Wednesday, July 26, 2017

“I Call the Shots” Challenge for Sensitive Souls

The Strength of Sensitivity Podcast Episode 1 Transcript  (You can listen at

Hello everyone! Thanks for joining me in my inaugural episode… I’m your host Dr Kyra Mesich, author of The Strength of Sensitivity and creator of Empathic Empowerment Therapy. It may be the first episode of this podcast, but it’s a keeper because we are going to be addressing an issue that is of paramount important for your comfort level as a sensitive soul. Is your experience comfortable or uncomfortable?  Well, in many situations that depends upon whether you yourself are willing to Ask for Something Better.  All sensitive souls struggle with this to one degree or another.

A phrase I like to think about is “Hey, I call the shots around here.” Ah, wouldn’t that be great to feel like YOU call the shots in your life? Whether you’re at a restaurant and they don’t get your order right, or you’re in a room and the air conditioning is way too cold, or a colleague is not treating you respectfully, we are being given opportunities to ask for better, to call the shots.

The question, though, is whether we do it. Do you ask for better? Sometimes it doesn’t even occur to us that we can.

I’ve narrowed it down to 3 primary reasons that we sensitive souls often do not ask for something better. I’ll list them first then we’ll delve in a bit more to uncover the antidote for each one.

Three reasons we don’t ask for better:

1.     Feeling like an outsider
2.     Tolerating discomfort
3.     Conflict avoidance aka living in the worst case scenario

I recently had a personal experience with this one. Yes, even though I am an expert in sensitivity and I’ve grown, and evolved and become much more comfortable in my own skin over the last 2 decades, I am human. Sometimes we put ourselves in new situations that bring up old beliefs and responses in new interesting ways.

In my case, this happened at karaoke. Long story short, karaoke is a relatively new hobby for me. Never thought of myself as a good singer, so it has been fantastic to express myself in this new way, and surprise, I’m becoming a better singer as I practice singing more often.
Anyhoo, the “ask for better” situation came about one night at a bar where I had been for karaoke many times before. On this particular night, the volume was up way louder than it had been before. There was a new host, or kj as they are called, and I thought that perhaps he intentionally turned the sound up because someone else had asked for 
the volume to be turned up that night. But it was really loud and uncomfortable, so I sang a song or two then left.

Then I went back a few days later, and the sound was up way high again, so loud that it hurt my ears. So I moved, and sat back further away from the speakers, but it wasn’t as fun to sit there and be further away from the karaoke crowd. So I sang a couple songs and left.

The next day I messaged the kj on facebook and told him that the volume was up too high. I had liked the levels where he had it in the past, and I wondered if he purposely had it louder for some reason. He responded with an apology, said that he usually walks out to hear the levels and should have, but he was really busy. He replied, that no, he did not intentionally turn up the volume so loud. And then he said, the next time you are there if it is too loud for you, please come up and tell me so I can turn it down.

My external response to him was thanks, and my internal response to myself was, “Why the #$$%^&* didn’t I just do that? Why didn’t I go up and say “Hey, the volume’s up too loud, please turn it down.” I was most disturbed with myself that I sat there with painful ears – twice! - and didn’t do anything about it. Then the only solution that occurred to me was to move where I didn’t want to move, and then to leave. What?!?

Here I am, the expert sensitive lady, and I was definitely not living in the strengths of my sensitivity. Oh well, I cut myself some slack and decided to chalk it up to “old habits die hard” and tend to reveal themselves in new ways in new situations.

Although this had a twinge of number 2, tolerating discomfort, what really was going on this situation for me was number 1, feeling like an outsider.  Although I like karaoke, I don’t like going to bars to do so. I don’t identify with a lot of the people there, and apparently the energy of this brought up old patterns from memories of school and such of always feeling like an outsider and “no one else thinks the same way I do.”

OK, so reality check, just because I identify myself as a unique individual in a situation that does not equal that I don’t count. We often have a knee jerk reaction of taking it that far…something along the lines of I’m not like the rest of the people in this group, so my vote doesn’t count. And we believe that so much that we disregard evidence to the contrary.

For example, in my karaoke experiences, I noticed that some of the other regulars where I go also started singing happier, different songs because that’s what I usually do. 

Evidence right there that being the sensitive soul in a group brings a new light into that place, and others who also want to feel lighter will enthusiastically join in.

So what’s the antidote for number one, feeling like an outsider? Remembering these statements: Even if I do feel like an outsider someplace, I still deserve to be here. I ground into my surroundings. I claim my space, and I allow myself to notice when others are on my wavelength.

This one is about our identity as a sensitive person. We are prone to think, “I’m sensitive, which means I’m uncomfortable most all the time. That is just my lot in life.” Whoa, Nellie. That’s taking it too far.

Being a sensitive soul means you are highly perceptive, caring, creative, empathic & aware, and that’s where we need to end the definition. Do not include uncomfortable in your definition of what it means to be a sensitive soul.

Now, again, this is something we all to do varying degrees. If you grew up in a chaotic or abusive family you may learned to tolerate a tremendous amount of all types of discord and discomfort. Others of us tolerate discomfort simply because it doesn’t occur to us that we don’t have to. If you are asking for better, if you are calling the shots, then in 95% of most cases, you actually do not HAVE to tolerate any type of discord or discomfort.

The antidote for number two, tolerating discomfort. Here’s your new mantra. I can be sensitive AND comfortable. That’s a new one, huh? Replace the word sensitive with perceptive or different if you need to, so that you can actually believe the statement. I can be perceptive and comfortable. I can be different and comfortable. I can be sensitive and comfortable.

And last but not least number 3. I was going to title number 3 old-fashioned conflict avoidance, but what is conflict avoidance really? It’s living in the worst case scenario before it ever even has a chance to happen.
What is it the conflict we are trying to prevent? Well, 99% of the time, it’s an imaginary one. We’re trying to avoid whatever worst case scenario our neurotic mind has envisioned.
Most of the time we’re avoiding our own FEAR of the worst thing that could possibly happen (and therefore isn’t going to happen) because we let our mind run amok and let it dwell on the worst thing that could possibly happen.

We don’t ask for better from someone because our mind says, “No, don’t do it… I’ll be humiliated because they’ll laugh at me, or They won’t care, so they’ll just say no. Or They’ll be mad at me. Or I’ll hurt their feelings if I say anything.

So it comes down to a fear of being hurt or hurting someone else. And again, we take this too far.

Now the antidote for number 3, conflict avoidance and fear of being hurt or hurting someone else…Stay in the NOW of the moment. Right here, right now, and say to yourself, “I call the shots.” Then take 5 seconds to guide your thoughts into a positive image. Jumping to the worst case outcome is simply imagination without guidance, right? So instead of going to the worst fear-based outcome, gently guide your imagination, and see yourself confidently asking for better, and experiencing the desired outcome. 

It’s time for you to say, “I call the shots around here.”

So it’s the I Call the Shots Challenge!

For the next week, the next 7 days, embrace every opportunity you are given to ask for better, to be the person who calls the shots in your own experience. Of course, these types of challenges often are more fun and we stick with them when we have a partner in crime as it were. So ask a friend, sibling, or colleague to do this challenge with you, and you’ll both have a fun time supporting each other and sharing how you called the shots!

Feel free to let me know how your week goes with the I Call the Shots Challenge.

My “ask” for you is to share my blog and my podcast (it's on itunes, podbean & youtube) with your social media friends as much as possible, so we can create The Strength of Sensitivity Movement!   Viva la sensitive revolution!

Dr Kyra

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