While working on a project, have you ever wished that you didn’t set high standards for yourself? Have you felt terrible because you weren’t able to carry the burden of your expectations? The downside of being an overachiever is that overachievers are highly prone to get depressed.
Whenever you try to make an excessive effort to achieve superior goals, it shapes how you feel and think. This not to say that one must not have plans. Goals give you a sense of direction and purpose in life, but the goals alone should not drive your existence.
If you are an overachiever, you tend to neglect yourself at the cost of trying to pursue goals. As a result, you burnout. You feel demotivated and dissatisfied with life. No longer you can find satisfaction in your job. Your relationships suffer because you don’t give them enough time.
Now you know why you should put a stop to overachieving. As you read further, you learn essential points that will help you to break away from the habit of overachieving.
Keep asking questions
Tame the overachieving spirit by asking questions. Take a minute and reflect on whether the goals you set for yourself are practical or not. Ask yourself important questions like ‘will I be able to achieve this goal?’, ‘am I overburdening myself with so much work?’, ‘when do I get stressed the most?’, ‘am I focusing on too many things?’.
By asking questions, you self-reflect. You assess your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. As a result, you will be able to critique your goals. So, you can set realistic goals with careful judgment.
Be careful when you set goals
Try to set limited goals. Don’t fall prey to overachieving tendencies and bit off more than you can chew. Setting out to achieve an unrealistic number of goals brings in a lot of confusion. You would not be able to give enough time and energy to accomplish all of them.
You must reduce the number of goals. Tailor your goals keeping in mind your strong and weak points. Also, be specific when you set goals so that you stay focused.
Vague goals can lead to a lot of confusion and more panic. You will strive to achieve more and more but not know where you are heading in life. Defining your goals will save time and energy.
Avoid comparing yourself with others
Theodore Roosevelt rightly said, “comparison is the thief of joy”. If you start comparing yourself with others, you will become unhappy. Slowly, discontentment creeps in as you lose sight of how much you have accomplished in life.
At the cost of devaluing yourself, you strive to achieve more than everybody else. You keep on working extremely hard to win the rat race. Don’t do this. Remind yourself that you have your journey.
Cherish your accomplishments. Celebrate after you give a fantastic presentation at the office. Order food after a busy day at work. Take a short holiday after getting a project done. It is essential to pause and celebrate life.
Tame your inner critical voice
When you feel content, there is a persistent, nagging critical voice inside your head that taunts you by saying that you are never enough. This voice points out your faults more than achievements.
It never allows you to see how far you have come. For instance, if you successfully reached a professional milestone, the critical voice says things like ‘you are not-good-enough’, ‘others are doing better than you, etc. As a result, the urge to prove yourself becomes greater. Slowly, this set off a vicious cycle of trying to achieve more and more.
One must never let the inner critical voice become the voice of reason. To set a limit to a never-ending ambition, you need to befriend your inner critical voice. Start being compassionate to yourself.
Whenever your critical inner voice says things like ‘you are going to fail’ ‘You are not working hard enough. Remember to respond with kindness. Tell nice things to yourself like ‘I am tired, and I need to take rest’. It is challenging to be gentle towards oneself, but you must have faith. Then, you will see how different and beautiful your life turns out to be.
Take a break from things whenever you feel overburdened with expectations and ambitions. Even a 5-minute break from work can put things in perspective. You will discover a relaxed, creative, and happier version of yourself.
Recollect your past
Think of the time in your life when you were stressed because of being an overachiever. Remind yourself of how confused you felt while trying to achieve too much. As you recollect the stressful times, you learn from the mistakes of the past.
Being in touch with the past helps you change your current perspectives, and you will be able to make informed life decisions. Knowing how much distress overachieving has put you in, you will be motivated to not go through the same path again. So, you will able to slow down and take life as it comes.
Stay close to loved ones
It is a big world out there, and it is easy to lose oneself. You are expected to be that person who everyone wants you to be.
At some point, you realize that you are not true to yourself. You are busy living your life to satisfy the expectations that other people have of you. At this juncture, it is vital to have people who don’t equate you with money, fame, or success.
Your loved ones help you to stay grounded. In their presence, you realize that there is much more to life than just striving hard to achieve things.
Overachieving is harmful as it involves pursuing goals at the cost of happiness, health, and relationships. Therefore, it is vital to break away from the habit of overachieving and live a balanced life.