My client self-identified as a highly sensitive person. She engaged my support because she was struggling to find and use her voice at work. This was problematic as she had recently been promoted to a leadership position.
People were looking to her for direction and she felt unsteady. Off handed comments rang in her ears. She was overwhelmed trying to think through each scenario she encountered as holistically as possible. Trying to predict people's reactions and possible outcomes.
All of this caused her to feel plagued with doubt as she continually second guessed herself. Every possible decision and direction she could take seemed both right and wrong depending on her mode.
We worked together on grounding practices. She did Heart Focused Breathing, and journaled. These efforts helped her find calm and ease in her mind and body. And from this place she began to find her confidence and trust herself.
She learned that anytime she approached a situation from a frazzled or disoriented place, things frayed. Fear took a stronger grip. And she lost control. These were the moments where her primitive brain took over.
She could change this pattern if she made centering and grounding herself a priority. So that's what she did. She had daily, weekly and as needed routines for self-care.
Eventually, she stopped being so apologetic when sharing her opinions and thoughts. She was able to be more direct in her communications, while continuing to foster healthy relationships.
Then the stakes got even higher. Now she was facing a crisis - a moment that would either make or break her leadership journey.
The pressure and stress became much more intense. The potential consequences were grave. This caused her to feel disoriented. She felt short of breath, on the verge of panic and incapable of thinking clearly.
Rather than spiral out of control, she leaned into her centering practices. A walk in nature. A session with her Inner Balance Trainer. Journaling. Processing things with me. And she felt more grounded and calm.
From this place she got curious. She identified her options. She set criteria. She ideated some more. She made her choices - what to do and how. And she spoke up.
As is often the case with hard things. It took time to unfold. There were components that remained ongoing. The stress would mount and she'd have to center and ground herself all over again.
Learning to accept the normal ebbs and flows made it easier to endure. Problems weren't insurmountable obstacles anymore. Instead she saw them as challenges that invited growth, curiosity and compassion. She continued to ask questions and listen - both to herself and others.
Knowing she was not alone in navigating these challenges was a tremendous asset. Her role as a leader was to enable the collective intelligence of the team around her to prevail. She didn't have to have all the answers. She needed to trust the people around her and cultivate the space for open, co-creating conversations to unfold.
My client realized that by finding her voice, she enabled others' voices to emerge. That's because to secret to finding her voice wasn't about knowing everything or being right. It was a matter of listening deeply and with curiosity. While being discerning, regulated and grounded. And speaking from her heart.
Would you like to be guided in a Heart Focused Breathing practice that'll create more calm and ease in your work and life? Join me for a Wholehearted Leaders Center and Recharge session. More information and registration is available here.