“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions.”
– Cynthia Kivland
In my previous blog, Why High Achievers Flounder, I talked about how SMARTER workplaces create a culture and emotional climate that inspires high achievers to continually grow as professionals. I encounter high-achievers frequently in my coaching work and when training future coaches.
You may recognize yourself as a high achiever. Or, perhaps you started out that way but have let yourself fade into the background. You play it safe, maybe even telling yourself that since you are “above the norm” you do not need to learn or risk more?
I understand that completely. When you’re used to having things come easily to you, it’s only natural to shy away from assignments that stretch your comfort zone and increase your personal vulnerability.
When you have a successful self-image to protect, you find yourself avoiding risk. Instead, many high achievers like yourself hunker down and lock themselves into routines at the expense of professional growth.
Trust me on this, it is possible to break this cycle and get back on track for career success. In fact, it’s not only possible — it’s essential if you want to flourish in top leadership roles. Understand that social intelligence is a key to career success and significance.
First, take a hard look at yourself. Identify any of the eight traps into which you’ve fallen. Which traps escalate your anxieties and cause you to engage in unproductive behaviors?
Next, adopt new practices that give you the courage to step out of your comfort zone. This isn’t easy, and it won’t happen overnight. Assess your Career Health, and then work with a coach, peer or trusted colleague to develop an action plan of behavioral change.
It’s a hard truth, but the talent and skills that got you “here” won’t take you “there.” Your best thinking may not be enough. As intelligent as you may be, you simply cannot know what you don’t know.
What do you think about comfort zones and high achievers in your workplace?