Are You a Chronic Overachiever?

It’s good to be ambitious in your career. But a relentless drive to achieve can lead to burnout, hurt your relationships, and create an unhealthy work-life imbalance. How can you dial back your overachieving instincts? Start with these steps:

  • Do some self-reflection. When did your pattern of overachievement begin? Was it through high performance in school or sports? Be honest with yourself about how your identity and self-worth got hooked on achieving. Those insights will help you begin the process of undoing what is likely decades of programming.
  • Challenge your assumptions. Ask yourself: What might happen if I were to take my foot off the gas? Am I afraid of failing? Looking incompetent? Letting people down? Our fears are typically based on faulty assumptions and, left unexamined, these assumptions keep us stuck in old patterns.
  • Redefine success. Take a holistic view. Life isn’t just about professional accomplishments. What else do you want in terms of your health and well-being, family, social life, and community? Then choose one small and simple action that will move you toward this broader definition of success.