I have been offering my services as a project coach for nearly a year and a half now, and there is one recurring theme that consistently emerges with the clients I work with: they are all high achievers. These individuals include successful game developers, museum directors, attorneys, and business owners. At first glance, you might not think that high achievers need help with their own projects. They are so capable and have accomplished so much, after all. You might even wonder if they ever sleep, considering the massive amount of work they seem to get done.
However, behind their impressive accomplishments lies a hidden truth: the weight of a high achiever's ambitions can be overwhelming. In both professional and personal settings, high achievers face unique challenges that can make it difficult to sustain their success. The constant pursuit of excellence can be mentally and emotionally draining, leading to stress, anxiety, and burnout. High achievers often set lofty goals and impose immense pressure on themselves to meet and exceed expectations. They may feel overwhelmed by the need to maintain a perfect track record, fearing any hint of failure. These burdens can hinder their productivity and happiness, making it crucial for high achievers to seek guidance and support.
While high achievers are driven by their ambition, they can also struggle to maintain focus and direction amidst the various projects and responsibilities in their lives. This is where guidance from mentors or coaches becomes invaluable. Mentors and coaches can provide clarity and help high achievers prioritize effectively. By understanding their long-term goals and breaking them down into actionable steps, high achievers can stay on track and make consistent progress.
If you identify as a high achiever, here are some things you can do to stay on track and lighten the emotional load:
1. Prioritize Self-Care: Self-care goes beyond indulging in bubble baths and decadent chocolate, although those can be great too if that's what you need. Self-care is unique to each individual and can take many different forms. It could be as simple as buying new shoes to replace the ones that are literally falling apart or addressing that stress-induced eczema that has unexpectedly appeared. Taking care of these things is a form of self-care. Make a list of all the things you've been putting off doing for yourself or the things you enjoy but never find the time for and start doing them! I know it can be challenging to put your needs first, so you don't need to go overboard. Just pick one small item from the list to start with, and then try something else on the list the next day or the following week. I promise you'll feel better.
2. Build a Support Network: One common thought pattern among high achievers is the belief that they need to do everything alone. But that's far from true! Community is a magical tool that many of us often forget about. Identify the people in your life who share similar ambitions and surround yourself with them. These individuals can offer you new perspectives and insights that can help you through those moments of self-doubt when you question whether anything you do is good enough. Schedule regular meetings with these people, whether individually or as a group, to maintain that sense of support and connection.
3. Find a Mentor or Coach: In addition to having a support network, mentors or coaches can provide invaluable insights and actionable tasks that will help you stay focused, on track, and less stressed. You can find mentors through professional platforms, mentorship programs, or simply by reaching out to individuals you admire and view as role models. Additionally, you can consider hiring a coach who specializes in helping high achievers build better processes and strategies to balance their work/life. If you think project coaching may be the right fit for you, click here to set up a free consultation.
Being a high achiever can be an amazing thing. Those who fall into this category are capable of remarkable accomplishments, but they are not invincible. Seeking guidance and support to navigate the challenges and pressures that come with high ambition is incredibly important. Remember, you don't have to do it all alone. Find help when you need it and discover the peace and balance you didn't realize were possible to achieve.