A woman with long blonde hair wearing black.Most people probably agree that women in the US have more options today than ever, but what if that gets translated into thinking one needs to do everything? Perfectly. Gifted girls grow up to be gifted women and that label often has a stigma attached to it. For one, people make the assumption that life is easy for them and everything is under control. The reality is that high-achieving, driven women often struggle with perfectionism, fear of failure, or feeling like a fraud, and may hide their talents rather than risk being wrong or to avoid making others uncomfortable. Or, they may be afraid to say “no” and self-care takes a back seat. Whether it’s the media, the work environment, family “rules”, or their own self-talk, women and girls often walk around with “should’s” in their heads that can cause stress and anxiety. For example, “I should continue being a lawyer even though I’m miserable.”

Therapy can be a safe place to discuss these feelings in a non-judgmental setting and find ways to change behaviors or ways of being that are no longer in line with who one is today. Developing these skills can help create change at work, at home, or in friendships.