I am Highly Sensitive.
I didn’t realise it until after I experienced some excellent trauma-informed therapy with Linda Bishopp after developing C-PTSD from a series of life-changing events that happened to me (read on for the details).
The reason I didn’t realise it was because I used to be very extroverted in nature.
It is a common misconception that HSP and Introversion are the same thing but they are not.
Sensitivity is reflective of an individual’s natural predisposition to their emotional energy balances and needs.
Extroversion/Introversion is reflective of an individual’s natural predisposition to their social energy balances and needs.
I came into coaching by accident when I was working as a WordPress website builder/designer. I found myself asking my clients why they wanted a website when they were not at that stage of their marketing journey. To them, no designer had ever questioned the ethics of selling a website to someone for whom it would do more harm than good.
As I delved deeper into this I realised that there were a lot of sensitive business owners who were ‘checking things off’ an invisible list of ‘shoulds’ for new business owners. Not all of this ‘should-ing’ was actually going to be useful for them or their working life.
I had already been working in the website world for over a decade at that point and had trained and certificated in Digital Marketing with Google (as well as many other certificates in the cyber world). So I knew my stuff. And I also knew that what I had been taught was not being put forward to smaller businesses that would benefit most from the information.
Instead, what I observed, was small businesses owners looking at bigger businesses and trying to copy their efforts to “get myself out there”.
When it didn’t work they would be upset and believe that they had done something wrong. That their personality or service was somehow the off-putting factor. Their morale was crushed.
So I coached them.
I did this a few times and turned their businesses round. So I went and got formal accredited coaching training.
And coached people to change their businesses more and more.
And I love it!
How Trauma Shaped Me
Born in the 70s to a working-class family on a council estate we didn’t have a lot of money but we knew how to enjoy ourselves. At the age of 10, I first experienced abuse and in those days, things like that were not handled well. During my youth, I experienced a family terminal illness and grief. I changed schools, left home young and started abusing drink and drugs.
My Highly Sensitive nature had left me as a beacon to attract some nefarious types. I avoided conflict and therefore was an ideal target for bullies. I would NEVER fight back. I was compliant.
However, my extroverted nature meant that I was able to succeed socially make great friends and build what I thought was a stable support network…
I spent my late 20s and 30s recovering well only to then find myself attracting another abusive situation as soon as I was well again.
In 2014/5 I had a breakdown. I was running 3 businesses (not very well) and running a home, trying to be a good mother and spinning too many plates.
That’s when everything fell apart.
7 people from my support network (most beloved to me) had died in a 2-year period, I developed a benign cancer on my face and needed facial surgery to remove it.
My son was going through a tough time then too. He had a condition that we were trying to get a diagnosis for that took years to get to the bottom of. Both he and I were being bullied and harassed through his school because of it and I was suffering in a home life that was making all our mental health very poor indeed…
This led me to start searching for new ways that I could manage my sensitivity and energy to prevent such a breakdown from happening again.
Not only that I wanted to overcome some habits that were bothering me and prevent relapse into my binge-eating disorders (a particularly stubborn issue that I still struggle with sometimes) but also to develop more assertive confidence and boundaries so I would no longer attract such terrible energies into my life.
That is when I started experimenting with different coaching methods that were working well on my clients and their businesses and using them on myself.
It dawned on me that If I could teach my clients some of these methods they too would be able to save money on coaching costs by learning to effectively self-coach.
Therefore the only reason to see me or someone similar would be for a sounding board, a difficult problem or simply a non-judgemental listening ear.
The dependence on me could be removed and they could enjoy life and business on their own terms again.
I have since fallen in love with my best friend and we live together happily with my son in a beautiful cottage on the cliff-side near Folkestone, Kent.
Now I am ready and able to focus all my attention on my family and my business. I am ready to pay it forward with gratitude in my heart, to you.”