Oct 23, 2021

High Sensitivity & Spoon Theory

One thing that people aren’t talking about enough in regards to High Sensitivity + entrepreneurship, is this—

🥄🥄Your sensitivity does not know the difference between “work” and “everything else.”

You have a stimulus threshold, and when you go over, you go over.

So, if you have a FaceTime reading date with your 4-year old niece, AND a big work meeting, AND your library books are overdue, AND someone in the office is wearing gross cologne, AND it’s cold, AND there’s a violent mob storming the Capitol…

It’s all happening inside a single container—you. And girl, your cup overfloweth.

Is everyone here familiar with the Spoon Theory? 🥄🥄If you’re not, it was created by Christine Miserandino, as a way to explain to her best friend what it’s like to live with lupus.

The idea is that every day you wake up with a finite supply of spoons, and everything you do from that minute on—from getting dressed to making breakfast to your morning commute and so on—takes one of your spoons away. You have to be super mindful about how you allocate your spoons, because once you’re out, you’re out—and running out of spoons is very bad. For those with chronic illness, sometimes this can trigger flare-ups and other unpleasantness. For HSPs, it’s burnout city.

This theory came about as a way to talk about living with a chronic illness—to illustrate how much care & thought had to go into all the little things that able-bodied people take for granted, and to show her friend how meaningful their time together was.

But it works as a framework for high sensitivity & neurodiversity, too. Or even just the finite supply of energy and/or willpower we ALL have at the start of each day.

There are variations on this idea throughout the entrepreneurial / self-help landscape, too, but most of them are centered around maximizing your productivity and focus, or “running out of f*cks to give,” vs. maxing out your stimulus threshold.

Still though, there is some wisdom to be had from both approaches.

Really it’s whatever does it for you—here are a few other book rec’s.

• Greg McKeown’s Essentialism (identifying one goal or value that’s MOST important, shedding all the sh*t that isn’t that)

• Sarah Knight’s The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A F*ck (a spoof on Marie Kondo, but instead of throwing away all your books, you get to stop going to baby showers)

Any other suggestions? hmu spoonies, I know you’re out there. 🙂

Samantha Pollack

About Sam

Samantha Pollack writes creative copy (mostly emails) for feminist companies and/or thought leaders who are working to build a fairer, more connected culture. She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur, a 6-week course that helps HSP business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work. 

She publishes frequent essays on feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and more on her website, cultofpersonality.co. She currently lives in Asheville, NC, and while she can *technically* work from anywhere, she prefers her adventures laptop-free.

Emails for cult thought leaders.

(Personality included.)

Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?

I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.

(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)

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