As a high achiever, your life and your achievements appear brilliant to most people in your world.
And yet you have a sensation deep down that so much more is possible.
You face a range of “high quality problems.”
Most people would dream of having your challenges but, for you, they are simply life.
One of my clients, a professor at an Ivy League school who—despite the admiration of her peers—confessed she was bored. “I could do this with my eyes closed,” she said. “I want something more.”
A hedge-fund manager with a multi-million dollar net worth and a network of friends who are world-leaders shared his secret fear with me, something he’d not told another living soul. Deep down inside he felt like he didn’t fit in. What drove him—and also held him back at the same time—was the shame he felt that he grew up in a poor immigrant family.
A British Special Forces operative shared stories that chilled me. He knew how to experience deep fear and yet still perform at an extraordinary level in situations that would terrify most people. Now, turned businessman, he felt frozen. He was finally at the limits of his ability.
As a high achiever, the challenges you face are wrapped up in your gifts.
Success is in your DNA.
Despite the admiration of those around you, it often doesn’t feel like you’ve ever had to work that hard for everything you’ve accomplished. It’s easy to misinterpret the nature of rapid attainment, and feel like you’re hiding a “dirty little secret.” High performers often feel like the laziest person they know. What if increasing your capacity by just 4% could create exponential results?
You’re an extremely talented problem-solver.
You’re energized by challenges and threats. It’s why you sometimes avoid things—taxes, relationships, income, etc.—until they reach problem-level status. What if not playing a big enough game means that you’ll actually screw up the one you’re playing so you have something to work on?
You’ve never needed help.
People are astounded by what you create. You are one of the highest-performing people you know. And you definitely don’t need support. In fact, you actively keep it out. You work hard to keep it out. But there’s a difference between “wanting” help and “needing” it. What if receiving help could take your success to another level — would you even know how to ask for it?
You’re a perfectionist.
As you get closer and closer to what you want to achieve, your ability to distinguish gets more highly attuned. So, the closer you get to what you really want, the further away you feel. The barrier to start each subsequent project becomes unbearably high, because each time it is reset to an even greater level, based upon the rewards of your previous project. What if your relentless quest for perfection had failure built into it?
You’re a powerful visionary.
You can dream so big that you get overwhelmed. Or you create so many options that it’s hard to even begin a new project. What if the very power of your vision was actually detrimental to your success?
You’re the leader.
The higher you rise, the harder it becomes for you to open up to the people around you. And the higher you rise, the harder it becomes for the people around you to speak their truth. How many people in your world are willing to say exactly what you need to hear the most?
You are always in action.
The Gray Zone refers to a pace set by a runner that is too fast for recovery and too slow for growth. A pace like this can feel like a tough workout. But running in this zone, run after run, will actually lead to a decline in performance. Your challenge is that in your version of the Gray Zone, you’re still creating so much more than the average person. What if—despite being a high performer—you were continually underperforming without even realizing that you’re doing so?
Watch this video to learn even more:
Vishen Lakhiani, Founder of Mindvalley, and I discuss the challenges that hold high achievers back the most.
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