Have you noticed that you're putting off tasks, sometimes knowing that it will make your life more stressful later on? You might be aware of your avoidance but feel powerless to do anything to change it. Sometimes this can hold back people in high profile roles who, on the surface, look like they're happy and successful.
Adult high achievers have usually been used to succeeding for many years, most likely since childhood. From a young age, their achievements were linked to love and attention from parents, coaches and teachers. It is likely that they haven’t been given many opportunities to understand that they will still receive love and attention from those closest to them even if they fail. Later in life the only option is to keep succeeding for fear of rejection and feeling worthless.
The once-external pressure that the adult feels to achieve is now coming from them. It can feel relentless and immovable. It is understandable that sometimes the best way to counteract this feeling is to drive against it; to do everything to avoid the goal and it’s inevitable related failure or success.
This results in a conflict of feelings - an understandable wish to do well at work batting against a resentment that these achievements are unrealistic and will inevitably lead to a feeling of low self-esteem. The consequence of this conflict can be a reluctance to do anything at all, to swerve the pain of failure.
Constantly giving yourself a hard time about this is likely to compound the feeling of pressure due to a sense that you can somehow shake yourself out of it. If you are procrastinating, it can be useful to talk this through with a therapist. You can start to take the pressure off by thinking through what might be beneath this. Understanding the possible origins of the burden you are carrying and questioning whether you need to still be carrying it into adult life.
If you're uncertain about beginning counselling, give me a call or contact me via email and we can have a chat before you decide to commit.