I’m an overachiever…
I’m an overachiever and that means constantly feeling like I’m stuck in a rut without being able to get out, no matter how hard I try.
Some people may think that being an overachiever is a good thing, some people may think I have a good work ethic, but for me, I’m ready to give it up and be normal, like other people.
‘Like other people’, you ask? Yes, you know the ones. The cruisey ones, the ones that find things less urgent than you do, the ones that don’t seem to take on too much and don’t always make themselves available when things need to be done, the ‘she’ll be right’ people, the ones that aren’t too concerned about not completing something that needs to be done, the smart ones that put less pressure on themselves.
I’m the opposite of these people. I’m not cruisey, particularly when it comes to work. To me, when it comes to my work, many things are urgent, although I really want to, I find it hard to just leave it.
Why can’t I change? It’s because I feel so god damn guilty about it, it affects my conscience because to me, I’m not doing the right thing for other people. And there you have it people, the crux of the matter. I’m always trying to do right for other people but NEVER myself!
But here’s the thing I’ve learnt. This is no one else’s problem but my own. Those ‘other’ people, well there’s nothing wrong with them at all, in fact, I think they’re probably a hell of a lot smarter than me. Why? Here’s why.
- They strive to be productive instead of a perfectionist like me
- They ARE NOT people pleasing pushovers like me
- They don’t resent other people like I tend to
- They deal with failure a lot better than I do
So let’s break these down, shall we.
Productivity over perfectionism
My problem is that as an overachiever I try to do everything perfectly, a half-assed job just doesn’t cut it with me. But this means I try to do it with everything and it gets pretty damn exhausting. I set the bar way too high. The other problem with this is that because I’m all about doing something really well, I tend to procrastinate A LOT because I do tend to find it difficult to prioritise. Everything to me is equally as important. Go figure!
And to all you other perfectionists out there, does “I’ll just do a little more” or “just one more thing” sound familiar? I figure these are the rules I’VE set for myself, no one else. No one is asking me to do more, it’s me who’s asking me to do more!!!
Oh and I forgot one other thing. I tend to make so many promises that completely stress me out and then, of course, this leads to overwhelm.
So, of course, the ‘normal’ people not in this predicament are going to be so much more productive. They do what needs to be done and they don’t waste time, they set realistic expectations of themselves, they are able to prioritise more easily and they don’t have ridiculous rules set for themselves that no one else cares about!
People pleasing pushover
No matter how many times I’ve written about this, the number of times I’ve challenged myself to stop being a people pleaser, it still crops up its ugly head like it’s permanently ingrained into my being!
Problem is, when you’re a people pleaser, some people can take advantage of it. You’re always the one people come to rely on.
This is where I need to go back to my own advice (it works most of the time) and learn to say NO. I think it’s also useful to ask yourself if it’s something that’s actually expected of you or not.
I must admit, as an overachiever I do tend to get resentful and it’s not nice. The thing is, when I feel resentful towards another person, it’s not their fault at all, it’s mine. Because I’m the one pushing myself, because I have high expectations of myself and try to please others, I can tend to feel as though others aren’t working as hard as I am which frustrates me to no end. I can feel a sense of unfairness but I’m most likely very wrong. The problem here is that I’m simply doing more than I actually need to. Did anyone ask me to do it? No. Hard work can easily be misinterpreted too, and I definitely don’t like having to do more than I need to so it might be a good idea that I stop!
Dealing with failure
Yes, there have been a number of times where I’ve felt like my world is like a sunken ship, like I cannot go any further like I’ve failed myself even though I’ve worked so damn hard. I hate failure, I hate that it feels like I’m exposed, like a weakness is exposed, but I know I shouldn’t feel that way at all. Most of the time it’s only me who thinks I’ve failed, no one else would have a clue. But also, failure to me is often a reminder that I’ve spread myself too thin, that I can’t do it all and maintain my over-achieving ways. I must remember,
I must remember, “slow and steady wins the race.”
Are you an overachiever? Does this resonate with you?