5 Characteristics Of Highly Sensitive People (That Actually Make You Powerful)

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Over the past five years, I've worked with hundreds of people across the globe. The greatest commonality among my clients is that they are highly sensitive, intuitive, empathetic. Almost as often as I worked with a highly sensitive person, that person discovered a previously unrecognized gift within themselves. Many of them are healers, helpers, visionaries, and teachers — and they didn't know it.

Our world is at a point of palpable change, with two very different realities within our grasp. It's clearer than it might've been to our parents or their parents that we can choose a path mired in chaos and suffering or one that thrives in harmony, health, and happiness. Hardship is polarizing, and one question determines which side you'll be on: will you serve self or others?

Highly sensitive people are unusually attuned to discord in the world and many of them are determined to do things differently — whether that's embodied through a rejection of toxins in food or cruelty to animals, or an active effort to shed light on humanitarian issues or equal rights.

I've encountered five key hallmarks in the lives of my clients, once they uncover and begin to pursue their true purpose. If they resonate with you, take it as an affirmation of the choices you're making and move further along that path. If you feel misaligned with the choices that have led you to where you are, or that you continue to make, listen to the messages from your gut, your soul, your intuition — and even, sometimes, clear signs from the universe — that are nudging you in a different direction.

By understanding and accepting ourselves — despite and even because of the fact that we're different from most of the people we know — we empower ourselves to fulfill our own unique raison d'être. Whatever the fullest expression of you might be, the planet and all its people need it. Right now.

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1. You may have a stronger connection to your intuition.

Highly sensitive souls and empaths place a lot of emphasis on intuition. Some people experience it with little to no effort while others need to detox their lives (on many different levels) to regain this sacred connection with themselves.

While intuition might not always be greatly valued in our extroverted, bottom-line-oriented culture, great thinkers have always recognized its importance.

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." — Albert Einstein, as paraphrased by Bob Samples

Being sensitive is a gift and a blessing, albeit a challenge at times.

2. You've come away from challenges with hard-earned wisdom that has given you perspective to heal and teach others.

Once we accept that our soul has assignments on earth, we begin to recognize that every "accident of fate" has really been an opportunity, or a preparation for the work we are intended to do. When we heal ourselves, we heal the world.

3. You have a strong desire and drive to ease suffering.

You may be drawn to animals, nature, and the environment, political or financial reform, educating children or working with people in need, addressing poverty or homelessness.

There is so much work to be done. When we honor our own unique desires and skills, we can begin to truly rebuild the world. This work of art requires the insight and effort of every single human being.

4. You question everything and don't blindly accept religious or spiritual dogma as such.

You are a free thinker and choose to honor the guru within. The idea of empty hierarchy turns you off. You intuitively know that you will find the truth in yourself. You know that you are not separate from the macrocosm but deeply connected to it and interwoven with its story. You stand for truth, unity, and love above all else.

5. You may not fit in. Mainstream culture and consumerism may not resonate with you.

Gentle, intuitive souls are fierce ones, too. It's only by listening to the truth of your own higher knowing, your inner wisdom, and realigning yourself with it, that you can begin to foster positive change. Highly sensitive people are the change-makers, creative thinkers, and revolutionaries who are going to guide us into a new way of thinking and interacting with the world.

We empower ourselves by understanding our purpose. The one calling we share is to embody love. Your expression is unique to you. I invite you to dive deeper in your meditation practice and any other ways you connect to yourself — to connect with your unique purpose, passions, and gifts — to remember who you really are. So often we let the world tell us we are too small to change things — that we are at the mercy of our circumstances — but it's not true.

We're waking up to our capacity to create our lives and a new world from the inside out — from a loving, conscious place, empty of fear or mechanical habit. You are the forerunners, the pioneers, the peacemakers, and way-showers.

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