If you’re sensitive, navigating the business world can be tough. It’s challenging to put your ideas out there without worrying about outcome. It’s even harder to push back, set boundaries and negotiate for what’s fair without feeling overwhelmed or triggered.
But being sensitive is a huge gift. It’s our subtler feelings that inform our decisions, help us read people better and empower us to invent solutions to complex problems. Our sensitivity also keeps us inquisitive, playful and open to exciting new discoveries.
Sadly, most people have been taught to hide their sensitivity beneath a hard-edged mask. Business demands that we act tough, certain and knowledegeable. We’re not supposed to feel a little unsteady on our feet. And we mustn’t ever let the cracks show. Because if we do, others may regard us as “weak” and may even try to manipulate or put us down. The reality is that not everyone has our best interests at heart. Better to stay quiet right?
The problem arises when we care deeply about something, or if someone upsets us. We feel compelled to deny or dismiss it. When all around us are feigning certainty and absolute positivity, it can feel dangerous to speak our uncertain truth.
Yet, it is this pretence of invulnerability which keeps us all weak. When we pretend to be strong, we deny ourselves the opportunity to learn real strength. We instead armour up, mute our natural voice and drain it’s gentle creativity.
Psychological research shows that resilience is actually developed not when we pretend to be tough. But in quite the opposite fashion: when we learn to accept our sensitivity and speak up anyway. We all need the permission to acknowledge our vulnerability so that we can finally let go of pretence and step into a more powerful, emotionally intelligent presence. We must learn to champion our sensitivity, speak up powerfully because of it, and set boundaries before any person who tries to use our sensitivity against us. We need to show our fellow humans that we can be both soft and strong at the same time. We have no more time for falsity. We advocate for our true self.
Because if we don’t do this, the personal price will be high. Our capacity to inspire ourselves and others will remain out of reach.
Your sensitivity is your greatest strength. It’s time to start viewing your sensitivity that way no matter how much business underrates it.
As Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones puts it:
“Never forget what you are, the rest of the world will not. Wear it like armour and it can never be used to hurt you.”