Community Notes

Are You a Highly Sensitive Business Owner?

July 30, 2021

Article written by
Lisa Lewis
LMFT, LPCC

I’ve known that I am a Highly Sensitive Person for the last fifteen years. I specialize in working with Highly Sensitive People in my private practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Recently, it has come to my own understanding of myself and an understanding of myself as a sole proprietor in business, that I am also a Highly Sensitive Business Owner.

How do I know if I am a Highly Sensitive Business Owner?  Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you feel the energy of your clients in your therapy room and need to do something about it right after your client leaves (This is can be online or in-person)?
  2. Do you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders most of the time and feel you have to do something about it?
  3. Can you walk into a room and know exactly what just happened whether it be an argument, a joke, a serious conversation?
  4. Do you need time alone to recharge?
  5. Do you feel your life purpose is to do something creative, innovative, make the world a better place?
  6. Are you sensitive to light, smells, noises, touch and/or tastes?
  7. Are you sensitive to other people’s feelings?
  8. Are you sensitive to people looking or thinking about you?
  9. Are you sensitive to others being disrespected or disrespectful toward you?
  10. Do you feel you have to hide your sensitivities from others?

If you answered “Yes” to these questions, then most likely you are a Highly Sensitive Business Owner and Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or what is known as Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS). HSP is in 20% of the population and is a natural feature. It is something that we are born with and is inherited. A HSP’s brain is wired a little differently than most where they pick up on more subtleties like depth of processing and emotional regulation. HSP’s are deep thinkers, feel deeply, and care deeply. It is not a disorder, in fact, the trait is normal. There are many more attributes that define a highly sensitive business owner. These are only a few highlighted traits.

I made the realization that I am a Highly Sensitive Business Owner in the last two weeks when I decided to sublease my office to another therapist to cut down on rent. I used the same therapy technique on myself as I do with my clients when I want to figure out something about myself. I become the fly on the wall and watch myself non-judgmentally like I am watching my own movie about myself.  

“When I began to watch myself, I saw myself become highly sensitive to having another therapist use my physical office space, having another therapist use the items in my office space (ie:  chair, couch, table) and the effects of the energy dynamics that will be created in my office space.”

Highly Sensitive People, along with people who are intuitive, empathetic, or perfectionists, have a high sensitivity to personal items, types of emotional and mental energy as well as sensitivity to physical space. This is due to the fact that they pick up and can take on others emotions and feelings. They are perceptive at reading a room by as simply as walking into a room and knowing whether or not there has been an argument, laughter, silence.

Dr. Elaine Aron, who is an expert on The Highly Sensitive Person, summarizes the traits of high sensitivity as Depth of Processing, overstimulation, emotional responsitivity/empathy, and sensitivity to subtleties (DOES).

Now, the other therapist I’m talking about is a lovely person…it’s not about that person; it’s about how to take care of my high sensitivity as a Highly Sensitive Business Owner. I don’t want my high sensitivity to make insensible decisions, like not wanting to share my office because I feel uncomfortable with another person using my space, to get in the way of making sensible business decisions – share my office space to lower my business expenses.

How do I get out of this bind of honoring my high sensitivity and honoring my decision to make and want good business choices?

I have to honor my high sensitivity, then use my self-care tools to take care of myself and my business. First, I make sure I put in the sublease agreement everything I need to help me feel comfortable with another person subletting my office. It is as simple as putting a clause in the agreement for the other therapist to bring their own pillows for the couch, cleanse the office space energetically by saying a cleansing ritual, burning sage, or using a cleansing room spray. Next, sublease for a short period of time, like three to four months to start as a trial to see if I will like it or not. Then, provide education to the subleaser about my high sensitive needs in a professional manner. The more that we can recognize what type of business owner we are, the more successful we will feel about ourselves and the service that we are providing to others and the world!

Lisa Lewis has gained extensive training in the mind-body connection with three certificates in energy healing, Level 2 Reiki certified, and a masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is also part of the Disaster Mental Health Team for the world’s largest volunteer network, the American Red Cross. Lisa works with clients on issues of anxiety, depression, trauma, and highly sensitive.  She is a certified Bereavement Group Facilitator so she has a passion for helping those in need. Get in touch with Lisa at lisa@lisalewiscounseling.com or call her for a free consult: 626.319.5076

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