“The real warriors in this world are the ones that see the details of another’s soul. They see the transparency behind walls people put up. They stand on the battlefield of life and expose their heart’s transparency, so others can finish the day with hope. They are the sensitive souls that understand that before they could be a light, they first had to feel the burn.”
Shannon L. Alder
My 3 Pillars
There are three things I believe deeply in my bones as a coach and as a highly sensitive person:
Highly sensitive people and professionals are exceptionally talented and one of the best assets to organizations, businesses and our world economy
You can succeed and perform to your full potential as a highly sensitive person (zero doubts)
You have to do the work yourself and find solutions to your problems first if you are to lead others effectively to do the same
These three beliefs have been proven true over and over again, either through my clients’ results or through my own experience of living with my high sensitivity, overcoming those challenges and creating success as an educational, corporate and business leader.
I am not going to lie: being highly sensitive creates challenges, a lot of the time. It means being different from most other people. It means that you will need to manage yourself differently, for the rest of your life and career as a leader.
It also means that you have qualities and gifts most people don’t have, which will always make you stand out if you are ready to work on using these gifts.
My journey of being highly sensitive has been incredible, very intense of course, and full of opportunities to get to know my HSP self on a very deep level. Over time, I have developed the resilience and strength to serve others as a leader, trainer, mentor and teacher, even when I felt depleted.
My journey has been one of exploration, of variety, of being unplanned and ready to grasp opportunities, of pushing my boundaries and getting out of my comfort zone.
This has also been a journey of doubting myself for being different from other people and experiencing the world on such a deep level. The intensity of it all has been overwhelming. It has been a journey into pronounced anxiety and depression, from my teenage years until my late twenties. Anxiety and depression were constantly in my body and mind, even when I pushed myself and even when I was successful. They prevented me from seeing, embracing and celebrating my successes and the amazing things I was accomplishing.
Anxiety and depression were omnipresent in my life especially before I discovered my HSP trait in my mid-twenties. From this moment on, I understood that a lot of my struggles came from my sensitive nervous system – which gave me relief and a perfectly rational explanation to everything that was going on for me.
My stroke of luck came one night in my mid-twenties. I was crying, being emotional, distressed and feeling depressed. Again, I was being a victim of life. I also felt so exasperated about being sensitive about everything. So I google searched it (thanks Google!) as I didn’t know what to do with myself. This is how I found out about the HSP trait, the sensitive nervous system and the statements I could completely identify with. I felt a sense of immediate relief and even though the bulk of my self-development work was still to come, I felt a validation which a lot of my HSP clients experience when they find out about their trait later in life.
Being HSS (High Sensation Seeker): A blessing in disguise
Another aspect of my trait I found out subsequently is that I also am a high sensation seeker (also known as HSS). This didn’t draw my attention at first but with time I realized that both my hobbies and my career path showed a will to push the limits of what I can achieve physically and mentally.
All my hobbies and sports pursuit were “extreme” from a very young age: horse-riding (show-jumping), snowboarding and surfing. I competed as a show-jumping and dressage rider for most of my life and put myself through a lot of stress and sleepless nights to be able to create results. Being observed, putting myself out there and measuring up with others created continuous stress for me, however I kept pushing myself because it made me feel alive. I was extremely challenged and over-stimulating myself as an HSP but kept pushing the limits.
It has been the same in my career, which is very much a protean type of career. I entered teaching profession without thinking that it might not be an ideal setup for an HSP. This is arguably one of the most stimulating professions on the planet. I had huge number of interactions every day and things were changing constantly – unpredictable situations which put me on the spot and made me dig in my resources were my bread and butter. My career has also been international, I moved a lot, worked with different cultures, religions and languages. I was made uncomfortable and pushed out of my comfort zone constantly. I worked in very challenging schools, leadership roles and later on coaching assignments in new industries and sectors I was not familiar with.
The HSS in me has been instrumental to learning to manage the over-stimulation I was experiencing constantly. This is why I am so resourceful and masterful as an HSP today and able to coach highly sensitive leaders effectively to overcome the challenges they are facing and fulfill their potential in the corporate and business space.
Helping leaders to develop their skills and grow their success is my passion.
I think of the work I do with leaders as not being very different from what a sports coach does. I work with professionals and leaders who want to perform one way or another. They might be starting their career or they might be VPs or CEOs. It doesn’t matter. What they all have in common is that they want to be their best professional self. A sports coach will help an athlete perform – I help leaders and professionals perform. Just like a sports coach, I help you prepare mentally and sometimes physically too. I help you get into the zone of discomfort to come out successful and grown the other side. I help you experiment. I help you fail and then succeed. You want to go to the leadership Olympics? This is when I come in.
I currently coach 10 to 15 leaders weekly, most serving world-famous organizations around the world. I collaborate with brands we have all seen and used, such as Pinterest, The New York Times, Insead, Visa, HSBC and many more. My coaching experience to date amounts to over 650 hours – this has given my clients time to overcome many challenges and see themselves go from being good at what they do, to being great.
My ICF-ACC certification and credential guarantees the best quality of coaching and highest standard in the industry. Certification is not everything, but it does matter to me and to my clients. It is a token of my passion for lifelong learning, a trait I share with many HSPs, and the respect I have for the coaching industry and the standards I want it to have.
I have helped and continue helping leaders through a variety of challenges – always working in ALIGNMENT with who they are and the leadership style that naturally resonates with them:
Emotional management under pressure and responsibility
Time-management, workload, and deadlines
Courageous conversations with team members, managers, and colleagues
Change management, on a small or big scale
Culture and inclusive leadership practices
Progression, appraisal, promotion, compensation
Confidence and self-worth
Communication, networking, personal brand
And many more…
Our first conversation will only show the tip of the iceberg. Let’s dive in and explore the rest to get you where you want to be, as a leader but also as a highly sensitive person.
You’re already on your way, one step closer to success.
My two benchmarks as a Highly Sensitive Leader
Today, I am using two very simple measures of how I am doing daily to monitor my energy levels and productivity as a highly sensitive business leader. I ask myself two simple questions: Am I feeling calm? Am I feeling happy? If the answer is no, I know that I need to manage myself differently.
This simple approach is my benchmark to plan my time and monitor my over-stimulation in order to fulfill my potential day after day. This might feel very basic but this is all you need as an HSP to go through your day successfully. Give it a try!
How I show up every day
I have a morning routine. It responds to my needs as an HSP – it creates calm and relaxation in my body and mind. It focuses me. It sets me up for success and for helping others to succeed.
Every day starts with 15 minutes of Pranayama – or the practice of breath regulation. Your breath is your best friend, it is always there and never lets you down. This is a major tool for HSPs, for physical and mental regulation. If you work with me, you will learn to use Pranayama to your advantage in any situation.
My second step is listening to a podcast I enjoy and which stimulates my motivation and thinking. I listen for 10-15 minutes, to avoid over-stimulation or having too many ideas coming in. I take one or two ideas from the podcast into my day.
Finally, I go for a walk in nature or do a stretching routine, depending how much time I have and what my schedule looks like. Connecting with nature is absolutely essential for HSPs and this is certainly true for me. Nature is still – the opposite of over-stimulation. Nature makes no demand on your nervous system – it simply replenishes it. Stretching is important for HSPs as our sensitive nervous system can lead to muscle tightness and contraction. Releasing muscles regularly is key for the HSP body.
Then I am ready to coach YOU to success.
If you are ready to meet me and reach your goals as a Highly sensitive leader, get in touch using the contact info below. I look forward to meeting you!