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Melody Wilding, LMSW
Executive coach to sensitive high-achievers. Professor. Feat. NYT, NBC, CNN. Author of TRUST YOURSELF:
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich via Pexels

Do you ever feel like a chameleon?

Like you spend your life trying to blend in, hiding your needs, your feelings, and your true personality?

By the time I finished college and grad school, I was the Queen Chameleon.

Growing up it became clear that I didn’t approach the world in the same way as everyone else. I was more deeply affected by everything happening both within and around me.

As a result, I thought there was something wrong with me, that my sensitive nature made me defective somehow. Negative comments from others (“stop taking everything so personally,” “grow a…

While it’s human to have emotions, emotional regulation is a key leadership behavior

Photo: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

How do you stop yourself from crying at work?

This is a question one of my clients, Victoria, asked during coaching.

You see, Victoria was a professional powerhouse. Her determination, smarts, and savvy rocketed her to the top of the food and beverage industry. Victoria’s peers regarded her as influential within the company. This was further evidenced by a recent promotion to managing director of her division.

But in our first coaching session, Victoria sheepishly hung her head and said:

“I can’t stop myself from crying when there’s conflict. Any time I feel put under pressure, the waterworks start. …

The Sensitive Striver

Evaluate your delegation skills and learn how to become a more powerful leader

An office with one person pointing to a computer screen.
An office with one person pointing to a computer screen.
Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

As kind-hearted, empathetic leaders, Sensitive Strivers tend to be reluctant to ask for help or delegate to others. Many feel it is their duty to protect their team’s time and energy, so they absorb responsibilities instead.

And as people-pleasers, these Sensitive Strivers are worried about people not liking them or others getting upset and resentful over delegation requests.

“I know I should ask for help, but I don’t want to be pushy.”

“My team already has enough to do.”

“I hate asking people to do things.”

These are a few of the responses I hear from my Sensitive Striver coaching…

Photo by Min An from Pexels

Picture it: you’ve just been given great feedback after completing a challenging project.

What’s your reaction?

Do you:

A. Soak up the praise. After all, you’re smart, capable, and you’ve worked hard. You deserve every compliment coming your way. You can’t wait to get started on the next project.


B. Shrink from the attention. You’re convinced that it was a fluke and that you’re a one-hit-wonder. You shift the praise onto co-workers, even though you carried the team. And the next project? How on earth are you going to hit that level of success twice in a row?


How to recover more quickly and shine like the competent professional you are.

Photo: Surface/Unsplash

No one likes criticism about their work. But being hypersensitive to criticism can feel like a burden you constantly carry.

Whether you’re getting input about how a slide deck could be improved, hearing that leadership isn’t on board with your idea, or otherwise speaking up and putting yourself out there — it can be difficult to separate a person’s response from your own self-worth.

Throughout your career, you’ll always be given feedback in some form or another. …

The Sensitive Striver

Reflection is an important leadership skill—but the danger is that it can tip over into self-destructive rumination

People in a meeting
People in a meeting
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

How do I stop second-guessing myself?

This was a question one of my clients, Sarah, came to coaching with.

Sarah was an accomplished manager and executive. During her career, she had earned two PhDs and over the course of twenty years, worked her way from the legal department to director of business development at a luxury retail company.

One year earlier, the CEO had tasked Sarah with starting a sub-division within the business development department to focus specifically on innovation. This meant her team was responsible for creating and implementing cutting-edge strategies to modernize the company’s marketing and distribution channels.

Getting clear on what you will and won’t do is hard

Photo: Oleg Magni/Pexels

People often soften their language because they’re afraid of conflict or being seen as rude. But not being assertive at work usually results in overstepped boundaries and frustration.

For instance, Meredith loves her job.

Sometimes, she has to work long hours during the week, but her company has a results-only policy where employees are allowed to work from home as long as their performance and productivity doesn’t falter.

After working at the company for about a year, Meredith decided that she would like to work at home on Fridays. …

It’s impossible for me to contain my excitement, so I’ll come right out and share that …


You can can get your copy:

“Groundbreaking and insightful, Trust Yourself is essential reading for every sensitive, introverted professional.”

— Susan Cain, author of Quiet and creator of Quiet Revolution

This 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.

It’s a guide to master your sensitivity and enjoy…

Being highly attuned to your emotions and others can be key to success, but can also lead to overthinking and burnout.

Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter One from Melody’s new book, Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions into Success at Work, which comes out tomorrow, May 4th.

Kelly’s job was killing her spirit.

When she’d originally started as the Social Services Director at a large county agency six years before, she’d been excited to lead a team and to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children. …

The Sensitive Striver

When my clients feel as though they’re swimming against a tsunami, this is how I help them change course

Man working at a desk.
Man working at a desk.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Hard work is an essential ingredient to achieving greatness and advancing your career. Moreover, attributes like persistence and grit can bring you closer to your professional — and personal — goals. But there comes the point when determination becomes damaging and clinging to your goals actually backfires.

Take my coaching client, Xavier, for example. As a client experience director at a media company, Xavier held himself to high expectations. Not only was he spearheading several major initiatives within his team, but he also had several ambitions outside of work, including earning a professional certification and getting his pilot’s license.


Melody Wilding, LMSW

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