As thought leaders, we can be our own worst enemies, and sometimes not when things are going poorly. Landslide success brings more responsibility, new challenges, and bone crushing stress on us, our friends, and our family.

Thought leaders are top of the heap. They’re breaking new ground, developing innovative products and services, educating the masses, and generally making a difference in the world.There’s just one problem: if they are supporting everyone else, who is supporting the thought leaders?

As thought leaders, we can be our own worst enemies, and sometimes not when things are going poorly. Landslide success brings more responsibility, new challenges, and bone crushing stress on us, our friends, and our family.

It’s when we’re doing well that many of us get freaked out because it’s like a roller coaster—you’re already to the fastest part of the ride and there’s no turning back.  Most people plan for the worst but not for the best.

These two lists are your “field guide” to Thought Leader Therapy 101.

Phase 1—Process It

Root: Get centered. Remember who you are and what you bring to the table. Check in with someone who loves you (preferably someone who understands your business space). Reflect on how far you have come, and literally imagine yourself becoming centered and grounded.

Action: Slow down. Cry if you need to. Sleep. Shed your baggage.

Check-in: Analyze where you are. Do some measurement. Where did you begin, and how long has it taken you to get to where you are? What is the next level and what does that mean for your success and happiness? What’s the scariest thing coming down the pike? Where is your faith faltering right now and how can that be fixed?

Action: Make a record of where you are.

Plan a rescue: Be your own hero. What you really need in this crisis is you. You’re the only one who owns your thought leadership, your intellectual property, and really the head space that has created this “success crisis.” You are literally the only one who can pull yourself out of a tailspin, but that’s good because you always have yourself to lean on. And colleagues, peers, friends, and family are excellent resources to help you follow the rescue plan that you author.

Action: Literally write a plan of change.  

Play: Find white space. Find blank time that only involves you absorbing your success, feeling what you feel, and moving through it.  Make as much of this space as you need because it will geyser new creativity and additional success. No pressure to do those things, just write them down and save them for later.

Action: Do as little as possible. Sit with your own greatness.

Re-root: Go back to the beginning. Remember again where you have been. What you have been. Reconnect with your soul purpose and make sure that slice of perfection is what you are aiming for in everything you do. If you can, make sure you aren’t doing things you don’t love, but working at your highest and best.

Action: Return to a place of rest and “plant” yourself.

Phase 2—Plan for the Future

Know Thyself: Figure out who you are. Find someone who does behavioral testing and get some assistance on identifying your triggers and what elevates you. Plan your infrastructure and your business around this first. What kind of manager are you? What sort of business infrastructure suits you best? What support do you need?

Action: Do this and do it thoroughly.

Get out of your head: Stay in your heart. Be authentic. Remain connected. Be vulnerable. Don’t be personal when it’s just business.

Action: Define what’s real and what’s pain.

Choose in the morning: Don’t make big decisions exhausted. Even if “morning” is noon for you, choose big things over your first cup of coffee, your daily run, or your first bites of food. Nourish yourself, then decide.

Action: Act on your strategy. Delegate. Move ahead.

Take it one bite at a time: Create a plan for your work. But don’t deal with it all at once. Chew one bite at a time. Do one thing at a time. Turn off all phones until email is done for the morning.  Return your calls in a batch. Schedule your meetings in a way that allows you a block of dedicated work time by day or time of day.

Action: Be efficient and celebrate your rest.

Roadmap best + worst: Consider the best-case scenario, then consider all of the pressures, changes, evolution, and expenses that go with that. Then design the future you want at the pace that’s good for you. Make a plan for delegation, employee growth, and everything else that supports this.

Action: Say “no” to somebody. Streamline your path.

Remember, this is a process. This isn’t “one and done.” It’s a meditation in motion, and it’s a mastery. Get really good at refinement, follow the steps, and get better at it next time. Get more comfortable with what you let go of and what you hold onto. Learn about yourself. This is the most critical thing you can do for your business because it releases you from paralyzing fear.

It makes you confident about your voice and contribution to the world.  And it makes space for you to be a smart and balanced individual, for you to have a loving personal life, and for you to find new space to create thought leadership again.