Ep. 172 Unveil Your Empath Shadow to Align with Your Purpos‪e

Listen Here:

In this episode, I discuss:

  •  Explore the 5 Leadership Archetypes
  •  Understanding your Empath Shadow
  •  How to feel fully aligned with your purpose
  •  Tips, tools, and resources to better understand your unique empath + leadership archetype

Additional Resources:

QUIZ: Empath Archetype Quiz

Discover which of the 5 empath wounds shows up most prevalently for you AND how you can use this awareness to shift your identity.

MEMBERSHIP: The Third Eye Collective

The Third Eye Collective is a community of empathic and highly sensitive souls breaking free of old patterns so that they can alchemize the dark with the light and have the impact they desire on the world. This is the place where spiritual ascension meets grounded leadership and your humanity meets your divinity. As empaths, you hold powerful medicine for this planet, but this journey begins with holding a mirror up to ourselves. When you step into this community you will realize the healing that lives within you.

Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Uncensored Empath, a place for us to discuss highly sensitives 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, empath community. We’re coming to you with a solo episode today. I’ve been talking a lot about leadership on social media lately, and one of my best friends and biz bestie, Tori Washington and I have been collaborating on a program called Coach to Conscious Leader where we’ve been guiding 30-plus women through their journey from coach into conscious leadership, and really starting to look at the difference between what it means to be a coach versus what it means to be an entrepreneur and a leader. Tori and I had a really thought-provoking conversation on Clubhouse the other day that I wanted to take some inspiration from and bring to you as a podcast episode.

Explore the 5 Leadership Archetypes

This program that we’re hosting has already started. It’s already begun, but I think there’s still a lot that you can all get out of this conversation around these different leadership archetypes, and I’m going to be talking about it in context, overlapping with the five empath patterns. We have our empath archetype quiz. If you haven’t already taken it, we’ll link that for you in the show notes, and we can use the different archetypes and the characteristics that come along with each of these archetypes to be able to identify the roles that we play in our life, the roles that we play in our business, the roles that we play in our family, and ultimately be able to see where we’re holding ourselves back, where we’re still carrying borrowed beliefs, and where there’s actually opportunity to find the gift to alchemize the dark into the light, and be able to see the qualities that we have gleaned from these experiences in our life in a way that allows us to ascend.

Understanding your Empath Shadow

So each of the shadow components take us out of alignment. They take us out of our power. They take us off of our throne as queens, but when we start to embrace the quality that is the strength, that brings us back home. It brings us back into alignment. It gets us back moving, into shuffling our feet forward and I invite you regardless of whether you’re an entrepreneur or a coach, whatever your niche is, maybe you don’t identify with any of those things and I want to invite you to believe, regardless of any of those labels, that you are a leader and it starts with self-leadership. You guys have heard me talk about this before on the show. It starts with self-leadership. Then each of our paths take different directions, take different turns and the way that we use those leadership qualities, the hat that we wear as a leader, the type of leader we are, what’s different for each of us, but I believe that we are all capable of leadership and that the empaths of the world, all of you listening are especially suited to be powerful fucking leaders on this planet. So, let’s dive into some of these shadows that may jostle us out of our true power.

The perfectionist

First, I want to talk about the perfectionist and this is going to overlap with the numb empath, if you do take the quiz and you get that result. When we embody the qualities of the perfectionist, we create a very limited picture of what’s possible for us. Anything outside of what we have planned or what we have expected feels like a threat to our nervous system, and that’s where that numb empath comes in because if it feels like a threat to our nervous system, then we tend to shut down. I have personally absolutely felt the perfectionist shadow as I’ve descended into my own leadership as a coach and as an entrepreneur. When I launch a program, there have been moments where I expect a certain number of people to sign up, or I expect this community to be as excited as I am about what I’ve created. And if that doesn’t happen the way that I’m expecting, the perfectionist gets triggered within me and she wants to shut down. She wants to go numb and I can feel her power wane because she wants to go into hiding. The perfectionist leader doesn’t want to put herself in positions where she feels like she could fail. And when things don’t go perfectly according to plan she questions, am I even powerful? And the answer is of course, yes. She has so much power to share. She carries these codes of clarity, but when she shuts down and she becomes numb, when she has experienced pain and let down and failure, she stops believing in herself and she starts to numb out the world. When we get so seduced by the need to be perfect, we fall out of alignment with our authenticity and your authenticity is part of your leadership journey to be you. You don’t have to be anyone else in leadership.

So then we get to look at the flip side of this because the perfectionist is also so good at making things beautiful. They’re so good at creating and curating these beautiful moments and experiences with special touches, bringing in the rose petals and the flowers, and it might not seem obvious, but this is a skill set that you can bring into experiences. This is a powerful quality of a leader. You’ve probably been to a talk, listened to a podcast, witnessed a speaker, watched a TED talk, and that person created such a beautiful moment that you remember it to this day and it has stuck with you and that’s what we get to descend into as we peel back perfectionist that leads us into numbing and instead, we evoke a deep emotional intelligence, the polar energy of the feeler. The feeler, the embodied emotionally intelligent woman who allows that deep emotional intelligence to be her compass, to help her lead and guide herself, whether that’s through her illness, autoimmune journey, whether that is through building a business, whether it’s through personal challenges, family relationships. She can use her deep emotional intelligence, her ability to feel, to choose to feel instead of numbing, to build beautiful moments that stick with people so when they leave your space, your container, they leave and they are going to remember you. You and your energy are memorable and there’s power in that. So I invite the perfectionist who tends to numb to rethink and to let the pattern of numbness fall to the ground and instead allow your emotional intelligence to rise up and guide you.

The rebel archetype

The next archetype I want to talk about is this rebel archetype that overlaps with the supernatural empath. The supernatural empath has grown up feeling like there’s something weird or different or wrong or broken within her, about her and this may have even been reiterated by things that she’s heard about herself from the world, when in fact her supernatural abilities are what make her so unique. In her supernatural abilities lie medicine, deep intelligence, and healing codes. But when we’ve been told so many times we’re weird and we’re different and that’s not acceptable and don’t bring that and what the hell are you talking about, that can often lead us to just rebel and say, fuck it! Never going to be who they want to be so I’m just going to rebel. I’m going to break all the rules. I’m going to go off in my own direction.

My experience of this has been very synonymous with a holy rage that lives within me as a leader. A holy rage and a sacred anger that I never thought existed within me but I denied. My rebel has been quieter than some, but she’s been present. She’s had a seat at the table always, and this rebel energy is motivated by the holy rage that exists within me, in all of this energy that I’ve shoved down, down, down and said, I’m not angry. I don’t want to be the angry woman. I don’t want to wear that label; people will judge me. When in fact, there have been many, many instances in my life that have made me angry, that I judged myself for. Frustrations that I thought shouldn’t be frustrating. Well, Sarah, if you just figure it out, just take care of it, don’t show emotion, maintain your status quo, your finest, your base. But there have been things that have infuriated me in my life, that have felt unfair, that have been clear instances of injustice. And as the supernatural empath, because these all live within all of us, you guys, and the supernatural empath within me didn’t want to be seen as weird. So her rebellion was behind the scenes, but it was a palpable fire that was building within me that eventually needed a way out.

And this is where we get to bring in the quality and the strength of expression, the expressed empath. And in this freedom of expression, we allow the holy rage to erupt, to shuffle you forward, to make you stand up and get out of your seat and stand up, speak up for what you believe in as a leader. And we get to cut all ties and all cords and all associations that that rage and that anger was ever a bad thing that lived within you. And instead, I find deep gratitude for that rage, that anger that has made me the rebel that I am, that has made me want to disrupt systems, to shift paradigms, to break the fucking rules and express myself and my uniqueness and my perceived weirdness, to express that and share that with the world in an unapologetic way, because there’s nothing to be sorry for. This is who I am. This is who you are, and it’s safe to be you, and it’s safe to be you and to share you with the world. It’s safe to rise up into that power; it’s safe to go home to your heart as you are.

The next quality and archetype I want to talk about is this overlap between the super-achiever and the overstimulated empath. This is probably one of the shadow archetypes that I’ve most identified with throughout my journey. And like all of these shadows, there’s something truly beautiful about all of them. Beauty lies within all of them because of what they do teach you and they invite you to learn. But when myself as a super-achiever becomes obsessed with the doing, the doing, the doing, the doing, and my mission becomes all about the reward and the getting acknowledged and how many downloads and how many followers and the praise and the being seen and the book sale. Then I fall out of my actual power and my brain is overstimulated.

The super achiever

The super achiever often has a long-ass to-do list that is completely unrealistic, and it’s so overstimulating and it’s constantly overstimulating. So it’s like there’s never a pause. There’s never a silence. We skip the being part of life and we just live in the do, do, do, do, and life is not about doing. Life is about being. Those are the moments that you remember on your death bed. We just had Linda on the show talking about these intentional moments that people remember at the end of their life. We’ve had Dr. Chris Kerr on the show talking about peoples’ regrets not being related to doing, but to the experiences, the emotion. And so when we’re so overstimulated, sometimes the wrong things start to motivate us – if I can just do more – and we start to fall out of integrity with ourselves, and we want the likes over the true impact and we lean into the need for more versus being present with what simply is. Along that path, we can often sacrifice not only our integrity, but our wellbeing. Our sleep, our boundary, our energies, all in the name of success and an exhausted, overly-stimulated empath doesn’t benefit our world. We need well-rested, grounded empaths to step up and rise into their leadership. When we have so many things on our mind that we’re trying to do at once, we think that the doing is the only pathway to our desires, but what I’ve been able to experience personally is that the “being” trumps the doing, and the feeling trumps the mindless action-taking because action-taking from a mindless stance and a mindless, not present human vessel being is just action for fucking action. There’s no intention behind it. The actions aren’t felt. The actions don’t land. The actions don’t have impact because you’re just taking action to take action. Doing more doesn’t equal more impact. And you’re here to create impact as a leader so we can throw that out the window as a belief today. Doing doesn’t equal more impact. Yeah, you’re going to go to sleep and you’d be like, I did so much tonight, but what you did today, did it have an impact? What was the point of all the doing? And this is why the quality that we get to step into as we heal this shadow of super achieving overstimulation in our minds is the grounded one. The grounded empath.

The grounded empath

The grounded empath is full of wisdom and has the capability of being a powerful, powerful leader if she actually does the opposite of what her programming, her subconscious has been telling her to do and instead she slows down. She slows down to get more embodied and more grounded, and she gets to do less but have more impact with less action because her action is intentional. It’s not doing for the hell of doing. It’s not getting more followers for the hell of getting more followers, building real relationships. It’s grounding down into your truth. It’s being present. It’s being in the B, the B, the B. This is what we need within you as leaders as we start to see the world change, because I know you have a big vision for the world, for your life, for your community, for your family, for your loved ones. But if you’re so focused on the doing and your brain is so overstimulated, then you’re not going to be of the highest service and likely you’re going to burn out.

The rescuer

So let’s talk about the next one, the rescuer. This is overlapping with the codependent empath. I can’t tell you how many people have DM’d me on Instagram after listening to the codependent empath podcast episode. There’s been an episode in the past that goes over all five of the empath wounds that we’re talking about today, but in a different way. There’s also an episode that is specifically about the codependent empath that came before the quiz even existed. And I’ve gotten so many DMs that that one has been life-changing for people. They see themselves in this. They see their experience of developing empathy in the codependent, empath and empathy, their high sensitivity being an actual defense or coping mechanism of attunement in order to protect themselves from the world, in order to feel like they’ve been safe. And when we’ve been exerting so much energy towards keeping ourselves safe, safe, safe protection, protection, protection, let me fuel all of my energy into this other person’s needs and desires so that I may be loved, so that I can get approval from external sources, so that I can feel okay about myself. We get so in the pattern of rescuing, rescuing, and saving and fixing. Well, if I can just fix this problem for them, they’ll like me. If I can just nurture and over mother them, they’ll love me. If I can save them from their pain, then I’m a good person.

But the thing about leadership is that we need to be okay with not everyone approving of us. We need to find approval within us versus external sources. You have powerful healing energy as the codependent empath, because you have become so attuned to even the subtlest energy in your environment and you can use that as a strength. You can use that to help people, but we’re not here to fix and rescue and save. There’s a difference. There’s a stark contrast between trying to be the fixer who puts this responsibility on herself to save and help and fix everybody on the planet, regardless of how she knows them, versus the healer and the independent thinker who has boundaries, who holds power of attunement and energetic awareness, the ability to scan the room for energy. And she uses that ability not to come in and swoop in and mother everyone and fix everyone, and instead she uses this ability to help heal the world.

Her healing does not look like babying. Her healing looks like activating people into their own power. Her healing does not look like hand-holding. Her healing is an invitation for people to find their own answers and hold a mirror up to themselves. There are major differences here. When we start to step out of the codependent patterns, tendencies that hold us back, that keep us bound to these people in our life, then it’s very hard to figure out who am I? What do I stand for? What is my mission, my purpose? What do I want to be a leader of? What message do I want to share? How do I want to be experienced and felt by the world? I don’t know and I can’t answer that question if I’m stuck in codependent patterns. So we need for this to change for this, to evolve within you, into sovereignty, independent thinking, clarity in your voice so it’s not muffled and influenced by your past and all the energy around you. And what you’ve been told to do, or what you have learned is likable. And instead, ask yourself what do I stand for, regardless of what other people think, regardless of whether I’m going to be liked or loved for this? What do I stand for? What is my mission? What am I most passionate about? And that is where you’re going to become magnetic.

The people pleaser and the sacrificing empath

All right. The last one we’re going to talk about is this overlap of the people pleaser and the sacrificing empath. We all know the people pleaser, right? It is as it sounds. She desperately wants to be loved, liked, seen, heard, felt, understood by the world and she will go to any number of lengths to make other people happy. She is the ultimate self-sacrificer. I will give up my whole day to help you. I am a yes woman. Whatever you need, I’m there for you, boo. But the problem with being a people pleaser and having the goal of descending into your role of conscious leader is that as you do so, you might piss some people off and not everyone is going to like you. Just fact! Some people are going to say they disagree with you when you’re really sharing your voice and allowing your polar beliefs to be expressed. And the people-pleasing, likely inner child within you is going to get really triggered by that because she thinks that if someone doesn’t like her, someone doesn’t agree with her, someone doesn’t think she’s amazing, that instead of brushing it off and having the boundaries and standing her ground and saying, it’s okay if you disagree with me, but this is what I stand for. Instead, she thinks I should mold myself to fit their expectations. I should give in. I should back down. I should sit down. I should go back in the corner, hide under the blanket.

But leaders don’t mold into other people’s expectations of them. Leadership is all about creating your own manifesto, living by your value system, letting your mission move you so the people pleaser’s nervous system can be rewired. All of our nervous systems can be rewired so that she doesn’t have to be a yes woman anymore, so that she can create strong boundaries, so that she can put her needs first. But at the same time, she still carries the ability to connect deeply with people, and that ability to connect deeply with people is a potent skill as a leader. When she can scan the room and see what people’s needs are. And instead of fulfilling all of their needs for them and sacrificing, or at the expense of her own wellbeing doing so, instead, she gets to move into connection. Deep, deep connection. I see you and the people are seen. I feel you and the people are felt. I understand you and they feel so fucking understood.

And in that, she activates people. Not by fixing, not by sacrificing her own boundaries, not by being likable, but instead by maintaining her position, her grounded-ness, being the upholder. The upholder who knows what a hell fucking yes feels like in her body, who knows what a hell fucking no feels like in her body, and she allows that sensation to guide her movements, to move her, to figure out which turn she’s going to take next, what decision is most aligned for her? Not to please other people, not that leads to burnout and sacrificial behavior. And instead, her feet are moved, inspired and shuffled forward by her mission that lives within her, that is upheld within her DNA. And from that place, she can become the most powerful leader.

There are so many of you amazing podcasts listeners who reach out to me and send me messages that you’re wanting to take your spiritual development and ascension a step further beyond just listening to the podcast. You want to be able to integrate more of what you’re hearing, what you’re listening to, and what you’re learning, because we can be the empathic sponge to information, and we can gather up more wisdom and knowledge, but what is more potent and powerful is to integrate that, embody that, and then allow that to be infused into our lives in a way that may also shuffle us into action, so we’ve created something for you. I hope that this is a no-brainer.

It is called the Third Eye Collective, and it is a community of souls just like you – the empaths, the star seed, the highly sensitives – who want to break free of old patterns so that they can alchemize the dark with the light and have the impact they desire on the world as they start to inch closer to their deepest level of leadership. It is in this collective where spiritual ascension meets grounded leadership and your humanity meets your divinity. I believe that as empaths we hold powerful medicine for this planet, that you were into this body for a reason, and that journey begins by holding a mirror up to ourselves and going to do the inner work that will ultimately begin to shape and change your outer world.

When you step into the Third Eye Collective, when you step into this community, you will realize the healing that lives within you. There are two different tiers in which you can become involved and start to integrate and take your listening experience from the podcast to the next level. The first is called The Awakening, and this is $11 a month. There’s no long-term commitment, and you will receive two healing meditations with myself every month to be able to drop down into your heart and let more of these healing codes live and breathe within you. The other tier, the other level is called The Expansion. It’s $22 a month, and you not only receive these integrating meditations, but you also receive an extended solo episode that is going to help you focus on your spiritual development and awakening. Within that, there’s going to be a thread every month where you can ask me anything and I’ll be compiling the answers, compiling the results to bring them to you so that you get extra coaching. And if you’re asking a question, you get that extra one-on-one support from me. You can check the link in the show notes to see all the details that are included in both The Awakening and The Expansion that lie underneath this umbrella of the Third Eye Collective as a whole.

But I am ecstatic to be bringing this to you as a very easy way of taking the work a step further. So I invite you to reflect on everything that’s been shared today, to think about the shadows that can come up in your leadership journey, and to understand that even within the darkest shadow, there is a light that sparkles within you. There is a gift. There’s a skill set that you can utilize. There are qualities and polar energies that you will see if you have taken the quiz, or when you take the quiz on empath archetypes. That polar energy is your power. I just want to end by saying that the world needs your power. We don’t need you small. We don’t need you hiding inside of this coach to conscious leader course that Tori and I are facilitating right now. Somebody said, it’s time to stop hiding. I want to stop hiding and I’ve said that before. I’ve said that before, and I didn’t change. Instead, I kept hiding. So what is it going to take for you if you see yourself in that story of, I want to but I’ve said that before and nothing’s changed? What is it going to take for you to get out of your chair as a powerful fucking healer and leader on this planet so that we can feel you, so that the world can experience you and so that you do stop hiding because you hold medicine? Your sensitivity is a superpower. Your grief, your wounds, your sadness, your pain, your challenge is also the catalyst for great resilience, endurance, and strength and wisdom, and your empathic, sensitive heart is exactly the soft, tender yet fierce feminine leadership energy that this planet is hungry for.

I hope you accept the simple invitation to step more into your leadership, starting today.

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April 7, 2021


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