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Unleashing Your Inner Giant: The Secret Path High Achievers Take to Conquer Anxiety


Overcoming anxiety and taking the leap

Hello, Leadership Luminary,


Discover Giants and Smalls: 12 Journeys, the personal development digest that stands alone in empowering your dreams - visionary, vibrant, and truly transformational.


In today's world, success and anxiety often seem to go hand in hand. High achievers, those who climb the highest peaks of their respective fields, are no strangers to the gnawing feeling of anxiety. But what if I told you that these very individuals have found ways to harness their anxiety and turn it into a driving force for their success? Intriguing, isn't it?


In this article, we delve into the strategies high achievers use to overcome their anxiety, based on insights from the Harvard Business Review article "How High Achievers Overcome Their Anxiety". We'll explore the thought traps that anxious achievers often fall into, and how they can escape each one in specific ways. We'll also look at how anxiety, when understood and harnessed, can become a useful source of information and ultimately a leadership advantage.


But before we dive in, let's address the elephant in the room - anxiety. It's a complicated emotion that many of us experience, but few of us truly understand. It's often seen as a hindrance, a roadblock that stands in the way of our success. But what if we could change our perspective and see anxiety not as a barrier, but as a stepping stone towards greater achievements?


This shift in perspective is exactly what high achievers have mastered. They've learned to recognize their anxiety, understand its roots, and use it as a tool for self-improvement and growth. They've transformed what many see as a weakness into their greatest strength.


One of the key strategies high achievers use to manage their anxiety is self-kindness. As the psychology professor Kristin Neff has shown, replacing “self-judgment” with “self-kindness” can greatly reduce anxiety. If you approach yourself more positively, you’ll feel better, think more clearly, and escape the thought traps.


Another strategy is to interrupt thought traps. When you're in a thought trap, literally interrupt it by saying “No” or “Stop” or “No, thanks” or “Not today!” The more you engage in this habit, the stronger it becomes. Your brain will learn this cue to break free of an anxiety-fueled thought before it traps you.


In addition to these strategies, high achievers also practice mindfulness and self-compassion. They take intentional, straightforward, research-backed steps to set themselves free from the grip of anxiety. They understand that to reach their full potential, they can’t let thought traps keep them in their grip.


As we delve deeper into the strategies and mindsets of high achievers, we hope to provide you with the tools and insights you need to harness your own anxiety and turn it into a driving force for your success.


Remember, every journey begins with a single step. So, take that step today. Embrace your anxiety, understand it, and use it as a tool for growth. After all, the path to becoming a giant is not without its challenges. But with the right mindset and strategies, you can overcome anything that stands in your way.


This article was created in collaboration with ChatGPT and AI.


The article titled "How High Achievers Overcome Their Anxiety" from Harvard Business Review discusses the common thought traps that high achievers often fall into due to anxiety, and how they can overcome them. Here are some key points:

  1. High achievers often suffer from anxiety, worrying about worst-case scenarios and every little thing that could go wrong. They tend to focus on negative feedback while dismissing praise.

  2. The article identifies eleven thought traps that most commonly affect us at work. These include catastrophizing (expecting the worst-case scenario), mental filtering (dwelling on a single negative detail), labeling (attaching a negative label to oneself), and jumping to conclusions (either mind reading or fortune-telling).

  3. To escape these thought traps, the author suggests several strategies. One is to write down your thoughts to see when they're irrational or illogical. Another is to replace "self-judgment" with "self-kindness", as shown by psychology professor Kristin Neff. This can greatly reduce anxiety.

  4. Other strategies include interrupting thought traps by saying "No" or "Stop", moving your body to get out of your head, and working with a good therapist. The author also recommends asking probing questions to understand the source of your anxiety better.

  5. The article emphasizes that anxiety can be a strength when harnessed properly. It can fuel drive, hard work, and achievement. However, if left unchecked, it can lead to overwork, avoidance, passive-aggressive behavior, and other unhealthy coping mechanisms.

  6. The author, Morra Aarons-Mele, is the author of "The Anxious Achiever: Turn Your Biggest Fears Into Your Leadership Superpower", from which this article is adapted. See full article here https://hbr.org/2023/03/how-high-achievers-overcome-their-anxiety?ab=hero-main-text

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