Rich Litvin, one of my favorite coaches says that a lot of great things start with a declaration. So, I would like to make my declaration:


There, I’ve said it and it feels good! You might wonder why it’s so important for me to say it out loud. Well, I’ll be honest with you, it’s not easy being a high achiever. For instance, I find it incredibly hard to slow down: there is always a new challenge to be won, a new project to be started or a new person to be helped. The result? Overwhelm, vulnerability, frustration, not taking time to reflect or refresh… I could go on.

If you recognize yourself in this, I’d love for you to keep reading because you are not alone!

Here are some high achiever traits my kind will recognize:

  • I am passionate, driven and determined and I want to do it all. Yet, I know that this comes with a cost. I burn out, I feel overwhelmed and I find it oh-so-hard to slow down.

  • I have a ton of ideas to create new projects. And I do! NOW! This means that often, I don’t take the time to process or think things through and I crash or wish I had gone over it just one more time.

  • I am highly successful at everything I do and everyone around me thinks I achieve the impossible. Yet…. I always feel that I am not doing enough and I have even called myself “lazy”. And the worst thing is that I think it!

  • I can solve pretty much any problem that comes to me because I’m not scared of taking action and taking risks… but that sometimes means I find it hard to focus on the long term.

  • I am a doer, which can be great, but I have no patience for the status quo. This is tough because it means I need to act and I need to act now. Sometimes at the detriment of others.

  • I don’t get involved in politics or gossip, and I don’t care much for details of the story. There’s not time for that and I like it that way. However, sometimes, I might appear insensitive.

  • My competitive drive is off the chart! I’ve been working hard on this one but in the past, it has meant that I wasn’t doing things for myself. Instead I was doing them to be better than others.

  • I tend to believe that success depends on me which keeps me highly motivated but makes it really hard for me to delegate or trust others with my work.

  • I inspire a lot of people around me and it has been hard to find my tribe, to find those who inspire me!

  • I often achieve what others think is the impossible in a record time through extreme hard work… but I don’t feel that I have been challenged.

I know that this might sound arrogant. That’s ok. I don’t mind being judged because I know that those who matter won’t judge me. They will understand me, push me, and support me.

If you see yourself when you read this and you are feeling the overwhelm and the burnout, I want to share a few things that have helped me no end over the last year. Having said that, please know that I’m still working on many of those points!


In addition to creating a quiet, peaceful, drama free home life with my boyfriend and Professor the dog, there are 4 main elements that help me cope.

#1 Community

I have invested energy, time and money in becoming a member of several communities and have started one too -Yes, I’m also an OVERachiever!

Dreamers and Doers: This high impact community for trailblazing women has changed my life. I’m not kidding. It has literally changed my life. I repeated that on purpose! Because it changed my life. Being a member of Dreamers and Doers provides me with instant support, constant inspiration and a space for vulnerability. I am deeply grateful for this incredible group of women.

Coaches Community: I have joined a community of extraordinary coaches, who push each other to become even better coaches, coach each other, check in and help each other create the impossible.

NYC High Achievers Coaching Group: I have created this community for NYC high achievers out of a personal need. I want to create a community in which it’s ok to say “I’m a high achiever, I know that I can do anything I want and succeed but I’m lost and I don’t know what it is I want to do.” I want to create a community in which it’s ok to say “Everyone thinks I’m working hard and they are inspired by my work, but I don’t feel fulfilled and the work that appears so hard doesn’t actually challenge me.” And it’s ok to say those things because others don’t think you’re bragging. They sigh a sigh of relief because they’re not alone!

Which communities can you join, that will give you support, understanding and a space for vulnerability?

#2 Finding the right coach

It took time but I am so happy to have started work with my new coach. She GETS me! She challenges me to slow down, and helps me find purpose. The biggest thing? She helps me understand what it is that truly challenges me. She doesn’t let me settle for the gratification I get from hearing others tell me that I have achieved wonderful things. Instead she pushes me to achieve my own impossible.

#3 Retreats / Time out

I have made a point of finding ways to get out of the city several times this year. I went to a retreat upstate for a weekend, won a residency at the Omega Institute, which allowed me to rest and kayak on a beautiful lake for 2 days. I took 2 full weeks of vacation in Morocco with my family and partner. All of those have allowed me to (re)gain perspective, slow down and appreciate what I have accomplished.

#4 Exploration has led me to understand my purpose

I have tried so many different ideas! I have included yoga in my workshops, took it out, experimented with different coaching packages, approached new people… and finally, I came to understand that what I need to do is work with those who are like me! High achievers who need someone who understands them and who is not afraid to call their BS!

I sincerely hope this helps and I would love to hear from you. Do you relate? What did I leave out? What has helped you deal with being a high achiever?

Please join me and other high achievers at our first Meetup to talk about setting boundaries on 11/8, 6-8pm in NYC.

Originally published at


  • Dominique Mas

    Director of Coaching at Medley I Coach I Advisor I Surfer & Adventurer

    I combine my extensive experience in educational leadership in Europe, Asia and the U.S., the lessons learned from coaching emerging leaders, and leading countless group experiences to challenge and support high performers as they create their next big thing.   I am the Director of Coaching for Medley, a NYC based startup that harnesses the power of groups to spark growth and run my own company, Lead With A Twist. Through both of these growth-minded and high impact organizations, I design and facilitate experiences that lead individuals to embody the qualities needed to succeed in fast moving industries.    As a life-long learner, fueled by the experience of living in seven countries and learning from their cultures, I also bring a wide scope of knowledge from my education: - Masters’ in Educational Leadership and Change (Hong Kong Education University) - Post Graduate Certificate in Education (London Education University),  - Certification as a Brain-Based Coach from the NeuroLeadership Institute - Coaching Certification from the International Coaching Federation - Clear Beliefs Coaching Certification    Most importantly, I am a surfer and adventurer, and I live a peaceful life in Brooklyn, NY with my partner, the artist Swissipino and Professor, the greatest dog ever!