Do you always strive to do perfect work and impress your boss? Do you want to accomplish great things? Are you willing to expend whatever amount of effort is necessary to succeed in your endeavors? If so, then you’re a high achiever.

High achievers are often very successful and productive. They get things done, and they do things right. But research has shown that they’re also more likely to suffer from anxiety and anxiety-related medical conditions. The drive to achieve can have its downside.

But there is a way that you can alleviate your anxiety! According to psychiatrist Dimitrios Tsatiris, high achievers tend to have certain stress-inducing habits. To feel more relaxed and happy, Tsatiris suggests that you try to free yourself from them. Here’s a list of those habits and how to banish them from your everyday life.

  1. Never saying “no” – When people ask you for help, you probably rarely say “no.” You want to be viewed as talented, reliable, and productive, so you may be afraid that saying “no” to a request would tarnish that image. But it’s often not possible to take on every task and participate on every committee. If you’re overwhelmed with work, you occasionally need to push back, and explain that you’re simply not able to commit to another project.
  2. Never asking for help – When you’re a high achiever, you like to get things done your way so you might hesitate to ask others to help you with a project. In addition, you might feel like asking for help is a sign that you’re not up to the task. But you need realize that it’s not necessary for you to monitor every aspect of a project. You need to trust your coworkers to accomplish their assignments. And asking for help is not a sign of weakness. If getting assistance will help you to get your work done more effectively, then it’s the smart, savvy thing to do. It’s OK to delegate. Teamwork is essential on most projects.
  3. Making comparisons – As a high achiever, you probably have a tendency to compare yourself to extremely successful people, and may end up feeling like you’re not living up to expectations. This can be very upsetting and anxiety-provoking. If you find yourself doing this, try to stop yourself. Focus on your own accomplishments. Remind yourself that you are capable, competent, and successful. No comparisons are needed.
  4. Only focusing on the future – When you’re under pressure, you probably start to worry. And when you worry, you probably tend to focus on the things that might happen in the distant future. This is exhausting, distracting, and stressful. If this sounds like you, try to make an effort to focus on the present. Think about the things that are happening around you right now, and the things that you can accomplish right now. If you can keep your focus on the present, you’ll be more relaxed and productive.
  5. Not recognizing your worth – As a high achiever, you probably tend to measure your self-worth based on the things that you accomplish. When you accomplish something that you’ve been working on, you feel good about yourself – but that feeling probably tends to be short-lived. You most likely have to quickly move on to your next goal and your next achievement in order to feel worthy. To escape this cycle, remind yourself that you’re more than your accomplishments and more than an employee. You have strengths, interests, and abilities that have nothing to do with the projects that you complete at work.

Tsatiris, D. (2020, November 29). 5 anxiety-provoking habits among high achievers. Psychology Today. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/anxiety-in-high-achievers/202011/5-anxiety-provoking-habits-among-high-achievers

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