6. Commit to Personal Development
To achieve excellence requires taking action. A high performer knows and prepares themselves for the fact that taking action that will result in change is likely to bring them pain and discomfort.
Our brains primarily function to protect us, help us survive, solve problems, and bring us back to feeling safe, comfortable, and in balance. We, therefore, look to avoid painful and uncomfortable situations as much as we can. For example:
- Asking for a pay rise because we fear rejection
- Saying no to things we feel uncomfortable about and/or disagree with because they are misaligned with our core principles, beliefs, and ethics
- Fear of dating again after we have survived a nasty relationship dissolution
- Starting again when we have experienced significant failure
- Having confronting conversations with friends, loved ones, or work colleagues
You might have experienced some or all of these above, at different times. High performers take time to review their own unique paradigms, belief systems, and behavior patterns when events and situations like these arise. They take time to predict how they might experience their reactions and contributions.
It’s far easier to read a book or sit through a course. Your keep your emotional and mental states safe in these situations. However, the knowledge you want has no true value unless you apply it.
Expect your attempts at practicing skills and experiencing a change to be messy and fragmented. Expect to feel negative emotions if your practice doesn’t prove effective. This is a necessary part of growth, especially when it comes to interpersonal skills, because we are dealing with relational skills where other people behave, think, and respond in ways we have no control over.
7. Identify and Remove Distractions
Becoming a high performer requires focus on achieving results. However, you must learn to identify two main things:
- Whether or not some distractions are opportunities to experience healthy rest and reprieve
- Whether or not we engage in distractions to avoid and delay experiencing something else
Here’s where we need to exercise true honesty with ourselves. Where you choose to spend your time and energy speaks volumes about your priorities and what is truly important to you.
Do you spend more time making sure others’ needs are met before your own? Do you chase perfection in place of getting things completed? Do you allow yourself to get lost in busywork activities as opposed to challenging tasks that would move you directly toward achieving your goals?
High performers embrace responsibilities, selectively say no, and exercise confidence to accommodate what primarily works best with their timetable.
Do you feel bad about suggesting another time to reconnect with a friend instead of immediately saying yes? Do you always accept nominations where you are required to lead, manage, and coordinate? Do you feel you say yes more often than you say no?
If your answer to these three questions was yes, it’s time to take a hard look at your true priorities and values before setting goals to achieve excellence. All high performers know their pathway to excellence starts here.
The Bottom Line
By choosing to try out a few of the tips above, you, too, can become a high performer in any area of your life. Through focus and determination, you can set and achieve goals that will get you closer to a life you can enjoy living.
|||^||Forbes: Neuroscience Explains Why You Need To Write Down Your Goals If You Actually Want To Achieve Them|
|||^||International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy: A Review of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Empirical Evidence: Correlational, Experimental Psychopathology, Component and Outcome Studies|
|||^||Digital Health: Tracking feels oppressive and ‘punishy’: Exploring the costs and benefits of self-monitoring for health and wellness|
|||^||Psych Central: Stages of Change|
|||^||Healthline: How medical professionals treat cognitive distortions and irrational beliefs with the ABC model|
|||^||Physiological Reviews: About Sleep’s Role in Memory|