I Was a High-Performance Dud

For weeks, I was dreading what was coming. Four days of multi-hour-long zooms to get recertified as a high performance coach through Brendon Burchard’s program. Yes, you read that correctly. I openly was complaining about it to my closest friends. Doesn’t sound high performing does it? 

Originally, I was supposed to be in California this past weekend for sunshine, great food, and an awesome seminar. Instead, thanks to a global pandemic, I was stuck in rainy PA, about to spend four hours each day for FOUR DAYS on Zooms. Can you say Zoom Fatigue? Except, FOR ONCE, it wasn’t raining in PA and I was stuck in PA on Zoom calls all weekend while it was now forecasted to be GORGEOUS outside.

But you know what? My dread dissolved and those hours were fantastic!  And to tell you why it was so great, I need to take you back a bit. 

Hitting a Wall Called Anxiety

Last summer I was living the high-performance life. Like, legit.  Waking up early to go running, being productive at work, killing my dissertation process, and training for a half marathon.  Then, in the Fall, I hit a wall and caught a serious case of the anxieties. Not my first time. Here I was six weeks before my half marathon, I stopped training all together.  It felt like I had the flu every single day.  Every meeting was an enormous struggle to get through. Even waking up to shower felt impossible. I ripped my running schedule off the wall, so I didn’t have to look at it anymore because it was a reminder of what I wasnt doing. ut in doing so, I also accidentally ripped the paint off the wall along with the paper.  I now had a permanent reminder of what I was not doing.  

November – The Race

November 10, I woke up in a hotel in Syracuse, NY with my lifelong best friend, Steph. It was race day and I was sitting on the edge of the bed wondering if I was going to puke or not. It wasn’t pre-race jitters. It was the anxiety that I woke up with every day for the last few weeks …that overwhelming feeling that I seemed to be waiting for me waiting for me to open my eyes. I couldn’t eat breakfast that morning, either. To make matters worse, not only was it race day, but was my birthday as well. What had I done to myself? Then there was my bestie, Steph, who was super excited to cheer me on and cheer me up. This earned her the medal for being one of those wonderfully annoying cheerful friends you would rather smack than hug. Resisting, we hauled ourselves out of bed, got to the race, and I ran (and walked) every freaking one of those 13.1 miles.  Thank God, some elderly man handed me a snickers bar on mile 7 or I probably wouldn’t have made it. I finished but it was nothing like I had envisioned it when I signed up back in April of 2019. Oh, and did I mention that I made that decision to run a half marathon at a Brendon Burchard High Performance Academy event in Phoenix? 

December– Enter the Holidays

As December flew by, my anxiety started to subside. I was physically feeling better, but mentally I was in denial.  I was busy with wrapping up my dissertation, which seemed to hit every possible speed bump known to a graduate student.  There was no time for doing my high-performance planner, for thinking about what I was grateful for, for running or exercising in any way. I was flat out B-U-S-Y. Once the holidays ended, I was focused on preparing to defend my dissertation. Again, no time for anything else.  I ate whatever was put in front of me and I slept as much as I could. I was hardly living the high-performance life. I was exhausted.

March – In Like a Lion, and I Wanted Lamb Mode.

March 2, I successfully defended my dissertation and became a doctor. A real, live doctor! I had closed a chapter of my life that, between work and school, spanned 5 years of being in front of a laptop! I was looking forward to life without graduate school demands. No more missing out on social functions because I needed to write or crunch data on employee engagement. I was free! Then Friday, March 13th happened and my world – along with the WHOLE world – shut down because of COVID-19.  Are you kidding me?!?

I found myself isolated from my work team, clients, boyfriend, family, friends and the high performance habits I had hoped to dust off now that my Ph.D. was completed.

Zoom dating was NOT an option, so my boyfriend and I (and his 15 year old son) temporarily moved in together thinking this was a nice little way to spend our “down time”. Only I found myself enjoying extra ice cream, sleeping in, AND still not exercising. I hate to say it, but I was having a glorious time despite what the rest of the world was going through. My attitude at the time was, “it’s just 14 days of quarantine, right?”  Well, we all know how that worked out.

And Then The Other Foot Drops

The honeymoon was short lived as 14-days of lock down turned into yet another week, and another weeek. My team at Compass Point was full throttle figuring out how to work remotely and serve our clients WITHOUT the face-to-face meetings that filled our pre-COVID days. Behind the scenes, I was still navigating our new living arrangement and found myself “assuming” the household chores were ALL mine to do. Can you say overload? To add to the growing list of anxiety triggers, there were also car problems, vet emergencies, lack of sleep, nagging headaches, back pain and depressing weather. And did I mention a major pivot in how we w needed to work? 

I was miserable, I was checked out, and I was reactive. I wasn’t nice. Since one of my biggest fears in life is falling back into the physical effects of anxiety, I realized I needed to do something quick! I talked to my boss and mentor, Tom, about how I was feeling and he asked me this simple question, “Are you living the high performance life? Or just preaching it?”  

Ouch. He was right. 

In that moment, there were a lot of things I could have done. I could have gotten sad and retreated. I could have blamed everything else going on in life. I could have made some excuse about having no time and/or energy. But I chose not to.  I chose to wake up the next day with a plan. This plan became the priority over everything else. I couldn’t do anything for work or for fun until these items were done:

  1. Completed my High-Performance Planner

  2. Texted my High-Performance Accountability group my goal for the day

  3. Write down 3 things I’m grateful for and why

  4. Put time on my daily calendar to MOVE (aka a bike ride to get me out of the house)

After just two consecutive days of doing these four things, I was starting to feel the dark cloud lifting.  The time away from home on my bike was liberating! I told my new little family that, given my work-from-home situation and self-care schedule, I needed them to share more in the chores around the house. They were more than happy to help, just so that I was happy and healthy. Apparently, the very thing I encourage my coaching clients to do was the one thing I hadn’t been doing for myself. ASK FOR HELP.

High Performance Refueled

Last Thursday through Sunday I sat on a re-certification Zoom call for 5 hours a day with hundreds of other high-performance coaches.  And you know what? IT. WAS. FREAKING. AWESOME!

Being around other high-performers who had been in the same places as me before, recharged me.  I got pumped about my new daily goals and even came up with some other ones, too! I spent time thinking about who I want to become in life, how I wanted to interact with others, and how I want to be successful.  And this week, I was going to ROCK IT.  

So, why I am sharing all this? It’s not to sell you on anything. This story is to show you that sometimes even a high performance coach needs help achieving high performance.  Oh, I still love sleeping in.  I love eating carbs and ice cream. I love watching movies and relaxing with my guys.  I LOVE COCA-COLA. Like, LOVE IT.  And I also LOVE working on the habits I know will help me be the best version of me.

The point of this blog is to show you that it’s never too late to get back on track. A reboot is possible and it all begins with one simple step. Nothing huge like, “I’m going to ride bike 10 miles EVERY DAY this week”.  Heck no. I started with a small step like, “today, I’m going to ride bike for 20 minutes.” Then the next day, I repeated that small step. After a few days of small steps, I am now riding for 7 miles. That’s progress!

Follow my journey as I jump back into the high-performance habits.  I’ll be honest about my failures and my flaws. Hopefully I’ll make you laugh while I show you that YOU too can become a high performer, regardless of the obstacles we face today.

Let’s strive for our best selves together.

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