Wednesday, May 07, 2008

HSPs and Initiative

I've noticed, over the years, that HSPs sometimes struggle with initiative.

On the whole, highly sensitive individuals also tend to be highly creative individuals. The "juices" are often flowing... yet a great many things never get beyond being "an idea."

This seems to apply, across a broad spectrum of life. Over the past decade, I have met a great many HSPs who really "wanted to" something-- could be follow a dream, attend an event, find friendships, start a relationship-- yet when the time comes to "do," a million reasons "not to" suddenly bubble to the surface.

Now, I'm not talking about choosing to "not do" something you really want to do, on account of a very real problem like Social Anxiety. I am talking about those many cases when we choose "not to," because we're immobilized by the belief that we'll get overstimulated and that will be unpleasant.

However, there is such a thing as becoming a slave to your "comfort zone" to such a degree that you miss out on a large part of what life has to offer. It's easy to justify NOT participating in a whole lot of things, with the reasoning that we are merely "honoring our sensitivity."

My experience tells me that many HSPs would really "like to" participate in many different things. My experience also tells me that many HSPs really enjoy "participating," once they are actually present and involved. The big "bugaboo" lies in getting from "want to" to "doing."

Some years ago, one of my teachers said: "Our THOUGHTS about a thing are usually much worse than the THING, itself." Although she was referring to "bad things" we fear doing, I think it also is very true for HSPs, even with "good things." We spend so much time thinking about "what could happen" that we almost completely lose sight of the enjoyment we'll have, once we're involved.

Sometimes you just have to take the initiative, even when it feels rather overwhelming.

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Talk Back: As an HSP, do you find there are a lot of things you "want" to do, but you manage to talk yourself out of actually "doing" them? Is taking the initiative an issue for you?

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