We all have the magic of potential
EMAIL: info@pwpotential.org
Follow us on: Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Connect via LinkedIn

Over-achievement & Perfectionism

Overachievers are people who have achieved, but still feel the need to do more; creating a huge imbalance in their personal and work-related lives. People who exhibit this behaviour may be trying to compensate for feelings of insecurity and doubts about their worth. They may be chasing unresolved issues from their past into the present, or they might not be looking at their lives as a whole, but judging themselves based only on one aspect of their being. If the words “over-achiever” or “perfectionist” have been frequently used to describe us with respect to our choices and lifestyle, it is worth examining them in order to balance our lives for a more rewarding experience. 

Taking pride in what you do is a positive character trait to have, but when your perfectionism takes control of your life, you find it impossible to live up to your expectations of yourself. The stress keeps building, and performing under stress is only going to make you fail in your efforts. The disability of perfectionism might be understood as the compulsion to consistently achieve at impossible levels.

But really, what is perfection? Is anything ever really perfect? Stepping back from a situation and looking at it can make one see that perfection is not an obtainable goal.

Acceptance is the best remedy for perfectionism. Accept the truth about yourself as it is revealed to you. Do not deny the fact of your flaws. Achieving perfection is an impossible dream; aiming your life in its direction and using it as a standard while knowing your limitations is the recommended norm.

Life lessons are learned by trial and error and these are never lost when we glean the truth from our every failure. It is far more mature to be accepting of our flaws and our inabilities while recognising our good points and emphasising them than grumbling over what we are not. Self-acceptance is the biggest stress remover there is.

If we find that we cannot allow ourselves to experience and enjoy the present moment, putting pleasure off into some distant future, it may be a sign that we are being driven to achieve more than is truly necessary. Pushing ourselves beyond the point of exhaustion, or to the exclusion of important people in our lives, robs us of true and meaningful joy.

However, if we can begin to make the connection to the eternal part of us, it can nourish us and allow our priorities to shift from chasing after an elusive feeling, to being fully present in the moment so that we can live our lives in the now. 

We need to begin to put the energy that we have been devoting to a phantom sense of achievement into the truly satisfying aspects of our lives. By practising this, in time, we can restore the balance between our inner and outer worlds and experience genuine, joyful peace of mind.

"Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be our best. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth; it's a shield." Brene Brown


back to top