The 3 E's That Hold High-Performers Back And How To Overcome Them

sent by Siddharth Anantharam    |   March 02, 2023

Coaching high performers can be a challenging task but it can also be one of the most incredibly rewarding things I get to do as a coach.

In this newsletter, I’m going to share with you the 3E’s that have been my secret to unlocking the full potential of the high performers I coach.

High performers are driven individuals who are constantly striving for excellence in their own fields. They are ambitious, highly motivated and seeking continuous growth.

Unfortunately, the #1 thing most high performers struggle with is this:
They get in their own way. They self-sabotage.
They become their own worst enemy.

I have met the enemy and it is us.

— Pogo

Here are 3 common voices that get in their way:

1. The Voice of Fear (VoF) – What if this does not work out

2. The Voice of Judgement (VoJ) – What will people think or say?

3. The Voice of Anger (VoA) – Why am I not able to figure this out or make enough progress on this?

Coaching them to overcome these voices can seem daunting at first.

But once you understand the 3E’s that drive these voices you can coach them to become their own best friend instead of their own worst enemy.

The 3 E's that make high performers their own worst enemy


We all have an in-built signaling system that tells us what we really need at any given moment. When high performers continuously choose to ignore their emotions, hide them, or postpone processing them, they are skipping the RED light – they are NOT thinking clearly and REACTING instead of RESPONDING mindfully.


Coaching Tool:
Invite them into a practice of SILENCE everyday.
A simple 5 mins check-in at the start or end of each day can do wonders
– How am I really feeling today?
– What really needs my attention right now?
– What am I feeling grateful for?

Expectations (E2)

High performers love setting ambitious goals. But if they attach their identity to always achieving those goals, then they set themselves up in a never-ending loop of unrealistic expectations. Unmet expectations over time lowers their confidence and their motivation to keep going.

Coaching Tool: Explore with them around the following areas;
– What’s the process you are committing to by taking on this goal? Does the process itself excite you, irrespective of the outcome?
– Are your goals driven by your intuition or by other’s expectations?
– Who do you wish to become on the path to achieving this goal?

Ego (E3)

As a high performer, their biggest enemy is “that voice in their head.” That voice that criticizes every move. That voice that judges them for not doing enough. The voice that compares them to others. The voice that does not let them celebrate small wins. The voice that tells them what they “should” or “should not” be doing.

What if instead of judging themselves, you could coach them to simply observe their thoughts with complete awareness?


Coaching Tool:
Invite them to observe their own thinking without labeling it as “right” or “wrong” for a week and share their reflections with you.
– Setup a ritual where they write down and celebrate their weekly wins to honor their progress.

Now, here’s something I know for sure – As a coach, you are a high performer too!

Take a moment to coach yourself: Which of these 3E’s is your biggest enemy right now? How are you working towards overcoming it?

Share your experience in the comments below.


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