According to psychologist Douglas Eby, one of the primary characteristics of a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is the inability to process change. The uncertainty of a new path generates anxiety, sometimes so crippling that the person is unable to move forward on the new path in front of her. I am reminded of that this month as I make the significant transition from a job as a defense contractor–a communications advisor to a cloud computing company, with comfortable benefits– to an unstable gig as a freelance writer crafting pieces of mental health. I am following my heart alright, as it’s racing to catch up with me. Every time I sit down to write a piece, I second guess myself and list all the reasons why I’m unqualified to write articles that will technically be read by a few people.
I have felt this way every time I move through a transition. I would panic at the beginning of every semester in college and call my mom in tears, lamenting that there was no way in hell I would be able to complete all the items on the syllabus, that I may as well drop out. She would remind me that I felt the same way last semester and I ended up with okay grades.
Transition does that to us sensitive types.