Your Sensitivity Is A Gift

November 29, 2018

Helen Joy Butler - Sensitivity Is A Gift - Women In Focus Real Stories

Last Thursday night I stood up in front of a sold out CBA Women In Focus Real Stories event and shared my story.

The path that led to that night was totally unexpected.

It involved

  • Submitting an application way back in August – along with 300 other women from Brisbane – and being one of only eight accepted to share my story
  • Connecting with seven other amazing women who shared their stories so openly, beautifully and honestly
  • Receiving speaker training from the lovely Laura from Speakers Little Secret – and some on the side from my gorgeous friend Simone, The Speakers’ Director
  • Meeting the lovely Women In Focus team and connecting with the passion they have in sharing this event
  • Deciding what to wear!

Unfortunately the event wasn’t filmed BUT that doesn’t mean I can’t share my story with you!

So here it is – in word form.

The story I shared from my heart, knowing full well that this is where I am meant to be, right now, in my life and biz.

I hope you enjoy it.

It’s the autumn of 2016 and I am a blithering mess, crouched on the floor of a shower cubicle, at the end of a long day at retreat.

I’m halfway through the retreat experience and I’ve hit the wall.

But I say to myself – Come on Helen – This is why you go on retreat right? To dive deep into change. To come out the other side a new you.

On that shower floor, I decide I’ve had enough.

Enough – of being seen as the crybaby.

Enough – of hiding my sensitivities.

Enough – of pretending I was someone I wasn’t after years of squeezing myself into a box of other people’s making.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the real reason I’m sharing my story with you tonight.

Because I KNOW there are people in your life and workplace who aren’t showing up as they truly are BECAUSE of the stigma of being seen as “too sensitive”.

Like I was, they are pretending to be someone they’re not.

One thing I know for sure is that whether you’ve said the words “you’re too sensitive”, or heard them, you know that being “sensitive” in our society, and particularly in business, is seen as a flaw.

Dr Elaine Aron, in her book The Highly Sensitive Person, says that more than 100 animal species – everything from fruit flies to fish, and yes, humans – have a minority that are highly sensitive.

A total of 15-20% in fact.

So why is it, that in our culture, we haven’t shifted our focus from “sensitivity” being a flaw onto something I believe to be true – that being “sensitive”, or as I like to call it – “aware” – is in fact a Super Power?

And that, in life and business, it may possibly be the greatest gift you can give yourself AND the people you know.


Being born an identical twin I know the challenges and obstacles that come along with it.

Out of the two of us, I was the one who was “too sensitive for my own good”. In those days being “sensitive” definitely wasn’t seen as a positive part of ones personality!

But what about today – in business and in life?

Are we, as business women, seeing our aware clients, our aware colleagues, our aware selves in a new light?

What if, by acknowledging the depth of feeling, awareness and insight sensitive people innately possess you could make a positive change in their professional and personal lives – and importantly, your entire workplace?


It was in that shower, a few short years ago, that I realised I HAVE to show up as who I know I truly am.

I have to share the deepest feelings in my heart.

And back myself when no one else will.

And be OK with sensing energies in spaces just like this one, that few other people sense.

Because my sensitivity IS my Super Power. And it IS what makes me ME in my business.

So, yes, I have to show up for me. But more importantly, I HAVE to show up AS ME, for our son – the boy who inherited his sensitivity from me.

Because if I can’t be 100% who I know I TRULY am, what does that tell him?


It tells him –

You are not enough.

You are less than.

AND you are deeply flawed.


I don’t know about you, but this really doesn’t sit well with me – for him, for our future generations, OR for the future of business.

It was only once I claimed my sensitive nature – truly claimed it! – that my business and life started to flourish.

I connected and interacted with clients and colleagues in a much more kind, generous and thoughtful way, recognising that they too had challenges they weren’t able to openly share.

I ‘listened with my eyes’ – to observe fully how my clients showed up and to support them to achieve their own personal and professional goals.

I recognised the incredible innate talents of the people I worked with and strived each and every day to lift them up, whether they identified as sensitive or not.

And I became more open and honest with myself in how my sensitivity impacted my daily routine, energy levels and where I spent my time.


You may be thinking – What’s this got to do with me? I’m not that sensitive, and I don’t know anyone who is.

There are three ways you can be more sensitive to those who are.

Firstly, if 15-20% of our population are “sensitive”, then there’s got to be people in your workplace and life who are. Helping them stand strongly in their power contributes to YOU also being successful at work and play.

Secondly, I’d like to invite you to connect with what makes you uniquely you each and every day – to see that by connecting with your authenticity you give permission to your colleagues and clients to do the same.

And finally, my hope is that if you ARE one of the 15-20% of people who identify as “sensitive”, that you will start to bring yourself more fully into your work, your business, your life. Because without sensitive people like us the world would be a very different place.

Thank you.

I’d love to hear any thoughts you have – please share them in the comments below.

With much love,

Helen xx

PS If you’d like to have me speak at your event – in person or online – please head over here for more details. I’d love to chat with you about it!

Helen Joy Butler - Sanctuary Creator and Elemental Space Clearing® practitioner


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