Trust Yourself Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Trust Yourself offers career and wellbeing advice from a sensitive striver’s point of view, a introvert-leaning character type that comes with plenty of positive traits but is also prone to burnout, giving practical tips on breaking free from stress and perfectionism for a healthier, more balanced life.

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Burnout can hit in many different ways. Sometimes you feel like dropping your work right there without caring about consequences. Others just feel like they’ve lost their purpose and go with it. Many face a drop in productivity and creativity, although their career is going great and they’ve even been promoted recently.

Whatever the reason, Trust Yourself by Melody Wilding is here to help both to overcome burnout and prevent it in the future. The book addresses anxiety at work, the pressure of getting everything right, and many more work-related issues.

Wilding shares a three-phase process we can go through to tackle our various career challenges. First, reflect on who you are and who you want to be, then define your purpose. And then finally change your daily habits.

Here are 3 lessons from the book to help you with this process:

  1. Build your self-awareness and know your strengths before everything else.
  2. Sensitive strivers have to overcome the Honor Roll Hangover.
  3. Overthinking can be challenging to overcome, but you must try in order to stop self-sabotage.

If these lessons don’t make much sense right now, stick with me as I’ll explain them one by one!

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Lesson 1: To become successful, you must first become self-aware.

Knowing where you stand in life is the first step towards a successful path. Many of us are sensitive strivers without even realizing it. If you identify yourself as someone who is highly emotional and easily affected by your environment, you’re a sensitive striver. While it doesn’t interfere with your career, being a sensitive person can bring you a lot of stress and anxiety.

A sensitive striver is not someone who’s necessarily a perfectionist, an introvert, or an overachiever. You just feel emotions at a deeper level than an average person. You’re more empathic and warm than those around you. In fact, these qualities have even helped you achieve your endeavors so far. And they will keep on helping you — but first, acknowledge and rate them accordingly. Know what your strengths are.

As a sensitive striver, you’ve got the following qualities: sensitivity, thoughtfulness, responsibility, inner drive, vigilance, and emotionality. Taken to an extreme, these qualities can become a liability. As such, use the STRIVE qualities scale from the book to figure out how each of them applies to you. After you do so, it’ll be much easier to determine which ones are your most prominent ones and what to improve.

Lesson 2: The Honor Roll Hangover is the biggest obstacle you’ll face in the process of becoming your best self.

If you identify yourself as an overachiever, looking for validation from sources like a promotion, someone’s approval, and you work harder every day just to feel good about your productivity levels, I’ve got some news – you’ll have to go through the worst hangover of your life! The author calls it the Honor Roll Hangover, and it’s a form of achievement addiction that you just can’t get rid of. 

The constant need to feel productive, work and perfect your craft, and the guilt that follows a non-productive day are all symptoms of a high-anxiety performer. Unfortunately, they can cost you your inner peace and drastically decrease the quality of your life. Therefore, you must first acknowledge your condition and then overcome it. 

There are three elements that drive the Honor Roll Hangover: perfectionism, or fearing failure and being too self-critical, over-functioning, which implies overworking and fearing that everything is urgent and your responsibility, and people-pleasing, consisting of the inability to say no and avoiding conflict. To fix this issue, you must first give up some of your goals and focus on the most important ones first. 

If a goal is bringing you more distress than benefits, ditch it. Moreover, learn to prioritize ruthlessly and cut down your to-do list as much as you need to. Contrary to what you think, you’ll actually increase your productivity levels! Then, cure your comparison. Jealousy may fuel your ambitions, but it’ll do so in an unhealthy way, and when you succeed, you won’t sense that self-fulfillment you’ve been aiming for. Lastly, ditch the fear of missing out on opportunities. Only sign up for what you feel comfortable doing.

Lesson 3: Stop being an overthinker and sabotaging yourself.

Overthinking can be challenging to overcome. After all, it’s a battle that your mind has to fight against itself. We all have a near-constant stream of thoughts and a never-ending mind chatter. Overthinking can affect your ability to make decisions, assess situations objectively, and the overall quality of your life. An overthinker analyzes a situation over and over again in their head, usually just to come to a conclusion far from the truth

Therefore, always keep in mind that the stories you tell yourself aren’t always true and may not reflect reality. Still, fixing this negative habit takes more than that. For starters, try the naming and reframing strategy. Name your negative thoughts and reframe them into a different perspective to help your mind interpret them on a more positive note.

The goal of this strategy is to make you see the bigger picture and analyze everything from different perspectives. For example, instead of saying “If I don’t fulfill this task, it means I’ve failed.” try saying “I’ve done a lot of successful tasks so far, so a few drawbacks don’t define me.” See? With a little bit of word changing, everything sounds more positive. At times, your overthinking thoughts may take different forms. 

Perhaps you can’t accept a compliment, saying that everyone could’ve done it, or you’re quick when it comes to jumping to conclusions, or maybe you just expect the worst of a situation. No matter the type of overthinking your mind produces, make sure to always double-check that thought from a different point of view, and reframe it so that it becomes a positive affirmation.

Trust Yourself Review

Trust Yourself offers practical advice on overcoming negative thoughts, identifying important character traits, and using our skills to our advantage. Reading this book will lead to powerful introspection. You’ll realize what keeps you from achieving your full potential and act on it. A great read to get past your insecurities, self-doubt, and finally, be on your way to success.

Who would I recommend the Trust Yourself summary to?

The 30-year-old employee who feels like they’re too sensitive at work and seen as being weak, the 25-year-old who has a hard time advancing in their career and trusting themselves, or the 27-year-old overachiever who takes everything as a competition and is close to facing burnout.

Last Updated on May 19, 2023

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.