One of the most vexing things for otherwise talented and ambitious business professionals is when they fail to reach their full capabilities, when they are less productive than they could be.
Often this is because they are reluctant to take on new challenges and new ventures, preoccupied with the worry that their performance in this new area will not measure up to the way they have performed in the past.
Because of their ability, they may not have struggled all that much to acquire the expertise they have, and they are unwilling to risk the reputation they have gained in attempting something new where they feel they might embarrass themselves. Even when they do encounter problems, these high-achievers are usually reluctant to ask for help, again out of concern for the way they feel it would reflect on them.
If you are one of these people, there are ways to manage yourself out of these mindsets and into excellence. You need to do a self-examination and try to identify the things that are preventing you from taking on new challenges, the things that raise your anxiety level.
Also, you cannot let the past interfere. Often we make comparisons between something we did in the past and something we are doing now, and we tend to assume, if the past event didn’t turn out well, that something similar might happen again, although there usually is no basis for such a belief.
When this happens, it is useful to ask yourself some questions about your assumptions. In the past negative experience, why did you take on the challenge? Why do you think you had difficulty with it? Did you ask for assistance? Does your viewpoint about what happened match the view of others? In hindsight, what would you have done differently? When you are able to see more clearly how the past event differs from the current challenge, it will be easier to tackle the new challenge.
Another thing to do is develop and use a support network. Those who are outstanding performers generally don’t believe they need any help. Or, again, they may be afraid to ask for help out of concern for how it may affect their reputation. But in doing this, you are simply holding yourself back, depriving yourself of valuable advice that may help you.
Also, it is important to look at the big picture, to think long-range. This helps you put things in perspective. When you look at the big picture, small mistakes don’t seem so catastrophic. And so you are more willing to take more risks.
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