Therapy: A Useful Tool for High Achievers

By definition high achievers expose themselves to a lot of stress which can cause emotional distress. I’m amazed that some of these folks still see seeking help with emotional challenges as “weakness” in these modern times.

Are we supposed to be experts on everything and never need advice or help on anything? I don’t think so!

If we needed help with financial matters, we’d seek out an expert to advise us. If we needed help with marketing matters, we’d seek out a marketing expert to advise us. If we’re not feeling good over some period of time, why wouldn’t we seek out a feelings and happiness expert to advise us?

Since knowing how to make ourselves happy is the most important skill we’ll ever learn, why not be really good at it?

My experience is that many people don’t exercise the full control they have over their own happiness. They tend to over-attribute happiness and unhappiness to external factors such as job, spouse, etc. and see themselves as trapped “victims of circumstance.”

While these external factors are obviously important, the most powerful environment we create for ourselves is the one inside our head; our relationship with ourselves. We’re with ourselves all day every day, and we can either be our “own worst critic” (“you’ll never be good enough) or our own best friend and inspirational coach (“I’m going to learn from that mistake so I don’t repeat it on my journey of happiness and success”).

A large portion of our happiness or unhappiness is due to how we think (keeping in mind that stepping in front of a moving bus will almost always result in unhappiness!).

  1. How we think leads to
  2. How we feel, which leads to
  3. How we act, which leads to
  4. The results we get

At the most basic level, seeking advice from a skilled therapist consists of two concurrent processes:

  1. Identifying and expressing/letting go of repressed bad feelings from your past due to painful experiences/trauma (e.g., a cold or abusive parent)
  2. Changing your outdated and incorrect assumptions about life and bad thinking habits/unrealistic fears that resulted from this trauma (e.g., “I can’t depend on relationships as a source of happiness; I’ll just focus on making money instead.)

Getting past these bad thinking habits and unrealistic fears is a difficult journey; they are longstanding habits and visceral feelings that are not easily changed. Like acquiring any skill, having a guide and advisor makes it much more likely you’ll achieve the results you want and in much less time.

It really all comes down to: How happy do you deserve to be?

High-Performance Habits

  1.  Make the pursuit of happiness the first priority in your life–on your deathbed you’ll be glad you did.
  2. Learn to be your own best friend and inspirational self-coach; get some help with this if you need it.
  3. Put your “kid” into external environments that make him/her happy (happy/positive friends, work you love to do, enough money to pay your bills with some left over for having fun, etc.)
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