Where Does Your Sensitivity Fall on a SWOT Analysis?

Sensitivity has one too many negative connotations associated with it. What if we dared to embrace its wisdom? Gwen Jones explores

My diary is pretty fancy. Fancy in the sense that it keeps me updated with the phases of the moon and the star sign seasons. Fancy in the sense that I actually use it to note down meetings and important dates (as opposed to promising myself that taking mental note of these dates will suffice…)

It is quite an interactive diary, which probably helps, encouraging me to take time every so often to reflect on my goals and efforts put in to achieve said goals. A couple of weeks ago I turned the page to venture onto a new day and I was greeted by a SWOT analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Now this wasn’t a business SWOT analysis but a self-awareness SWOT analysis. What your strengths are and how they amplify opportunities and what your weaknesses are which pose a threat to achieving your goals.

I wrote down ‘hard-working’, ‘compassionate’ and ‘motivated’ for strengths. When I moved on to weaknesses I was met with a dilemma. The first word to come to mind and for me to write on the page was ‘sensitivity’. I did it without a second-thought. But then the following question popped into my mind; what if my sensitivity was both my weakness and my strength? Yes, my sensitivity does pose the threat of self-doubt but it also poses the opportunity of inspiration and creativity.

No matter what happens, how much older I get, or how much thicker my skin gets. One thing will always remain a constant for me, and that is my sensitivity. As a sensitive child it was always something I was told I would grow out of, yet I’m not sure I want to. Without my sensitivity I wouldn’t be compassionate or motivated to keep going because I know how awful feeling close to rock bottom feels. I wouldn’t have heaps of empathy for strangers I’ve never met or those close to me. I wouldn’t have an intense amount of passion to keep climbing towards my dreams and the life I desire if it weren’t for my sensitivity to strong emotions. 

Sensitivity is all too often associated with being ‘emotional’ and ‘unable to control your emotions’. There is a negative connotation that seems to be brought to our sensitive souls from a young age. But it’s NOT something you grow out of. It’s something you grow into. Embracing your sensitivity is embracing one of the best parts of yourself. 

You are not fragile. You are not a china tea cup that needs to be handled carefully, or an expensive glass that needs to be smothered in bubble wrap. You are a compassionate soul who feels things, perhaps more than others or more than those around you. Accept it for what it is, you don’t need to change who you are or adapt yourself to suit others. In fact, you are the main character of your own life. If you find yourself surrounded by people who perceive you to be weak or fragile, guess what? You choose who gets to stay and who has to go!

You may indeed feel frustration at elements of your sensitivity that feels as though it gets in the way of your life. In fact, you may always feel this frustration and that’s okay. Take a moment to mentally (or actually) list five ways your sensitivity enhances your life, e.g. “makes me more compassionate”, “makes me more aware of other people’s feelings”. Don’t forget that while we may feel emotions such as anger and sadness on a deeper level, we also feel amazing emotions such as joy, excitement and elation on a higher level.

Try out a SWOT analysis…

Strengths (main strengths, qualities, virtues or talents)

Weaknesses (main weaknesses, defects or difficulties)

Opportunities (how you can harness these strengths to achieve your goals)

Threats (what weakness/es poses a threat that may prevent you from achieving your goals)

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