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5 Critical Characteristics of High Achievers

5 Critical Characteristics of High Achievers

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have the gift of turning everything they touch into gold? They lead the best teams, they achieve exceptional results and get noticed and promoted more often. And just to rub salt into the wound … they seem have everything sorted in their life outside of work too.

Meanwhile you struggle along, getting frustrated by the things you have tried and fail. Perhaps you get things started but you fail to get traction or real momentum, leaving you wondering what is it that you need to do differently.

It turns out that high performers think and operate differently. And the good news is that by adopting some of the key characteristics of those high achieving superstars we can more consistently achieve more of what we want from life and from our work.

5 Critical Characteristics of high achievers

1.  They believe it is possible. There is a correlation between what we believe is possible and what our results are. If we think we cant, we wont. If we think we can then there is a fare chance we will. It is like our belief becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

Possibility thinking gives us the physical and mental energy that drives creativity, inspires action and defeats self doubt. We notice the opportunities that arise and we are more likely to go after them with a sense of confidence and self worth.

2.  They resist the fear of failure. High achievers know that they are likely to encounter failures along the way. Both Oprah and Arianna Huffington have spoken about their failures as being learning lessons on their way to success. They do not fear failure or internalize it; they don’t identify with it or say, “I am a failure.” Instead they study it, analyse it and take what they can to learn from it.

They also don’t let the fear of failure hold them back from taking action. Just like the rest of us they experience fear, the difference is that they take action in spite of it.

3.  They consciously create their future. They don’t leave their life, their career, their future success and happiness up to chance.

Is your career and life by design or default?

High achievers feel empowered to create and shape their outcomes. They regularly carve out time in their year to get specific about what they want, and then to go about achieve those things.

The more specific you become in what you want from your career and your life, the more chance you have of achieving it.

4.  They tap into their motivation. Unless you know why your want something and feel connected to what is most important to you then it is all too easy to be thrown off course. There is going to come a point in the pursuit of any big goal when you are going to want to quit and walk away.

We have all done it. We set out to get fit, go after a new work goal, achieve a financial target and we start with a flurry of optimism and hope only to find that after a few weeks or months that it all gets a bit hard and the pull of our old comfortable ways stop us in our tracks.

The key to success is consistency and persistence and tapping into your inner motivation. We must remain connected to why this endeavour is important and what is at stake. This will give you the push you need to keep going when things get tough.

5.  They reject the urge to procrastinate. The biggest hurdle of achievement is procrastination. It is easy to put things off. It is too easy to push the pause button and not start. But starting is the key.

You will never achieve anything of significance if you succumb to the urge to stay safe and to wait until you have rock solid certainty or for courage to show up.  And don’t worry about  knowing every step towards your magnificent outcome before you get started.

High achievers know the secrete to success is to start.

Chunk the big idea down into small bit size pieces and start with small easy steps to gain momentum. But the most important step is to start.

So as we race towards the end of the year, think about whether your work and life is as you want it to be…. Or not.

Carve out some time to reflect on which of these characteristics will make the biggest impact if you were to take them on as your own.   Create some specific goals and take the first action to get traction and momentum towards some new outcomes.

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Are You Settling For Less?

Are You Settling For Less?

Have you ever found yourself going through the motions at work, where one year rolls into the next and you find yourself settling for less than you are capable of… just getting through the day, month or even the year?

Some years ago this was my lot in life.  I was settling for much less than I was capable of or deserved in my life.  I had found myself in a job I no longer enjoyed.  I was not being challenged or fulfilled and I knew with certainty that I had so much more to give. 

So why did I stay?  Like so many of us, I was lured by the desire to feel comfortable.  To stay with the devil I knew rather than taking the leap of faith into the unknown. The comfort and certainty of the role that was making me miserable somehow had a hold over me.

Fear was holding me back.  Fear of the unknown, fear of not being good enough, fear of being disconnected from people with who I really enjoyed working.  I had been firmly planted well within my comfort zone for too long and just couldn’t see my way out. 

Ok … so I knew I needed to do something different.  I had talked about it.  I had complained to friends and family that I was bored and unmotivated.  I had toyed with the idea of all sorts of different options… but I had done nothing.  Procrastination was my friend. 

Until enough was enough!

It dawned on me that my life was slipping by and I was just a passenger being taken for a ride.  I was living in the land of mediocre and if I wanted that to change … it was up to me.  So change I did and, as they say, the rest is history. 

The number one thing I learnt was that to truly experience life in all its glory, we need to consistently step outside our comfort zone.  

Yes – it is scary. Yes – it is uncomfortable. But the best things in life happen outside your comfort zone. 

The benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone

1. Experience More Happiness:  We seem to be on a constant mission to experience happiness. When we do something new, unfamiliar or achieve something for the first time, we are flooded with feelings of joy and happiness.  Psychologist Tim Pychyl saysWe experience the strongest positive emotional response when we make progress on our most difficult goals.” 

2. Experience More Growth: The people who grow the most are those who consistently put themselves in situations where they are outside their comfort zone. Growth happens when we step outside what is familiar.  When we fail to grow we find ourselves stuck, spinning our wheels, feeling uninspired and unexcited about life.

3. Conquer Fear:  Fear holds us back.  It is as simple as that. It stops us from achieving our potential, from doing what we really want in life and keeps us small.  By consistently stepping outside our comfort zone we become stronger, more resilient and more willing to try new things. 

4. Inspire Others:  To lead, inspire and influence others takes courageous action outside our comfort zone.  People want to follow where others have already been, to model their success and achievement.  Your action outside of your comfort zone will undoubtably influence or inspire others. 

If you want to experience a year that is different from the last, then you will need to do something different, step outside your comfort zone and build your capacity to act with courage.  Are you willing to do that?

“There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” (Nelson Mandela)

Ask yourself:

  • Are you settling for less?
  • Are you “settling” and living well within your comfort zone?
  • What would it feel like to achieve what you know you are capable of?

Isn’t it time to stop settling for less?  You are good enough, capable enough and you do have what it takes.  Life is too short to settle. Go out and step beyond your comfort zone.  I can assure you it will be worth the initial discomfort

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

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What’s required to excel as an effective team member is different to what’s required of us as a leader. It involves a massive behavioural shift which, according to the tenets of Emotional Intelligence, also requires a corresponding shift in self-perception and identity

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My story, amplified

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Jane Benston

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As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston