10 Ways To Stop Being an Overachiever
American culture promotes youth, energy, and a competitive life. It can be difficult to get a quiet mind while running at high speed because we’re so busy performing all the time.
As a new FBI agent, I couldn’t wait to work undercover. John le Carre novels and James Bond movies filled my head, so when the opportunity came up for me to start an undercover operation against foreign spies in the Silicon Valley I jumped at the chance.
The approval process for the undercover operation from FBI headquarters was lengthy, but after it was launched, the pace quickened before I knew what was happening.
This was my first time out of the gate as an undercover agent and it was exhilarating. It was necessary that I move immediately from idea to action with very little time between thinking and doing. For my undercover role, I was that vague and ever elusive animal—a consultant. I met people whom the FBI suspected of working for the Foreign Intelligence Services and I stayed so busy that I didn’t have time to let life get me down.
I loved performing and I was good at approaching the targets of my investigation. As a result, I gained attention and received a lot of praise. To maintain the momentum, however, I needed to keep my schedule packed. There was continuous activity all during the day and I found that, like James Bond, a lot of networking is done at social events, which kept me busy during the evenings and weekends.
Feelings, emotions, and even relationships took time away from the buzz of my undercover work. I was a freight train headed straight into a wall. Does this sound familiar to any of you?
High-speed minds have little or no time for feelings to surface.
Love is All It Takes
It turns out that there are a fair number of people like me—overachievers who thrive on being successful. In their book, "The Wisdom of the Enneagram," Don Riso and Russ Hudson, have this to say about people who are driven to succeed:
“They fear they will have no value apart from their achievements; they are motivated to perform so they will be loved, accepted, and desirable.”Continued on the next page