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Welcomed the Uncensored Empath, a place for us to discuss highly sensitive energy, illness, healing, and transformation. My name is Sarah Small, and I’m a life and success coach for empaths who want to create a thriving body, business, and life. Think of this podcast as your no B-S guide to navigating life, health, and entrepreneurship. You’ll get straight to the point, totally holistic tips from me in real-time, as I navigate this healing and growth journey right beside you. This is a Soul Fire production.
Hello, everybody. Welcome. I’m super excited to chat about these five different wounds and archetypes that show up in empath leaders. So this was inspired by a call I was just on earlier today, for a group program I’m in. And the group was helping me dissect what are the main wounds that show up in empath leaders. And each person had a different story, and my story is different from their story. And so, it just kind of categorize these into different archetypes that I think are going to be really helpful for you to help identify within yourself, and maybe part of what has been created as your identity. So, you should become aware of that, and then have the opportunity to shift out of that wound, and into your more empowered, and truly authentic, powerful self.
So, the first type I’m going to talk about is the co-dependent empath. And I actually recorded a podcast episode on this a couple of weeks ago. I really dive deep into, especially just this overlap between codependency and being an empath. They co-exist quite naturally, even though we may not want to see that part of ourselves, it happens quite often. And so let’s talk about the co-dependent empath and how this wound can show up. And what defines the traits and characteristics of this, within potentially your life? And as I go through these five different types, I’d also love for you to comment below, on which ones are resonating for you. So call yourself out. And that awareness, is then, the first step into shifting your identity.
So the co-dependent empath is very interesting in that, it’s combining the traits of the empath and the co-dependent. Usually, this is based in an unstable, unsafe, dysfunctional, one of those things, childhood or family dynamic when you were a child. And the co-dependent empath develops this ability to identify threats. And they’re not your necessarily your average everyday threat, like a tiger, or a car coming at you, or something. They’re more emotional threats, meaning the person in the room that you must attune to, and read the energy of, in order to feel safe in your body. Oftentimes, that was a parent that you felt you had to attune your energy to, and identify, even just where they were emotionally, so that you could adapt yourself to them. What that develops over time, is a co-dependent relationship. And so, in the co-dependent empath leader, we see this person always seeking approval and needing to be shown the next step, versus being able to guide themselves more in the traditional leadership role of putting that first step out there. Taking that first jump, that leap of faith. And so, the co-dependent empath really wants to be shown the way.
There’s also a lot of caregiving behaviors and tendencies that can show up. And the co-dependent empath leader, because they are so used to putting, especially that person from childhood first, but likely that’s overflown into all relationships in their life. Where they’re always putting other people first. And there’s a resentment around that. It’s a habit, it’s an automatic behavior, but there’s still resentment around why won’t anyone take care of me? What about me? Don’t I get my needs met, or do I get help meeting my needs? Or, can’t someone just show me the way?
There’s also a question oftentimes, of deserving. Do I deserve this? Do I know enough? And instead, the co-dependent empath is always looking for that validation, that approval from outside of themselves, because of that natural co-dependent nature. And, that can really trip them up in starting a business, being an entrepreneur, being a health practitioner, nutrition practitioner, or coach in this wellness industry as a whole. Because there’s not always going to be somebody who says, yeah, you’re doing it the right way. Or I’ll do it all for you, or just buy into my vision. That’s the dependency. You just buy into my vision, my way and that’ll work for you. Because that’s not always true.
The second type that I want to talk about. Again, these were gathered in this group call this morning. It was so incredible to be able to just hear all these women. And the question was, what do you feel is the wound that is holding you back most, in your business or your leadership role? So I’ve labeled or identified this next one as the numb empath. The numb empath is the person who feels deeply. There’s a dichotomy there, of the archetype name being the numb empath, but the truth is, they actually feel quite deeply. But, they feel people will judge them for how deeply they feel, and how emotional they are, or how easily they’re brought to tears, or how angered they are by something. And they want to call it out and they want to talk about it, but there’s an embarrassment or a fear of judgment around feeling so deeply.
And oftentimes, that’s rooted in feeling it’s not safe to feel so deeply. I’m going to be too much. And I cannot show my emotions on a line, even a sense of that makes me weak. And the other route we can see here, is that life has been really tough for this person. There’s then, a lot of trauma and they feel they’ve had to, because of all of the trauma, all of the chaos, unsettledness in their life, they feel they’ve had to close themselves off. And that’s where the numbing comes in. I feel so much, that I have to close myself off to the world. It’s not safe to feel that deeply. And, my emotions are something that I’m more ashamed of than proud of, or that I utilize to inform my life. And so, a lot of that’s been shushed, and hushed, and shooshed, and put into a box that’s created this numbness. And you can see how the numb empath therefore, would have a hard time stepping into their highest, most divine leadership role because they never feel they can truly express their emotions. And your emotions are actually one of your greatest strengths and something that’s so incredibly beautiful about you.
The third type that came up on the call this morning was the overstimulated empath. And sometimes overstimulated empaths then becomes the numb empaths, I would argue. But let’s talk about it as its own archetype right now. The overstimulated empath is the person with an up-regulated nervous system. What that means is, you’re in a constant stress state. That, sometimes it’s obvious. I’m really fucking stressed out. And other times that stress is more of a low-grade chronic level. That is not as noticeable, but still, certainly there. It’s like your bucket is 75 to 80% full and there’s a feeling when something does happen in life, I’m always on the edge of burnout and potentially exploding as well.
An overstimulated empath has a hard time getting calm, and grounded, and tends to be up in the upper chakras. This floaty, airy, energy, and there’s tons of ideas and inspiration. There’s almost an overstimulation of that. You’re, I’m so glad I’m creative, but this is actually too much creativity because I’m not taking action. They have a really hard time taking action. And you, as the overstimulated empath get stuck in indecision in the middle of the road. You just set up camp and there’s that challenge of feeling grounded enough to move forward. And therefore, there’s a huge lack of confidence as well. So the overstimulated empath needs a stable footing, stable ground, and a foundation in which to build on. They need to down-regulate the nervous system.
In leadership we can see this as majorly holding someone back, because if they are always stuck in decision, they’re not taking action. And they’re always up-regulated in a stress state, they’re going to be burning out. And if they’re never getting calm and grounded, they’re never going to be able to stand in their true power and be able to have the impact that they desire to have on the world.
You know, that feeling when you sit in your own problems, in your own shadow, in your own grief, in your own sadness, in your own frustration, in your own stuck-ness? And you’re, I’m going to figure it out, I’ve got this. Let me figure it out on my own. And then you sit there, and it’s so hard to find the answer, because you’re in your own shit. And it’s hard to get out of your own stuff, because you are so consumed by it. Because you are yourself, because you have your brain that you can’t just dissociate from. And so, when we get stuck in our life, or we feel like the problem is this thing, and it must be this thing. The problem is not always that thing. And with the help of my Better Health therapist, I was able to realize that in my life, this week. On our weekly call, we talk every Thursday. She is amazing. We were having our conversation and I was talking about something in relation to grief, that I thought was the problem.
And she was, Sarah, how do you feel about this? What about that? And I was, Oh my God, that’s the actual problem. I would never have come to that conclusion on my own. And, part of what has been holding me back, or making it feel challenging for me to move forward with grief, has actually been another issue with a different relationship in my life. Completely seemingly unrelated, but not. And I’m so grateful to have someone with a more neutral eye, help me realize and have those big aha moments in my life. So, if you feel something is interfering with your happiness, if you feel you’re stuck in your own stuff, and it’s really hard to see the big picture or identify where to focus your attention. Or you feel something is preventing you from achieving your goals, then I invite you to try out Better Help. And get the support from a counselor or therapist for yourself today.
Here’s how it works. Go over to trybetterhelp.com/uncensoredempath. You get 10% off your first month of service. Better Help will assess your needs, and match you with your own licensed professional therapists. You can start communicating in under 24-hours. It is professional counseling done securely online, and there are resources, and people with expertise that may not even be available locally to you, that now you can access from anywhere in the world. It is affordable therapy. It is helpful in that, they match you with exactly what you need, and help you to start living a happier life. So again, trybetterhelp.com/uncensoredempath and get the support that you are so deserving of today.
Let’s go on to number four, the supernatural empath. Supernatural. I almost called this one, the weird empath, because I feel that is a close sister to it. And, I’m describing the same thing. And this is the person, there was a woman on this call this morning that said this. She said, there’s always been this sphere of this internal dialogue that said, I’m such an embarrassment. I’m an embarrassment to my family. I am weird. And there are parts of me that, at least, society has labeled weird. That are probably just unique things about you, or special things about you, or superpowers within you, but that you have perceived as, this is different and not in a good way. And, sometimes that is quite literally your spirituality, your inner wu. Your third eye intuition, that is so jacked up as far as the intensity of it, inside the empath’s third eye. And that might be something that you feel that’s not regularly accepted by people, or that’s different. Or some people think that’s really out there, or that you’re not supposed to be that way, or it goes against their religion or something.
So the supernatural empath has this fear of embarrassment. This feeling they won’t be accepted for who they are. And, this internal dialogue that just is full of self-doubt, self-criticism, self-doubt. I should be more like that person. So then, what we see in this person is that they often swing to the whole opposite side of the spectrum. And, instead of owning their weirdness, their uniqueness, what makes them different. They instead swing to the complete opposite side, which is perfection. And the internal dialogue becomes, I should just fit into the crowd. Don’t rock the boat, try to be more like her, look like her, sound like her, act like her, have programs like her, have a website like hers, have a bio like hers. And that will make me successful.
When in fact, when you try to copy someone else’s energy, that’s never going to lead to success, because it’s not your energetic blueprint. It’s just a clone of somebody else’s energetic blueprint. But what has happened in the past for the supernatural empath is, that they’ve been rewarded for fitting in. And for assimilating to the crowd and becoming a sheep in the herd of people. Versus being rewarded for being themselves, and for being different, or having maybe unique interests. So it’s very entrained within the subconscious that, when I do this, I get rewarded so I should do it more that way. Be like them versus own my weirdness, my eccentric-ness, the things that make me stand out, and make me beautiful. But they’re not again, perceived that way. They’re not perceived as beautiful for the supernatural empath.
Then lastly, the sacrificing empath. This is the empath that has people-pleasing tendencies and therefore self-sacrifices. They don’t put themselves first. There are no boundaries. This saying came up on the call I was on earlier, which is, “Love has no boundaries”, but maybe it should. Actually, my love has a lot of boundaries of what I feel is okay with me, what is not okay with me, what is respectful, what is disrespectful. And what I allow into my energetic bubble versus what I do not allow into my energetic bubble. So that sacrificing empath, especially as an entrepreneur, is going to have low rates. We see this in the co-dependent empath too, because they’re similar people-pleasing tendencies. They are lowering rates, discount rates, sacrificing what they want, from what their community wants, sacrificing their time, and their energy, and their health, and their overall well-being, and their relationships, in order to feel like they’re enough. And they feel their needs aren’t important, or they’ve been taught or shown, that their needs aren’t important by somebody in their life. Somebody else in their life, especially when they’re younger. And so, they’ve learned and developed this pattern of should I fit the mold of what that person wants me to be?
Another nuance here to the sacrificing empath is that they’re often scared of their own power. Because it feels safer to just stay put. Let me sacrifice. That is safer than becoming my true self and stepping into my full power, unleashing that power within. Because it feels so unfamiliar, because the pattern has always been, please, please, please, sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice for other people. So when you start to feel the inkling, and just a little blip of your power coming, it’s like, Ooh, that’s uncomfortable. I’m more afraid of success and power than I am potentially of failure and the other side of the spectrum. So the blips of power, that this person feels, that actually might overstimulate or up-regulate their nervous system, and stress them out. Versus be empowering and go, ooh yeah, I’ve got this power. I’ve got this superpower magic. And when they start to feel that, they run away, they back away, because it’s unfamiliar and it’s uncomfortable. And as human beings, we resist change.
I’m going to summarize what these five different wounds are. So there’s the co-dependent empath, there’s the numb empath, the overstimulated empath, the supernatural empath, and the sacrificing empath. And these all hold us back from stepping into the empathic leader role that is embodied, and powerful, and confident in a change maker. A world changer, a disruptor to society in a way that allows for this new paradigm on new earth to be birthed. They are the healers of the world. There is a lot of giving, but it’s a balanced giving. It’s a balanced dynamic between the masculine and the feminine energy.
I want to tell you about a brand new podcast from my friend, Laura. It is called, ‘Activate’. And Activate is your one-stop-shop for all things, mind, body, and soul elevation. Each week, Laura and her guests will bring you tools to align your mind and your heart, and take empowered action. You’ll learn how to strip back the layers of silence, the noise, and listen to your heart’s truest calling. And most importantly, you’ll give yourself full permission to say yes, to your higher self. So if you’re ready to dig deep, and get out of your own way, Laura’s got ya.
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September 2, 2020
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