You Don't Owe Anyone: Free Yourself from the Weight of Expectations

You Don't Owe Anyone: Free Yourself from the Weight of Expectations

You Don't Owe Anyone is for perfectionists, workaholics, people pleasers, and strivers who feel stuck in the try-hard cycle. Sharing her experiences as a life coach and recovering perfectionist, Caroline Garnet McGraw shows us how we can free ourselves from the weight of expectations and encourages us to move our lives forward without apology.

Inspired by the author's viral essay "You Don't Owe Anyone an Interaction," this book invites us to make surprising choices that can help us get unstuck. Rather than offering more ways to effect change through sheer effort, these personal stories serve as a compassionate witness, a reflection of our own perfectionistic tendencies. They also are a wakeup call jolting us out of our martyr mentality and inspiring us to move in new, positive directions.

Through simple, accessible coaching practices, You Don't Owe Anyone shows us what it looks like to refuse to over-function in the old ways. It invites us to make the same surprising choices that have helped McGraw and her clients move past perfectionism, empowering us to quiet our fears and heal our hearts.

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  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506464091
  • eBook ISBN 9781506464107
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 224
  • Publication Date April 20, 2021


"For too many people, the road to burnout is paved with good intentions. In this book, Caroline McGraw offers useful guidance for how to help others without hurting yourself. Think of it as a self-care manual for the caring."

Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and Give and Take, and host of the TED podcast WorkLife

"This book gets to the heart of what it means to let go of perfection and actually live free. It's a gorgeous example of meeting oneself with curiosity and grace on this magical, brutal journey of life. I loved it."

Samantha Arsenault Livingstone, Olympic Gold Medalist, High Performance Consultant and Mental Health Activist

"You Don't Owe Anyone can help you get rid of the shackles holding you back from fulfilling your full potential. Reading this book can help set you free! It provides a blueprint for a lighter, easier and happier existence."

Tal Ben-Shahar, New York Times bestselling author of Happier

"I could not stop reading this book; I felt seen in ways no book has ever made me feel. Caroline is a masterful storyteller, and her honesty is so comforting. This is a magnificently brave work, one that offers fellow pleasers and strivers an invitation to claim healthier and happier ways of being in the world."

Rachel Macy Stafford, New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and certified special education teacher

"So often we give ourselves away in the search for acceptance. You Don't Owe Anyone is a much-needed reminder that this sense of belonging is really only found when we look inward. But for some of us, this introspection can be truly harrowing. I know what it's like to not feel safe in your own skin. This book guides you to create that safe, loving space in yourself. For those who have struggled to trust themselves, this book is a true companion."

Julie Barton, New York Times bestselling author of Dog Medicine

"Reading this book is like having a heart-to-heart with a wise, dear friend who reminds you how to come back home to yourself. Caroline is an expert at unlocking old trauma patterns so you can break free and shine your light."

Elisa Boxer, author and Emmy Award-winning journalist

"Caroline's book is packed with practical wisdom, delivered in the encouraging voice of a big sister who's rooting for you to move out of the 'try-hard' cycle of perfectionism and onto the path of your own unique journey. This book gives us permission to make our inner freedom (which is not an indulgence) our number-one priority--a message that is greatly needed in this time."

Kelly McNelis, founder of Women for One, and author of Your Messy Brilliance: 7 Tools for the Perfectly Imperfect Woman

"As soon as I heard the title, I knew I had to read this book. When I did, I was swept along with each story. This is brilliant, strong work; it's the permission slip every perfectionist needs to clutch to their heart."

Deborah Hurwitz, founder and CEO of COBALT Coaching

"Whether you're a people pleaser or a perfectionist, overcommitted or overwhelmed, you'll find sweet relief in these pages. Through personal stories and practical advice, Caroline shows you how to give yourself more care, kindness, and grace."

Francine Jay, author of The Joy of Less and Lightly