How did we become the high achievers that we are?
Because all around us we are bombarded with messages throughout the day that continually tell us that we need more and need to be better. We should be younger, thinner, stronger, more productive, happier. Everything could be better if we try to improve – and be perfect – all the time.
An ad on tv grabbed my attention for a large home improvement store: “don’t see the outdoors for what it is, but for what it COULD BE”.
I know the world of marketing and selling far too well: they intend to inspire us toward making a trip to that store for the purpose of purchasing their products.
I realized how we are constantly receiving messages from the world that let us know that we should always strive towards more and better.
If something can be improved, we believe we would feel better, like we accomplished something. We begin to believe that when we’re richer, thinner, or stronger, that would make us happy. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence! Or is it?
High Achievers & The Myth of Being in Control
As high achievers, we’re goal oriented and driven. We accomplish a great deal.
Being very driven toward achievement has served me quite well in my life. It has been a quality that has shown me a great deal of success. But we must recognize that we are never totally in control.
We think we will feel better and happier if we try to be better – and tell others how to improve.
Because of that, our minds can trick us into believing that we have more control than we actually do over things, people, and situations.
I continually see all that something or someone else COULD be. Here are a few common areas below. Can you relate?
- It could be how much you’ve accomplished in your career
- It could be a relationship with someone who just doesn’t see things the same way you do
- Your children and the paths they’ve chosen
- Your health, the conditions you have, the limitations your body has
The Good – and Bad – of the “Always Better” Syndrome
Quite simply, it’s so exhausting.
When the achiever inside of us becomes intense and it gets in the way of our life, we have crossed into a new level – that of hyper–achiever.
A hyper achiever:
- Sets goals in a workaholic style
- Feels they must be the best at all things all the time or they don’t want to bother doing it at all
- Sees efficiency and effectiveness as non-negotiable
- Doesn’t allow any fun – who has time for that?!
- Self-worth and the worthiness and quality of others is judged by impossibly high standards
- Are hard on others and equally hard, if not harder, on themselves
It is really exhausting – and impossible – for others to try to measure up to a high achiever’s critical standards. And let’s face it – we ourselves often cannot attain the high standards we set.
A high achievers goal of peace and happiness that they crave so desperately is brief and momentary–
Achieving new things means getting back to work to achieve more new things. Their acceptance of themselves is conditional on performance. They don’t give themselves permission to relax or enjoy life.
Do you often say:
- I’m being irresponsible if I relax…
- I’ll have fun and enjoy myself later…
When we experience emptiness, anxiety, worry, impatience, and urgency, we are in a mode of hyper achiever and no longer in a healthy, productive mindset toward results. This undermines what we are capable of accomplishing.
Seeking Perfection Brings Disappointment
On one hand, we are working hard to resist the way things are, while with the other hand, we are pushing ourselves toward improving it or fixing it to make it what it is not.
We believe that the accomplishing, fixing, and improving will bring us happiness. But it creates the opposite for us:
As we work and spin, those around us feel they can’t meet our standards and can’t please us. Even if we manage to get the things fixed or accomplished, it doesn’t bring any happiness with it…
How do we hyper-achievers operate in a way that utilizes our skills of having high standards, appreciating efficiency and productivity, setting and achieving goals – while also living a happy and peaceful life?
When we acknowledge that we are striving for all those things because we believe it will bring us happiness, we are already on our way toward the solution.
Notice I said, “we believe.” The concept of belief is exactly that- a belief, not a fact- we can choose to believe anything we want, whenever we want to believe it.
Focus on Acceptance to Discover Peace
When we can accept and recognize things for what they are right now – rather than resisting them –AND still choose to believe it is ok to be happy, we have reached our goal.
Peace and happiness only come after acceptance.
When we appreciate people for who they are, appreciate our lives for what they are and not what they COULD be and are truly peaceful with what it is, we will have stopped the mental struggle that causes so much exhaustion in ourselves. This is the most important step that we must take toward the goal we truly have- being happy.
Accepting others for who they are is the gift of peace and joy that you give YOURSELF.
Now, your mind has been given permission to be calm and confident in a state of peacefulness. You then come from a place of peace and neutrality. This has so much more ability to bring you the satisfaction and happiness and joy that you are longing for.
Acknowledge and Accept What Already Is
Spend time looking at everything in your life – really seeing it. Take your yard as an example: Appreciate it for all that it is right at this moment, this time of year, all that it has endured, all that has been experienced within it, all that it has given you.
Decide to just accept it for exactly what it is. Whether you decide to leave something just as it is in its natural, beautiful, perfectly imperfect state, or to become inspired to create something within it, you will have made the right decision.
You can feel the joy, the peace, the relaxation in yourself that you desire no matter what you decide. And that is the ultimate achievement.
Learn how to use your high achievers’ skills to the best of your ability in your business: contact me at Strive Coaching Studio so we can setup a game plan to help you experience the true success, peace & happiness you deserve.