Do you know someone who never seems to sit still? Someone who’s always busy, eager to start new tasks, and reach new heights? Maybe you even fit this description yourself? In any case, we call such individuals high achievers. These people are willing to go the extra mile to achieve their goals. They apply high standards to everything, from studying to completing work assignments.
Unfortunately, they are also prone to suffer because of their work-first mentality, and they often develop mental health issues. Fortunately, our team has developed a small guide for high achievers to help them navigate their lives. We’ll cover everything about people with this character trait and give you advice on identifying these characteristics in yourself.
This article will also detail the pros and cons of being a high achiever. Additionally, we’ll explain how to deal with problems like burnout, anxiety, perfectionism, and impostor syndrome.
🌟 Who Are High Achievers?
High achievers are willing to do more than the bare minimum. They want each piece of work to be as close to perfection as possible. This criterion applies to every facet of their lives, from their relationships and hobbies to work and studies. They take great pride in every milestone and often want others to feel the same.
High achievers often develop complex plans to excel personally and professionally. They aren’t satisfied with going with the flow and taking things easy. For them, each goal and milestone has to be earned in the most meticulous fashion. While this attitude can be harmful if taken to the extreme, high achievers often inspire those around them to accomplish greater things.
Several traits define high achievers:
- Failure rarely deters them. People with this character trait usually don’t let setbacks impair their progress. They recognize that success is impossible without making mistakes. Instead of trembling at the sight of problems, high achievers learn from their failures and improve.
- Success is their responsibility. These individuals never back down when hit with unforeseen circumstances. They persevere and achieve their goals despite what happens to them or around them.
- They work with grit and willpower. Being a high achiever is impossible if you don’t focus on your daily goals. Reaching any objective requires mental fortitude and concentration to see your plans through.
- Enjoy their achievements. Each milestone or goal brings a deep sense of gratification to high achievers. They learn to appreciate the results of their work instead of focusing on the process.
- Actively learn and practice. These people rarely feel satisfied with their current knowledge. As such, they seek to expand their expertise by learning new concepts, facts, and methods. Such individuals actively search for opportunities to put what they’ve learned to the test.
🤔 Am I a High Achiever?
Even after learning what high achievers are like, you still might be unsure if this label suits you. If that’s the case, we have something that will settle this debate once and for all. Below you can find and carefully examine the eight characteristics of high achievers.
If you can relate to more than half of the points listed above, then you are probably a high achiever! These character traits are indispensable in academic life and professional careers. But they also have their drawbacks.
Continue reading our article to learn everything about the pros and cons of being a high achiever!
🎭 The Pros and Cons of Being a High Achiever
Now that you know that you’re a high achiever, you would most certainly like to know more about this character trait. People with this attitude have virtues many would love to have. However, they often suffer from issues unique to their mindset. This part of the article will cover all positive and negative aspects of high achievers in great detail.
How High Achievers Get Things Done
Perhaps it doesn’t come as a surprise that being a high achiever has many advantages. Ultimately, these are the people reaching their goals and leading successful personal and professional lives. So how do they do it? What’s their secret?
|✅ A goal-oriented mindset.||People with this attitude set goals instead of being passive observers. This usually involves making elaborate plans for each facet of their lives. When you know what you want, it’s easier to obtain it.|
|🏃♀️ Perseverance and tenacity.||High achievers are also more determined and can persevere despite the odds. These qualities help them out in the worst of circumstances.|
|💪 A proactive attitude.||People with this character trait rarely wait for a promotion or a career opportunity to appear out of the blue. Instead, they actively seek new challenges and opportunities. They never let things happen on their own accord.|
|📅 Well-defined priorities.||Being a high achiever requires getting your priorities straight. These people don’t waste time on mediocre or meaningless busy work. Instead, they focus on essential things like becoming a supervisor, starting a family, or finishing a big project.|
|🏆 Plenty of initiative.||Lastly, such people refuse to let the current of life drag them along. They seize the initiative whenever possible. High achievers love to be in control of their lives and have a clear plan in mind.|
The Difficulties High Achievers Face
As mentioned before, being a high achiever has many benefits. Unfortunately, this character trait can also lead to several problems. Most of the time, these problems concern the expectations such people have for themselves and the quality of their work.
|👨💻 Feeling isolated at work.||High achievers often fail to make friends at work because of their demanding nature. Many people have a more relaxed attitude toward life. As such, they can become intimidated by the high-output mindset of a powerhouse person. This can make high achievers feel isolated and struggle with forming relationships at work.|
|⌛ Staying busy for the sake of it.||Being able to set goals and accomplish them is a valuable skill. But high achievers often don’t see appropriate limits regarding work. That’s why they always look for something to do, which can lead to emotional burnout.|
|❌ Fear of failure.||Failing to finish an objective or receiving harsh criticism can either completely or partially paralyze high achievers. They might feel that all their work was for nothing. Even the slightest mishaps get amplified to catastrophic levels, leading to stress and anxiety.|
|🛠 Tendency to overcomplicate things.||Additionally, such people tend to make things more complicated than they are. This often leads to them working on simple assignments to the point of exhaustion. Because of their attitude, high achievers can’t grasp the concept of doing things the easy way.|
|📈 Setting incredibly high standards.||Holding yourself to a standard isn’t a bad thing. However, setting up unachievable criteria can cripple a high achiever. They may spend countless hours trying to achieve the unattainable.|
🧠 High Achievers and Mental Health Problems
High achievers want to achieve success in all areas of life. They always strive to reach new heights, constantly setting new goals for themselves. However, in their quest for the best results, high achievers may ignore their physical or mental health.
In the eyes of others, these people can be perceived as the lucky few who get everything without much effort. But in reality, their issues tend to accumulate and begin to express themselves in symptoms such as burnout, anxiety, perfectionism, or impostor syndrome. These can be debilitating, disrupting the balance of their lives and leading to more problems down the road. High achievers have difficulty realizing that, sometimes, it is essential to take a break from their workload and wind down.
Here, we want to introduce you to the potential problems you may face as a high achiever and suggest ways to deal with them.
Burnout is a state of emotional and mental exhaustion that results from prolonged exposure to stressful situations. This form of fatigue is typically connected with being overwhelmed by your studies or work. Sometimes, when working on a big project or task, we lose track of balance and forget to take care of ourselves. Under such conditions, routine problems that used to seem trivial can turn into incredible challenges. Eventually, they begin to accumulate, and a person stops being as efficient and productive. They start feeling stressed, demotivated, and moody.
Today, this condition has no official medical diagnosis. However, suffering from burnout can drastically change the quality of your life for the worse. It is essential to tackle this problem before it starts getting out of hand.
How to Deal with Burnout
|❓ Recognize the Problem.||To start on the road to healing, you have to recognize and acknowledge your condition. Realizing that you are burnt out will put things into perspective, helping you understand your situation and how to deal with it in the best way.|
|☀ Create Favorable Conditions.||It is a good idea to change your surroundings and put yourself in a stress-free environment, at least for a while. This could be a vacation, a weekend break, or even a sick leave. It all depends on your circumstances – even taking the time to reorganize your study space can result in big improvements.|
|🩺 Take Care of Your Health.||Your task is to concentrate on and improve the conditions of your body and mind. You can do this through sports, healthy eating, proper sleeping habits, hanging out with friends, or spending time with your family. These things will help you feel the comfort and support that you need.|
|📝 Reconsider Priorities.||You’ll soon feel better mentally and physically and be ready for self-analysis. You need to reconsider your priorities in life and understand what affected your condition negatively. Furthermore, you should reduce your workload and improve your quality of life.|
|📊 Evaluate Alternatives.||Stay away from a fixed solution. Consider changing your college schedule or jobs. You should practice time management and live a life that includes everything you want to do. For example, prioritize time with your family, education, work, and sports.|
|🖼 Make Changes in Life.||Protect yourself and discuss your condition with your supervisors or instructors. They may meet you halfway and help you with your situation. Revise your attitude concerning your tasks and evaluate your mindset. A change of subject at your university or a project at work will benefit you.|
Anxiety is often the result of unjustified expectations, which can be especially painful for high achievers. Such people want their lives to be perfect and fulfilling in every aspect. However, they are typically confronted with the harsh reality that they cannot always please themselves or others. While trying to succeed at everything, high achievers regularly become “yes-people,” which leads them to excessive overload, stress, and burnout.
Another cause of concern is the fear of losing control, so high achievers find it difficult to accept the need for support. That has a counterproductive impact because it’s essential for a leader to have assistants and delegate tasks.
How to Deal with Anxiety
|🎈 Lifestyle Changes.||Lifestyle changes are an excellent way to improve your overall health. Add a morning run to your to-do list, eat more fruits and vegetables during the day, or reduce your caffeine intake. Your body will quickly respond positively to seemingly insignificant changes.|
|🛌 Adherence to a Sleep Schedule.||Make a bedtime schedule so that your body can recover and rest. If you can’t fall asleep for a long time, try reading a book at least an hour before bedtime or preparing the clothes you’ll wear tomorrow. Create your pre-sleep rituals to feel relaxed and mildly tired, and make sure to listen to your body’s clock.|
|💎 A Clear Mind without Distracting Thoughts.||Don’t torture yourself with annoying questions about unfinished projects and their deadlines. Avoid transferring work moments into your personal life. Try to create realistic projections for your tasks. Practice meditation and mindfulness. Strike a balance between business and mental wellness.|
|👩⚕️ Consultation with Specialists.||Ongoing counseling will prevent your condition from worsening. You might need the help of a psychotherapist or a psychiatrist. The main thing is to be comfortable in your sessions and to see improvement in your condition.|
|💭 Regular Psychotherapy.||It’s also worthwhile to engage in scientifically grounded psychotherapy, which helps to fight anxiety. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy helps people understand the cause-and-effect relations between their actions, behavior, and feelings. It also helps to check out some resources that can help understand this problem.|
|💊 Appropriate Medical Treatment.||Anxiety is a diagnosis that is usually responsive to medication. You should contact a psychological therapist for a diagnosis. Then, you will receive the proper treatment and be guided until you recover.|
Perfectionism is a human character trait that can turn life into a daily report of your conformity to an ideal. On the one hand, ideals can motivate you, but on the other hand, they often limit you. In this state, people often succeed but fail to stand up to self-criticism. Due to the high pressure of academic studies and competition at work, more and more young people are exposed to this condition. As a result, students and employees suffer from excessively nagging themselves and others, which is quite toxic. Severe cases of extreme perfectionism tend to be accompanied by anxiety, eating disorders, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
How to Deal with Perfectionism
|✍ Note the Pros and Cons.||Make a list of how perfectionism affects your life. Be honest with yourself and focus on the negative aspects. Think about how your life would be different without its negative influence. You don’t have to be perfect all the time.|
|🏅 Accept Achievable Tasks.||Avoid unrealistic goals. This will help you prevent emotional stress in the process. This way, you’ll be more confident in your success and won’t fear failure.|
|⌚ Meet Deadlines.||Follow your schedule, and don’t take on extra work that will interfere with your main project. Remember that you have a personal life and must rest to work productively and efficiently later.|
|❤ Encourage Yourself.||Try to reformulate your unattainable and perfect goals into more realistic ones. Don’t see this as a failure or a downgrade. Instead, it’s a way to enjoy your possible winnings. Praise yourself and reward yourself for every step toward successful solutions.|
|☺ Keep Thinking Positive.||Don’t concentrate on mistakes and shortcomings. Instead, try to find positives even in problems. Practice accepting constructive criticism and try not to be offended. Take it as advice or an alternative opinion.|
|💨 Don’t Pressure Yourself.||If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll try to implement all these tips to achieve what you want. But you won’t succeed that way. You must be consistent and listen to your feelings. You shouldn’t push yourself into a new framework immediately. Relax and begin with a small step.|
👽 Impostor Syndrome
Impostor syndrome is the internal feeling of being out of place, as if you’re a fake trying to appear that you belong. Even if you’re successful at what you do and can acknowledge your progress and gains, you may experience inner struggles about your worth. You may feel annoyed, nervous, and insecure, even when working with a business you know. This part of your inner experience is rarely considered since it’s more commonly a companion to depression or anxiety. People who demand a lot of themselves can harm their mental health, switch from one state to another, or experience it all at once.
How to Deal with Impostor Syndrome
|👭 Share Your Worries with Others.||Don’t be ashamed to talk about your feelings. Share your reflections to hear the opinions of others. You may find people with similar problems who have overcome a similar condition. Their experiences can significantly help you move toward recovery.|
|👍 Don’t Take It Personally.||Don’t criticize yourself for failures. Instead, analyze the situation and learn from it. Move on because there are still many interesting things ahead. Don’t fixate on the negative.|
|🎲 Change the Rules of the Game.||Admit to yourself that you have a right to be where you are. You are a person who is capable of making mistakes and showing weakness. Give yourself time to rest if you’re tired, and genuinely rejoice in your victories and successes.|
|🔬 Differentiate between Feelings and Facts.||Your feelings might not be accurate. Take your position as a given, and consider how a confident person would feel in such a situation. If you feel unworthy, find the facts to back up your self-confidence.|
|👁 Visualize Your Success.||Spend time and visualize how you’ll succeed. For example, you might need to present a project. Imagine how you’ll do it skillfully. Don’t think of the situation as a disaster or a bad experience. Visualizing your success will help you set yourself up positively.|
⚖ How to Find Balance if You’re a High Achiever
To conclude this article, we would like to give you a few guidelines. If you follow our advice, we’re sure that you’ll be able to find the optimal balance in life and begin to feel much better.
- Personal boundaries are essential.
We advise you to distinguish between work time and personal time. It’ll help you distract yourself, relax, and think about other equally important things. For example, you can set aside time without your phone and not answer calls about work or studies after hours.
- Self-confidence is part of a successful personality.
It’s not about confidence in knowledge, diplomas, completed courses, or social standing. It’s about your personality. Many successful people have achieved results because of their inner strength and determination to reach a goal. That feeling unlocks your potential so that you don’t limit yourself with doubts or weigh yourself down with the fear of failure.
- A positive outlook is your guardian.
Positive thinking will help you maintain a sense of calm and serenity. Even setbacks won’t distract you from reaching your ultimate goal. Your thoughts are the foundation on which you build your perspective. To achieve your dreams, you need to live and enjoy what you do, not suffer through it.
- Live by the P.O.W.E.R. principles.
The principles of P.O.W.E.R. means Perspective, Ownership, Wisdom, Engagement, and Reward. Perspective helps you find life’s enrichment and depletion factors. It guides you to form healthy relationships with others and set personal boundaries, which is the perception of ownership. Ownership shows the importance of time and resource distribution. That’s how Wisdom is formed, thus helping you to make well-thought-out decisions. The fruits of your choices inspire a sense of Engagement, empowerment, and motivation toward new achievements. In the end, you’re Rewarded for being yourself as you pursue your goals.
- Healthy living is not just about sports.
A healthy lifestyle is about a healthy atmosphere around you. Pay attention to not only of your physical health but also your surroundings, your social circle, and the harmony between family, friends, education, and work.
- Make reasonable deadlines for your desired objectives.
Take a realistic approach to planning, and value your time and psychological well-being. Look for balance in everything, and don’t expect impossible tasks from yourself and those around you.
- Life has a place for fun.
If you have a day off, figure out how to spend it joyfully and interestingly. If you’re on vacation, try to get as much experience and enjoyment as possible. Maybe it’s time for a trip, so make this time unforgettable. Don’t deny yourself.
- Reflection and scheduling shouldn’t be superfluous.
You may not have time for certain things during the week, or maybe you don’t have enough time to rest or enough flexibility in your schedule. Try to think and allocate time differently. Experiment and develop your strategy to optimize your schedule and get everything done.
- Your best gift is your generosity.
Remember to invest not only in yourself but also in others. This applies not only to your family and friends but also to others who lack care and companionship. Get involved in charity or volunteer work. Give your time and attention to others.
- Spirituality is the key to truth.
Improve yourself spiritually, engage in personal growth, and take care of your emotional health. Improve your mental well-being, create harmony, and enjoy balance in your life.
We hope this article will make it easier for you to navigate your life as a high achiever. Do you know anyone else who could benefit from this article? Send them a link!