WOMEN
05/30/2014 04:47 pm ET Updated May 30, 2014

This Overworked Lawyer Decided To Stop 'Leaning In'

Jennifer Lotz had always been an overachiever, but when an unexpected back injury left her physically impaired, she realized her achievements had to take a backseat to her quality of life.

"I basically did everything right," she recalled in a HuffPost Live interview on May 30. "I went to top schools. I took top jobs. I always strove for a leadership position in every role that I took and yet I still felt like I couldn't make it work when I got to the level that I got to."

Her back issues led her to see that she "needed to find a more flexible way of doing things," which resulted her quitting her full time legal practice.

While she said she felt "very fortunate to kind of stumble into freelance work," she admitted that the transition was "very difficult" for her. Her whole life she'd been unknowingly practicing Sheryl Sandberg's principles of "leaning in" -- bolstering herself in pursuit of her own advancement -- and yet she found herself physically unable to continue doing so, finally making the decision to "lean back."

"[As] someone who'd been extremely type-A and very motivated and goal-oriented my entire life, [it was hard] to say 'this is something I really need to do for myself,'" she recalled, "and to find the right path and to be able to kind of find myself again."

Watch the clip above to hear more about Jennifer Lotz's "leaning" genesis.

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