Do you feel like you’re “not good enough” or “take things too personally” at work?
My clients say these exact words to me all the time.
Can you relate? Then you may be a Sensitive Striver.
As a Sensitive Striver, you're a high-achiever who's also more sensitive to your emotions and the world around you.
You’re driven to succeed. But because you process information more deeply than others, you’re more susceptible to stress, emotional overwhelm, and overthinking.
As the first to research, define, describe, and work with leaders who have this combination of traits, I can tell you that when sensitivity and ambition come together, it can be tricky. Common workplace situations – like getting feedback and trusting your judgment – are even more challenging.
The good news is that sensitivity, combined with a strong desire to be the best version of yourself, can also make you a powerhouse performer.
The research proves it: managers consistently rate people with higher sensitivity as their top contributors.
The key is learning to manage your mind and emotional responses in more productive ways.
Are you a Sensitive Striver®?
To find out if you fit the profile, click below to check off the sentences that sound like you:
If you checked off 6 or more of the boxes, you can confidently call yourself a Sensitive Striver. And know this:
It’s possible to enjoy success without the stress, self-doubt and overwhelm you’re experiencing right now.
My Sensitive Striving story
All my life, I was the classic A+, gold-star, “good girl” who lived to exceed expectations. I worked hard to earn high grades in school, graduated at the top of my college class while balancing multiple jobs, and got a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University.
I went on to secure a role as a researcher at a fast-paced healthcare center in Upper Manhattan, and from the outside, it looked like I had it all: A great job in a big city, an upward career trajectory, a steady stream of accomplishments…
You couldn’t tell that on the inside, I was a mess. Constant stress left me frazzled, restless, and emotionally depleted. And rather than seeing my emotional state for what it was – a sign that something was off – I felt like a failure.
Everyone else seemed to be so confident and in control. Why couldn’t I get it together? What was wrong with me?
Releasing my Honor Roll Hangover
I kept pushing, trying to compensate for my insecurities, until I hit a wall.
I was so burned out I spent my weekends in bed, too drained to do anything else. I had heart palpitations and nightmares. And I felt like an empty shell of a person. Far from my driven, empathetic self I once knew.
My burnout forced me to step back and take a hard look at the thoughts and behaviors that had brought me to that point.
During the previous three years, I had slowly been building a coaching practice based on my training in counseling and psychology. And now I had no choice but to use the tools I used with my clients on myself.
When I began to examine the root of my insecurities and imposter syndrome, I realized that the problem wasn’t that I was a failure.
The problem was that I had never learned how to channel my sensitivity correctly. Over and over again, I had also allowed other people’s judgments and expectations to consume me and override what I knew was best for myself.
Getting out of my own way
By working with my coaching clients, I discovered that many others struggle with problems like overthinking, emotional reactivity, perfectionism, and poor boundaries – to name a few.
At first, I didn’t have a name for this group of people who were naturally more sensitive and driven. But I knew that traditional career and leadership advice wouldn’t be enough for them to grasp and harness the power of their built-in sensitivities.
As I reconnected with my core values and dreams, I found the desire to support this group. And from there, I took steps that led to expanding my coaching practice and eventually defining the concept of “sensitive striving.”
Now a decade later I’ve helped thousands of sensitive high-achievers like you get out of their own way, master their sensitivity, and discover ways to enjoy success – however they define it – without self-doubt, stress, and emotional overwhelm.
I can’t wait to help you too.
Serving clients at:
The beliefs that fuel my work
Being sensitive is your biggest source of strength. You should use that gift daily.
Success is an inside job. Inner work is the ultimate competitive edge.
Strive to succeed without the weight of the unreasonable expectations of perfectionism.
You can have strong boundaries without being mean or people hating you.
Change is the result of incremental growth and action, not quantum leaps and wishful positivity.
Your worth isn’t measured by how busy you are. Choose intentional productivity over the chase of busy.
Things you'd learn about me over coffee
Things you'd learn about me over coffee
Enjoy success without the stress.
Stop doubting yourself and reclaim what success means to you with one-on-one coaching:
Melody Wilding is an executive and leadership coach for smart, sensitive high-achievers who are tired of getting in their own way.
Through her coaching programs, talks, small-group workshops, and articles, she’s here to help you break free from self-doubt and overwhelm, master your emotions, and use your sensitivity as the superpower that it is.
Recently named one of Business Insider’s “Most Innovative Coaches”, Melody coined the groundbreaking idea of “sensitive striving.” She has helped CEOs, leaders, and top-performers at the world’s most successful companies including Google, Facebook, JP Morgan, Verizon, and more. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Oprah Magazine, NBC News, and dozens of other high-profile publications.
Melody is a Sensitive Striver herself, a licensed social worker with a Masters degree from Columbia University, and a former researcher at Rutgers University. She is a professor of Human Behavior at Hunter College and is a contributor to Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Business Insider.
When she’s not helping professionals thrive at the workplace, you’ll find Melody listening to podcasts and geeking out over all things productivity, habits, and psychology.
Break free from imposter syndrome and overwhelm
Which of these “growth gaps” is causing your imposter syndrome and overwhelm? Find out how to break free from overthinking and gain consistent confidence as a Sensitive Striver.