When you are a high achiever, how do you...

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When you are a high achiever, how do you keep hold of the pride?

My clients are high achievers. For a high achiever there is always more to do, things are never done. As targets get reached, there are more to follow.

So how much pride do we get from reaching goals when the next target presents itself so quickly?

Let’s assume you have a target, one that seems out of reach. You work hard to get there. As you start to approach the goal, you may start to reduce the shininess of the target. It may start to appear less ethereal and more common place. Perhaps you will even start to be nonchalant about the target, or perhaps you have already replaced it with a new target even further away.

Once you achieve the goal, perhaps you will start to talk yourself out of the pride you originally thought you would feel. You may hear yourself say ‘It was not that big a deal’ or ‘It obviously wasn’t that hard a goal after all’ or ‘I should have done it better/quicker’ or ‘anyone could have done it’.

The dilution of the experience of pride is commonplace. It partly comes from a worry that our high achievement will lead to social exclusion, and partly from our drive to continue forward rather than getting caught in complacency.

While pride may have some negative aspects if taken too far, it remains one of the key factors in protecting us against depression and a great tool to tap into to drive self-esteem. Squashing the experience of pride is something to watch for in ourselves and others.

If this is resonating with you, perhaps with your current ‘out of reach targets’, notice (or record) the feelings that you currently have about succeeding. Do you think it is possible? What is this sense of ‘out of reach’, what does that mean to you? What would it mean about you if you succeed, how would you need to readdress your sense of you and your capabilities? If you keep your early notes on these, as you reach that target, you can remind yourself how you really felt, not the augmented reality of your new perspective.

Concentrate on your pride opportunities before you dilute them with your next target.

And as a postscript, if you don’t have any ‘out of reach targets’, why not (no judgement here, either way, just a question that might be helpful to ponder on)?

As ever would love to keep the conversation going, let me know your thoughts.


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Amy works with teams to drive courageous collaboration for remarkable achievements through her program The Safe Space. Contact us via the form below for more information or to make sure that your team or Division are booked in for 2019.