Introvert Solopreneurs Q&A: “I hate adding to the noise in the market. What should I do?”

I’ve been preoccupied lately with trying to help where I can in this crazy time, including hosting some free gatherings for caring solopreneurs.

It has felt so good to do that, and it inspires me for what else I can offer.

This morning I decided to record a Zoom conversation with a fellow introverted solopreneur about this question I am hearing a lot lately from folks like us. I’ve got the video recording for you below.

The question I’m hearing goes something like this:

The market feels so full of noise and free offers. I hate the idea of adding to the noise and it seems like nothing will work right now….”

It’s a crazy time for sure. So many unknowns and worries. Those big hearts of ours can’t help but want to keep helping, but it’s confusing too.

There is a way to navigate in these strange waters, even while steadying ourselves.

With the help of my friend and colleague, Liesel Teversham, I addressed this concern, including what’s helping me, and what I think will help our kindred spirits too.

You can watch the conversation here:

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How a Highly Sensitive Introvert Held Strong in the Storm

Sometimes seeing the news about floods, hurricanes, fires, and all manner of disasters can really get to me inside, even when it doesn’t directly affect me.

My strength for empathy can be a real challenge at times like that. I can even feel it in my body as I write this. I had a good cry about flooding just the other day. Sometimes tears are just the thing.

I once lost my home in a fire, and escaped in the middle of the night, and that was a very hard thing to be sure. And I can’t imagine the horror of a whole region going through fires at once. As a highly sensitive introvert, I wonder how I would manage.

When one of many natural disasters had just happened and was on my mind, I asked people in my Facebook group for introverts to share their related feelings or experiences. One story came from Ksenia who had just gone through the latest hurricane and flood in Texas.

Hurricane Harvey flooding

I was inspired by her resilience and I think we all learned from her tips too. So I asked her for permission to share this more widely, to help others like us, so we can remember we are stronger than we think.

She gave me permission to share her story here. Continue reading

The World Is Changing Fast and Sensitive People Can Play an Important Role.

The world is changing at an accelerated pace, in unpredictable ways, thanks to climate disruption, outbreaks, and other destabilizing forces.

That acceleration and unpredictability is a scary thought to my human brain that craves stability. I’m talking about more than one temporary change. Sorry to bear this bad news but I think you already sense this, consciously or unconsciously. People with high empathy tend to feel it quite a bit.

Bear with me because I also have good news.

As I’ve been studying what is happening and likely to happen in the short-term and long-term, one of the key things that wise people are suggesting, and I agree, is to know how to calm your nervous system so you can adapt and help others, in whatever scenarios we find ourselves in.

I know we can do that and it’s a good place to focus first. I’ll talk about how, and what about for highly sensitive people and introverts?

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Having a Big Heart Can Also Mean Big Exhaustion. Start with Grounding.

My clients and I have big hearts (naturally empathetic), which means we automatically care about people and how it’s going in the world all around us. It’s a gift, and… sometimes it can lead to taking on more stress or responsibility than one body can handle.

We can be at risk for overwhelm from others’ energy or the ever maddening news. Well, let’s be honest, overwhelm can come just as easily from the inner critic (which says things like “You’re not good enough”). This week it was the national news that got to me.

But we have things to do here on earth. Ya know? People with big hearts are needed!

So, I’m thinkin’ we have to find a way that works for us. We need to manage our outer and inner roadblocks as job #1. We won’t be able to live our purpose if we don’t. The solution is not to shut our hearts down. It’s to stay open but add in effective grounding.

We need a giant Pause button so we can find solid ground and start from there.

Persephone, sculpture by Valerie Gilman

She’s saying to me: “Stop, let me take a pause!” Sculpture artist: http://www.valeriegilman.com

As a highly sensitive introvert, I’ve had to find good grounding methods so I can keep living my purpose without exhaustion. I know we can do this.

In this post, I’m including:

  • what I mean by grounding and why it matters so much,
  • what works for me,
  • a self-assessment to help you choose your best grounding methods.
  • a way to learn a simple method that’s especially good for calming during tough moments.

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Best Careers for Introverts, HSPs, and Other Sensitive Souls

Sensitive souls (including introverts, highly sensitive persons [HSPs], and people with big hearts) need to be careful about our work environments and career paths. As a highly sensitive introvert who got so drained by many jobs I tried, I learned the hard way.

We can really thrive and excel in the right environment, and we can wilt easily in the wrong environment.

If you have a yuck feeling about work, I bet it is because the work itself or the work culture are a bad match for you.

You have so much to offer. Yes, YOU. The world needs your gifts. I mean it. You can find a better fit. Not overnight, but a better way is possible.

There are low stress jobs for introverts, HSPs, and other sensitive souls.

No, there are no perfect stress-free professions. But lower stress is definitely a worthy goal. Yes! Stress is a natural part of life and we can be even more vulnerable to it as sensitive souls. We can do self-care, but that’s not enough if the situation continues to be draining.

So often people simply put up with far too much of a stressful situation, thinking we are the problem. Let’s rethink this.

My experience:

I’m a highly sensitive introvert with a big heart. (If you’re a Myers-Briggs Type fan, I’m an INFP which explains a whole range of sensitivity.)

I’ve tried all kinds of work environments from classrooms to cubicles, and many kinds of careers, and there were many rough patches in my work life. Now I have landed happily with being a self-employed career/ business coach.

In those various work experiences, sometimes I felt alive and energized and sometimes completely drained and MISERABLE. Oh I can feel the bad memories in my body as I write this. I want to reach out to you if you’re feeling that misery and beg you to believe it can be different.

Now I get what works:

I’ve studied what factors work for me and what works for others with a similar temperament.  Now I can fairly easily tell you what is important for us in choosing our work environments and career paths. Work can feel great, really! I’ll explain what you need to know.

[image - wondering where to go]

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