• Vanessa Anstee

Staying focused on my business despite the emotional dramas

I’ve been really challenged lately to keep my passion focused on my business and it’s been frustrating me. Instead of working on my business I’ve been pulled into everyone else’s dramas. I’ve been deferring to my natural tendency to want to help and the cost of that is that I’ve ended up feeling resentful, overwhelmed and wanting to withdraw.

It’s a pattern that I’m familiar with, in fact it’s this sensitive part of me that has needed most training in the work that I do. Whilst she has many gifts, she also withdraws when overwhelmed and so holding her energy is often hard for me. It’s this sensitive part of me that helps me to walk into a room and pick up on all the subtle energies. She’s the one that intuitively senses the elephants in the room and what’s going on for clients under the surface. But she’s also the one that gets overwhelmed and flooded emotionally. She’s the one that if she doesn’t manage her boundaries ends up snapping at those closest to her and withdrawing to binge watch Fleabag, far away from any needy humans.

I used to think there was something wrong with me particularly as my sensitivity was often marginalised by those that have a preference for logic and reasoning to feeling. But in truth I am practicing seeing this part of me as a strength and learning new ways to protect her instead of believing the old comments like, “you’re too sensitive or you're over-analysing.”

I’ve been re-reading Elaine Aron’s research on The Highly Sensitive Person and I’ve found some of her practices lifelines this week. Take the other morning as a case in point, by 10.30am I’d had at least four people offloading their emotions on me leaving me feeling really flat. Being a highly sensitive person, I can slip into being “too in” and finding myself quickly overwhelmed processing their stuff with them. I decided to try two of Dr Aron's exercises and step out of the situation to track how often I felt over-aroused or de-aroused during my day. I split my day up into chunks and used a plus and a minus rating system to just see where my energy was going. It didn’t take long to see a pattern of not practicing my boundaries and being too available which was leaving me feeling overwhelmed and flat.

The second exercise I chose was The Umbrella Walk. As an HSP I am built to be a receiver and designed to detect and pick up on every little message. The idea behind the exercise is that when an umbrella is down and closed it gathers a lot of water in every crease and fold but when it is up and out, it sheds water like a duck’s back.

When my umbrella is up, my purpose and intention in my business is front of mind.They call this broadcasting as opposed to receiving. So had my umbrella been up the other morning when I was asked to receive information about other people's stories, I would have said firmly and kindly that I was busy thus keeping my eyes firmly fixed on my destination ahead.

I am mindful as with everything this sounds simple but the practice of it is the issue. Awareness is key. It’s not about me creating a story about these people around me being drama queens or narcissists. It’s about self-responsibility and ultimately learning to do 3 simple things.

1. Drop the f*&k off reactions and fuelling the drama and story about them

2. Stand my corner

3. Protect my energy and intention

If you are finding your days are getting distracted like mine, I invite you to try these two exercises. Ultimately at the end of the day we all have far more power than we believe we do.