Have you ever walked into a room for a networking event, conference or other gathering and had to deal with suddenly overwhelming feelings and ‘sensory input’ that seemed a bit over the top? Do you often know what people are feeling, thinking or wanting without them telling you? Have you been told you are a ‘Highly Sensitive Person?’
You could be an Empath.
Empaths live within 20% of our population. Are you one? Do you know someone who is one? Perhaps you saw this article and something drew you into it but you have never heard the term before. It is a known genetic ability, or sensitivity that many people have but not very many people know about.
You may have been told throughout your life that you were oversensitive, over dramatic, moody, aloof – DIFFERENT. And you might have even thought something was wrong with you. Well, you will be happy to hear that nothing is wrong with you. In fact, you are among a wonderful group of people who are highly tuned to the feelings, thoughts and physical discomfort of those around you. Knowledge is power, and if you suspect you might be an empath, the best thing you can do is to learn more about it. Identifying with this skill will give you a ‘leg up’ in life and ease some of your burdens which in the past you had no idea what they were or why they were there.
Dr. Judith Orloff in her New York Times bestseller, Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life, states “Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually attuned, and good listeners. If you want heart, empaths have got it. Through thick and thin, they’re there for you, world-class nurturers.”
Being a ‘world class nurturer’ makes you a great service provider in business, but it can also lead to problems.
Being an empath entrepreneur is an amazing world if you know who you are and how to balance your life and your needs as an empath. The problem with being an empath entrepreneur is you will have a bigger struggle in growing your business, valuing your worth and having clear boundaries. Have you ever found yourself doing the following?
- Undervalue your time, services and product because you are concerned about being ‘affordable’ for your clients? (when, in fact, there NEEDS to be an energy exchange in money in order for your services to be seen as valuable AND the Universal laws of abundance work best when you are clear on the value you bring and allow it to flow to you).
- Run over session times and respond to their clients needs rather than your own? ( Having clear boundaries, systems and practices in place that are consistently used to open and close sessions are paramount in business. Time management and organization are essential tools.)
- Feel overly responsible for your client? (This is both ridiculous and enabling and not good for either you or your client. You are not trusting your client to deal with their own issues and the dynamic becomes more one of parent/child. The client will become accustomed to this, drain more and more resources from you and not learn how to manage things for themselves.You will become fatigued, frustrated and limit your client capacity due to a fear of being engulfed).
- Assume that clients know exactly what they’ll get by working with you by just ‘knowing’ because you are able to pick up information that way? ( Doesn’t everyone just ‘know’ what people are feeling and who they are by ‘sensing it?’ – well, no. Only empaths have this ability/gift and it is up to you to learn to communicate more directly and effectively to those who do not possess this gift. AND the empath will likely allow their client to determine their value, which will never end well).
- Often ‘unclear’ yourself on the value you bring to your clients? ( If you aren’t clear, your client won’t be clear. Often you are unclear because you sense and feel your clients ‘lack of knowing’ of your value and you mistakenly feel that as the truth, rather than the opportunity for you to become VERY clear on what value you offer and then practice the direct and effective communication skills to tell your client)
- Find you copy, mirror or otherwise start to reflect your clients and behave in ways that aren’t anything like you normally behave so you get confused? (Empaths often absorb and then mirror back feelings and thoughts of others without even knowing it. The untrained empath will have difficulty figuring out what emotions belong to them, and what emotions belong to the other person. If you have ever found that you behave differently with each client, you could be doing this without even knowing it).
If you have nodded your head in agreement to any of the above you are struggling with bringing your incredible empathic abilities into alignment with your business.
How do you align the two? Firstly, knowledge IS power. Knowing you have this trait, learning how to work with it and finding ways to use your insights and empathic nature to empower and support your business rather than taking away from it is key. Secondly, find another empath entrepreneur ( YES, there are others like you out there) and bring them into your close circle of confidants and mentors. Learn from them and watch how they have adjusted their highly sensitive nature to be a superb business person and not lose themselves in the process.
If you are still wondering if you might indeed be an empath yourself and not just struggling with insecurities and self value, here are 30 of the most common traits of empaths. Tweet This
1. Knowing: Empaths just know stuff, without being told: It’s a knowing that goes way beyond intuition or gut feelings, even though that is how many would describe the knowing. The more attuned they are the stronger this gift becomes.
2. Being in public places can be overwhelming: Places like shopping malls, supermarkets or stadiums where there are lots of people around can fill the empath with turbulently vexed emotions that are coming from others.
3. Feeling others emotions and taking them on as your own: This is a huge one for empaths. To some they will feel emotions off those near by and with others they will feel emotions from those a vast distance away, or both. The more adept empath will know if someone is having bad thoughts about them, even from great distance.
4. Watching violence, cruelty or tragedy on the TV is unbearable: The more attuned an empath becomes the worse it is and may make it so they eventually have to stop watching TV and reading newspapers altogether.
5. You know when someone is not being honest: If a friend or a loved one is telling you lies you know it (although many empaths try not to focus on this because knowing a loved one is lying can be painful). Or if someone is saying one thing but feeling/thinking another, you know.
6. Picking up physical symptoms off another: An empath will almost always develop the ailments off another (colds, eye infections, body aches and pains) especially those they’re closest to, somewhat like sympathy pains.
7. Digestive disorders and lower back problems: The solar plexus chakra is based in the centre of the abdomen and it’s known as the seat of emotions. This is where empaths feel the incoming emotion of another, which can weaken the area and eventually lead to anything from stomach ulcers to IBS (too many other conditions to list here). Lower back problems can develop from being ungrounded (amongst other things) and one, who has no knowledge of them being an empath, will almost always be ungrounded.
8. Always looking out for the underdog: Anyone whose suffering, in emotional pain or being bullied draws an empath’s attention and compassion.
9. Others will want to offload their problems on you, even strangers: An empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems, which, if they’re not careful can end up as their own.
10. Constant fatigue: Empaths often get drained of energy, either from energy vampires or just taking on too much from others, which even sleep will not cure. Many get diagnosed with ME.
11. Addictive personality: Alcohol, drugs, sex, are to name but a few addictions that empaths turn to, to block out the emotions of others. It is a form of self protection in order to hide from someone or something.
12. Drawn to healing, holistic therapies and all things metaphysical: Although many empaths would love to heal others they can end up turning away from being healers (even though they have a natural ability for it), after they’ve studied and qualified, because they take on too much from the one they are trying to heal. Especially if they are unaware of their empathy. Anything of a supernatural nature is of interest to empaths and they don’t surprise or get shocked easily. Even at the revelation of what many others would consider unthinkable, for example, empaths would have known the world was round when others believed it was flat.
13. Creative: From singing, dancing, acting, drawing or writing an empath will have a strong creative streak and a vivid imagination.
14. Love of nature and animals: Being outdoors in nature is a must for empaths and pets are an essential part of their life.
15. Need for solitude: An empath will go stir-crazy if they don’t get quiet time. This is even obvious in empathic children.
16. Gets bored or distracted easily if not stimulated: Work, school and home life has to be kept interesting for an empath or they switch off from it and end up daydreaming or doodling.
17. Finds it impossible to do things they don’t enjoy: As above. Feels like they are living a lie by doing so. To force an empath to do something they dislike through guilt or labelling them as idle will only serve in making them unhappy. It’s for this reason many empaths get labelled as being lazy.
18. Strives for the truth: This becomes more prevalent when an empath discovers his/her gifts and birthright. Anything untruthful feels plain wrong.
19. Always looking for the answers and knowledge: To have unanswered questions can be frustrating for an empath and they will endeavour to find an explanation. If they have a knowing about something they will look for confirmation. The downside to this is an information overload.
20. Likes adventure, freedom and travel: Empaths are free spirits.
21. Abhors clutter: It makes an empath feel weighed down and blocks the flow of energy.
22. Loves to daydream: An empath can stare into space for hours, in a world of their own and blissfully happy.
23. Finds routine, rules or control, imprisoning: Anything that takes away their freedom is debilitating to an empath even poisoning.
24. Prone to carry weight without necessarily overeating: The excess weight is a form of protection to stop the negative incoming energies having as much impact.
25. Excellent listener: An empath won’t talk about themselves much unless it’s to someone they really trust. They love to learn and know about others and genuinely care.
26. Intolerance to narcissism: Although kind and often very tolerant of others, empaths do not like to be around overly egotistical people, who put themselves first and refuse to consider another’s feelings or points of view other than their own.
27. The ability to feel the days of the week: An empath will get the ‘Friday Feeling’ if they work Fridays or not. They pick up on how the collective are feeling. The first couple of days of a long, bank holiday weekend (Easter for example) can feel, to them, like the world is smiling, calm and relaxed. Sunday evenings, Mondays and Tuesdays, of a working week, have a very heavy feeling.
28. Will not choose to buy antiques, vintage or second-hand: Anything that’s been pre-owned carries the energy of the previous owner. An empath will even prefer to have a brand new car or house (if they are in the financial situation to do so) with no residual energy.
29. Sense the energy of food: Many empaths don’t like to eat meat or poultry because they can feel the vibrations of the animal (especially if the animal suffered), even if they like the taste.
30. Can appear moody, shy, aloof, disconnected: Depending on how an empath is feeling will depend on what face they show to the world. They can be prone to mood swings and if they’ve taken on too much negative will appear quiet and unsociable, even miserable. An empath detests having to pretend to be happy when they’re sad, this only adds to their load (makes working in the service industry, when it’s service with a smile, very challenging) and can make them feel like scuttling under a stone.
If you can say yes to most or all of the above then you are most definitely an empath.
Being an Empath can be difficult at times, and Empaths are currently having a lot of difficulty sorting through all of the negative emotions going on in the world currently. But, with knowledge, patience, understanding and a strong sense of yourself and your abilities, this Empathic nature can be your biggest asset both personally and in the world of business.
Share with me how you’ve learned to work with your Empathic abilities, or if you are new to this concept please share your questions below!
30 traits of an empath sourced from: http://themindunleashed.org/
Photo credit ‘lady hands on face’: www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com