10 things high achievers never do in public (so you shouldn’t either)

Are you looking to be super successful? Or maybe you’re already on your way and want to make sure you’re doing everything right. Either way, this article is for you.

You see, successful people don’t just work hard behind the scenes. They also know how they act in public is important.

They avoid certain things because they know it can hurt their reputation and their chances of success.

In this article, we’ll talk about ten things that these high achievers never do in public.

If you want to be successful, these are things you should avoid too. 

1. Overshare Personal Information

First up on the list is oversharing personal information. You won’t find high achievers spilling their life stories to anyone who will listen.

Why? Because they know that some things are best kept private.

In this age of social media where it’s common to broadcast every meal, vacation, or purchase, high achievers swim against the tide.

They understand that oversharing can lead to a diluted professional image, unnecessary gossip, and even potential security risks.

Instead, they share just enough to connect with others on a human level but keep the focus on their work and ideas.

So, before you share that next personal tidbit in public, stop and think: Is this something a high achiever would do?

2. Show Off

Sure, they’ve got lots of accomplishments under their belt, but they don’t feel the need to broadcast them to the world.

Flashy displays of wealth, boasting about achievements, or constantly name-dropping important people they know – these are not the traits of a high achiever.

They understand that this kind of behavior can come off as arrogant and even alienate others.

Instead, they let their work speak for itself. They believe in their abilities and know that they don’t need to prove anything to anyone. 

3. Lose Their Cool

High achievers never lose their cool in public, and this is a lesson I learned the hard way.

I remember one time, early in my career, I was presenting a new project idea to my team.

A colleague of mine began criticizing it, poking holes in my plan. In the heat of the moment, I lost my temper and snapped back at him.

Not only did I fail to convince anyone about my plan that day, but I also damaged my reputation within the team.

High achievers understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion and disagreements are part of life.

They stay calm under pressure and handle criticism with grace.

From that day forward, I made a conscious effort to remain composed no matter what.

Now, when faced with criticism or conflict, I take a deep breath, listen to the other person’s point of view, and respond respectfully. It’s not always easy but trust me, it’s worth it!

4. Neglect Their Health

High achievers know that their health is their wealth. You won’t find them neglecting their well-being for the sake of success.

They understand that being in top physical and mental shape helps them perform at their best.

Regular exercise not only improves physical health but also boosts job performance and productivity.

So, you won’t see a high achiever skipping meals, pulling all-nighters regularly, or living a sedentary lifestyle.

They prioritize healthy eating, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. 

5. Disrespect Others

High achievers never disrespect others in public – or in private for that matter.

This is a principle that goes beyond just good manners; it’s about acknowledging the inherent worth of every individual.

They understand that everyone, regardless of their role or status, deserves to be treated with kindness and respect.

You won’t see them belittling others, being rude, or making fun of someone else’s ideas or efforts.

I’ve always been touched by a quote from Maya Angelou who said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

High achievers make it a point to leave a positive impression on everyone they interact with.

So, next time you’re in a public setting, remember to treat everyone with the same level of respect and kindness that you would want for yourself. It’s a small gesture that can make a huge difference.

6. Ignore Their Mistakes

If there’s one thing high achievers never do, it’s ignoring their mistakes. I can personally vouch for this one.

Early in my career, I used to dread making mistakes. I saw them as a sign of failure. But over time, I realized that mistakes are not roadblocks, they’re stepping stones to success.

High achievers are well aware that no successful journey is free from setbacks. They don’t shy away from their mistakes or pretend they didn’t happen.

Instead, they confront them head-on, learn from them, and use these lessons to improve.

Now when I make a mistake, instead of beating myself up over it, I ask myself: “What can I learn from this?”

7. Pretend to Know It All

Here’s the real deal: high achievers don’t pretend to know it all.

They don’t bluff their way through conversations or meetings, pretending to understand things they don’t.

They’re not afraid to admit when they’re out of their depth.

Why? Because they understand that nobody knows everything, and pretending otherwise is just setting themselves up for failure.

They’d rather be honest, ask questions, and learn something new than keep up a facade and risk making mistakes.

So, if you find yourself in a situation where you’re not quite sure what’s going on, don’t be afraid to admit it.

Ask for clarification. Seek out more information. There’s no shame in not knowing; the real shame is in pretending to know and learning nothing.

8. Avoid Risks

High achievers are not risk-averse. They understand that to achieve great things, they must step out of their comfort zone and take calculated risks.

Successful entrepreneurs tend to be moderate risk-takers. They don’t avoid risk altogether, but they also don’t seek out extreme risks. Instead, they assess potential risks and rewards carefully before making decisions.

Being a high achiever doesn’t mean playing it safe all the time.

It means having the courage to take calculated risks and the resilience to bounce back if things don’t go as planned. 

9. Neglect Personal Development

High achievers never neglect their personal development. This is something I’ve found to be true in my own journey.

I used to think that once I reached a certain level of success or knowledge, I could just coast.

But I quickly realized that’s not how it works.

The world is constantly changing and evolving, and so must we. High achievers understand this.

They’re committed to lifelong learning and regularly invest time and resources in improving themselves.

They read books, attend seminars, take courses, and seek out mentors.

Now, I make it a point to learn something new every day, no matter how small.

This commitment to personal development not only helps me stay at the top of my game professionally, but it also makes life more enriching and fulfilling.

Remember, growth should never stop, no matter how successful you become.

10. Settle for Less

Lastly, high achievers never settle for less. They don’t just accept things as they are if they’re not up to their standards. They’re not content with mediocrity, and they don’t let others convince them to be.

This can be a hard pill to swallow, especially when you’re tired or facing setbacks. It’s tempting to take the easy route, to settle for “good enough.”

But the truth is, “good enough” is not good enough for high achievers.

They strive for the best – in their work, their relationships, their personal goals. They set high standards for themselves and they work tirelessly to meet them.

It’s not about being perfect, but about pushing their own boundaries and constantly striving to improve.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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