The 7 Outstanding Characteristics of High Achievers

high achievers characteristics

No matter what industry and what organization you come from, there is a group of people who are known for their high performance. They worked hard, they are the leaders, and they are often the ones that produced the most results compare to the ordinary guys in the group.

These people are what we called, high achievers. In other words, these are successful people who make things happen. They have the ability to turn a problematic situation around and create outstanding results in what they do.

Everybody wants to be a high achiever. Can you really do that? Can you really transform yourself from someone who is ordinary to become someone who is extraordinary? Can you really become a high achiever?

The short answer is yes.

Like you and me, high achievers are normal human beings. The only thing that is different from you and the high achievers are their characteristics.

It is what they do that makes them the high achievers. Thus, if you adopt the same habits, the same thinking, and the same characteristics, then you too, can transform yourself to become a high achiever.

Here are the 7 common characteristics of a high achiever. If you want to become the leader in your pack, the guy who gets things done, and the person who achieves much more than the rest, adopt these 7 qualities now…

1. They have the “get it done” mentality

One of the main differences between an achiever and the ordinary people is the mentality. High achievers believed that they can win. They have the winning mentality.

When it comes to getting things done, they simply ignore all other distractions and get the project or task done.

High achievers focus on completing the project rather than starting a new one.

Mediocre people start plenty of projects, but they don’t have one that is completely done.

For instance, in the blogging world, you can see that there are plenty of people started a blog. But they don’t see their project to the finish. They started strong with a big dream to build their blog into stardom, but after a while, they choose to give up on their blog or work on something else.

Stop starting and start completing. If you want to be a high achiever, you must adopt the ‘get it done’ mentality.

For every goal, target, project, and task you started, get it done. See them to the finish. Don’t start another new project or set a new target before you get the previous one done.

Stay focused until you get the work done before you switch to another new task.

Having a completed book is better than having 10 incomplete books. When you have a fully completed book, you can start selling and brand yourself as an influencer. But if you have 10 incomplete books, you can do nothing.

Hence, get things done. Adopt the winner’s mindset by completing all your projects, goals, and tasks, before you start another one.

2. They are very competitive

Yes, high achievers are very competitive. They are in the game to win, not for the sake of it.

Look at the sports industry, if Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryan, or Lionel Messi are not competitive, do you think they will become successful in their respective sports?

Not at all. You can only become a high achiever if you are competitive. You have to stop being soft and grow to become tougher.

Competition is good because it gives you an idea of how much you have to work in order to win. If you start a business in a no or less competitive market, yes, you may easily conquer the market, but it also means your business can be less creative and resilient because you only need to do just so much to win.

Thus, look at competition as something healthy.

I wanted to build a successful blog. And the personal development industry is very competitive. We have plenty of successful blogs in the same niche and I’m glad for that. The reason is that I can learn and improve myself by learning from them.

You have to be competitive. Regardless of what industry you’re in, you need to have the desire to win the game.

But of course, be ethical to win the game. Play by the rules and compete with a strong desire to win.

If you’re not competitive, you will lose. Remember, you’re in the game to win. You’re not playing a game so that you don’t lose.

3. They focus on progress, not problems

Another common characteristic of a high achiever is that they focus on the progress, not problems. Most people focus and think about their problems rather than the solutions. And this is why they doubt themselves and are afraid to take action.

Here’s a meaningful quote from Robert Kiyosaki that I like a lot:

Robert kiyosaki quote

“Failure defeats losers. Failure inspires winners.”

When you face a tough situation, focus on the progress. Think about the solution and do what you can to overcome it.

Mediocre people choose to focus on the problems. They look at all the rejections, problems, and challenges, and then they tell themselves that they can’t do it because it is too difficult.

On the other hand, high achiever focus on progress. They look at what they can do to overcome the problems. Instead of letting the challenges and difficulties stop them, they are inspired by them.

This is why Kiyosaki said failure defeats losers while it inspires winners.

You have to understand that for every reason you tell yourself why you can’t, there are thousands of people face the same circumstances and did it.

Therefore, stop looking at problems and difficulties as something that stops you. Choose to treat the problems, challenges, and difficulties as something that inspire and grow you.

4. They believe they are responsible for their and their team’s successes

One of the most important qualities of high achievers is that they believe they are responsible for their own success and their team’s success too.

In a company, high achievers often work harder than most people because they see themselves as someone who can influence the success of their company, team, or department.

And because of this characteristic, high achievers are willing to put in more hours than ordinary people. They look at themselves as leaders (both now or in the future), and they cannot allow their team or themselves to fail.

This is why leaders are usually given more responsibility in a company. They are the ones who hold themselves accountable for their own and their team’s success.

So, are you taking full responsibility for everything in your life? Do you blame others or give excuses so that you won’t be held responsible?

If you want to become a high achiever, you must learn to take 100% responsibility for everything that happens in your life right now.

It is only when you take full responsibility, things can start to change. As long as you are blaming and making lousy excuses, you can never be a true leader and thus, can never be a real achiever.

5. They almost always overdeliver

This is common sense. As the word ‘achiever’ suggests, someone who works more than ordinary people.

And yes, this is a common characteristic that we often see in a high achiever. So, ask yourself, are you willing to work twice as much as ordinary people? Are you willing to get up early and put in more effort to reach your goals? Or do you prefer to be like everyone else?

What you choose to do will reflect the results you get in life.

If you become like most people and do only what you’re told to do, guess what, you will end up getting the same result like everyone else is getting. You become ordinary. You become like most people.

While there is nothing wrong with being ordinary, that’s not the path you should choose if you want to be a high achiever.

High achievers are people who are willing to go the extra mile. John Lee Dumas, the founder of Entrepreneur On Fire started his podcast series to blow everyone in the market away with his desire and commitment to work hard.

For most people, they only do one interview per week, but not John Lee Dumas. John decided that if he’s going to win, he needs to put in much more effort than others. He publishes a podcast interviewing successful entrepreneurs, every single day.

Yes, John did it every day. When he first started. People told him it was impossible because you can’t just interview people every day. Plus, he’ll run out of entrepreneurs to interview. People doubted him and told him it was impossible. But John did it anyway.

There are days when John interview 3 entrepreneurs all in a day, back to back. And he also schedules his podcasts for a week all in one day so that he can work on another part of his business. Eventually, John Lee Dumas made his name in the industry and Entrepreneur On Fire became a household name in the entrepreneurship industry.

This is what I mean by overdelivering. You do more than expected. Most people choose to work from 9 to 5, who is there to set the rule that you can’t work longer hours? For the sake of your dreams, you should.

Hence, always strive to overdeliver. Do more than expected. When you put in more effort than most people did, you will get more success than most people have. And that’s what makes you a high achiever.

6. They are determined and will never quit

Do you really want to be successful? Are you 100% committed and determined or are you just hope or wish to be successful?

Ask yourself the questions above and listen to the answer from within your heart. Your answer to the question makes all the difference.

High achievers are absolutely determined and committed to making a difference, be it in their career, business or in life. High achievers have a strong desire for success. They don’t want to be ordinary and they want to be extraordinary.

And this is why you will have to be willing to pay for the price difference if you want to be a high achiever.

Success isn’t easy and the journey is going to be challenging. This is why if you are not 100% committed and determined for the things that you want, you’re going to fail.

Most people only dream about what they want. They don’t even dare or bother to write it down as a goal. And even more people don’t have a plan to live the life that they desire.

On the other hand, high achievers understand that success is not going to happen by chance, if it is going to happen, it is up to them. Thus, they spend time thinking about the success that they want. They dream about their dream life most of the time.

Not only that, they then set it as a goal and spend time to create a plan to get there. And more importantly, they execute and work on their plan. They take action. They don’t wait for things to happen. They are proactive rather than reactive.

At the end of the day, the ones who are determined and are willing to do whatever it takes will eventually win the game.

And this is what high achievers do. They are determined. They have a goal and a workable plan. And they work on their plan. What about you?

Read: 10 Powerful Steps How to Fully Commit to Goals That Terrify You

7. They enjoy the progress even if it’s tough

As a high achiever, you must learn to enjoy the progress. You have to understand that success is not a destination, but a journey. Hence, you must learn to enjoy the journey, like all high achievers did.

Have the passion for what you do, because if you don’t, it will be extremely difficult to have the drive to go through the journey.

Successful people who accomplish extraordinary results in their lives are people who are passionate about what they do.

Steve Jobs once nailed it by saying that success is tough and those who don’t have the passion for it will quit. And only those who are truly passionate will continue to work for it because they love doing it.

So, learn to enjoy the process. It may be tough, but it is the challenges that you go through that makes success worth the effort.

Without hardships, challenges, problems, rejections, and failures, success will be meaningless.

The best view usually comes after the hardest climb. And it is the journey of the climb that transforms you into a better and stronger person. Remember that.


After going through these 7 characteristics of a high achiever, do you still you have what it takes to become one? Or do you think that it is too difficult and you rather just be like most people – ordinary?

Your answer says a lot about yourself.

As I mentioned above, a high achiever is competitive, determined, and have a strong desire for success. They face the tough times and say, “Try me”, rather than shrinking and say, “Why me”.

Adopt these 7 characteristics and slowly transform yourself from an ordinary person, to become a high achiever.

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