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High Achiever vs. High Performer

Nov 10, 2021
Season 2, Episode 40


Chances are you identify as a high achiever. You pursue goals, you have high expectations of yourself, you get a lot done in a day and sometimes get irritated with others who don't "do" your same volume. Great. How wiped out are you? How much time do you take care of yourself and spend time with others that give you energy? There is another version of success and in this episode, I dissect the difference between high achieving and high performance, plus I offer three really easy actions you can take today that will start shifting you into high performance mode.



Get help making the shift from achieving to performing



Hello, I'm Michael Kithcart. I'm a high performance coach for sales leaders and teams, and the creator of the Wynning Your Way framework. Welcome to the Champions of RISK podcast, where we examine the many aspects of risk so we can all face uncertainty with more courage and confidence together. 

I want to talk about one of my favorite distinctions that I make with teams and individuals. And it is the difference between being high achieving and being a high performer. 

Now, let's just get: this is coming from someone who's a recovering high achiever, okay? And chances are really high that if you are listening to the Champions of RISK podcast, you to identify as a high achiever. Am I right? Like you wake up in the morning, and you want to get as much done as you possibly can. You have goals, you have lists, you have things that you want to accomplish, and get done in the course of every single day, personally, and professionally. And chances are that once you do that, you just move on to the next thing, and the next thing and the next thing. You go to bed, you get up the next morning, you start at zero and you are ready to crush it again. 

And that is fantastic. Because it's highly likely that that has gotten you a fair amount of success. Am I right? I want to talk to you today about a slight but significant shift in taking what's good about high achieving, and shifting it into high performance. So I want to stress that this is not an exchange, it's around success, it's a different way to look at it. And in doing so it can actually help address some of the other things that I hear a lot from high achievers, things like, I don't know if I can keep up this pace, I haven't had a break. You know, I can't catch a win at some point. 

Because they keep pushing and pushing and pushing and they are wearing themselves down. They are not taking you know, like a moment to stop down. And really like take a look at everything that has been achieved. And at what cost. 

Does this sound familiar at all? And anybody kind of weary toward the end of this year, as I am recording this in November of 2021? Many of you may be thinking that, of course I am a high achiever, it is necessary to get the things that I want out of life. And to some degree, there is truth in that. But let me ask you, what is it costing you? 

Like, do you have stretches of overwhelm? Has that fatigue and weariness set in as you're kind of trying to get to the finish line of 2021? Have you ever had an ongoing sense of anxiousness about being good enough, or whether or not you'll be able to get to the goal that you've set? 

I get it. I have been there. I have been you, for many, many years. And I thought it was the only way. Like that was what was necessary. I do operate in that fashion, in order to feel successful for myself, probably more importantly, to be deemed as successful by others. 

And I want to set you free. Because all of that is exhausting at some point. 

Like, I used to be able to ride on it for a long time, like maybe even most of the year. But even I had to have to recognize in hindsight, is there were moments where I just was completely wiped out. In the pursuit of me reaching a goal and doing all the things that I thought I needed to do to get to that outcome. I sacrificed a lot. And I'm just wondering if maybe you aren't too. 

So achieving is really about attaining a result in a singular pursuit of an external success. There's like laser focus. And the other piece about achieving is that sometimes it is at great personal sacrifice. Sound familiar? 

Let's talk about high performance, because there are some subtle, yet significant changes and differences about high achieving and high performance. So high performance is about succeeding beyond standard norms consistently over the long term, while maintaining well being and positive relationships. So let me go back, both are very goal oriented, right. And there is success that is behind both achieving and performance, high performance. It is getting to a goal and even performing beyond standard norms. So we're not just talking, barely making it or going with the flow. It is about performing above and beyond standard norms. 

The difference is now that in the rest of this description with high performance: high performance, says that you can actually sustain performing beyond standard norms over an extended period of time. So that means you aren't hitting these big patches, where you're just completely worn out. And the other distinction is that it's while maintaining well being and positive relationships, so you can't be a jerk and be a high performer. Okay, I think we can all think of some high achievers that maybe have some areas of opportunity for growth in their personality. 

So the difference here is that most high achievers that I have come across and having been one myself, really do care, right? You want to succeed. And you want to keep growing and evolving your business, your book of business, whatever realm you are in.

And have you ever had a time where you stopped down and said, I don't know that I can keep doing this. I don't know that it's even worth it anymore. 

That is a good signal that you're operating in high achievement mode. If you're in high performance mode, you're recognizing, Hey, maybe I need to rest, maybe I need to timeout, maybe I need to take a few things off of my calendar and start saying no to things. I have to be committed to getting the sleep that I need, and doing the exercise because it makes me feel better. 

Right? Those are all indications of high performance approach, and that you're making time for the people that matter in your life, that that personal sacrifice that I talked about an achievement is minimized. You're putting people over that success. 

So I just want to let you sit with that for a minute. Because once you can see that distinction, you can really start more I think more clearly looking at your own current state. And are you high achieving? Are you high performing. So creating that sustainable success so that you can reach ongoing, next level stages of growth, and be able to do it while having a more fulfilling sense of well being and having good relationships - Isn't that what really at the core, isn't that what we're all trying to do with our to do lists and are add more, do more keep moving, don't stop down to actually acknowledge all the progress that we've made along the way? It's in the spirit of wanting to get to these things. 

So what I'm sharing with you is that high performance is the route to go to get there. Because once you get to that state, you really are winning, and you're winning your way, not by your circumstances, or someone else's agendas or living in the land of the shoulds and have tos and ought tos. But by doing what you need to do to operate your best, nurture the important relationships and take the necessary actions to get to your desired outcomes. 

That's where your focus is. That's what you're doing. It's about being prioritized, really taking the actions that are going to have the largest impact for you. 

So right now today, toward the end of 2021. Have you spent the year being in high achieving mode or in high performance mode? If you're questioning it, check in with your energy level. Do you feel like you're finishing the year strong? that you're in a good place that you're hopeful for 2022, that you're already working that plan on how to make 2020 to happen, or are you just trying to get through the year? 

And I get that there's lots of extenuating circumstances here. So I acknowledge that I'm generalizing here. But it is a real quick gut check, to tell you to at least give you an indication of if you're operating in high achieving or high performance. 

So there are 52 days left in the year, on the day that this podcast is, is released. So let me ask you, what's one thing that you want to focus on between now and those 52 days left in the year that will count, that will make the year feel like a success for you? Maybe you already have something in motion? Maybe you're so close to the goal that you just want to like, bring it across the finish line? That's great. Maybe it's like, no, I need to focus on my well being right flipping now. Or I won't even be ready for 2022. Okay, what's one thing you can do? That will get you feeling better? Whatever it is, write it down, make it so simple. So, so, so, so simple, that you actually will do it. It could be getting outside and taking a walk around the block, just so you are, you actually breathe fresh air. I don't care where it is, what it is, but just like think about what's one thing that would actually make a difference? And have you finishing 2021 thinking, yeah, that was a good year for me. 

And number two, it's 52 days of a headstart that you can get for 2022. So think about one thing that you could start implementing now that would actually have a big impact on your year. That way you can plan for it, you can ease it in to your schedule, to your priorities, things that are going to actually help you be able to sustain the next level of growth that you're going to have in 2022, that's going to give you more time with the people that are important to you that are going to actually give you some space to take care of yourself. Those are things to take into consideration. 

And if that feels too daunting right now, because it is high achievement mode that needs to happen in order for you to get to the end of the year. I respect that, I really do. This is not a judgement conversation at all. It's about a recognition that there are some other ways of operating that can yield you better outcomes personally and professionally. Okay. So if the thought of like doing one more thing to get yourself ready for 2022 is just like you not having it not gonna do it. I gotcha. It's okay. 

I have three things for you to take into consideration. Do one of them. If there's one of them, that speaks to you, fantastic. Go for it, do it, call it done. But for all, for all the goodness that we're talking about here, the goodness needs to be focused on you. So here's one thing, do one thing that actually makes you feel good every day. Sleep a little bit more, take a few minutes to read something that you like, go see a friend, hang out with your family. 

Do it for 30 minutes, just do it, build it into your day, you can find 30 minutes in your day, if that means getting up earlier or going to bed a little bit later. But you can do it. And it's something that makes you feel good not because you have to. It's because you want to. 

Okay, another idea. Reach out to one person a day. Text them, call them, go knock on your neighbor's door, engage in a conversation with a coworker that you don't normally see or connect with. Let somebody know that you're thinking about them, they crossed your mind that you're hoping that they had a good day, just one person every single day. 

It takes you like 30 seconds to maybe three minutes, right? But the likelihood is really high that you are going to make somebody's day and you're going to feel better by doing it. So it's kind of like a two for one. That's really like that's when that's the easiest one of the three. 

And the third one is just to be in support that I also know that people are really in goal mode right now. And that select one priority for the day, even on the weekend. Just one thing make it non negotiable. I know you do way more than one thing in any given day, but this is kind of like getting you to train yourself to do less better. It's not about doing more. It's not about the 37 things on your to do list that one person just shared with me that she had is like, no, no, no, no, no. Just one thing. That you're going to do in the day. You can complete something, you can advance something to the next stage. Whatever it is, it'll be an accomplishment. Everything else, if you get it done great. 

And if you don't, who cares? If you can just stop doing it, just don't do it, maybe it'll just recognize there's some things that you have on your list that just really don't need to happen. But have one priority over the course of the day. 

These three things, do one of them, right? These things can actually contribute to you feeling a little bit lighter, maybe a little bit brighter, a little bit more in control of your day, maybe even a little bit happier. And it's all making progress. And it's all shifting you toward more of a high performance model. Easy for me to say: high performance model. 

So give it a try, 52 days in the year. Let's make them count. And I'll catch you on the next episode of the Champions of RISK podcast.

Okay, so maybe you can admit it. Yep, you are a high achiever. You are getting a lot done. And you can also see that it's costing you that it's coming at some personal expense. Wouldn't it be great if you had some help and support into evolving into a high performer? Wow. Luckily for you, I've got something for you. It's called Champion YOU Monthly Group Coaching, and it is exactly designed to help high achievers shift into high performance. So everybody in the membership can have ongoing success with less overwhelmed with more satisfaction. Each month, I go live with members to highlight a high performance topic that shifts perspective, provides a new tool or resource and helps you identify an action step to take you to get a different outcome. If you are looking for personal or professional development. Come check us out for a month and if you like it, stay! You can start it anytime. We meet virtually the first Wednesday of every month. I look forward to seeing you soon.


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