Tell us a little bit about yourself...
My name is Xenia Grube and I am 35 years old. Originally from Bretagne, France, I have had the opportunity to work and travel throughout Europe over the past 10 years, immersing myself in various cultures and gaining valuable life experiences. When I moved to London, I struggled with written and spoken English, so I pursued a Bachelor's degree in Business Management. While the degree itself didn't teach me anything new, it opened doors for me to leave my service job and move into a higher-paying one. After graduating and the event of Brexit, my partner and I decided to move to Berlin, where I landed a position in a chemical corporation working alongside chemists and engineers.
While working full-time, I created a project called the Sensitive Method (TSM). For a while, I had been interested in the connection between the body and mind, but it took me four years to gain the necessary knowledge, dedication, and courage to start. After learning how to apply the techniques I had learned to deal with my own emotions, I started gathering all the methods and teachings into a platform designed to help hypersensitive individuals embrace themselves. This is the beginning of a creative adventure, and I hope to support and motivate other souls to take care of themselves in the process.
What made you choose this career?
I chose to create The Sensitive Method because I had trouble finding information about highly sensitive people that wasn't too scientific or general. I needed help with my mental health, skin issues, and immune system, but couldn't find a platform that covered it all. I always knew I was more sensitive than others, but I ignored my feelings and believed that I was the one with the problem. Working in a competitive corporate environment made it even more challenging.
For too long, I worked under high pressure and neglected my boundaries to please others, while judging myself for not fitting in. This mix led to a long depressive episode, burnout, and serious health issues at only 35 years old.
During this period, the idea of creating The Sensitive Method came to me. I shared my experience with colleagues and friends and realised that more people than I thought were going through the same thing but felt ashamed to talk about it. After working with therapists, nutritionists, and coaches (mostly for free in Germany), I realised that I could also provide support to others, using my findings and healing methods that radically changed my life.
While The Sensitive Method is a recent launch, the feedback and testimonials I've received motivate me to keep developing the project further.
Did you go through formal education? If so, what did you study and where? If not please explain your journey.
At the age of 20, I completed my HND in Business Operations. However, instead of immediately pursuing further education, I decided to take a break and travel. During this time, I worked in sales jobs and restaurants throughout Europe. At the time, I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to do, but I loved meeting new people, experiencing different cultures, and learning languages. In retrospect, I believe that these experiences allowed me to become highly adaptable and flexible in all types of environments.
Thanks to my travels, I was able to work at places like Selfridges London, Valencia Beach restaurant in Spain, and Groupon in Paris. These experiences taught me invaluable skills and the ability to adapt to different people and situations.
I didn't pursue a BA (Hons) degree in Business until I was 27. Looking back, I'm grateful that I didn't rush my education. Unlike most of my friends who ended up working in fields unrelated to their studies, I feel that taking my time allowed me to make better decisions for myself. While the BA had a positive impact in that it helped me secure a stable job, I found many of the leadership books from 1945 that I was required to study to be non-sensical.
While a diploma is helpful, it's the choices you make after that make the difference. I stay in a corporation to learn how to be structured and organised, I study online to learn how to launch an online business, and I contact coaches and mentors to collaborate with them and learn from them. There is not one path to knowledge and success. You must choose what feels best for you and what will best respond to your needs.
Did this have a positive or negative impact on your chosen career?
Studying business is a versatile choice that can be applied to many areas of life. Possessing good organisational and negotiation skills can lead to success in almost any field you choose to specialise in later. If you are a determined, hard-working person, a degree is a great starting point. If you know what you want, a master's or PhD could also be a good fit.
For me, my studies gave me a foot in the door of a corporation, but my language skills are what really helped me land my best job. By being fluent in English, Spanish, and French, and having an intermediate level in Italian and German, I became a valuable asset to organisations. I was able to perform a variety of tasks and communicate with a wider range of people, which is a challenge to compete with. It is important not to solely focus on studying. Gaining technical experience in the field you love is important. A business degree provides a good foundation for developing technical skills, but it's not enough to guarantee success.
It's true that the more you know about yourself, the better path you can follow. If you're unsure of your path, don't feel pressured to rush into anything. In the end, my choice to travel and pursue a degree later was a good decision for me. It's better to take a few years to learn and build skills than to study something you dislike and feel bad about.
When I was 20, I didn't really know who I was; I just wanted to party and travel. It took me some time to figure out my purpose, and that's okay. You don't need to have everything figured out by 25 or even 35; many people still don't have everything figured out, and that's alright.
Who inspires you?
My mother is a woman who faced obstacles and refused to let anyone doubt her abilities. She defied the patriarchy by starting her own business while raising me alone. She formed an impressive team of women and worked hard to ensure my safety and future. For her, women could accomplish anything they set their minds to. My mother's resilience, determination, and strength continue to inspire me daily.
My husband is an incredibly talented artist who excels in both painting and sculpture. I am constantly amazed by the creativity that flows from his mind. What sets him apart from others is his exceptional work ethic, sensitivity, and talent, which inspire me every day to push myself while enjoying the process.
Tara Brach has helped me with my mindset and with dealing with sensitivity. She is a well-known meditation teacher, author, and psychotherapist whose mindfulness and compassion practices, as well as her teachings on self-compassion, have been deeply transformative for me.
Kara Loewentheil, is a coach and game changer through her podcast, UnF*ck Your Brain. She combines evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, and feminist theory to teach women how sexist socialisation impacts our brains. Her approach taught me how to rewire my thought patterns. I find her inspiring and love how she breaks down barriers.
Dr. Elaine N. Aron, a renowned psychotherapist, researcher, and author, has dedicated her career to studying the trait of high sensitivity. To me she an inspiring figure and a true pioneer in the field.
Simon Veil is a French lawyer, politician and survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. She was the first woman to be elected President of the European Parliament and the first female Minister of Health in France. She was a powerful advocate for women's rights, and her legacy continues to inspire many today.
What’s the scariest thing about your job and how have you overcome it?
The scariest thing about my job is that I am not a licensed therapist. As a result, I often reflect on what I write and the impact it may have on highly sensitive people. For me, the worst outcome would be negatively affecting someone instead of providing help. To overcome this fear, I use Tara Brach's R.A.I.N. method and practice self-compassion. I am doing my best with the best intentions, and that is already enough for me.
What do you want to change about your industry?
I want to change the way healthcare services treat people in Europe. Having lived in several countries, I've seen the same problem everywhere: doctors don't have enough time for their patients, and health systems are struggling, especially after the pandemic. Often, the only way to receive quality care is to pay for it, creating disparities in access to healthcare.
I believe that nutrition is a topic that doctors often overlook, even though it's responsible for 99% of our problems. The stress levels of our daily lives are often ignored as if it's normal to be constantly connected to stress and exhaustion. I feel like we've become accustomed to quick fixes from doctors and we often overlook the real reasons why we're feeling sick and tired. As Dr Jeff Rediger said, "The four pillars of health: healing your immune system, healing your nutrition, healing your stress response, and healing your identity" (Jeffrey Rediger, Cured: Strengthen Your Immune System and Heal Your Life) should be our main points of focus.
I would love to live in a utopian world where healthy food is accessible to everyone, our jobs don't stress us out as much, and we take time each week for self-care and healing. I know it sounds challenging right now, but I'm confident that one day, the four pillars of health will be seen as basic necessities for improving our physical and mental well-being.
What advice would you give someone who is starting out in your field?
Know your why. Why are you doing this? Do you want to earn money? To prove others wrong? To be independent? To buy your mom a house? Write your why down, print it out, and put it on your desk where you can see it every day. This will help you stay focused and motivated, even during difficult times.
Starting a business while working a full-time job can be challenging, but it's also 100% safe. Be smart and choose work that allows flexibility and a home office where you can easily switch to your project. Don't put all your money into your project at first, and keep a steady job to pay your bills. The only reason you should leave your full-time job is when your side hustle pays more.
Fight back against impostor syndrome. It's okay to feel that you are not ready or don't have the necessary skills yet. Trust yourself, do the work, and keep a Post-it with all the good things that you actually did in a day. When you feel doubt, go back to your post-it pile and see how well you are actually doing.
Don't compare yourself to others. It's easy to compare yourself to those who have more experience or a bigger business. However, it's important to remember that everyone starts somewhere, and we all bring our own unique perspectives and ideas to our projects. Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on building good habits and making progress towards your goals. Time and dedication are key to achieving success.
Drop the perfectionist mindset. It's one of the biggest project killers. We don't start because it's not perfect, but the truth is it will never be perfect. Switch your brain off and accept that it's okay as it is for now. You need to do something towards your goal every day. Perfection can be a good motivator, but don't let it stop you. Keep taking one step a day towards your goal and prioritise progress over perfection.
Failing is good. If you start seeing failure as a way to bring you closer to your goal, you will be successful. Elon Musk said after a space rocket failure, "I think this is certainly an important lesson and something we are going to take with us into the future." Drop your ego and embrace not always getting what you want. It will make you resilient and strong, and help you achieve more.
Be kind to yourself and find your community. Practice the RAIN method when needed, and never use negative words when describing yourself. If possible, avoid using substances and alcohol, since they can negatively impact your mental health and hinder your achievements. Taking care of your body is crucial; go to the gym, eat well, and sleep at least 8 hours a day. Although it may be difficult at 20, if you remain healthy, you will be unstoppable by the time you reach 30.