When it comes to working, the highly sensitive among us have quite the job on our hands. Balancing and sorting our complicated emotions while also managing the stimulants around us can be quite challenging. Most of us go through daily life, learning hidden skills in managing all of these without anyone ever knowing.
But sometimes, work requires more of us than we can give. Or, we offer work more of ourselves than we should.
I’m a freelance writer, so I’m required to find clients, manage finances, market my business, pay taxes and of course, produce written work for my clients. Each day I wear many hats, and sometimes, these hats put a lot of pressure on my HSP self. Calling clients, dealing with finance or lack of it, these are just some of the things that have lead me to:
- Feel completely overwhelmed.
- Be on the verge of burnout.
- Struggle to progress in business due to fear.
My general sense of overwhelm made me believe that I’d never be able to progress. Or to earn what I was worth and enjoy my business in the way I wanted. Something had to give.
How A Highly Sensitive Person At Work Can Learn To Disconnect
My business life up until this point had been stressful and anxiety-filled, but there was one thing that kicked me out of it – disconnecting.
I’d always envied my friends and family who managed to do their work and at the end of the day disconnect entirely and fully relax. I, however, did completely the opposite. I was all-consumed by either my passion for my business or my fear. I’d devote way too much of my time and energy until I plucked up the courage to ask a friend, how he managed to disconnect emotionally from his work.
You see, this friend of mine is not an HSP, which meant his expertise in not being highly sensitive was useful to me – I could learn something.
I didn’t want to disconnect entirely from my work; after all, I did enjoy it. I just wanted to remove my emotions from certain aspects of it—particularly the ones that produced the most anxiety and stress.
His answer was simple – I don’t attach my self-worth to my work.
It was quite possibly the most frustrating thing I’ve ever heard. His answer to my question was simple, and he said it like even the statement meant nothing.
Tips For A Highly Sensitive Person At Work to Learn To Disconnect.
Although I was frustrated with his answer, I did take it in. After all, he was the expert in being emotionless when it came to work.
So over the next few months, I practised removing emotion from certain things in my business. Mostly, for the tasks I felt were stressful or emotionally draining, I’d channel my ‘inner don’t care’ and get to work.
So if you’re struggling with emotional attachment to the work you do and want to give yourself a break, here are some things you can do:
Be Intentionally Objective
One of the best ways to train your mind to detach your emotional self from work is to do it deliberately. So the next time you come up against something that challenges you emotionally, stop, think and adapt your reaction to be as objective as possible. Remember, only you have the power to change how you react to certain situations.
Here are a few scenarios:
- A client doesn’t reply to an email as quickly as they usually do – It’s not something you said, they’re just busy, and they will get to it.
- Someone leaves a rude comment on your video – If it was constructive, use it to improve, If it wasn’t, ignore it.
Sometimes we all need a little hand along the way, and mantras or positive phrases could be just the encouragement we need.
Here are a few you could try out. Keep them within reach so you can see them regularly:
- I’m more than my work.
- I will not let someone else have power over me.
- I need to save my energy for the people I love.
Find your Identity Outside Of your Work
One of the things that keep highly sensitive people emotionally attached to work is the lack of an identity outside of it.
If you were to lose your business or job tomorrow, would your identity be lost with it? If the answer to this question is yes, then you might be in very deep waters, my friend.
The last thing you want as an HSP is to lose your identity. The emotional attachment you have for work is a liability. It’s fantastic that you love the work you do. Still, it’s for this reason that when something goes wrong at work, you feel emotionally compromised.
It’s time to develop who you are outside of work. What hobbies do you have? What’s different about you outside of work? What makes you happy when you have time off?
Cultivate and nurture this, because one day, it might just save you.
What Happens When A Highly Sensitive Person At Work Learns To Disconnect?
After I’d started to disconnect emotionally from certain aspects of my work, I was finally able to breathe.
The parts of my business that previously required a lot of emotional energy now were straightforward and simple. I was able to achieve more and push outside of my comfort zone without feeling crippled by my emotional attachment.
On the other hand, the parts of my business that I always loved were flourishing more than ever. Because I wasn’t spending my emotional energy on tasks I disliked, I was able instead to spend it positively on the tasks I loved.
When you disconnect to the things that honestly don’t matter, you free up space to connect more to the things that do.
So, highly sensitive person, is this something you’d consider doing? Leave a comment and let me know.
As the Founder of Limit Breaker, Gina’s aim is to empower introverts to be their own coaches. To filter the noise of online advice, come to their own conclusions and create lives and businesses that work for them. Gina seeks to help introverted business women stay true to their introversion and build a sustainable business at the same time.