I am privileged to work with many successful high achievers in their chosen arena. From athletes to CEOs, business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, sales managers and business development managers to employees and executives. If you are like them and have a drive to achieve, you probably aspire to continually improve, grow and strive to be your very best. However, this often comes with challenges.
Over the years, I see a number of problems that high achievers have in common. Moreover, because many of them are unconscious, they aren’t aware they have them.
Here are my top seven:
- Being hard on themselves
- Feeling frustrated and unworthy
- Getting stuck in the pool of frustration and not being able to see a clear path
- Believing they should do everything on their own
- Forgetting to switch off after a busy day
- Not wanting to burden family or friends with their problems
- Failing to look after themselves and maintaining healthy habits
Habits are run by our subconscious mind which means we often aren’t aware of them. Furthermore, they play out in our life without our awareness and soon become part of our identity.
1. High Achievers Are Often Hard On Themselves
It’s a well known fact that high achievers tend to have clear goals and a clear vision. However, in the pursuit of their goals they often take their success for granted and miss the small wins along the way. Furthermore, failing to see their wins is a huge mistake because they start to create a habit of feeling like they aren’t making progress. This then leads to being hard on themselves.
The antidote? Take a moment to acknowledge three small wins every day. When you write them down it’s easier to feel that you’re making progress. Learning to be kind and compassionate to yourself goes with this, too, and can include giving up the need for perfection over progress.
2. Getting Frustrated With Yourself Diminishes Confidence And Feelings Of Worth
Being hard on yourself diminishes confidence and builds feelings of frustration. Not only does this create stress and minimise worth, but it clouds vision and reduces clarity.
Showing compassion to yourself is key. Decide to treat yourself as your best friend. Moreover, practice identifying the source of the frustration and decide to simply stop being so hard on yourself. There is only one of you and you are unique and special.
3. Losing Sight Of The Next Step Is A By-Product Of Getting Frustrated
In the pursuit of goals, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up with what needs improving, what hasn’t worked, and why you aren’t enough. The more this happens the more you get stuck in your head, overthinking and creating more stress. This clouds the path forward.
Instead, consciously choose to stop and breathe. Furthermore, this is one of the easiest ways to calm the nervous system and switch off the stress and frustration. It also helps transform negative energy to something more useful, such as calm and focus. Moreover, asking “who” instead of “how” can make a massive difference. It eliminates getting stuck in overthinking and going nowhere.
4. High Achievers Often Try To Do Too Many Things Themselves
Do you find it easy to delegate? While it can take time to show others what and how to do things, delegating is key. Offloading tasks that you don’t enjoy or aren’t great is the first step. Furthermore, there are always people who love doing what you don’t and who are great at things you aren’t. Creating systems and processes for your business takes time; yet once done, they will save you copious amounts of time and energy. Moreover, they have the potential to accelerate your results.
5. Forgetting To Switch Off At The End Of The Day
High achievers are passionate and committed to their success, so much so they forget to switch off, especially with family and important people. This can negatively affect relationships.
I coach a client whose goal it is to be present with his family who felt he was never really there. As he was committed to changing this, we created a simple strategy where he switches personas. When he drives his car into the garage he imagines taking off his busy work hat and putting on his family hat. We worked on creating a trigger and a specific routine which, with deliberate practice and coaching, has become a powerful tool in his toolkit. Furthermore, his family noticed a marked difference in how he showed up.
6. A Problem Can Often Be Resolved When We Share It With Another Person
There is an old German adage:
“A problem shared is a problem halved”
High achievers often feel they don’t want to offload or burden their families with their challenges or problems. Yet the old adage above holds true. Knowing you have someone who cares and is willing to listen can be really helpful. If you don’t have a supporting person on your side, or you don’t want to offload to your loved ones, get creative. Create a mastermind or think tank where you and one or more others can brainstorm each other’s challenges. Set a specific time and agenda with a time limit to ensure the process runs smoothly. Often, in sharing and helping others we resolve our own problems or challenges as a bonus.
7. Creating Healthy Habits And Routines Is Vital
Far too often, high achievers put their work, mission or goal above time for themselves. Often this means their health suffers. They may know what they need to do, but forget to do the things they know they should. This includes such things as exercising regularly, eating healthy, cutting down on alcohol and getting an early night or two.
It’s easy to get carried away with work when you love what you do and are driven to succeed. However, this comes at a cost to health and energy levels and there is always a cost to every decision. Creating good routines and habits around non negotiable health activities is important to balance out the energy and focus on doing what drives you to succeed.
What Will You Do Next?
Now you have a few extra tips to ensure you avoid the mistakes high achievers make and often overlook. You also have some steps to help. Now that you know this, which problem or overlooked mistake do you identify with and what will you now do about it?
Lastly, remember, it’s common to get ‘stuck’ from time to time; and that includes already successful people. You are probably the biggest block to your future success. Most business problems are personal problems in disguise.
If you need help to ensure you remain a high achiever and perform at your best, I invite you to reach out.
About the Author
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach who is dedicated to supporting high achievers fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guaranteed.
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