Nina Khoo coaches women (and a few men) who are Highly Sensitive – an innate temperament trait shared by 20 per cent of the population. Highly sensitive people are likely to feel overwhelmed by modern life, sensitive to noise and stimuli, have a rich and complex inner life, are seen as shy by others, and feel a need to withdraw during busy times to recharge. A Highly Sensitive woman herself, Nina is also a mother of two (one of whom is HS). Here she reveals her inspirations, challenges and ways to switch off.
What inspired you to set up your business?
Three years ago we were really struggling with one of my daughters. Some mornings were a nightmare getting her to school and she would often end up thrashing around on the floor having ripped all her clothes off. “I hate the seams in my socks!” was often shouted. There were many occasions where we turned up to school late and in tears (both her & me). I sought solace at a friend’s house after a particularly gruelling morning. She handed me Elaine Aron’s book on The Highly Sensitive Child. I read it and was relieved to find that my daughter wasn’t a monster, she was just Highly Sensitive and was responding to not getting enough sleep, anxiety about going to school, or just general overwhelm. I also realised that I was Highly Sensitive (HS) as well and it was as if I’d found the missing puzzle piece to my life.
Even though I’d studied Psychology and had taken umpteen personal development courses, I’d never come across High Sensitivity. Everything started to fall into place & make sense – relationship choices, why I’d always felt different, why I’d struggled when working in a big corporation and a whole lot more!
Since discovering I’m HS, I’ve recognised what I need to do to take care of myself to stay in my strengths rather than falling into the challenges that come with being sensitive.
My confidence has grown, I’m now able to speak in groups, my business is growing. Best of all, I know what to do when I start getting overwhelmed, which is a tendency for HS people.
I know there are many people out there who are HS but don’t know they are. I’m passionate about raising awareness of the trait. It’s so important for HS children to be recognised and given the support & understanding they need to thrive, & for all HS people to embrace their sensitivity and see it for the gift it is.
What makes your you/your product special and where are you based?
I believe I’m ideally placed to coach HS women, because I live and breathe it every day! I’ve transformed my life since recognising my trait. I’ve gone from being shy and not willing to say boo to a goose, to presenting talks & workshops to encourage HS women to find their voices.
I’m based in Hampshire, currently Twyford, Winchester, but coach via zoom so my clients can be anywhere in the world.
How do you use social media to help promote your business?
FB: Highly Sensitive@ninakhooCoaching
YouTube Channel: The Sensitive Voice (I make a short weekly video that goes out on Thursdays)
Linked In: Nina Khoo
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
To manage my energy.
HS people have highly responsive nervous systems, which means we take on lots of information all the time. This can be exhausting, as we’re often in a state of ‘fight or flight’. I’ve learnt some amazing energy management tools that I use regularly to keep my HS mind clear, my body calm & out of overwhelm. I share these with my clients.
What has been your greatest challenge?
Reaching my ideal clients. Highly Sensitive women who are struggling often don’t know they’re HS and don’t understand the impact it can have.
How do you switch off?
Taking walks in nature, sitting in my garden with a cup of tea. Stroking my bunny rabbits!
Where do you go on holiday?
My favourite holidays have been in Wales at a beautiful place that has a festival for two weeks in summer. There are all sorts of activities to keep both adults and children occupied, lots of green space to roam around in and gorgeous freshly home grown and cooked food.
What lesson do you wish you had learnt at school?
That the HS trait exists and that one in five people are HS!
What app/website/twitter account (other than your own!) would you recommend?
I love the Environmental Working Group. It’s based in the US, but has a fantastic database that rates the toxicity levels of household and beauty products we use.
Where do you see yourself/your company in five years’ time?
My vision is to have a variety of successful online programs that take people through my ‘A, B, C of High Sensitivity’, to run transformational retreats for HS women who want to step into leadership roles, to run workshops in companies for their HS employees, to be a sought after international speaker on High Sensitivity, to offer bespoke coaching to motivated HS women.