In over 12 years of work as a Psychologist, I have greatly enjoyed assisting a wide variety of successful professionals.
This has ranged from doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, executives, models, professional athletes, finance managers and many others.
These individuals often struggle with the societal notion that professional or financial success equates to a simple and easy personal life.
My clients [often] set expectations for themselves that success means having no excuse, or indeed not time, for personal problems.
In my practice, I have seen a number of unique difficulties high performing individuals experience, leading them to reach out for professional assistance.
Here are just a few themes that come to mind:
Everything, The Best, Perfect, Every Time, No Matter What!
High expectations can indeed lead to fantastic results.
But that said high expectations can also result in anxiety, depression, burn-out and overwhelming stress.
For example, if you work 80 hours a week on a particular project and absolutely crush it, that could be a wonderful outcome.
But if the expectation is that this performance will happen “every time”, it could lead to disappointment and frustration should you try to balance your time.
If working 80 hours a week is your sweet spot, then more power to you. However, many often experience a tyranny of perfection.
A feeling of “less than” if they do not continue to perform at the same high level.
I engage clients in a process of clarification to seek standards that lead to positive results.
But also respect one’s limits and address concerns outside of one’s occupation.
Less Than Effective Stress Management Techniques
Many successful people I’ve helped, managed stress in ways that led to long term negative consequences.
For example, in the form of abuse of alcohol and/or various substances.
A habit or pattern can emerge with a person giving their all at work, feeling excessively depleted and addressing these feelings with a quick fix.
“I deserve it” is a very common thought pattern that will connect a pressure packed work day with drinking or using.
A skilled therapist can often help create an open and accepting environment to explore one’s relationship with alcohol and substances.
And possibly find ways to change these behaviors and more effectively manage stress.
There are only so many hours in the day. The difficulty with a very busy work schedule is that it often precludes investment in other aspects of life.
When a professional fully dedicates their schedules to their work, they may then have a hard time setting boundaries or having a more balanced life.
This can lead to disconnection from family, spouses, children, friends, community and hobbies.
A therapist can help explore one’s own beliefs that might be elevating the role of work in their lives ahead of other considerations.
Also, strategies for assertiveness can be discussed to address work flow with employers and co-workers.
Ignoring Physical Health
Fantastic work performance can be correlated with poor physical health.
A simple example of this is what are you doing at 5pm? If you finish up that last work project and leave the office at 7pm, chances are you won’t make it to the gym.
Maybe one evening this isn’t a big deal but the results will show if this pattern persists for months or years.
A therapist can help a person make more of an investment into physical health and address the beliefs that lead to doing that one last project, instead of hitting the gym.
If you see yourself personally struggling in the context of high professional accomplishment, that it’s ok to have these feelings and that it’s ok to ask for help.
Notice what your mind and body are telling you. This could be in the form of depression, anxiety, anger, stress, overwhelm or other feelings.
The benefit of a therapist is that you can take these considerations to a safe place outside of the office.
And speak in confidence to someone who can help to understand and address your concerns.
If you are interested in learning more about my services and how I have assisted many professionals in the past please send me a message at this “link” or call me at 619-414-0042 to set up a free 15 minute consultation.
All the Best, Dr. Chad K. Cox PsyD
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