Barbera Schouten, HSP & Burn-out Expert


The beginning…

When I was growing up I often got told, by my parents and my teachers, that I was too sensitive. They told me I shouldn’t take everything so seriously and that I needed to grow a thicker skin. They also told me not to take everything so personally and that I had to learn to let things go.

In hearing those words I create this story that I am not good enough and that there is something wrong with me, that I am weird or strange. I decided to suppress my sensitivity and to survive through my powers of reasoning to prove that I am a normal person just like everybody else so that I could get their approval and their love. I forced myself to be big and strong and to show a brace face to the outside world and to do what was expected of me.


The breakdown…

Fast forward, I am now 32 years old and I am working as a project manager for this IT company. The company is struggling and as a result I am under a lot of pressure to make the project succeed. The customer is difficult, my boss is not giving me the support I need and I am responsible for my team and things are not running smoothly.

At the same time my boyfriend of 7 years ends our relationship totally unexpected. There were no warning signs, we did not even have a fight. One night after watching a movie he just sta…nds up and tells me that he no longer wants to be with me and that I have to move out by the end of the week.

Consequently, I end up in a severe burnout and totally loose contact with myself. It feels like I have lost everything and that my reasoning and my feelings are no longer in touch and definitely not communicating with each other. Being able to think things through intellectually is no problem at all, but when it comes to my feelings, I just can’t keep up anymore.


The All Time Low…

I suddenly have all these emotions I don’t know how to handle. I cannot stop crying and I am so so tired and all I can think is “Why is this happening to me, I work so hard and I am a good person.” It also reinforced the story I created when I was little that there was something wrong with me.

I am angry with myself, because I collapsed and cannot handle anything anymore and I am angry at my body for failing me. I am doubting myself, I am doubting my own abilities and I have serious doubts about my future. I think “How am I ever going to get out of this burnout? How am I ever going to feel like myself again? And who will want me?” I sleep 18 hours a day and those moments that I am awake I am angry or I am crying.

During this time my boss tells me that he thinks I am an HSP, because his wife is one and he recognizes a lot of her in me. I did not know what he meant with “HSP” and I thought maybe he was calling me a name, because he was disappointed in me for failing and ending up in that burnout. This makes me feel even worse and I decide to “park” his remark for now…


The turn-arround…

But the term HSP stuck with me and one day I decide to google it. Boy did that open up a whole new world to me, I recognize so much!

Hungry I read every book I can find on High Sensitivity and I become a member of all the fora I can find about highsensitivity too. And then I realize: I am not weird, I am not strange, there is nothing wrong with me and, most of all: there are other people like me!! It really felt like coming home to myself and the more I read, the more I understand myself and the more insight I get into my own sensitive user manual.


The transformation…

And while reading and learning, the process suddenly takes me back to my childhood and the things people told me. I now understand that they told me those things to help me, because they love me and want the best for me. They care so much that they want to shield me from the pitfalls of being highly sensitive and they want to make life easier for me.

Little by little, bit by bit I start to allow my sensitivity back into my life. And, finally, I feel whole again. My head and my heart have found each other again and I realize that it is OK to be me, sensitive and all!


The insight…

Looking back I am glad I ended up in that burnout. It forced me to take a good look at myself. It taught me to stay in touch with my own body more. To pay attention to the messages my body sends me AND to do something with them.

I know now that I can trust my body and my intuition, I know now how to protect myself and my energy and I know now how to feel my boundaries and how to protect them.

From that moment on, I honor my sensitive side because of the beautiful things it brings me. I know that you too will appreciate these beautiful aspects of being highly sensitive: Compassion, deep intuition, authenticity, empathy and the ability to heal.

I now also know how to handle the ‘Achilles heel of high sensitivity‘, such as being discouraged easily, taking things personal, being overwhelmed easily, having a hard time setting boundaries, feeling tired or tense.


The realization…

The moment I take charge of my inner self, I realize that the only reason I never accomplish what I want in life is because I never fully accepted my high sensitive gift. By not fully embracing my sensitivity, I am actually sabotaging myself over and over again.

That realization, that is the moment I not only decide to embrace my high sensitivity completely, but I also decide to follow my heart and start my own company! A dream I have for a very long time, but one I keep on postponing.

In hindsight, because I did not have enough confidence in myself. And because it is scary to step outside of your comfort-zone. And because it seems safe to keep working for a boss.


The result…

But I do not regret for even a moment having taken that step to start for myself. On the contrary, I am happier now than ever, now that I finally have my own company. The freedom that having my own company gives me to lead the life that I want is indescribable. I am doing what my heart tells me to do and it does not even feel like working. And this feeling, this is what I want for you too!

By getting to know myself and my sensitivity really well, by getting valuable insight into my pitfalls and my qualities and by having the tools to keep myself in balance no matter what, I know have a solid basis for my company and am using my sensitivity as my (business) super power! This helps me to achieve better businessresults and I run my company with much more energy and I am having much more fun!


My Mission 

It is my mission to help you to heayourself by embracing your high sensitivity, so that you can become your effortless self, connect to your hearts desires and use your sensitivity as your (business) super power. This will lead to better business results while having more fun and more energy. 

I believe you are a very special, very beautiful person and that you have a truly amazing gift, your sensitivity. Once you connect to your hearts desire, embrace that sensitivity and learn to use it as your super power you will feel like your effortless self and have a massive impact on the world. 

You will have the power to change the life of millions with your good heart, great empathy for others and infallible intuition. And the best part of it is that it won’t even feel like working if you do what you love! You will be able to have a lifestyle friendly worklife/business, doing what you love, having fun while doing it and with plenty of energy to spare!


Claim your free 1 on 1 session with me today!

Do you want to find out what your passion is? Do you want to follow your heart and make your dreams come true? Do you want to find out if you are highly sensitive and what it means for you?

Then take the first step today and plan an “Effortless self session” with me! I would love to get to know you 🙂