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Being a high performer isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Staying at the top of your game takes consistent growth and strategic refining. And, let’s face it, becoming the best version of yourself is difficult when there are so many external challenges associated with maintaining “top talent” status.
Here’s a checklist of just a few personal and professional stumbling blocks that sometimes sabotage the success of high performers.
Balance before burnout
- Personal: Are you a victim of sleepless nights, zero holidays, and no social life? High performers often find themselves putting professional priorities above personal pampering. Constantly forfeiting personal time to get the job done is a recipe for burnout. So kick your feet up once in a while. You deserve it.
- Professional: High achievers should also reevaluate their multitasking skills. Splitting your attention into multiple tasks and projects at one time most certainly means less than 100% of your energy goes into each assignment. Manage your time and give each task its own space and focus so that no matter is lacking in effort.
Concerns with confidence
- Personal: For a top performer, it’s crucial to keep tabs on your ego. Work relationships can struggle when confidence translates to cockiness in the office. A big fish in a little pond shouldn’t pick on the fish that thrive there. You don’t have to be friends with everyone in the office, but if you want friendly relationships in the workplace, consider recognizing and respecting the workloads of others.
- Professional: Just as overconfidence can hold you back, lacking in confidence can play a similar role. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with projects and responsibilities just outside of your comfort zone. Be mindful of what’s already on your plate, but opportunities to demonstrate potential success in other areas may be few and far between so try and take advantage of what’s available.
Volume of visibility
- Personal: It’s gotten to the point where being a high performer isn’t enough to move up the corporate ladder. Take advantage of your networking skills and let your work, skill, and experience shine. Being brought up by name to managers from satisfied clients, or colleagues you’ve had successful collaborations with, will be hard to forget when discussions about raises and promotions come up.
- Professional: You outperform others and continuously raise the bar, but what happens when your performance becomes your only identity? You can’t help it if there’s a project that requires attention over the weekend, but you can most definitely put your foot down if you’re the only one handling every late-night assignment. It’s great to have your dedication and work ethic recognized, but don’t let it justify being taken advantage of.
Troubleshooting your toolbox
- Personal: Growth demands upkeep, so it may be beneficial to reinforce your strengths or upskill in areas that will propel both your personal and professional success. Take an online course in your downtime, ask a mentor for helpful exercises in perfecting your craft, do something you’ll look back on and be thankful for.
- Professional: Long-term success may require an updated tool assessment. What would make your job easier? How are others resolving issues or completing the tasks that have you stumped? Understanding what tools and resources you need to optimize your workflow can be a gamechanger for you, your team, and your company.
- Personal: A high performer mindset flourishes in a nurturing environment. Distracting clutter in your office space or negativity and doubts in your mental space can have a disastrous impact on your productivity. You don’t need a spotless desk or a brief meditation session before clocking in, just space and energy that fuels your most productive self.
- Professional: The right work environment can make all the difference when it comes to high performers. Whether it’s the company culture or community, top talent prospers when surrounded by like-minded individuals who share similar values and goals. If who you work for and the people you work with aren’t interested in your professional development and success, then perhaps it’s time to move on.
The challenges that impede a high achiever’s progress can come in many shapes and sizes and from various angles. Take notice of the signs within yourself and your company that conflict with your desire for growth and make adjustments where necessary.