12 things all high achievers refuse to believe about themselves

Ever wondered how some people consistently manage to meet their goals?

Not only that, but they immediately set new ones they can’t wait to pursue in both their personal and professional lives.

Contrary to what some might assume, these people don’t possess an unlimited amount of energy. They just tweaked their way of thinking.

If you want to mirror their behavior, here are 12 things all high achievers refuse to believe about themselves. 

Don’t let these (incorrect) assumptions get in your way.

1) That they peaked

It’s tempting to plateau once you see one of your dreams come true.

For some people, it’s getting a job that helps them make ends meet. Even when that job stops challenging them, they refuse to entertain the possibility that there might be something better out there.

For others, it can be achieving a healthy life-work balance or starting a business.

I’m in no way suggesting that you shouldn’t enjoy your success. Take time to savor every achievement.

But once your new status stops feeling fulfilling, look for new ways to grow.

High achievers never believe that they’ve realized their full potential. Instead, they train themselves to strive for more.

2) That they’re not good enough

Can you do everything perfectly? No one can. What you can do is become better with practice.

Ask any high achiever, and they’ll tell you that confidence is key when chasing your wildest dreams.

Back in the day, I used to only apply for freelance projects I was 100% qualified for. Then I learned that, unlike most women, men apply for jobs even if they’re not all the way there.

This baffled me. I couldn’t understand how someone could have the audacity to ask for something they might not be able to handle.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was holding myself back.

Why would someone else believe in you if you can’t believe in yourself?

You can learn new things, improve your skills, figure it out as you go.

I became a “fake it until you make it” person. 

And the projects I get to work on nowadays? They’re more challenging and better paid.

3) That their best days are behind them

It’s never too late to tackle a goal.

If you’re in your thirties, your knees might not be as sturdy as they were 10 years ago. But, as long as you stick to a training plan, you can run a marathon.  

(Or, you can learn how to roller skate. I am, at the ripe age of 35.)

Regardless of age, you can go back to school, change careers, become an entrepreneur, write a book, find a partner.

High achievers know that their best days are ahead of them, not behind.

4) That they can’t improve on a good thing

Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean there’s no better way of doing it.

If you want to become a high achiever, start looking for ways to improve existing systems – either at home or work.

Let’s say you join a new team and are disillusioned with their project managing software. Instead of accepting the status quo, why not suggest another one that will boost efficiency?

Doing so will not only improve your workflow but will make you come across as proactive. It’s a trait supervisors appreciate come promotion time.

5) That their routine is set in stone

As a creature of habit, I’m a big fan of routines. I have a morning routine, bedtime routine, and cleaning routine.

They make my life easier and prevent decision fatigue.

As fond as I am of them, though, I’m open to making tweaks that bring them to the next level. I recently started to read before bed, so I no longer stare at a screen and mess up my sleep.

Bottom line: your routine should be flexible. 

Trying out new habits can jack up your achievement score. Some examples:

  • Plan your day the night before
  • Say positive affirmations
  • Prioritize your to-do list
  • Visualize your goals
  • Track your time to pinpoint procrastination triggers

6) That they eventually stop learning

High achievers accept that learning doesn’t end once you leave school.

If you’re not open to developing new skills, you’ll become stuck in your old ways sooner rather than later.

Once you become a life-long learner, you’ll unlock your true power.

Keep up on industry news, listen to an educational podcast, find a mentor to guide you toward better things.

“But there’s not enough time in the day,” you protest.

That brings me to the next point on the list.

7) That they can’t be comfortable with sacrifice

A popular saying goes something like this: you can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want.

In other words, you can excel at something, but something else will likely slip through your fingers as you climb to the top.

The main characters at the end of a formulaic romantic comedy are the only ones who can have it all.

I bet that every high achiever you know had to give up something they cared about in order to become successful. These sacrifices vary from small to huge, depending on everyone’s circumstances.

More often than not, they include free time, sleep, dating, mindlessly scrolling social media, after-work drinks, decadent desserts, seeing the latest movies, or keeping up with friends.  

If you want to become a high achiever, there’s a good chance you will have to make sacrifices. 

Get comfortable with that idea, and you’re halfway there.   

8) That they can’t deal with failure

Failure is an opportunity to learn, not an excuse to give up forever.

High achievers don’t let bumps in the road divert them from chasing their ultimate goals. They commit the lesson to memory and keep moving forward.

They also know that as scary as failure is, the idea of not trying is much more frightening.

Failure builds resilience and character. Plus, you’ll have some relatable anecdotes for when your dream comes true.

9) That they can’t handle embarrassment

On a similar note, embarrassment can be a by-product of chasing your most outlandish ambitions.

If you want to become an actor, you might have to get a menial job as you go on auditions and fall behind your peers who opt for more traditional careers.

If you want to become an influencer, you must make peace with the fact that not everyone will resonate with your content – and some people might downright mock you for it.   

If you want to live as a digital nomad, your homeowner friends will make a joke or two at your expense.

The embarrassment will hurt, but it will be temporary. Focus on your objectives.

Everything else is just noise.

10) That their shortcomings are a deal breaker

High achievers have weaknesses like everyone else.

The difference is that they don’t let these shortcomings define them. They believe they can either turn them into strengths or succeed despite them.

Don’t function well as part of a team? Go freelance so that you can work at your own pace.

If you’re not good under pressure, delegate whenever possible to avoid tasks from piling up.

To develop your public speaking skills, work with a coach.

Both accepting and overcoming deficiencies take effort. It’s also crucial when you want to accomplish more.   

11) That they can’t go beyond their comfort zone

Your comfort zone earned its name for a reason. It’s where you feel most at ease.

However, the rumors are true: the magic happens outside of it. 

High achievers know this, so taking risks has become their second nature.

Familiarity is nice and all, but stepping outside your comfort zone comes with benefits:

  • You learn more about yourself
  • You improve your confidence
  • You give yourself a chance to grow
  • You test your limits
  • You become more adaptable to change

Can you think of any downsides? I, for one, cannot.

12) That they can’t carve their own path

Success looks different for everyone. As a result, your path to achieving it will be unlike anyone else’s.

While having role models is beneficial, high achievers know that there’s no blueprint to follow on the road to building the life you want.

Purchase memoirs by two people who are successful in the same field, and you’ll see that their journeys weren’t similar.   

You can do the exact same things as your biggest idol did and still fall short.

The good news?

Carving your own path may be challenging, but it’s also considerably more fun.

Final thoughts

Becoming a high achiever requires a pinch of grit, a touch of ambition, and a strong mindset

These are all things you can work on. Don’t let your limiting beliefs stand in your way.  

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