be effective.

 

Those management thought processes tend to work against a highly sensitive’s nature and the way that their nervous systems process the world. It tends to be too constrictive. It’s more about how you relate with time.

 

When you make that shift from “time is something that I have to manage” to “time is something that I can relate with,” then it's about how you want to engage. For highly sensitives, the essence of successful relationships in any regard, time included, is what do you need to be at your best?

 

Discover if you need to, and then understand what your natural circadian rhythm is. Because if you take in stimulation at a much higher degree, and you take a time management system and kind of slap it on, and it doesn't work -- that's going to be massively overstimulating.

 

You're going to have to work extra hard to try to get something that's supposed to help you, to work for you. Versus if you understand your circadian rhythm, you’ll know when you work best. You can design your schedule and productivity around your circadian rhythm and take less time to actually create more.

 

And this will look different for every highly sensitive person. Heather has written a book, DIFFERENT: The Highly Sensitive Leadership Revolution, about how to understand your own rhythm and apply it to your day-to-day productivity.

 

“When there is that opening, there is an access to creativity, inspired insights and you can literally quote unquote get things done,” says Heather.

Energy management

So, what happens if you are going to about your day-to-day but you experience overwhelm? Rather than run away or take on more, what can help in those moments?

For Heather, the process comes about ten steps before that massive boom hits and derails you. Her foundation for highly sensitive leadership is what she refers to as energy management.

 

This involves addressing thoughts, feelings and beliefs and being proactive in how you do that. You become someone who is directing the thoughts, feelings and beliefs instead of thinking of this is just happening to me, which can flood your nervous system and create that sense of overwhelm.

 

Heather teaches energy management as a kinesthetic process where you are tracking transformation and the shift of your energy over time. She says if this is a core practice that you commit to consistently, then you start to build a muscle to support the nervous system.

 

That's not going to say that those moments of influx of stimulation, people's needs, and the potential for plans that need to be changed will still happen, especially as an entrepreneur. But if you are engaging in energy management consistently, you are going to register the impact of those boom moments at a much lower degree.

Free highly sensitive entrepreneur assessment

Heather has a free assessment that she based off of psychologist Elaine Aron’s research, that you can take to determine if they are a highly sensitive entrepreneur and what type you might be. And if you discover you are, you will also receive a success guide that will help you understand how to work with yourself. This free assessment reveals if you’re a highly sensitive entrepreneur, and whether you are a “somewhat”, “super” or “super-uber” HSE.

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