1. They’re strategic in the things they assume responsibility for.
An average achiever thinks: “If I don’t agree to helping out with this task for which I don’t have any time, I’ll look bad.”
A high achiever thinks: “By saying no to this task for which I don’t have any time, I’m ensuring that I’ll complete the rest of the tasks on my to-do list that matter more.”
2. They use their time wisely.
An average achiever thinks: “If I stay up all night, I’ll be able to finish a chunk of my work, even if I’m tired tomorrow.”
A high achiever thinks: “I know I need sleep tonight so I can be more productive for the work week ahead.”
3. They show, not tell.
An average achiever thinks: “If I talk highly of my achievements, others will understand.”
A high achiever thinks: “If I put the hard work in, and show how dedicated to my career I am, others will understand.”
4. They work smarter, not harder.
An average achiever thinks: “If I work extra hours this week, I’ll get more done and it’ll look good.”
A high achiever thinks: “If I prioritize the work I have to get done this week, I’ll keep myself from burning out so I can get the next batch of work done after.”
5. They focus on what they have, not what they don’t have.
An average achiever thinks: “I wish I got that promotion or had this other, better job — then I’d be happy and successful.”
A high achiever thinks: “I’m so grateful for this job I have an the opportunities it presents me to feel happy and successful.”
6. They don’t procrastinate.
An average achiever thinks: “This could definitely wait until tomorrow or Monday.”
A high achiever thinks: “There’s no better time to get started than today.”
7. They make time for themselves.
An average achiever thinks: “I need to be there for everyone else and always offer to lend a hand so that I do my part.”
A high achiever thinks: “I need to take some time for myself, as well. If I don’t, I won’t be able to be fully present and available to others when they need a helping hand.”
8. They create their own opportunities.
An average achiever thinks: “If I don’t get this job, I’ll have to just take some other dead-end job or a filler until I can find something better.”
A high achiever thinks: “If I don’t get this job, I have the experience and know-how to create it for myself. I’ll give it a shot on my own!”
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A version of this post previously appeared on Fairygodboss, the largest career community that helps women get the inside scoop on pay, corporate culture, benefits and work flexibility. Founded in 2015, Fairygodboss offers company ratings, job listings, discussion boards and career advice.
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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.