All my life, I had been a classic A-plus, gold-star, good girl who lived to exceed expectations. Diligent and disciplined, I worked hard to earn high grades in school, graduated at the top of my college class while balancing multiple jobs, and went on to get a master’s in social work from Columbia University, so I could work in mental health. I dreamed of becoming a therapist until well-meaning loved ones and advisors cautioned against it. You can’t make money as a therapist. You should go into healthcare or technology—something more stable and lucrative. I followed their advice and took a job as a researcher at a fast-paced healthcare center in Manhattan. From the outside, it looked like I had it all. I was accomplished, lived in a big city, and had a clear career path. But on the inside, I was frazzled, restless, and depleted.
Though I had no way of knowing it then, I wasn’t alone when it came to how I felt. Sensitive, ambitious people are often so worried about what others think and so influenced by common definitions of success that they don’t know how to direct their energy toward what they really want—a fulfilling life coupled with a sense of confidence and control. They’ve been taught that achievement means climbing to the top of the career ladder, but even when they do, they often feel empty or experience relentless pressure to accomplish even more. And when this leads to burnout, these individuals assume the problem lies with them, instead of considering that, perhaps, they need to approach their careers (and their relationships with themselves) in a new way
Trust Yourself is the book I wish I’d had as an empathetic, driven person trying to find my way in my career and figure out how to believe in myself in the process. This book is a guide to master your sensitivity and enjoy success—however, you define it—without stress and overwhelm. Instead of feeling ordered around by your anxieties or your own unrealistically high expectations, you can feel in charge of your own life. And once you redirect your sensitive striving toward strength and not self-sabotage, you can move through the world with ease and reach your full potential.