#Highly Sensitive People: Does consistency outperform perfection?

Does consistency outperform perfection? Here’s a thought-provoking article by fellow highly sensitive person Amy Barbato.

I’ve decided to apply my approach to maintaining a healthful lifestyle, to other personal goals. I’ve often reassured friends who fall short of a desired daily exercise or diet plan, to repeat after me: “So what?” Take a breath, acknowledge that you did the best you could for today (you’re permitted a diversion), and just keep going.

Health experts now concur…it is what you do over time, not on any given day, that maintains fitness and health. Consistency is the key! If you’re not 100% all the time, it won’t derail your overall success, as long as you remain committed to your goals. Thus, there’s no need to get discouraged and quit when you lose momentum. Apparently, small steps, taken persistently, surpass the infrequent, “perfect” effort. In other words, stay focused on the “big picture”, and you should have plenty of room for flexibility and spontaneity within the daily snap-shot of your life.

While I’d successfully applied this philosophy to my fitness and diet regimen for years, I was missing the same point with other life ambitions. With my more daunting aspirations, like pursuing a career change or adopting disciplined writing habits, I had a self-defeating, “all or nothing” approach. I would gear up and expect to perfectly achieve the “big picture” all at once.

As life will have it, some days I was less productive, and this would discourage and derail me. It was as if one “lesser accomplished” day could determine my overall ability, progress, and prevent what was still possible. Until, one day, after finishing a quick, mini, “couldn’t do it all, but at least I did something today” workout, I made the connection. With any endeavor, consistent actions, small and large, collectively add up to manifest results and benefits along the way.

We’ve all heard successful people say success was realized not by achieving perfection everyday, but by persisting through the inevitable mistakes, stumbling blocks, and “failures” along the way. Two steps forward, one back, doesn’t mean you aren’t getting anywhere. You are still on your desired path! A long-term, realistic, healthy diet and exercise program allows for days off, setbacks, and modifications. This mindset can help you approach all of your goals and aspirations. Just keep moving forward with your goal in mind. By the time you reach a desired destination, you may find you’ve already been living the life!

Does consistency outperform perfection? I believe that it does. I’ve been guilty of having the “all or nothing” approach. It doesn’t serve me well. I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

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#Highly Sensitive Person Tissue Alert!

Highly Sensitive Person Tissue Alert! Highly Sensitive Person Tissue Alert! Here’s a very touching story.

There is a God in the Post Office
A Story of a Child’s Love for her Pet

Our 14-year-old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my young daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. Here is her letter:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.

I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her. You will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith.

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith, and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, “To Meredith”, in an unfamiliar hand writing. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, “When a Pet Dies”. Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.

I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I’m easy to find, I am wherever there is love.

Love,
God

I have no way to know who sent it, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service.

I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have about this very touching story.

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#Highly Sensitive People: Are you involved with a psychopath?

Are you involved either personally or professionally with a psychopath? If so, your highly sensitive nature will be greatly stressed! I read an article by Michael L. Diamond that will enlighten you on this subject. The article is as follows:

To figure out if you’re involved with a psychopath, look at 20 traits and ascribe a ranking from 0 to 2, 2 marking someone who definitely shows that characteristic. If the total score is more than 30 be careful. If it’s more than 35, call security!

(1) Glib and superficial charm. They are smooth, engaging, charming, and never get tongue-tied.

(2) Grandiose self-worth. They have a grossly inflated view of their abilities and think they are superior.

(3) Need for stimulation. They get bored easily, need to take risks, and don’t stay in the same job for long.

(4) Pathological lying. They can be deceptive, underhanded, and dishonest.

(5) Conning and manipulative. They will exploit others with no regard to the suffering they inflict.

(6) Lack of remorse. They are cold-hearted and even have disdain for their victims.

(7) Shallow affect. They have a limited range of feelings and despite their gregariousness, are cold.

(8) Callousness. A lack of feelings toward people in general.

(9) Parasitic lifestyle. They have a selfish financial dependence on others.

(10) Poor behavioral controls. They express irritability, annoyance, impatience, and verbal abuse. They have trouble controlling their anger.

(11) Promiscuous sexual behavior. They have brief, superficial relationships, and take great pride in discussing their sexual exploits.

(12) Early behavior problems. They lied, cheated, stole, or bullied before age 13.

(13) Lack of realistic, long-term goals. They lead an aimless life and lack direction.

(14) Impulsiveness. They can behave recklessly and don’t consider their consequences.

(15) Irresponsibility. They don’t fulfill their obligations, default on loans, skip bills, and fail to honor contracts.

(16) Failure to accept responsibility for their actions. It shows low conscientiousness.

(17) Many short-term relationships. They have many inconsistent and unreliable commitments in life.

(18) Juvenile delinquency. They got in trouble when they were teenagers with crimes that involved antagonism, aggression, or manipulation.

(19) Revocation of condition release. In trouble already, their probation was revoked because of technical violations like failing to appear.

(20) Criminal versatility. They commit a diversity of crimes and take great pride in getting away with it.

Are you involved either personally or professionally with a psychopath? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

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#Highly Sensitive People: Do you really need to be perfect?

Do you really need to be perfect? The definitions of a perfectionist are flawless, faultless, extreme, obsessive, supreme, excellence, ideal standard, extremely high standards, doing something well.

It should be a virtue, but there’s a lot of pain and frustration associated with it. It can help you do your best or it can immobilize you. Perfectionism is a result of what we learned in childhood. Social pressure, personal pressure, having unrealistic role models such as perfectionist parents.

A competitive and workaholic society contributes to perfectionism. Having children learn more than what they are capable of learning contributes to perfectionism.

The advantages of being a perfectionist include:

* Appearing to be responsible to others.
* Appearing to do a better job than others.
* Good employees.
* Pay attention to detail.
* Take pride in doing something well.
* Have satisfaction in doing one’s best.
* Take pride in being prepared.

Negative characteristics of being a perfectionist include:

* Time and energy are misspent.
* They provide undue stress on themselves and others.
* They think whatever needs to be done, has to be done perfectly.
* They set up standards that are impossible to meet.
* Can be very good second guessers. They use phrases such as could have, should have, and would have.
* Distorted outlook on life.
* They will maximize their failures and minimize their successes.
* They can’t enjoy the moment. They immediately look for the next challenge.
* They dwell in the negative past.
* They put goals over health.
* They are all or nothing thinkers.
* They compare themselves to others.
* They may have eating disorders.
* They have a lot of unfinished projects.
* They are reluctant to try new things.
* They worry about what others think.
* They may be chronic worriers.
* They may have strong feelings of guilt.
* They may have strong feelings of frustration.
* They may experience unprovoked crying, have the blues, tiredness, headaches, writers block, test anxiety.

Interesting thoughts about perfectionism include:

* Understanding and acceptance helps utilize perfectionism.
* Perfectionism can make us feel that our lives are not under control.
* We hate to see the imperfections in others because it reminds us of our imperfections.
* A question to ask ourselves is: Is this realistic?
* Perfectionists are often disappointed in the quality of other people’s work.
* Perfectionists need to get in touch with their feelings.
* Sometimes perfectionists need to be perfect to get the approval of others.
* They set unrealistic goals.
* Perfectionism can cut down on the amount of friendships that you have.
* Perfectionists are not necessarily higher achievers.
* Self-esteem may be lower.
* Avoids being average.
* High percentages of perfectionists are first-born.
* High percentages of perfectionists have Type A personalities.

The truth is that people and things don’t have the ability to be perfect. Do you really need to be perfect? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

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#Highly Sensitive People: Some Thoughts About Choosing a Career For a Highly Sensitive Person

It seems that career choice, career change, either forced or self-imposed, is a very timely topic. Here are some important questions to consider. Can you incorporate your passion into your work life? Would you like to pursue another line of work? Are you burnt out or are you bored? Would you like to start your own business?

Here are some career thoughts to think about. They include:

* If you’re unemployed, work through anxiety by seeking professional help, put some joy in your life, don’t catastrophise your situation, accept your situation and work with it the best way you can.

* You need to have a vision of what you need to do now. Think in terms of multiple streams of income. You might consider temporary work or other types of freelance projects. You can still work in your current job.

* It’s important to remember that every experience you have will help you. You will always use your education and skills. You have not wasted your time. You’re smarter and will make better choices because you will have more options.

* Use your highly sensitive intuition to guide you to your best career possibilities.

* Define who you are and what you aren’t. Identify your skills and interests. This is important information to know about yourself. Write this information down and add to it. Use this time for a journey of self- discovery.

* Partner your services with others to beat the recession by bartering.

* You might consider re-educating yourself by taking online and in-person classes.

*Google search specialized job banks for accountants, etc.

* Think through and write down your values. Include things that are extremely important to you.

* List the factors that have kept you from moving toward your dream career.

Possible HSP Careers include:

Accountants, lawyers, architects including landscape architects, researchers, writers, event planners, statisticians, engineers, graphic designers, efficiency experts, musicians, artists, life coaches, information specialists such as librarians, pet groomers, pet sitter or walker, florists, bakers, photographers, members of the clergy, craftspersons, sculptors, horticulturists, social work, working in non-profit organizations, volunteer work, and virtual assistants.

The benefits of self-employment– Flexibility in schedule and environment. Unlimited income. You don’t have to deal in office politics. You can do work that is meaningful to you. You can conduct business in the way that you’re comfortable with. You don’t have to deal with ethics challenges.

Downside of self-employment—It can be a lonely existence. You take all the risk. You must be self-motivated. You have to be able to ride out the highs and lows. You can’t be easily discouraged. You might not get the feedback that you desire.

What are your thoughts about choosing a career? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

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#Highly Sensitive People: Do you need some insight to cope with worry?

Do you need some insight to cope with worry? Here are some wise advice from fellow highly sensitive person Amy McNeil.

Although highly sensitive people are blessed with many wonderful gifts, they also have their share of challenges. According to Dr. Elaine Aron, highly sensitive people tend to become easily overwhelmed by life, due to a biological difference in their nervous systems. This high sensitivity can lead to worry, stress, and anxiety.

Since worry triggers and fuels many negative emotions, understanding and managing it provides an excellent starting point for “getting out of your own way”. Wikipedia defines worry as the “negative self-talk that often distracts the mind from focusing on the problem at hand”. Put another way, worry can be thought of as a barrier that blocks you from your best self. In other words, when you are in a state of intense worry, you have extremely limited “access” to things like intuition, knowledge, and talent. Instead, you have increased access to emotions that are more “compatible” with worry, such as anxiety, fear, depression, etc.

As an example, many HSPs have a tendency to under-perform while being watched. Why do you think this is? It is because fear and anxiety creep in as soon as you start to worry about what others are thinking. In essence, this fear blocks you from your knowledge and talent. However, in the absence of an observer, you are not worried and then once again have free access to your abilities. As another example, how often have you struggled to find the right words in the middle of a stressful argument, only to have those perfect words come easily to you after the argument has ended?

If you take a close look at worry, it’s simple to see that it serves no useful purpose. You will not change the outcome of anything by “worrying” about it. The only thing that worry will accomplish is to increase your suffering and to choke you off from your true self. Author and teacher, Leo Buscaglia, put it best when he said, “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”

I’ve found that worry doesn’t help my life in any way. Action steps are my antidote to “cure” worry. Do you need some insights about worry? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have. If you have some information to share with other highly sensitive people, I’d love to post it on my blog. Please Email me if you’re interested.

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#Highly Sensitive People: Dealing With Conflict: My Lessons Learned by Marina Brink

Here’s a very insightful post by a fellow highly sensitive person.

Dealing With Conflict: My Lessons Learned by Marina Brink

As a highly sensitive person, I have always felt suffocated by practically any kind of conflict. The intensity and negativity of a conflict-ridden situation would darken my mood, and I would feel paralyzed.

For example, many years ago, one of my co-workers seemed to be on a mission to make my life a living hell. This person knew exactly what to say to push my buttons. As a result, I was riddled with self-doubt, and I dreaded coming to work each day. I wish I could say that I handled the situation successfully, but the truth is that I eventually quit the job. Although walking away is sometimes the healthiest thing to do, it seemed an extreme measure at the time. Perhaps if I had known about my HSP nature and had better strategies to resolve the conflict, I would have dealt with the situation differently.

The following are some tips that I have learned:

* Self-care is the foundation of conflict resolution. Taking care of yourself provides you with the armor to shield yourself from harm. Eating healthy foods, getting consistent rest and relaxation, exercising, journaling, listening to music, being in nature, and meditating are just some of the many methods that can soothe your soul and give you energy for dealing with draining situations.

* Knowing and respecting your boundaries is the ultimate way to signal to others that you are worthy of respect. It’s a natural extension of self-care to communicate to others when a critical line has been crossed. Speaking in a calm and assertive manner can be challenging at first, but gets easier with practice. When you don’t respect your boundaries, other people won’t respect them either.

* Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help when you need it. Discuss your situation with other HSPs, family, friends, or a mental health professional. Never feel like you have to “go it alone”. When you are in the midst of a difficult situation, having a support network is critical for maintaining a healthy perspective.

* Accepting yourself and embracing your HSP traits are powerful antidotes to bullies, including the one within us all. Valuing your sensitivity can take time, especially when you are in the midst of a draining conflict. However, reading and learning about your HSP nature can be very powerful. This self-awareness gives you the tools to leverage your strengths and minimize your limitations, which is especially helpful during conflict situations.

Connecting with other HSPs is also very important. It not only gives you friendship and support, but also a robust community to be part of. Instead of feeling isolated and different, you feel validated and empowered, which makes it much easier to accept yourself. Rather than engaging your inner bully and beating yourself up, you see that being a HSP is actually an incredible gift. HSPs are the artists, teachers, healers, and philosophers of society.

Understand that resolving a conflict is an opportunity for growth. The presence of conflict is a clear indication that there is something for you to learn. Conflict is often needed to break us open and force us to change so that we can see the world differently. Although I still struggle with conflict, I do the best I can to appreciate the role it plays in my life and to embrace it for all of the important lessons I have learned.

What lessons have you learned by dealing with conflict? I’ve learned that I become stronger with every conflict that I overcome. I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

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#Highly Sensitive People: Wise advice from Suzanne Falter-Barns

Here’s some wise advice for highly sensitive people from a lecture that I attended in February 9, 2000 from Suzanne Falter-Barns, the author of How Much Joy Can You Stand?

* A quote from Vasari… “Talent and effort go together or if they do not, the talent will be wasted.”

* There’s no such day as some day.

* Pursuing a dream can be easier than thinking about it.

* How much commitment do you have to your dream?

* How can you re-arrange your life to follow your dream?

* Surrender and trust your dream.

* Use your intuition to guide you where you need to go.

* Effort doesn’t have to be a struggle.

* Have a want to make a life that you want to lead.

* Make a written list of things that you want to do, but have been avoiding. Make a written list of why you’re not doing it. Fear is the most common cause for not doing what you’d like. Are your fears justified?

* Make a written list of how you can overcome your fears. Give yourself as many reasons as possible to overcome them.

* How can you give your gift to others?

The words in bold letters are the ones that I most relate to. Can you relate to anything that Suzanne Falter-Barns said? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

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#Highly Sensitive People: Are you concentration challenged?

Are you concentration challenged? As a highly sensitive person, I know that I am! I’ve found that improving my concentration has helped me get more done in less time without the sense of overwhelm when I have too many things on my mind.

Below are some of the major benefits of developing your ability to focus as well as some practical tips for achieving extreme concentration.

The Benefits of Improved Concentration

(1) You’ll be more productive. By devoting your full attention to whatever you’re doing at the moment, you’ll produce better quality work in less time. It really is this simple.

(2) You’ll get more out of your conversations with others. When you focus on what another person is telling you, you’ll learn more. If another person feels that you’re listen to them, they will be more attracted to you.

(3) You’ll feel more peaceful. Many studies have found that multitasking makes people slower and less effective at performing various tasks. Trying to do too many things at once can cause stress and make you feel less alert. By contrast, focusing on one thing helps to calm your mind.

Training Your Mind To Concentrate

(1) Abandon distracting thoughts. Your highly sensitive mind will wander. Remain aware of your thoughts. When you notice a distracting thought, decline to pursue it. Return your attention to your chosen object. Repeat this as often as necessary. With practice, it will get easier.

(2) Vary your activities. It may be helpful to switch from one activity to another to remain alert. If you feel stuck doing something, do something else. You’ll feel rejuvenated when you come back to what you were doing.

(3) Plan regular breaks. Taking breaks will improve your performance. Reward yourself with an activity you enjoy after completing a difficult project. Standing up from time to time is refreshing because it helps your brain get more oxygen.

Are you concentration challenged? If so, how do you work through it? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

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#Highly Sensitive People: Would you like to be more interesting?

Would you like to be more interesting? An easy way to do this is to have a hobby. Highly sensitive people have a natural way of being creative and having a vast amount of interests. Do you utilize this talent for your personal happiness and being able to share your passions with others?

If not, you’re missing a perfect opportunity to be attractive to the types of people who are “good” for you. By that I mean, your hobbies/ interests, are the vehicle that can help you socialize with others that you have things in common with. Your hobby can be a catalyst to starting your own business or maybe give you ideas to pursue a certain endeavour that you may have not thought about.

I get many questions from highly sensitive people about how they can meet others like themselves. Right livelihood is another common concern. Your talents and passions hold the key to unlock the answers to these questions.

If you feel that you don’t have ideas about a hobby, here is an idea to get you started. Collecting is a fun way to spend your time and share what you have with others. People collect a vast array of items that you may not have thought about. They are as follows:

Indian relics, old calendars, train photos, boat photographs, thimbles, fruit jar labels, salt/pepper shakers, street car tokens, theater programs, menus, buttons, anything animal related, valentines, circus posters, music boxes, gems/minerals, belt buckles, airplane photos, old magazines, books on various subjects, stock certificates, anything automobile related, diaries, and other things that are too numerous to mention! There are many collecting clubs that you can join.

I collect Coca Cola items, old magazines and books, Chinese and Japanese figurines, bamboo plants, and newspaper clippings of articles that interest me. I love searching for these items! My newspaper clippings have helped my writing career immensely. They help me trigger ideas for my books, blog posts, and newsletters.

Would you like to be more interesting? What hobbies/collections do you have? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

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