Why I’m so over “high performance”


lisa fabrega

Screen Shot 2018-08-20 at 9.12.14 AM

I know what you’re thinking.

She calls herself a leadership mentor for high performing womxn and she’s dissing high performance?  

And you’re not wrong. I am a coach to “high performing womxn”. Womxn who are here to make big impact and leave legacies that change the world. They have a big vision & they’re not here to play small by any means!

Now listen, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that big impact & money are just going to magically land on your lap while you sit in your hammock doing nothing all the time. It drives me crazy when I see people peddling that on social media ads. That is simply untrue.  

When you have such a big mission, you definitely are going to need to be a “high performer”.  

You’re going to need to learn how to balance all the amazing things you’re here to do, while still having a life, and maintaining your internal equanimity, and staying connected to yourself. You’re going to be reaching for things that most people around you would never even consider. Your life will look different than most people’s lives.

So, I talk about high performance all the time. And yet, I have a HUGE issue with the term “high performance”.

Because the term has lost it’s true meaning. And it has become a catch phrase for all matter of unhealthy practices that are taught to womxn leaders to supposedly help them become “better performers”.  

So let’s get a few things straight first.

If you’re here reading this, I know you’re an empathic, successful and hella-ambitious person who has already created great things and achieved a lot in the world. You are the kind of person who will never stop growing, never stop pushing your edge, and you ALWAYS want to know what your next level is.

For you, “staying comfortable” = death.

You also care, a lot. You’ve done a lot of personal development, you’re spiritually connected, and you don’t need more help with your “mindset” (because let’s face it, you wouldn’t have gotten as far as you’ve gotten already WITHOUT some level of mindset mastery).

You want to make real, positive shifts in the world because you can see how badly the world needs help right now. You know you have a gift that can help with that and you’re determined to devote yourself to doing just that. You are an all in or all out kind of person.

You crave something different. Something deeper than some leaders in your space. The next level of your inner work that will create the most powerful results at your next level of growth and leadership. You want tiny tweaks that create nuclear level impact in your career, business, and life because you’ve got a huge mission.

But as your life gets busier and busier, as you come more into demand, as your visibility increases, there is more piling on to your plate. There is a flight to catch to deliver a talk at an event, a team to lead, then a meeting with investors, then leading a retreat… etc… Plus you’ve got loved ones to grow relationships with and your own personal needs as a human (like creativity, pleasure, self care, and just basic everyday errands).

And you’re wanting to make sure that you can continue to grow, continue to expand that impact, and that revenue… and be able to handle it all. So naturally, what you do next is you hire a mentor or guide who will help you do that. Usually, you hire a “high performance” coach for this.

But here’s my bone to pick…

Most “high performance” coaches out there are not teaching true high performance. Sure, they are teaching you strategies and techniques to do things like get your year done in 90 days, “mindset hacks” to get more done, or nifty time management, or productivity strategies…

But notice that all of these things are designed to make you more like a machine than a human. And notice that most “high performance” coaches out there aren’t really TOUCHING your inner world as you grow, expand, and lead more and more people, on a deep enough level.

Oh sure — there is the “appearance” of inner work. Through terms like, “mindset hacks”, and “inner shifts”, used in marketing and even exercises at live events labeled with these terms.  

But truly, the work that is done at these retreats, masterminds, and programs that claim to be deep inner work, is not really. It’s superficial at best. You might have a great breakthrough from it that weekend you’re at the event, but is it really changing you at a fundamental, cellular level? Is it changing the way you lead? Is it something that will benefit you for the next 30 years as you grow your legacy?  

Here’s something else that I am concerned about (which might ruffle some feathers)…

Most of the “well known” high performance coaches out there that womxn leaders are currently hiring are men who are stuck in a very patriarchal paradigm of approaching success, business, and life.  

Now men, I love you and I’m not dissing you. But here’s the thing — womxn and men don’t have the same amount of testosterone. When we try to do things as if we have the same levels of testosterone as men do, it doesn’t work out. And it actually makes our high performance suffer. We get adrenal fatigue.

Do you know how many womxn leaders have come to work with me after working with “high performance coaches” and they are suffering from adrenal burnout?  

Or they worked with the “best” high performance male coach out there… and their business feels like a machine, not something that came from their heart, and they are passionate about?  

Do you know how many womxn have come to me after spending hundreds of thousands on the latest hacks, the popular high performance coaches, going to the big events these “high performance” coaches put on…

And they feel like they want to just scrap their entire business because something in the way they learned to build and do their careers feels totally devoid of meaning and pleasure?

The answer is: SO MANY.

They made a million dollars, sure.  

They got to speak to that crowd of 10,000 people.  

They made more money and achieved more success than they ever dreamed of…

But… then what?

What good is doing all that if your marriage is falling apart at the end of it?

Or you’re suffering from daily panic attacks?

Or if you feel so burdened by what you’ve built that you are tempted to shut it down entirely or walk away from it?

What good is a million dollars if you’re suffering from adrenal burnout?

Or you feel like a bad mom to your kids and beat yourself up about it all the time?

Or you just feel creatively uninspired and blah?

Most of the high performance models out there are based on outdated, old school paradigms that are hypermasculinized. They are obsessed with only focusing on “hacking”, optimizing people as if they were machines. They define success only through the lens of how much money you make and how famous you are. 

There’s nothing wrong with this, of course. But socially, womxn are actually not only driven by making lots of money and “dominating”. In fact, womxn have been shown to be also driven by giving back to their communities and lifting others up with them. Womxn tend to focus more on their communities, while men tend to focus on getting ahead at all costs. (I’m saying, this is how we are socialized, I’m NOT making blanket statements about gender.)

Looking at the state of the world today — do you actually think we need to build more leaders who are only concerned with their bottomline and getting ahead? Or do you think we need more leaders who get to be both wildly successful AND concerned about lifting up the world around them?

Obviously, we know the answer to that question.

Because I work with womxn, mostly, I’m going to say this next: When you take this away from a womxn’s mission, for the sake of “maximizing profits and hacking viral influence”, you take away the Soul of her work and “why” she gets out of bed every morning.

In addition, this model of high performance isn’t working for men anymore either.  

We live in a world today where this very primitive archetype of the super-driven, ambitious “shark” male entrepreneurs who get all the funding while womxn are ignored… is dying. Men are getting tired too. Men want greater meaning than just becoming part of the “influencer-dominating-crushing-it bro pack”. Men want to integrate their inner feminine, too.

There is no room for that to be integrated when the focus is all on numbers, productivity hacks, and optimizing your abs — that’s not high performance. Not at all. That’s just high-perfectionism, and damaging, self-punishing internal narratives that will KILL the long term sustainability of your career.  

Truth is, my fellow high performer, we need a come to Jesus moment right now.

There is a quote I see online often by David Orr that goes: “The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind.”

I agree and disagree with this quote.

I think the world does not need more “successful people” as many high performance coaches and literature would define. A money making machine, performing at “optimal levels”, tool chest full of “hacks” to get more done but…

  • what are you contributing to the planet?  
  • how are you feeling internally? Do you feel rock solid, trust in all your decisions, and have a strong and trusting connection with your intuition?
  • are you connected in your relationships?  
  • are you feeling excited about continuously expanding or are you feeling tired and confused after building all that “success”?
  • do you have good boundaries? Do you have trouble saying no to people?
  • do you feel fully confident managing your team and like you are impacting your community positively as a model of true leadership?
  • have adrenal fatigue?  
  • is your home life falling apart?
  • do you have hordes of codependent followers who believe they’re broken and you’re their only savior?  
  • do you feel afraid of being truly powerful?
  • are you hiding parts of you because it doesn’t go with the “high performer” image you’ve built?

I believe that famous quote should instead read: “The planet does not need more “successful” people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind — who are also wildly successful.”

I believe you should have all the massive impact, millions of dollars, and major influence in the world that you want… without sacrificing your soul, happiness, energy, or creativity.  And without having to become a high performance, bio-hacked, optimized machine/robot.

I believe you should be able to build high level wealth, while still staying in integrity with your values, instead of going to networking events where everything feels empty, postured, and like people just want to use you for your status to get ahead.  

You deserve to have a life filled with great sex, travel, moments of laying back on your hammock watching the sunset, fulfilling relationships, confidence to speak your truth, great boundaries, and lots of passion & energy to push your mission forward…

WHILE you make your big moves and make all the money. You deserve to have your BIGGEST visions hugely successful, WHILE feeling internally calm, grounded, confident, creatively fulfilled, and connected to your own internal wisdom.  

This is a holistic approach to high performance. Most people think if you focus on the internal, you sacrifice revenue. NOT TRUE. In fact, most of the high performing womxn I work with end up making more money than they already have made, BECAUSE they are prioritizing the inner leadership work. (Inner leadership work is WAY deeper than “mindset work”.)

In fact — I believe that if we continue to fall for the typical, “hot at the moment” high performance mentors that don’t really address the inner self and the spiritual work as profoundly as they do the strategic, we won’t actually ever fulfill the full potential of our vision.

Because at a certain point, without the inner work, you simply won’t be able to sustain that level of success and impact.  

I know this because the womxn I work with all day long have BEEN to these coveted events and coaches. There’s a reason why they come to ME afterwards. Because that isn’t working for most of us. And it’s outdated and old-school patriarchal.

(Don’t believe me? I can’t tell you how many high powered mastermind gatherings I have been at lately, where the men confess that men are not doing as well as womxn in online business right now. Why? Because that hypermasculinized way of working and living is just not resonating with people. They want more care and more heart. They want more depth.)

Those “high performance” hacks and tactics work… up to a certain point. But to achieve LONG TERM SUSTAINABLE results, you need inner leadership work. To leave the legacy that you dream of leaving, you’ve got to have the internal fortitude to withstand the many challenges that are part of the path to becoming a high impact, highly transformational leader.  

Being a high level leader is going to bring up your deepest wounding. It’s going to challenge you, force you to look in the mirror. Do you have the kind of badass, high level support you must have to navigate the true challenges of leadership and success?

When you’ve got your inner game strong, you’ve got the fuel and the energy to keep expanding your mission and making that impact. And lord knows, our world needs MORE grounded, aligned, and soul-connected leaders (not burned out ones), now more than ever!

So, yeah, I believe in high performance — but not like it is currently popularly taught and defined. I believe in true high performance. Where your inner and outer worlds are both EQUALLY optimized and paid attention. That’s what I call high empowerment.

High empowerment leads to high performance. Without having to burn yourself out in the process.

Let’s reclaim the term high performance once and for all, shall we?

With love,






P.S: Did this resonate with you? If so, let me know in the comments below.