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The Achievers Achilles Heel

Odds are if you are reading this – or at the very least scanning this – congratulations you are an Achiever. In fact, you may have super status and be a High Achiever. That’s the good news, and the not so good news – and hang on this may be a bitter pill to swallow – you (gasp) have a blind spot aka an “Achilles heel”.

I have witnessed many an achiever fall victim to this (and true confessions I have fallen victim to it myself).

You may have the achievers Achilles heel if you have ever said, thought and/or believed “if I just work harder, put in more effort and hunker down I can make this work”.

To be clear this could be a goal, a relationship, a project, a job – pretty much anything you are connected to.

Here’s the thing, our brains our predisposed to replicate what we have done in the past. This works great except when something changes i.e. your environment, the person or people, the task. So how can you diagnose if and when putting forth your usual effort may yield less than optimal results? Or worse, if you’re knee deep into it, what can you do about it?

Consider the following checklist:

  • The person/people “fit”: Identify the key people involved and do the thumbs up, thumbs down test. Make a list of all of the people involved. Consider if interacting with this person gives you energy – thumbs up; or takes energy – thumbs down. If it is a thumbs down relationship it will likely never yield super fantastic, the skies the limit results. You have a couple of options. A) accept it and accept the person and continue on or exit the relationship or at the very least limit your exposure in the relationship and find some more thumbs up folks to add to the mix. Either way vow to go on a venting fast as blowing off steam makes you feel better in the moment but keeps you stuck.

  • The task “fit”: We are all good at something or things and not so great at others. If you are spending an inordinate amount of time on a task or tasks that are not an innate strength, odds are your output is not as strong as your input. Again, right down the tasks you do on a day to day basis and give them a thumbs up or thumbs down. For the thumbs down task you have a couple of options – outsource it – find someone else who can do it better and faster than you so you can focus your efforts on high yield opportunities or if this is not possible go with plan b and create a system and structure that works for you. For example detailed tasks, specifically financial detailed tasks are not my bag yet are essential to achieve my goal of financial freedom. I have deployed a combo of outsourcing and systems to make it manageable.

  • The place “fit”: We’ve all heard the saying – you are a product of your environment. Where we are impacts are well-being. Consider your physical space and determine does it boost you or bug you. If it is bugging you, what is it specifically and what can you control? You may not be able to pick up and move – your office, your house, your city – but you can improve your space. Is it messy and you crave organization – that’s doable on your own or with a support system? Ask yourself is it truly comfortable and a reflection of who I am today? If not consider tweaking it to better reflect what matters to you now and puts a smile on your face.

If working harder isn’t working, choose to work smarter (a cliché I know but a good one). Put it through the thumbs up, thumbs down test to diagnose what is working, what isn’t working and then do something about it!

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