High Achiever - Blessing or Curse?

High Achiever - Blessing or Curse?

High Achievers - Blessing or a Curse?

I’m curious about this blog title.

I believe it starts with asking this question;

What does it mean to you to be a high achiever?

You need to define the word ‘achiever’ to yourself.

For me, it looks and feels like this.

It means you have an incredibly strong work ethic.

That you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve in your career and you’ve got the grit and steely determination to go after it, no matter what.

Also, that in the face of adversity, you have the resilience to accept the temporary defeats and failures and nurture yourself, pick yourself up, dust yourself down and keep going.

It’s creating something from nothing, pushing through the barriers, the negative mind chatter, with the aim of getting the job done and achieving the satisfaction that brings.

It’s about knowing that you’ve made a difference to someone’s life, or even the planet.

The dictionary defines the word ‘achiever’ as ‘a person who achieves a high or specified level of success’.

So it becomes about defining how success looks and feels to you as well.

Previous blog post on that here.

So is it a blessing or a curse to be a high achiever?

I believe that depends on the type of person you are and how you were raised.

For me, both parents had a strong work ethic, achieving a lot in their careers.

However, one thing I have realised at the ripe old age of 40, is that I too have a strong work ethic and want to help people, but it’s not going to be at the cost of sacrificing my health or personal life,

I’ve done that before and I learnt the hard way. Nothing is really worth that because without you, there isn’t anything anyway.

Work is about enjoying what you do and getting immense satisfaction from it.

It’s not all a walk in the park, don’t get me wrong, but it’s about recognising when you’re pushing and questioning what for.

Work smart yes, not hard, and the problem with corporate life is that it doesn’t allow you to do that. That’s why working for yourself is the only option to have success on your terms.

You see; I worked too hard for too long, like many of us are doing. I put the hours in but didn’t really rest or look after myself properly. I strived to achieve, to gain success.

All for the wrong reasons. It was someone else’s agenda and I didn’t have the foresight to look and see what it was I was striving for.

I was a responsible and conscientious career woman in a middle management position with a home to run and I wanted to do a good job.

The problem with choosing my career path and living like that was making me ill. I was unhappy and I was only existing in life, not living, and that is no way to be.

For me being a high achiever is a blessing because it means I’m driven and determined enough to achieve success on my own terms.

I still work to achieve my goals but I work when it suits my life and that means life fits around work, not the other way around.

It’s not perfect and it takes time and effort and pre-planning to pull it off, and I don’t manage it seamlessly every week.

When the sun shines, I don’t want to be chained to my desk and laptop - it’s about enjoying and living life when the moment takes you, or indeed, when you consciously wrap your own business around the lifestyle you living intentionally.

Giving Yourself Permission

Giving Yourself Permission

Doing something out of the ordinary, going a little off piste or stretching out of your comfort zone, will no doubt have those around you wondering whether you have truly lost the plot.

Sometimes you reach that point where you need to break out of the conforming box and be creative, spread your wings and look out on the horizon and see the vision of your future life.

The fire in your belly sparks up and seeps into your cells and your body begins to tingle at the excitement of your dreams coming true.

The point where you feel a bit further ahead, but then you come out of your day dream with a thud and realise you are back in your unhappy (ish) place.

Even though you have a ton of things to be grateful for, your spirit is not alive and you know it’s time for change. (That’s really not such a scary word. It may feel it, and if so then I recommend finding a more suitable word to try; e.g. transition, develop or switch).

Whatever language you use, you had just taken a step forward imagining your future life and it felt great.

But back here in your reality, your are trapped with guilt, suffocated with fears, worried about what other people will think of you and the judgement heading your way.

You feel like you are waiting for that nod from someone or something, that ‘YES’, to make you feel that it’s ok to pursue your desires and break out of your regular life to make it not so regular anymore.

You desperately need a change in your work situation, balanced with the safety and stability, but deep down you know you need a shift and you would like to have a business.

One that works with your personal life, because you can’t go on like this working for someone else. You’ve had enough of sacrificing your life, leaving nothing left in terms of quality for either you or your loved ones.

Here’s the thing, you can give you yourself permission to do anything you want to. Something that fires you up, to do work you love, however that looks and feels to you. You are a responsible adult in charge or your own life.

I remember when I was on the payroll, I admired everyone around me who worked for themselves who had the flexibility to run their day how they wanted to shape it. They had the freedom to choose when they worked so they could have a personal life and spend time with friends, family and loved ones.

I wanted a piece of that pie. I had known that in my bones for years. I also remember waiting for someone to give me permission to go ahead and follow my heart to try and work for myself.

Needless to say it never came because I realised it was under my control to give myself permission to live my life how I wanted to do.

I tousled with feelings that I would let people down, my employer who had been incredibly kind and supportive to me, my father who I thought wouldn’t understand, sadly my mother wasn’t around to ask as she’s passed, but I know she would have been on the YAY camp, and my friends & family who thought I would have finally gone bonkers!

Apart from that all being in my head and me assuming their answers and reactions, with no evidence to base it on, underneath I came to the realisation that none of them are going to give me the permission I was waiting for.

This big authority person I thought would say yes Amanda, now is the time you can leave the paycheck, embrace your creativity, and go for it. Things will be up and down, you’ll be on a huge learning curve, you’ll be supported in more ways than you can imagine, and you will be ok. Trust me.

No, that never happened. Looking back and joining the dots, that is what I have learnt.

But it takes one key step first.

You have to give yourself permission to lead your own life.

No one else is as interested in your life as much as you. They are living their own. They love and support you and have your best interests at heart and don’t want you to risk your safety and security.

Imagine what you would do if it was possible?

Let me reassure you; anything can happen.

Give yourself permission to take one step towards your dreams today and see what unfolds.

Take a risk out of your comfort zone.

Let go of the worries, park and put them down for 5 minutes while you move ahead.

Notice what happens, how you’re feeling and acknowledge all you’ve achieved in that small, yet victorious step.

Celebrate the small wins and plan when you’re going to take the next - give yourself permission to create the life you wish for. Its your birthright.

When You’re Feeling In A Negative State, Try This…

When you’re feeling in a negative state, try this…

If you wake up some days feeling blue, and you haven’t got your morning practice finessed to a regular daily routine, it won’t take much before you get knocked off the wagon into a negative state of mind that can spiral out of control.

That’s why your morning routine must include intentional mindset work. Especially if you’re going through any life adjustment, changing direction or getting a business off the ground.

Mindset is your state of mind around your beliefs, skills, talents, and what you think about yourself in terms of traits, character and intelligence.

Those with a fixed mindset believe nothing can ever change, and those with a growth mentality believe and understand, that with effort, these things can be developed.

Working on your state of mind is key to pulling yourself out of a negative state. You need to apply yourself and maintain with discipline, but its doable and a lot easier than you think.

Try these handy pointers that I’ve learned and tried over the years at various times. Give them a try and find what works for you.

Look over your Life

Try looking at all your past achievements and over your CV. Read any testimonials or cards you may have from friends or clients and take a 20 minutes or so to digest and notice how it makes you feel. You might lean towards the more unfulfilling times (perhaps over your work history), so make a conscious effort to try and sink back into the memories of the occasion and the good times you had.

Find your Flow

Get into YOUR groove. What is it that you’re doing when you’re in flow and got your mojo going on?! What do you love to do that brings you joy? Do more of that and get your energy and vibe into a higher state. Could it be as simple as going for a walk, finishing that creative project you’ve had staring at you from the corner of the living room for weeks, or simply booking your next travel adventure?

Daily Discipline

Make it a daily routine to work on carving out new neural pathways in your brain. If you have a continuous loop of negative comments, and most of us do, then try flipping them to a more positive statement that is believable. Set a regular practice to read these statements for a few minutes twice a day. Discipline is the key to implementation here.

Mindset is like a muscle, the more you work it, the more it will be there for you when you need it. When you feel the slippery slide of negativity you’ll be aware of it sooner and adjust to the more positive frame of mind easier.

Remember your life is waiting. Choose how you want to live it. Purposefully work on your mindset and the whole thing starts to click!

Would love to know how you get on.