Recently, I delivered several workshops on mental health awareness, and one thing I have noticed is this cultural challenge is receiving more attention in the media and Fortune 500 companies are recognizing the importance of mental health in the workplace.
This has helped in making the subject of mental health easier to talk about, enabling delivery of effective workshops that help people protect themselves and recognize mental health challenges.
Even high-level performers, no matter how skilled or accomplished, are not immune from mental health challenges. With that said, one skill they are very good at is being resilient, leaving them less susceptible to many mental health issues. It was initially thought that they had something special within their DNA preventing them from suffering mental illnesses. The fact is, there are skills high-level performers have acquired through a lifetime of successes, failures, and comebacks. Here are some of those skills:
This is where it all starts—managing the type and amount of stress in our daily lives. It’s important to know that the human mind and body can only handle so much stress before it starts to breakdown. I am sure you have heard the saying, “there is good stress and there is bad stress.”
High-level performers know their sources of good stress, and they spend their time and energy on those things. They remove or minimize all sources of negative stress such as the day-to-day drama in people’s lives and issues out of their control (i.e. political events). In fact, they have very little time for these issues and may appear cold and distant—there is a reason for this. They know that in order to perform at their best, they have to manage all the stresses they are exposed to.
Know How to Thrive
This is the next level up from managing stress. High-level performers have skills and habits that allow them to seek out more challenging goals than most people. As mentioned above, they have great stress management skills, and are dedicated practitioners of living a healthy and active lifestyle (i.e. working out, getting adequate sleep etc…), enabling them to better focus their energy towards achieving challenging goals while still thriving.
This next step is a big step-up from just thriving. High-level performers know that in order to achieve their goals, they will have setbacks, failures and disappointments. The difference? They know how to be agile and keep moving forward towards their ultimate goal. They never give up and they keep learning and progressing.
Being a high-level performer doesn’t mean you are immune from mental illnesses, what it does mean is that you have learned the skills necessary to avoid some pitfalls that could lead to mental health challenges. When high-level performers find themselves suffering, they are so well-versed at meeting challenges head on that they know where to get help from so they can recover and get back to their high-level performing selves.
All the best in achieving your highest performance,
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net