Let me start by saying this, I'm not going to tell you to relax and stop trying to overachieve because I know that’s not going to happen. If you’re an overachiever, you are by definition going to “achieve superior results through excessive effort.” It’s what you do, it’s who you are and that’s great! Your determination and desire to always perform at a high-level has probably helped you become successful in most of your endeavors. So cheers to that!
Next, instead of beating yourself up and causing more anxiety trying to just “chill the F out,” I want you to embrace the overachiever within and learn to love this aspect of your personality. Because constantly fighting the overachiever within you is like swimming against the tide, it is going to wear you out emotionally, mentally, and physically very, very quickly.
Now, I’m providing a few recommendations and hacks to help you be an even more effective go-getter!
Their tagline is literally “Fit learning into your life.” When you are already stretching yourself thin, it can feel like another huge burden to also continue learning and expanding your horizons, even though as an overachiever, you’re pushing yourself to do just that. Blinkist helps alleviate this pain point by summarizing some of the world’s best leadership, marketing, and personal growth books and turning them into 10 - 20 minute listens. I love to listen to these when I'm driving or while drifting off to sleep at night.
Another great resource for learning-on-the-go or the ultimate multitasker. Audible has a huge library of audiobooks that you can listen to in the car, on a plane, working out, etc. May I suggest “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg and “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz?
The Harvard Business Review podcasts are sensible, credible and there is something for everyone. A personal favorite of mine is The Anxious Achiever. It specifically deals with leaders and up-and-coming leaders who struggle with anxiety, overachieving, imposter syndrome, and more. Sometimes it’s just nice to know you’re not alone in your thoughts and feelings.
So this one may sound a little funny, but hear me out! Sometimes you just need a treat, or an extra little boost of motivation when you’ve been grinding away or are having trouble getting a project off the ground. When I’m having a hard time finding motivation, or I’m reaching my limits, I love ordering an açaí bowl or a latte, resetting for a minute, and then going on to crush it!
Take a Walk / Breathe Deeply
Pretty basic advice here, but for someone constantly putting in 110%, coming up for air can be something you forget to do. Maybe set an alarm on your phone to remind you to take some deep breaths each hour, spend a few minutes in your favorite yoga pose, or just take a walk around the block. Even an overachiever can’t run on empty, and you need to allow your mind and body the opportunity to recharge itself on a regular basis. Side Note: If you feel like you're in a position where you cannot do this because of management, client expectations, etc., you're probably not in a healthy work situation. But that's an entirely other blog post.
Cover Image by Penelope Miller