It’s a fact that most people who feel called to leave a legacy in the world are also highly sensitive and empathic. If you didn’t have that ability to empathize, you wouldn’t have that drive to use your impact and your influence to make a positive change in the world.
But I also know that being empathic & highly sensitive can be overwhelming. We can feel everything in the room around us, in our clients, in the people we interact with.
Many of the women leaders I work with are making huge waves with their work and struggling with energy levels & burnout due to not knowing how to manage their empathic side.
They know they are called here to impact millions of people with their message. But they sometimes resist going to their next level of impact & influence because they think it means that being more visible = being more overwhelmed & drained by people’s energy.
I was on a call with such a woman recently. A client who is highly successful and running a seven figure business, doing beautiful, important spiritual work with women in the world.
We were discussing what I call “Next-Level Boundaries” for leaders (one of the the four parts of my Empress legacy framework that I teach my mastermind clients). And she realized that she was being called to create more boundaries around her emotions and empath abilities. She had so many followers and clients to interact with on a daily basis. And she was feeling exhausted.
I knew exactly how she felt.
I shared with her that when I first started hosting my mastermind retreats, I needed a week to recover afterward. I was always WIPED OUT at the end of those retreats. I have a distinct memory of lying in bed, with my event doula giving me Tylenol, Reiki, and pouring essential oils in my hands. My body was in so much pain I thought I was going to pass out.
I had spent all weekend absorbing all of the pains, traumas, worries, and triumphs that came up for my clients as we did releasing work to liberate them into their highest levels of leadership.
By the end of the retreat, they were feeling AMAZING.
Life changer! they all said to me as I hugged them goodbye and sent them on their way.
They raved on and on about how it was one of the best retreats they ever attended.
But it took a toll on me.
Add to that the fact that I have always been able to literally “hear” other people’s thoughts. So, often, when I’m teaching, I can hear the mean things people’s egos might say about me when they are triggered. I can feel when someone in a room is “rolling their eyes” at something I said, is sad, angry, and more.
When you’re in a room with 20, 100, or 3,000 people, that can literally be so overwhelming it will shut you down. The “Medical Medium” actually goes temporarily blind whenever he speaks to large crowds.
My client told me she felt the same way. She was reaching new levels of success in her business and yet was feeling more exhausted than ever leading her large community of followers.
Have you ever felt this way?
Would you like to know how to STOP feeling this way?
How about if I told you that mastering your empathic abilities/emotions can make or break the success of your impact, revenue, and legacy in the world?
It’s so important, that I made it one of the 7 Levels of Leadership in the Empress framework I teach my high level clients.
You see, as you rise in your leadership there are three main elements that matter in your success.
In the beginning money matters the most. You’re just starting off your career or business and you need to make it work. You need to make money. So money, at this phase of your mission, is most important.
Then when you start making money and you’re good on that front, your time becomes the most important thing. In fact, your time becomes more valuable to you than money, because you have less of it now. There are team members to meet with, more people wanting to work with you. Interviews for the press. More obligations and events to attend. At this point, boundaries become really important for you to make sure you have time to get everything done and still take care of yourself and be with loved ones.
Most high performance coaches who teach this stuff will stop there.
But there is another “level” that is more important than money or time.
It’s one I’ve discovered after working with high performing women for over 8 years.
At a certain point, when you’ve got money and time handled for the most part, and you’re reaching higher levels of your leadership and impact, your ENERGY becomes the most important key to continue amplifying your revenue, impact, and legacy.
Protecting, maintaining, and elevating your energy as a leader is CRUCIAL. Because without energy, you simply don’t have the staying power to keep pushing your mission forward, bigger and higher.
Here’s where being an empath can make or break your legacy in the world.
Most of the women I work with are empathic, yet have managed to achieve great success even while feeling a little tired, and maybe even a bit burned out.
But when it comes to reaching your legacy level, you simply CANNOT move forward if you don’t have your energy handled.
Generally when clients come to work with me, they are at a point where something isn’t working anymore (even though it gave them great success previously), they’ve hit a revenue plateau, or they feel like pivoting or quitting what they started. Something nags at them. They resist the next level because they think it means adding more to their already overwhelmed system. They know in a few months or years, this will begin to shrink their revenue and impact.
And it goes without saying, most of the leaders I work with are also closet (or totally out) empaths and highly sensitive people.
EMPATHIC LEADERSHIP: HOW NOT TO DO IT
Very often the empathic leaders I work with are doing the WRONG thing when it comes to working with their clients or interacting with their communities, energetically speaking.
They are taking their clients’ energy into their bodies, processing it for them, and then “giving it back clean” to their clients. They process their clients’ pain, resistances, fears, and blockages inside of their own bodies alongside the client.
We think this is heroic and the way to help the people with the breakthrough they need.
But it’s actually not heroic at all. It’s damaging to both of you.
First, this energetically drains the F out of you.
Sure you can do it for one person here and there, but what about when you’re on a stage in front of thousands of people? What about the 50 people you have in different programs you offer?
And you wonder why you’re exhausted all the time, love? This is why.
One of the most famous and earliest-known mediums of all time, Edgar Cayce, died at a young age. Many believed it was because he had no boundaries and was eventually worn out by the channeling he did for his clients. He often skipped meals and breaks, exhausting himself every day because he just wanted to help as many people as possible. Except he forgot to help himself.
As a result, he died an early death, depriving many more people who could have been helped by his message in the years to come.
EMPATHIC LEADERSHIP: HOW TO DO IT
When I shared this with my client, I could see the “aha” on her face. This is what I have been doing and it’s why I feel so tired, she exclaimed. So how do I help people without doing that? she asked me.
I paraphrased a quote I remembered from Wayne Dyer. When we take on a person’s pain and process it for them, we are NOT doing a heroic thing. Instead, we are interrupting that person’s karma.
Feeling our pain, our triggers, and our emotions may not always be very fun, but it does EXPAND us as human beings. It’s good to feel and process our emotions on our own. It makes us internally stronger, and expands our capacity to hold and feel more.
When we do this for people, we take away their ability to grow and expand. Instead, we do the work for them. In the process we drain ourselves, which means we are less able to help them in the future because we’re worn out. And we’ve just created a codependent relationship with that person we were “helping.”
Instead of teaching them to master their own emotions and process, we make them reliant on us for that skill. We stunt their karma and development.
That sobered up my client really quickly. Just like it did for me many years ago when I heard it come out of Wayne Dyer’s mouth.
HOLDING SPACE VS. PROCESSING OTHER PEOPLE’S STUFF
So to answer my client’s question, well then how do I help people have the breakthroughs they are used to getting with me if I DON’T process their stuff for them in my body?
You hold space. You witness.
Holding space for someone is VERY different than doing their work for them energetically speaking. When you hold space, you are a loving witness. You don’t pull their emotions into your body and process them as a favor to them. You don’t take on their feelings at all. You just witness with love.
The definition of “witness” in the dictionary is “to see or be present.” Notice it doesn’t say, “to take someone’s emotions into your body, feel them for them, process them using your body, and then give it back all clean and shiny while the gunk stays in your body.”
I like to imagine myself as a neutral, yet unconditionally loving witness. My heart is open. I feel compassion for them. I often get teary as clients cry or describe fears that hold them back. But I don’t take those feelings INTO my body as my own.
I serve my clients BETTER this way because the moment STAYS about THEM and doesn’t become about me and my big emotions I am processing for them.
Being witnessed is a DEEPLY powerful experience. Just having the space to share your feelings with someone, let go and have them listen, and be a loving presence of non-judgement, can change a person’s life forever.
That is all you are required to do.
Just hold the space.
Try this the next time you’re working with a high level client, interacting with an upset customer, or closing a deal with people whose emotions are running high.
It’s not (nor was it ever) your responsibility to process their emotions for them.
You are responsible for YOUR emotions. And you can still lovingly witness and be present with an open, compassionate heart without having to lay on your back for a week after, recovering.
My client is already excited to start working this way with her community in the coming weeks. And I know over time she is going to report to me that her exhaustion is gone. Which means that leaves much more energy for her to amplify her revenue, impact, and legacy in the world.
Did this help you? If so, I want to hear your realizations in the comments below!