So Sensitive: Are you tired of sucking it up?

"Your sensitivity is your greatest gift. Protect it."

Last night I went to see a movie with a group of friends. I'd heard wonderful things about the story from people whose opinion I respect, and I was so looking forward to enjoying the film. However, within twenty minutes of watching, I made a decision to leave the theater.

I'm very sensitive to violence and human suffering and therefore my threshold is pretty low. I really wanted to see this movie, so at first, I kept trying to talk myself into staying. I told myself things like, "Just wait, Cheryl, I'm sure the violence will end soon." Or, "Close your eyes through the tough parts." But, after several attempts to hang in there through what I imagined was the set-up of the story, I thought to myself, "Wait a minute. I don't do this anymore. I no longer override my sensitive nature. Instead, I protect it." So I quietly said goodbye to my friends and left.

Knowing and respecting my sensitive side is an important way that I practice extreme self care (which is why I dedicate a whole chapter to this topic in my new book). We all have varying levels of sensitivity. It's the fundamental part of us that allows us to be touched by beauty, signs of grace, or intimate moments with others. And, it's the mechanism that provides us with an internal warning signal that lets us know when we're in situations that may be hazardous to our emotional, physical, or spiritual health.

As we grow in our understanding and practice of extreme self care, our sensitivity level rises and we pay closer attention to what we need to feel good. If the lights are too bright in a restaurant, for instance, you might ask to have them turned down. Or, if you know that you're easily wounded by harsh criticism, you might decide to educate someone about how best to give you feedback so you can learn and grow. While these ideas might sound a bit "high maintenance" (and certainly can be when misused or not handled in a gracious way), they're actually an indication of healthy self esteem.

This week I invite you to notice your own sensitive nature. Are you paying attention to your needs or overriding them? Do you practice the art of "sucking it up," or the art of extreme self care?

Just a gentle reminder to notice, that's all ...

Take Action Challenge

During the week, pay special attention to those times when you push yourself to do something you'd really rather not do. Don't suck it up. Bow out, say no, turn around and walk away. Protect your sensitivity and it will serve you well!



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Author Information

Cheryl Richardson

Cheryl Richardson is the author of The New York Times bestselling books, Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace and her new book The Art of Extreme Self Care. She was the first president of the International Coach Federation and holds one of their first Master Certified Coach credentials.

Books from Cheryl Richardson

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