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The Lows of Achieving Work Success

The Lows of Achieving Work Success

Many of us have this desire to be professionally successful. We start businesses or work in industries where success is measurable and profitable, with goals that we make every effort to reach. For some of us, our lives are dedicated to reaching those goals, such as becoming CEO of a business or a lawyer getting your name on the wall.

Then what?

There is something incredible about finally achieving work success. But what we find as therapists that often work with successful professionals is that, once the success is achieved, there is a drop. There is a low feeling that can cause emotional and psychological challenges. What causes this drop, and what can be done to help fix it?

Why Do Some of Us Feel Down After Success?

Every individual has their own reasons for feeling low after achieving work success, but typically it is related to some, or all, of the following issues:

  • No Next Step – Change is difficult. Achieving immense success can mean that you now feel lost, without direction, unsure what to do next with your time and energy. That’s hard, and can be especially difficult if you saw this success as the ultimate goal.
  • Other Areas Missing – What did the journey to achieve that success require? Did you sacrifice relationships, for example, and have no one to share it with? Do you feel like you have the friendships you need to enjoy it? Some people find that they become suddenly aware of the things that are missing in their lives.
  • All That’s Left is the Work – Imagine your goal is CEO. You become CEO. You have hit the pinnacle of your hard work. Now, even though you have achieved that success, you still have to do a lot of work with no future goal planned. That is a lot of stress and it can feel like it’s for “less” since there is no where else to go.
  • Good Feeling Neurotransmitters – Achieving success fuels the release of chemicals in the brain that cause good feelings. Then, like any high, those chemicals go away. If you’ve been working for something your whole life, that high is going to be very powerful, and then the subsequent drop can cause you to feel emptier than you do on a typical day.
  • The Downside of Success – Some people, like CEOs, influencers, models, and actors, receive more public scrutiny with their successes. For example, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company has to watch stock prices and stock analysts discuss their company and determine their success based on fluctuations. Lawyers are frequently judged by whether they won cases, and actors receive reviews of their movies, acting ability, and looks.
  • Fear of Losing It – Some successes can also be taken away at any moment. Achieving the success means suddenly being faced with the pressure of maintaining that success, as the role or position may not be something that is solely yours at the pleasure of other people in charge.
  • The Pressures Were Always There – Sometimes, our lives already are very stressful, but we do not necessarily notice because we’re so caught up in our goals. Once the goal is reached, we may feel the stress more than was already a bit part of our lives.

Achieving success can also lead you to feel emotional, cause you to question yourself and your goals, and – of course – feel more stressed as you have to continue to work day to day.

Therapy for Work Success

There are many different ways that work success can have drawbacks. Achieving your goals is great, but it is equally important to work on our mental health as well. If you are someone that feels like your work success has left you feeling issues emotionally or psychologically, contact the therapists at Flourish Psychology, today.

Therapy for Celebrities, High-Achievers, and CEOs is Important

Therapy for Celebrities, High-Achievers, and CEOs is Important

Sometimes when we think of therapy, we only think of diagnoses related to mental health concerns. We forget that people’s careers and lifestyles that have been afforded to them can also take a toll on mental health. The high stress related to “keeping up” can cause burnout, stress, exhaustion, and failed attempts to self-medicate.

Here are 5 reasons celebrities, high-achievers, and CEOs should seek therapy:


Whether you are a celebrity or running a business or country, there is immense pressure for you to perform. Expectations are high and the spotlight is bright. You may be attempting to balance work, a social life, family obligations, and a never-ending flow of tasks to complete. From the outside, it may appear that you perform like you are “at the top of your game” but internally you may feel overwhelmed. Isolation and stress might also take its toll on your mental health.

You may hold your feelings of stress in because those around you are the ones applying the pressure. Therapy can help due to the discrete nature of the work. It can be a confidential and non-judgmental space to help you manage this pressure. After working with a therapist you will notice a decrease in stress and anxiety. You will also notice an improvement in feeling more “free” and relieved of pressures.

2. CRITICS’ JUDGMENTs are hurtful

If you are a celebrity, business leader, athlete, or politician you may not be viewed as a holistic person with real struggles. Less empathy might be afforded to you as a wealthy or successful person as well. People in your life or outside critics might wrongly believe that money solves all problems. Additionally, the judgment and scrutiny from social media, people who don’t agree with your opinions, or competitors may lead you to feel off. Anxiety, a lack of self-esteem, and burnout are common experiences if you are constantly trying to fend off negative feedback.

Therapy can help you cope with the distress of these negative influences. Therapy is a space to process these struggles and overcome them so they don’t block success or happiness. You will learn tools that go beyond people’s advice to just “block out the noise.” You will feel more confident and equipped to overcome the negative voices.

3. self-medicating doesn’t work

You might find yourself attempting to solve your high-pressure demands through self-medicating. Alcohol, uppers, sedatives, and other substances might be abused to keep you afloat. The use of these substances in a constant cycle may seem like the only way to cope. Moreover, the environment you are in might normalize the never-ending use of substances to help you “take the edge off,” perform when tired, sleep when anxious, or have fun when out.

You might notice most people in your life cope with the use of substances. Or, you might feel alone in this struggle because all of the pressure tends to fall on you. Either way, therapy can help you escape this cycle and can help you feel a sense of freedom from the adverse consequences of substance use.

4. perfectionistic tendencies

As a high performer in your area, you are likely grateful for the skills, intelligence, and unique gifts that equipped you to achieve this level of success. You might also notice that your perfectionism sometimes acts as your biggest critic and it might now allow you to have fun and enjoy breaks. You may need more balance through decreasing self-judgment around your appearance, your performance, or your leadership abilities.

You may also feel like an imposter at times and question how you made it to this level of celebrity or status. Being too hard on yourself in all areas of your life can hold you back from enjoying your talents and career. Therapy can help you catch your negative inner critic and allow you to feel free from self-induced judgment while still supporting you to meet your goals and continue to achieve them.

5. relationships are suffering

Those who are closest to you might feel the effects of what you are going through. Relationships are hard to maintain when you are under constant pressure or scrutiny. You may feel misunderstood by others or you may feel you can’t open up and trust others easily. You may notice you are easily irritated or you have a “short fuse” with those closest to you. Perhaps those you love have tried to help or perhaps they contribute to a toxic cycle that is holding you back. The therapy relationship can help normalize these experiences and help you connect better with others so you can enjoy the people again who matter most to you.

the importance of discreet confidential therapy for celebrities and high-powered individuals.

It is likely you have experienced situations in which your privacy isn’t consistently maintained even when promised. Others might have broken trust or privacy agreements for their own gain and it could be hard to imagine there is a space where true confidentially is possible. Therapy is that space.

Therapy is one of the only spaces where confidentiality is legally and ethically maintained. You can use your therapy sessions to enjoy time for your wellness where you are not judged or placed on a pedestal. Your therapy relationship can be a space to divulge stressors and fears. It can also be a place to feel human and safe where there are no pressures or expectations to perform. Your therapy would consider your unique story that brought you to this place in life, but it won’t overshadow your needs as a person with struggles.

At Flourish Psychology we are skilled in therapy for celebrities, leaders, and other high-profile individuals. We ensure you feel safe and that your mental health is taken care of. We offer flexible scheduling and specialize in the various concerns that might hold you back from happiness, peace, or more success. We understand that your identity consists of multitudes; you are not just your career or position/title. We also offer a concierge service should this level of help be needed. Please feel free to reach out to us and schedule an appointment. We offer consultations as well to ensure we are the best fit for your goals and needs.

Live Your Best Work Life with the ‘Flow’ State

Live Your Best Work Life with the ‘Flow’ State

Have you ever gotten so lost in a task that time seemed to fly? You’re totally immersed in that article, spreadsheet or report and it brings a feeling of excitement and accomplishment. You’ve probably also noticed that you do your best work while you’re in this state.  In positive psychology, it’s known as the state of flow. 

You don’t need to be in a work environment to achieve flow. It’s a state of mind that is universal and can be experienced during many types of activities. You can experience flow during a workout, while doing chores or reading a book. Hobbies that inspire a state of flow include painting, needlework and scrapbooking. 

There are eight factors necessary for a state of flow:

  • Complete concentration on the task;
  • Clarity of goals and reward in mind and immediate feedback;
  • Transformation of time (speeding up);
  • The experience is intrinsically rewarding;
  • Effortlessness and ease;
  • There is a balance between challenge and skills;
  • Actions and awareness are merged, losing self-conscious rumination;
  • There is a feeling of control over the task.

The Flow State in Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on improving your quality of life. It’s the scientific study of what makes humans flourish by increasing positive experiences and states of mind. One such state of mind is flow. 

In positive psychology, a “flow state” is a state of mind where you’re fully immersed in the task at hand. You’re excited about what you’re doing and you feel totally energized and focused. You are completely in the present moment and you aren’t watching the clock or thinking about the next task ahead. 

Flow has a number of benefits for your mental and emotional wellbeing. People in this state tend to enjoy their lives on a whole because they find fulfillment in their daily tasks. The flow state brings a sense of accomplishment and reward, which can boost your self-esteem and confidence. A flow state also causes significant performance improvements, regardless of the kind of task you’re performing. 

Ways to achieve a State of flow

The flow state isn’t a happy accident that happens at random. It’s brought about by certain factors and we can learn to intentionally induce a state of flow. 

A foundational element of flow is choosing work that you love. It’s nearly impossible to get into a state of flow while working on tasks that you find boring or are otherwise reluctant to do. Make a list of your daily tasks and identify the ones you enjoy the most. These are the activities most likely to get you in the zone. If your work is primarily comprised of tasks you hate, it may be time to seek out a more fulfilling career. If you’re afraid to take a leap, or unsure of what steps to take in your career, a therapist may be able to help. Work is a big part of our lives and our overall wellbeing is improved when we gain fulfillment and satisfaction from our work. 

After identifying the enjoyable tasks, filter out the ones that you find unimportant or menial. A flow state is more likely to be achieved when you believe that your work is impactful. It’s also a good idea to reserve your flow state for the more important tasks on your todo list. 

In addition to being enjoyable and important, the task needs to be challenging, but not too hard. Easy tasks often lead to boredom and difficult tasks can bring on feelings of frustration. Identify the happy middle by selecting tasks that challenge and excite you. 

When you’re ready to start working on your task, it’s important to optimize your environment. Clear away distractions by silencing notifications and asking colleagues or family members not to interrupt for the next couple of hours. Gather everything that you need to work on the task. Having to pause to look for an item will break your state of flow. If you’d like, have water and a snack nearby, or any other items to make you feel comfortable. 

Multitasking can lead to stress and diminished work performance. Try to focus on one task for as long as possible without switching to something else. Stopping to reply to an email isn’t conducive to your flow state. 

Remember to rest/recharge

A key part of maintaining your state of flow is taking the necessary time to rest and recharge. Taking regular breaks throughout your workday is essential for staying productive and creative. After about an hour, take a fifteen minute break from your task. If you’ve been working at a computer or desk, now is a good time to move your body and rest your eyes. A quick walk or some light stretching can do wonders. You can also use your breaks for simple, practical tasks preparing a snack or refilling your water bottle.  

The work we do is a fundamental part of who we are. Work-related stresses do not stop at the office and may affect your relationships, your home life, and your general mental health. By learning how to occupy the flow state more frequently,  you’re well on your way to a happier and more fulfilling career. 

The therapists at Flourish Psychology understand the impact of a fulfilling career on your overall wellbeing. We want to help you to do your best work so you can live your best life. Our clinicians can provide guidance and support during times of career transition or as you seek to find more balance between your work and personal lives. 

Contact us today to schedule your first session. 

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