The Number One Thing That Holds High Achievers Back

blog articles Apr 21, 2021
what holds high achievers back

Today I find myself being called to stand up and own my experience and ability as a leading behavioural coach and F*** I feel as ready as I did last weekend abseiling for the first time in 26 years, BUT I’m going to employ the exact same strategy here as I did on top of the cliff…believe in myself, do as I’m told and step off the bloody cliff….easy right!!

So here goes…

I’m going to start with a story from the weekend to describe something that so many of us high achieving Aussies unconsciously battle every day, especially the women!

So on Sunday, we went horse riding, simple enough but here’s the thing, for the first time in my life when asked at one of these trail riding places “do you have any experience?” I was honest “Yes,” I said, the lady still looking at her clipboard says “how many hours approximately?” I say “Oh 30 years”…she looks up, “What sort of riding?” she says, having her full attention on me now, “12 years eventing and the rest FEI Dressage”. Now for those non-equestrian peeps out there that’s like saying I played AFL or Rugby for one of the professional teams, I was REALLY good!

In the past, I was almost embarrassed to admit how good I was because I didn’t want to seem like a wanker, like the wankers that SAY they’re really good but actually they’re just like everyone else or worse still below average!! And this embarrassment or Tall Poppy syndrome has been getting in my way all my life, every time I succeeded at something I would unconsciously knock myself back down to the ‘average size’ of woman, you know, the sort that makes people feel comfortable?

I had been making myself small since I was very tiny, I have a gift of reading people and their responses so every time I made someone feel uncomfortable I would shrink.

Now back to the horse riding metaphor, do you know what happened when I owned my way above average experience and ability? I got the best horse on the property out of 250 horses, Chanel was given to me “she’s only given to advanced riders so they can really enjoy a forward responsive horse ” BEST HORSE ON THE PROPERTY PEOPLE!!

So why the abseiling, horse riding, tall poppy metaphor, I hear you ask?

Because the way we do one thing is the way we do everything!

This morning I was called out by a well respected friend of mine, an incredible woman who has been a leader in business for many years with her 7 figure business and now advises others how to create the same, this morning she started most of her sentences with “Can I be brutally honest…?”. She called me out on the exact same thing…playing small, not owning my extensive experience and superhuman ability to read a situation or client and coach them to achieve things they never thought possible.

When asked why, it was the same reason I never came clean about my equestrian experience, I didn’t want to come across as a wanker because in Australia that can mean instant judgement and criticism the moment to say “Hey look at me, I’m really experienced at what I do and I’m bloody good at getting the best out of high achievers”

But this is insane right…?

Am I embarrassed that I have 16 years of training, learning and self-teaching to master human behaviour? And that I trained as a master coach for 3 years, that I’m a qualified eDISC profiler and Meta Dynamics profiler, Human Design certified coach? And I’m embarrassed of the thousands of hours I have actually coached clients over the last 5 years alone?

No of course not! I worked my arse off, juggled 2 young kids, a husband that was away for work all the time and building a business!

Am I embarrassed of my client’s results?…

  • Goal CEO in 8 years…done in under 5 and before she was 40.
  • Forced retirement from the Aussie team and hitting rock bottom …now an award-winning Ruby W coach.
  • Consumed by his $3,000,000 business, worry, no time for the family or himself…grew the business to $5,000,000 on target for $10,000,000 this Fin year, 5 new team members AND now focused on his genius, mentoring and relationships, plus spending time with family and improving relationships with his kids.

So, am I embarrassed?… F*** NO!!

I am incredibly proud and excited for them and the hours I’ve spent with them are some of the best times of my life!!

When it comes to getting the best out of people I’m your girl and it’s about time I owned it.

Tall poppy syndrome is so insidious and unconscious in Australia especially for women and it’s time that it came to a stop, we all deserve to be our most expanded self, to know our full potential and to receive the results we deserve for all the time, money and life we invest into becoming exceptional at what we do for it all to be dashed at the last moment because we don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

One thing I share with every client is that this is your journey and you’re here to do it your way… F*** what other people think!! And it’s about time I took my own advice when it comes to owning my ability, training and results I deliver!!

So if I have the ability to bring the best out of our best on this planet is it my responsibility to stand up and say “I am exceptional at what I do and I can coach you to reach your highest potential for yourself and this planet”?


For every high achiever out there we must own who we really are, in my opinion, we must own what makes us shine brightly because this is the number 1 reason we came to this planet and to feel embarrassed or like a wanker, because we’re really good at something is like handing back a winning lottery ticket you found on the floor because you didn’t pay for it in the first place.

Pick up the ticket my high achieving friends, stick your finger up to your Tall Poppy Syndrome conditioning and cash that sucker in…you deserve EVERY PENNY!!

Big Love, Mxx

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