Do you think and feel everything more deeply? Are you ambitious and driven in your career, but struggle with challenges like perfectionism and people-pleasing? If so, you should take the free Sensitive Striver quiz right now.
What is a Sensitive Striver?
Sensitive Strivers are more attuned to their emotions, the world, and the behavior of those around them. Many are former star students who bring that same dedication, reliability, and ambition into the workplace.
But while many Sensitive Strivers rise quickly in their careers, they often face a daily battle with stress, anxiety, and self-doubt. 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 Sensitive Striver Quiz
So, are you a Sensitive Striver? To find out if you fit the profile, check out this Sensitive Striver quiz sample and make a note of how many of the below items resonate with you:
____I experience emotions to a high level of depth and complexity.
____I have a strong desire to “exceed expectations” in every aspect of my life.
____I consider myself to be driven and enjoy pushing myself to achieve goals.
____I crave meaning and fulfillment.
____I need time to think through decisions before I act.
____I have an inner critic that never takes a day off.
____I’m kind, compassionate, and empathetic to others.
____I have a keen ability to sense other people’s feelings.
____I often put other people’s needs ahead of my own.
____I find it difficult to set boundaries and often say “yes” too much.
____I’ve struggled with burnout.
____I’m easily impacted by stress.
____I struggle to “turn off” my mind because it’s constantly filled with thoughts.
____I have strong emotional reactions.
____I feel anxious when I’m caught off guard or know I’m being watched or evaluated.
____I hold myself to high standards.
____I try to get things “right” and judge myself harshly if I make mistakes.
____I often get stuck in indecision and analysis paralysis.
____I take feedback and criticism to heart.
If you checked off nine or more, 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.
The best place to start is with my book Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work. Inside, you’ll discover how to regain your confidence and turn your sensitivity into a superpower.
Sensitive Striver Traits
Sensitive Strivers have six core qualities that form the acronym STRIVE:
Sensitivity. Processing complex information comes naturally to you because you’re perceptive and have a heightened response to what’s happening within and around you. You thrive best with structure and routine. Without it, you get easily overstimulated, especially if you’re under pressure (both real and imagined).
Thoughtfulness. You’re highly self-aware, reflective, and intuitive. Your ability to see nuance and to synthesize information makes you especially original and creative. On the flip side, your brain is often racing. It’s not uncommon for you to over-analyze day-to-day experiences, and your above-average self-awareness can veer into self-consciousness and self-criticism.
Responsibility. You’re dependable and people trust you and look to you for support. Hard-working (perhaps to a fault), you can’t bear to let people down, even if it entails sacrifice. A never-ending desire to be liked and please others is exhausting, contributing to burnout.
Inner Drive. Sensitive Strivers live to “exceed expectations,” not only on performance reviews but in every aspect of life. You devote substantial energy to your career and care deeply about making an impact. Nothing makes you more excited than hitting goals or knocking items off your (very long) to-do list, but you often set an unrealistically high bar for success.
Vigilance. You are keenly attuned to changes and tend to be aware of subtleties in your environment, from your boss’ body language to the general mood of a meeting. You listen well and try to be responsive to people’s needs. Being on high alert can be draining, however, and you may sometimes perceive danger or a threat where there is none.
Emotionality. Sincere and empathetic, you feel things in a big way and have complex emotional responses. You’re able to experience the richness of positive emotions like inspiration and gratitude, but can also get stuck in unpleasant feelings like annoyance and disappointment.
Think of the STRIVE qualities not as something innately good or bad on their own, but as something to be balanced. If your STRIVE qualities are out of balance, they may become overused or otherwise cause you to self-sabotage or get in your own way. But if they are balanced correctly, if they are channeled in the right ways, they can become your biggest advantage.
To find out which of these qualities is at the root of your imposter syndrome and overwhelm, take my free Sensitive Striver quiz here.