The high achiever’s worst nightmare. Plus, will you help me finish this post?
There’s an invitation to help me finish today’s post below. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.
High achievers (like you) often possess some extreme qualities. Some of their traits fall far out on the tail of the bell curve. That’s why they’re exceptional.
Strength or Achilles heel?
The traits that fall in the Spectacular end of the bell curve often vary greatly from person to person.
But there’s one trait in the opposite tail that many high achievers share. It’s simply a success strategy unconsciously over-used. But, it can be a real drag.
Goal-setting for high achievers: the blind spot by the numbers.
This simple high achiever’s story often unfolds something like this:
Maxine sets a goal. She stands at 0, the beginning. Considering many factors, she determines that 40 is something she can deliver. To make it challenging and fun, she sets a stretch goal to achieve 50.
She loves a good stretch goal, and she starts progressing enthusiastically toward 50. She flies past 10, 20, and 30. As she approaches 40, she can already see beyond 50, and Maxine realizes that 80 could be possible. She gets a surge of adrenaline and feels a hint of hesitation.
Still, she sets her sights on 80 and she keeps going, a bit tired but with a new boost of enthusiasm. She passes through 40 and 50. Getting through 60 and 70 gives her some trouble, but in the process of conquering 70 her eyes are opened. She realizes that 110 could be doable and she revises her goal.
With the sights now focused on 110, she moves forward. There’s no time to waste. Carpé diem!
She passes through 80. But at 90, she hits a wall. She’s stuck with no solutions, no resources, and no personal energy remaining.
Here she sits at 90 with her head in her hands: Exhausted. Discouraged. Feeling a failure.
Meanwhile, Max forgets that she blew through her original goal of 40, her stretch goal of 50, and jumped past her second goal of 80. All she notices is the huge gap between 90 and 110.
She says to herself, “I fell short again! Loser! Loser! Loser!”
Is this scenario familiar?
A colleague of mine calls this “moving the goalposts.” And it’s widespread among high achievers because being hungry and setting aggressive goals has worked for them before.
I have a hunch you can finish this post…
In one of my usual posts, this is where I’d share a hard-earned lesson that I hope you’ll find valuable.
But for this post, I’m inviting YOU, the high achiever reader, to write the conclusion. I’ve never asked you to finish a post before, but I know there is plenty of wisdom in you.
Will you share your wisdom with me and your peers?
If this scenario is familiar to you, it will be more valuable to write your own conclusion than to read my ideas. What is the lesson YOU need to remember about moving the goalposts for yourself/your teams?
Here are the specifics of my invitation:
Goal: Please send me your thoughtful conclusion to this post.
What is one lesson you draw from this scenario, something you need to remember for yourself? How will you apply the insight?
How: Please hit reply to this email and send your conclusion to that email address.
Parameters for your post:
- Length: 200 words maximum.
- Deadline: Send your conclusion to me by next Monday, April 12, by 5:00 pm, your local time.
- Permission to post: Tell me if I have your permission to share your insight.
- Your identity: Tell me how you’d like to be identified with your post: anonymous, first name only, initials only, or full name? Spell it out, please.
I am genuinely excited to hear from you by Monday.