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  • Writer's pictureNell Puetter

Navigating The Journey of a Higher Performer

Updated: Apr 19

Mentally and emotionally high performers seem to be more resilient, less vulnerable, and more likely to sustain performance over the long day-to-day grind that is the reality of professional life. However, no one of us is immune to the pain and pitfalls of life. We pick up baggage and self-limiting beliefs along the way, without even realizing it. Even the "luckiest" of us suffer and struggle at certain times. And I am noticing in my praxis, that in the world of high-performance leaders, there are some issues that come up more often and that are quite common.

As a serial Entrepreneur and former Head of International Business Development, I am very familiar with daily stress, the pressure to perform, and the demands of everyday life. In situations where there appears to be a standoff, a high performer is much more capable of shouldering the burden. Therefore I have a great appreciation for their inner transformative journey.


What is often invisible, whether at work or in relationships is the number of responsibilities and decision-making, that they carry. So oftentimes they're at the head of businesses, whether that's their own or at the corporate executive level. And they've got many teams to manage and they've got a lot of deadlines which don't let them sleep peacefully at night. And so what they're struggling with is the weight of this responsibility. Oftentimes it's what meaning they attach to the situation if they don't deliver.


Another issue that comes up very often is loneliness – it troubles many successful top executives: a recent study by Harvard Business Review found that 50 percent of CEOs have performance issues because of loneliness. They have no one to talk to. They have no space from which they can express their fears, express their vulnerabilities. They don't even know how to do that! Everyone is looking to them to be strong and have the answers.

It's lonely at the top...

And so one of the things that I am devoted to as a transformative coach is that space for them to be human, and to be real. In this space, there is room for all objections, fears, and doubts as and when they emerge. This is exactly how I can help as a transformative coach. Someone who holds that space for everything that requires attention and cannot be expressed anywhere else.


Another issue that comes up is being overwhelmed and often stressed, and I would even go as far as to say it's an addiction to busyness. So many high performers are literally living on adrenaline. They are driven by this feeling that they get from adrenaline. And there's a real fear of what would happen if they slow down. It's a hard thing for them to do because there is this addiction to busyness and work, or maybe other unwanted habits.

However, when they do slow down, it opens up a space for clarity, new doors and new ideas, creativity, and everything else.

Very often issues such as keeping up appearances, ego-games, competitions, body image, sexuality, self-worth, intimacy, and the crippling sense of disappointment and failure...

There's always something that tends to be common for them: as a child, they've had to act and perform in a certain way in order for them to be enough, to receive love, and to have significance. And that attitude they carry on into their adulthood because it absolutely served them!

However... approaching life the way they did is not what's going to get them to the next level. To move into the zone of true Core, it is required to shift from doing what you know to do, to doing what you are inspired to do. It requires the next level of experiencing and feeling - the new level of Core being.

Without the noise, they are then able to look in another direction, see a new perspective, and be open to insight. This insight, something even they haven't brought through before, might drop in during the coaching session. It may happen when walking down the street or it may drop in a week's time.

The most valuable thing for my client is for them to have the space to explore different directions, without any kind of judgment of other people on their teams or someone in their life thinking that they've gone crazy. It is really a place for them to explore, develop ideas and align with the energies with which they can go out in the world and create, expand and shift their model of reality to meet the expansiveness of their vision.

Most clients come in because they know they're "in trouble", but more often than not, they don't know what exactly is going on inside and how to get out of it, or how to solve this inner conflict.

A person disconnected from his or her inner world is usually not a pretty sight or very easy to live with. When my client discover that there is such a thing as an inner world, they absolutely agree that their inner world contains far greater richness than anything they can find in the outer world.

Whether a person is in a top-performer space, wanting to start a new life chapter, or committed to doing life differently – it’s difficult to do it alone.

It is therefore especially important to me to guide this deeply transformative experience and gently rewire stress, transform fears, and remove any stumbling blocks on the path to life fulfillment.

According to entrepreneur and bestselling author Tony Robbins says that success is achieved through a plan that is 80 percent psychological and 20 percent strategic.

How you handle those plateaus, psychologically, will determine whether you remain stalled there forever and your company ends up in the graveyard. If you find yourself facing any psychological mental traps — deal with them, and you’ll have a chance of making it success and on the other side.


Ready to embark on the path of enhanced performance and prosperity by mastering self-leadership?

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