Category Archives: Highly Sensitive Person

Landscape Melting and “Good-Enough-Disorder?” Think Again

Image by Morgan Sessions
Image by Morgan Sessions

“I did my job; what more do they want?”

There are many excuses for doing just enough to get by, personally as well as professionally. Being a business owner and career coach, I’ve heard more than my share of excuses justifying complacent behavior over the years.

I don’t get paid what I’m worth, so why give more than I get paid?”

Tell the truth, how many out there have not worked their promised potential simply because you believed you deserved more?

NOT good enough defined?


  • Accepting defeat without putting up an honest attempt to overcome barriers
  • Giving up after one attempt or let down… stopping never will get you beyond
  • Allowing others to convince an attitude of complacency (guilty by association)
  • Believing negative self-talk, living each day as just another day
  • Convincing yourself you do not deserve better
  • Being satisfied with who you are… here’s a hint, no matter who or what you are, there is ALWAYS room to advance


  • Accepting an invisible status
  • Performing at the lowest denominator (just doing enough)
  • Lacking positive self-talk, affirmations, and/or visualizations
  • Taking extra time at the coffee pot, texting, or strolling the Internet
  • Not stepping up to the plate, taking charge, or being the go-to person
  • Always having to be asked to perform a function or making careless mistakes
  • Believing your worth far exceeds your production (self-delusion can be job threatening)

For those identified with the “good-enough-disorder,” don’t fret as there are ways to get unstuck. No doubt the first question one with this disorder would ask… “why isn’t good enough, good enough?”


  • The core of humanity and civilization is progression, creating a better life for you, your family, and the community; without personal and cultural evolution, humanity would have never advanced beyond the Stone Age, meaning life without Facebook would be a reality.


  • Companies AND employees accepting complacency do not survive… period.
  • Employers seek candidates to hire and promote who are not satisfied with status quo, desiring those with the aptitude to go boldly beyond grey.
  • Complacent employees rarely earn promotions, pay increases, and are often downsizing victims.

What you can do NOW:

  • Take a clear look at yourself, your goals, and your life. Determine if the person looking back in the mirror is the person you were meant to be AND you are happy with who you are and where you are. If the answer is yes, you may be carrying the highly contagious good-enough-disorder bug. If the answer is no, the first step has been crossed… off to a good start.
  • Upon reading this article, take out a piece of paper and make a “reachable” commitment with action plan. In other words, on a personal and professional note, tell yourself a goal and then WRITE the goal (and action plan) on a piece of paper (the act of writing is an important step toward goal achievement). Clipping or drawing a picture also adds to eventual realization—be sure and post the picture wear you will see it EVERY morning as you begin the day.
  • Establish a time-line and stick to it.
  • VISUALIZATION: Imagine the new you or the desired product as if it has become a reality. Once your mind accepts this reality, achieving becomes more attainable.
  • AFFIRMATION: Each evening and each morning make a pledge that required steps will happen. Upon the evening, if steps were not satisfied, evaluate how you will overcome challenges on the following day. That morning, engage in self-talk, determining the goal will become a reality.
  • Association: Gather around peers, friends, family, etc. who challenge you to stand up to the goal and will not allow excuses to get in the way.

The good-enough-disorder has the capacity to stumble not only your achievements, but those around you as well (including family members). Ultimately, how you want to live your life is entirely up to you and if you decide complacency defines you, don’t blame the lack of promotions, employment, and satisfaction on anyone but yourself.

The final element purging the good-enough-disorder out of your system resides within the following:

Focus and

With focus and single-mindedness, there is nothing which cannot be overcome. Remember there may be one peak atop the mountaintop, but there are MANY paths one can take to get there.

There are no excuses but the ones you convince yourself you believe! For the highly sensitive person, the above tips are exceedingly important. I know how easy it is to melt into the landscape (and wanting to melt into the landscape).

For the HSP, take small steps… NEVER stop stepping! 

Seeking employment insight and career collateral, visit or if you are seeking material designed for those transitioning out of prison, check out and consider the most powerful book that will change your life: Walls, Bars, and Razor Wire… You Choose.”

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services:
Career Break Out:

TI (9)? I Exist… And You?

Much has happened over the past week as David slouches in the saddle once again. Last time we reviewed how the power of affirmations and visualization can lead to great success, personally and professionally. Catching up with David we find that part of his process during the termination process revolves around one simple question: “Are you existing or living?”

DSC_0090 Two weeks ago I asked David to begin the affirmation and visualization process – of which he states he has. Problem is, he now questions if there is a meaning in life or do we just exist between birth and death? Actually a complicated question asked throughout the ages… and first asked (officially) by a Socrates. So many years later, same question… same excuses.

David: “Once terminated by Bertha, I stopped thinking about duties of the day and began to think about purpose… or if there is one. This thought hit hard last week while standing in a return line at Walmart. I saw on the faces of all entering sadness, hollowness, and burden. Their eyes and body language yelled existence, not living. I stood there, wondering if my eyes disclosed the same lack of passion… water began to swell and I’m not really sure why. I just felt so much sadness, like I was drowning in a river of emptiness.”

Taking David’s thought to the next level, questions slid inside a diving pool… are we poised to ask, do we dare ask, are we afraid of the answer: “Are you living or existing? Are you happy with your life, your career, and who you are?” With heaviness, I followed David’s experience at Walmart and took trip to our local market for a view from my own eyes.

Like David, I saw what he saw… for the first time my eyes opened to a world where self- and social- delusion no longer blinded vision. Who knows, perhaps I noticed you in the crowd… did you see me or are you capable of sight?

Knowing the vast majority of people are not satisfied with their current job/position, I would like to know how you are going through each day without purpose, not just professionally. With this, I encourage each reader to take the next fifteen minutes to reflect on themselves and respond to the following (would appreciate feedback but expect none):

  • What does the concept “exist” mean and how does it differ from the concept of “living”
  • Are you doing what you believe you were born to do
  • What keeps you motivated, professionally and personally (please do not say money)
  • When you are gone, what do you want to be remembered for (do not mention easy things like being a great mom, a great dad, a hard worker, a religious person, a great knitter—I am looking for something unique—and we are all unique—and personal)

With these questions in mind, I went back to David and asked for his insight. As expected, David remained depressed over the termination.

David: “When teaching and seeing student eyes open to new possibilities and insight, I grasped a sense of wonder dreamed about as a young child. Yeah, I’ve owned, operated, and ran large and small organizations, but the feeling of being alive was only profound when teaching. Bertha took that away, and enjoyed doing it. I’m trying to visualize regaining that sense of self, but all I see is her smile, smirking and slashing without regard to civility, right or wrong.”

Danny: “Yes, getting back on the track to ‘living’ is not going to be easy, but it can be regained. Perhaps you will find some comfort in the old saying, ‘what comes around, goes around?’ Who knows what karma has in store.”

What about you? Are you afraid to look into the mirror with eyes no longer shut? Are you existing day to day until death or are you living, appreciating the moment? When was the last time your body thanked your lungs for air? Think about it before slighting the question as being silly. Look behind the veil, if you can.

I’m not asking for me, I’m asking for you: Are you existing or are you living?

Looking onward, David comes to share more about his trip(s) and times alone with Bertha. Through the next few letters, you will recognize the deceit and desperation behind the makeup Bertha wore so well.

If you have any questions or would like to add to the journey, contact me directly at to see how ECS can help you. Be sure and have your peers join in on the conversation and adventure… they may thank you one very difficult day.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services:
Blog site:
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist:

HSP Career Advantage Summarized

I appreciate all the comments and e-mails on our series of blogs about Highly Sensitive People in the workplace. Many reached out to say, “this is me, I never knew, where can I turn now?”

DSC_0062Your comments are inspiring and wonderful. I want you to know that you’re not alone. You should see this outpour of response and recognize that you’re not the only one sitting at a desk or standing behind a counter with a fake facial expression, a bleeding heart, and a passion for something outside of your current job. You’re not the only one affected by sounds and atmosphere in a way that makes others doubt your abilities. And none of this makes you a lesser person.

I received explicit questions about specific career moves for the Highly Sensitive. In light of them, I’ve decided to do a recap for those who missed the discussion last year.

For the Creative:

The Creative HSP is the one who can take their sensitivity to their environment and translate it into amazing art. This can come in so many forms that you need to look deep down, explore online, and find the option that will fit you. If you can find writing positions that fit your life, go for it. Get into graphic design, filming and editing videos (even if you just start with small parties or weddings), or even marketing, which could showcase a remarkable amount of creativity for the right HSP.

For the Empathetic:

This is the kind of Highly Sensitive Person that works best with people, giving off warmth and compassion in a way that creates trust between the consumer and the business. Empathetic HSPs make amazing teachers, nurses, counselors, and even customer service representatives in the right atmosphere.

For the Precise:

The Highly Sensitive Person that is drawn to detail, flourishes in quiet independence, and excels in numbers, figures, and linguistics, genuinely should find a good home in programming, accounting, fact-checking, and researching, just to name a few. Working in a library might suit you incredibly. With your skills and determination to justify them, any employer would be lucky to have someone trustworthy, accurate, and talented like you sitting somewhere undisturbed to verify, catalog, or calculate.

The point is, you can’t sell yourself short. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. Employers need people just like you to balance the workplace and to offer the natural gifts that you have. No matter how old you are, or what level of experience you have, it’s never too late to start offering those gifts now. Begin with volunteer work, and share your talents with those who need them. You’ll find your way. Somehow, we always do.

Take care, and keep the e-mails coming!

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer Education Career Services, Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs Blog: Education Career Services: West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist:

Your Dream Job: Go Get It!

Hold on, sit down.

DSC_0049Don’t quit your job today. I’m not trying to get you to Jerry Maguire your way out of your current paycheck. We’ve been talking about Highly Sensitive People in the workplace for some time now, and if it’s brought something to light for you, that’s great.

If you read the descriptions of jobs in our last HSP blog, and you suddenly realized that you’ve always felt like you’re dragging yourself around just trying to stay afloat, don’t panic. As we already know, in life there are plenty of things we have to do to maintain the life that we choose.

Truth is, if you choose a life with a house, and food, a car, or anything that requires money, you need to work. Unfortunately, you may not always enjoy your job.

As we said before, plenty of people find themselves in jobs they dislike but they are able to handle it because of the money it brings in. Granted, most of those people have a sensitivity level different that is either normalized or relatively low. – No offense.

But for the Highly Sensitive: The person who hears sounds others don’t, smells and sees things that most people either ignore or never notice, for the person so drained by feigned human interaction that you can’t see straight after five minutes, this is for you.

This is for you to make a plan, stick to it, and find the job that not only brings out the best in you but contributes the most to the world. This is possible using the right steps.


Networking cannot be stressed enough. This doesn’t mean you have to go to big, bustling meetings and be surrounded by people for hours on end. It does not have to be that exhausting. Just start looking for people that are doing what you dream of doing. Have you ever heard of If you’re squeamish about networking, this is a great place to start because you can browse the entire website for your interests. You can see groups, read facts about them, and find out when and where they meet to work together on projects that you’re interested in. Once you get there, you never know the connections you might make or the doors they might open for you.


Find any research, any free course, any way to gain experience in the area of your interest. If you already have limited experience, then pick up where you left off. Maybe it’s time to pay for a certification. Maybe it’s time to look into evening classes and get a degree. Just dive in and learn everything you can that could put you in the position to leverage your knowledge for a position on any rung of the ladder in that world.

Foot in the Door

Whether this is volunteer work, an informational interview, or a bottom-rung position, a foot in the door is a big deal. USE IT. Consistently making the best impression on your contact(s) can and will pay off. This doesn’t mean you have to beg for attention, be fake, or buy them coffee every day. Be genuine, be yourself, and take every opportunity to humbly and graciously showcase your knowledge of the industry. Stand out, be confident, and make your way through that door.

The point is, of course, growth and career satisfaction is possible. You can have a job that feels less like work and more like contributing your unique skills and purpose with the world. You simply have to believe it, work for it, and treat it well when you get it.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer Education Career Services, Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs Blog: West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist:

HSP Spotlight in the Workplace

DSC_0123Many employers are beginning to accept not only the inevitability of Highly Sensitive People in their workplace, but also the benefits of employing them. Evidence shows that the presence of HSPs in the workplace is, aside from their myriad assets, also a good teller of the state of the workplace in general.

Because of their sensitive nature, HSPs are able to sense a shift in morale more quickly than normal employees. This means that employers have a better chance of maintaining proper functionality of the workplace by keeping a closer eye on the more sensitive employees while utilizing their potential to the fullest.

So what does this mean for you, the Highly Sensitive Person working in an environment that is not ideal for your characteristics? I can tell you; this new understanding among employers is excellent news for you. Why? There are a few reasons:

Like Roses Bordering a Vineyard

Experts say that when a man plants a vineyard, he plants rose bushes along the borders. The roses and grapevines require the same conditions such as soil and light. This means that if conditions begin to arise, it will affect the roses first, and it will give the farmer a chance to adjust for the vines before they are adversely affected as well. This is a good metaphor for HSPs in the workplace, which means you will be notice, in the right way. Your opinion, the things that affect you, will matter if your employer wants to maintain a positive workplace.

Addressing Needs

This also means that you no longer have to be afraid of asking for your needs to be addressed properly. You probably shouldn’t ask if you can ride your skateboard to work and bring your cat to sit on your desk because it makes you more comfortable. However, due to the newer recognitions of the differences in how people succeed at work and the recognition of the importance in the differing levels of sensitivity, you can now ask for certain environmental stimuli to be minimized or distanced from you so that you may perform at your best.

Broadcast Your Best

Now that employers are being prepared to see the best of having Highly Sensitive employees, this is a chance for you to recognize that the floor is open for your brilliant and unique ideas that wouldn’t come to people with different sensitivity levels. This is a chance for you to shine, and that only exists for you because you are different. Here’s your chance to see what you can offer not despite of your differences but because of them. Take advantage of that, bring your observations to light, and use them to make where you work (and the world) a better place.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services,
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Education Career Services:
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist:

Highly Sensitive Person at Work

DSC_0044Many people know the feeling. You show up to work, most likely wearing something that meets dress code without standing out too much. As soon as you walk in, you notice the temperature, smell, lighting, and noise level. BAM – your day is set.

For the highly sensitive person, initial details have the capacity to either drain you completely or fuel your work day. For the HSP, many office details are almost always something you can’t control.

Work with me for a moment and place yourself in their shoes… the first agonizing moments of a Highly Sensitive Person’s day at a “regular job.”

Truth is: Environmental stimuli have a profound effect on the HSP; an effect often not recognized as “legitimate” in our Western culture. Think it about this for a moment before water-fountain fodder damages more than team morale.

Time to educate: Barrie Jaeger describes three categories of work in her book, Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person. These can also be considered “stages” of work, as most people at least attempt to climb a ladder of employment to get to something more fulfilling. HSP or not, climbing the ladder and finding professional fulfillment is one thing we ALL have in common. Perhaps we are not so different after all in our pursuit to happiness.

Taking a look at how fulfillment becomes a reality, time to summarize Jaeger’s work:


This is the type of work that is just miserable, especially for the HSP. The misery of a job like this can get in your head and stay there, affecting your routine even far from work. Driving home, dinner, family time, and even your dreams can be preoccupied with the dread of returning to a Drudgery type of job.

For a Highly Sensitive Person, it most likely does not matter how well you are paid, you just. Want. Out. Interestingly enough, this type of work may only be this miserable to the HSP, and could be chalked up to the environmental stimuli of the workplace itself. It may very well be a normal job that is taken in stride by non-HSPs because it is much easier for the non-HSP to work strictly because “it’s a job” to just “make money.”

Truth is: Highly Sensitive People can develop physical illness due to chronic stress and other psychological injuries by feeling “stuck” in a job like this.


Jaeger describes a “Craft” job as something more tolerable for an HSP, one offering moments of genuine appreciation for the work performed (which is imperative for the Highly Sensitive). This is a job where the HSP competently works, completes tasks, and doesn’t mind going to work.

Craft can be considered as a middle ground where you won’t find yourself looking forward to going to work all that much, but it may (or will) have disperse great moments… and when it comes for the HSP, a little bit of greatness goes a long way. Being midway to happiness, crumbs now and then might muffle any desire to escape for just long enough to get the experience necessary to get to the next step.


Of course, everyone wants to find their calling. No one really wants to work a mediocre-at-best job their entire lives. For a Highly Sensitive Person, it’s about slightly more than wanting to find your calling. You need to.

A Calling is making a living by doing what you were born to do. What brings you to life? What are you most passionate about? Can you imagine the satisfaction of being able to do want you love all the time and getting paid for it? How liberating that would be.

Truth is: Many HSPs find their ideal calling somewhere in the self-employed arena but few take the risk and, for the HSP, taking risks appear more daunting than for the non-HSPs.

Unfortunately, many (if not most) Highly Sensitive People find themselves stuck in “Drudgery” type jobs for a large portion of their life. If this is you, don’t be as distressed as I’m sure this makes you feel at first. After all, there are things you can do to make the best of where you are, no matter where you are, and restore not only your productivity as an employee but also your overall well-being.

We will delve more into that next week; but in the meantime, feel free to e-mail me at with any questions, concerns, or for sneak-peak tips!

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services,
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Education Career Services:
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist:

Career Success: Your Call to Action

We started the New Year with a critical recognition that nothing has to stay the same. With that encouragement, we began to visualize possibilities for the future, allowing imagination to take flight. After reflecting on these and ruling out careers that you will absolutely not pursue, it’s time now to create a plan of action that will get you closer to the career of your dreams.

This next step is called a T-Chart. Mentioned in the first blog of the New Year, this is a great way to begin your plan of action. Here is a very basic example, with the generic plan of getting “a job”. You’ll notice that the left column lists the requirements of accomplishing the task listed at the top, and the right column lists actions that you must take in order to meet those requirements.

Of course, your T-Chart will be much more specific. You should make one of these for each realistic career possibility that you came up with during your brainstorming. You may need to research the essential requirements for each chart you make and the steps you must take to meet those requirements. Don’t forget – This is your future. The only thing standing between you and the career of your dreams is you.

Career Reality: This is the way to identify and reach goals. Putting your thoughts on paper and organizing them will help you see your next steps. Don’t forget also that your attitude is a large deciding factor in how all this works out. Be sure to keep the following in mind as you face the challenge of bringing dreams to life:

Be Willing

Embrace the process. Even if it seems pointless or tedious, trust that it is not. The discipline and organization of thought alone will be worth your time, and will help prepare you for whatever is in your future. A wise person once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Don’t fall into that trap.

Be Realistic

This is about finding a career that will make you shine. It’s not just about finding the job that will pay you the most for the least amount of work. Don’t give into that fantasy. You are looking for the place where your capabilities and your passions meet. That is true success.

Be Positive

If you start making your T Chart and you see the list of requirements growing, don’t be discouraged. Remember that this is all an adventure that will ultimately lead to a place of fulfillment. We already agreed it wouldn’t be easy, but that doesn’t have to bring you down. See it as the adventure that it is and be excited that this time next week, next month, next year; you will be closer to the goal of your dreams than you ever were before.

Be Persistent

Most importantly, don’t give up. If you can be Willing, Realistic, and Positive, then Persistence will ultimately be a natural side effect. The right career is out there for you. And there is a legitimate process to reaching an ideal position – it’s not just luck. Take these steps and stick with your pursuit of your goals and I promise – you’ll never regret it.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services,
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Education Career Services:
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: