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Help for high-achievers during stay-at-home

As someone with high standards for yourself and what you planned to achieve over the last few months, this is probably an extremely difficult time. Lindsay Boccardo, Generational Consultant and Millennial Career Coach has some advice on coping with this period of quarantine.

You’ve worked hard to be successful. You’ve followed the rules, stayed focused on your goals. Now COVID-19 has derailed your plans and you’re tired. Your motivation starts to dwindle and you wonder why you’re pushing yourself so hard when other people are using this time to catch up on Netflix shows. 

Welcome to High Achiever Land in the time of

What are we going to do while we wait out this pandemic, manage
our stress, and try not to compare ourselves to others all while trying not to
panic that our plans have been dramatically altered?

Let’s talk quickly about:

a. Why we are feeling worn out quicker (the human stress response)

b. How to stay motivated (use positive self-talk)

  1. Why we are feeling worn out quicker: Amygdala Hijack – Daniel Goleman

The human stress response happens when our
lives feel threatened. Basically, the executive functions in our brain turn off
and focus energy on just keeping us alive. That’s why you may find it hard to
focus, to remember details or to respond calmly.

  • We are spending a LOT
    more energy under the surface just doing normal behaviors. Think about when you
    go to the grocery store. Instead of picking out your favorite apples, you’re
    worried that people are standing too close, you’re trying to keep your face
    mask on, our brains are in survival mode to just do the most basic things.
  • High Achievers start
    to worry when they feel tired. They are used to having an abundance of energy
    and focus. It’s important to know that what you’re going through is normal. We
    cannot fight our biology. We can work with it to manage our stress on a daily

2. How to stay motivated:

  • High Achievers tend to beat themselves up when they aren’t “doing enough.” They have a high and rigorous standard for themselves and often times in a scenario like this, we are not able to live up to their own expectations. We need to adjust our expectations given the extenuating circumstances.
  • Our relationship with ourselves is more important than ever. If you are having an off day instead of saying “WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?!” ask “What do my brain and body need right now so I can calm down and reset?”
  • It will also stress High Achievers out to completely “throw away the day” and get “nothing done” so we’ll have to find a balance of what’s realistic and possible and keep that list short right now so you can check it off and feel accomplished.

Final word:

Here’s what I know about High Achievers. You’ll get through it. You’ll move through this just like you’ve overcome so many things. Your body is in a stress reaction that you may actually be making WORSE by beating yourself up.

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