The single biggest challenge you face as a high-achiever is that your game is so much bigger than that of anyone around you. You play at a level at which most people cannot even see how much you are holding back from what is possible.
I am an expert at taking high-achievers from around the world to the greatest levels of success. And here’s what I know about you:
Despite your success—actually, because of it—doing more of what you’re already doing is not going to lead to your next level of success.
In fact, the very qualities that have led to your current success are precisely what hold you back from even greater levels of accomplishment.
Through my work, I have discovered that there are nine qualities of high achievers that propel them forward and also hold them back the most—at the very same time.
The very power of your vision can be detrimental to your success because you dream so big that you can get overwhelmed. When so many options are available to you, the paradox of choice can mean it’s hard to begin each new project.
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 is easy to misinterpret the nature of rapid attainment, so you can feel like you are hiding a “dirty little secret”. Many of the highest-achieving people on the planet judge themselves for being ‘lazy’.
Your very drive for success is motivated by deep commitments and values. When you are not making happen what you claim to be committed to, it is a clue that there is a stronger, competing commitment to which you are unknowingly committed.
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.
The danger for a high performer is that your Gray Zone creates so much more than the average person that there is a temptation to continually underperform without even realizing that you’re doing so.
You have a finely-tuned ability to scan the horizon for “danger” and this bias towards solving problems means you are energized by challenges and threats. So you tend to avoid things—taxes, relationships, income, etc.—until they reach problem-level status. And you struggle to focus on longer-term goals.
The more success you have and the more money you make, the greater the pressure to keep up with that level of success. The barrier to start each subsequent project becomes unbearably high, because each time it is re-set to an even greater level, based upon the rewards of your previous project.
Having your attention firmly on the future enables you to take action immediately, the moment you have an idea. But you rarely slow down enough to notice the impact of those déjà vu challenges that seem to re-surface, time after time.
Well, you don’t. People are astounded by what you create. You are one of the highest-achieving people you know. And you definitely don’t need support. So you are missing your own very personal support team.
The higher you rise, the harder it can become for you to open up with the people around you. And the higher you rise, the harder it becomes for the people around you to speak their truth. Top performers often have few people in their world willing to say exactly what they need to hear the most.