How to Go Easy on Your High Achieving Self

I admit it: I’ve got a problem with being an overachiever. I don’t say that as some badge of honor; it’s something that I believe serves me well. However, just like any good quality, it is something I feel can and does hold me back at times.  Over the last few years, I have worked on balancing my need to achieve with acquiring peace about being okay with where things are.  As someone who always strives to do the most, be the best and conquer any world I enter into, I’ve found that the way I talk to myself when I fall short can hold me back.

Changing this has not always been easy work for me.  I can be tough on myself when I feel like I haven’t done my best. Personally, I allow myself to be not okay for one day only (if even one whole day is needed). Once my 24 hours are up, my pity party is over, and it is back to the grind of making things happen. After all, many of my successes were third, fourth maybe even twentieth attempts after failure. You never know when you’re going to strike gold.

To me, it is critical to know who you can let know that you’re under stress.  I never let any of my employees outside of my leadership team know when I am not okay. There is a tribe of people around me (family, friends, other entrepreneurs I confide in) who are privy to this, but it’s never something I share with my whole team. As the CEO, I set the tone for the energy and the vibe of the entire organization.  It is not okay to bring everyone down with something that I am working through.

In Charles Duhigg’s book ‘The Power of Habit,’ he talks about keystone habits that everyone has. For instance, someone can start working out as their keystone habit and next thing you know they have started eating better and quit smoking.  For me, my keystone habit that affects all I do is getting up early in the morning.  I need my alone time to read, meditate, pray, and workout.  It is the one thing that will have the most significant impact on my day. I know that I can be my best self when I stay in this habit.

The last and most important piece of advice I can give a high-achiever who tends to be hard on themselves is this: have people around you who know how to lift you up during these times. You’ll find that people who genuinely understand and care about you will know just what to say, and even if they don’t, just their presence will be uplifting.

“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” -African Proverb

“You’re allowed 5 minutes in the day to be emotional, then you gotta be gangsta.” -Unknown