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Overachieving Underperformer-old

High Achiever Underperformer

Overachieving Underperformer

I am very good at multi-tasking and highly capable, but I just have too many of them. I don’t even have enough time to sleep! I have many jobs and roles to play. I have difficulty in saying no to any type of obligations or events because I think it could be a great opportunity. I am constantly trying to prove myself to everyone. I just can’t keep this up. 

I can be a perfectionist. I need a better lifestyle and to focus. 

Becoming an overachieving underperformer is a phase, not a stage, yet it can last for a while. You’ve been striving for a while, the energy output is high, and you’ve got access to a lot of information and opportunity, but you are hitting a paradox. 

It’s not the high achiever’s paradox, as you might think; it’s the overachieving underperformers paradox, when you’ve got so much going on, you are barely hanging on and the busier you get the less time you have to take care of yourself, your body, and your life.  

You’ve lost focus, have too many goals, and take on too much, too fast. And given that “human performance” cannot be confused with getting things done or productivity, both of which are outcomes; chances are your performance is suffering. 

Overachieving is taking on too much and not something to label yourself. Do so, and it’s likely because you have some degree of performance addiction, which we warn strivers to steer clear of else they don’t move on to the high achiever’s stage of lifestyle development.

Performance addiction drives you non-stop with unconscious stories that keep you comparing yourself to others and proving yourself. You are so focused on your success that you think you are crushing it, but in reality, you’re getting crushed by excess stress and fatigue and just unable to follow through on everything, and it’s time to ask why if you think you’re in this phase. 

It may be more than being busy, having lots to do, or needing to make more money. It’s probably your story. 

A story (thinking) that does not support you or what you are up to in the world is “The Curse” of the Capable person. At first, it’s a mystery why you can’t change; eventually, it feels like your curse. 

When you are not achieving what you want or achieving what you want at a higher level, it’s easy to “overreach,” try something new, add something new, or start something new, and you can get stuck for years. This is the “phase” of overcommitting and being unable to perform at the level you need to do anything well. 

Overcommitting and attempting to overachieve is easy; it’s actually reinforced in our society because we’re constantly bombarded with solutions that will make us more “successful.” 

It’s almost as if people need you to pile one more log on your fire, only your fire is not strong enough to consume it. No one selling these solutions knows your present situation, let alone your whole situation, and you get just getting more and more overwhelmed.  

With more access to information and opportunity than at any other time in history, you think you can achieve your goals faster than ever, but again here’s the paradox. 

The busier you get, the less time you have to take care of yourself, your body, and your life, and this is the essence of getting stuck as an overachieving underperformer. 

You likely can’t act on and implement all that you’re taking on, and if you are, listen to what Less McKeown has to say:

“An overachiever can ram through a new project or marketing strategy. They will outlast a recession, explode past their competition, and annihilate technical constraints. They can even wear down a recalcitrant team member. This all looks good from a distance, but up close, internally, it’s tearing muscle from bone, weakening the person and the organization with every steel-jawed brutalist act of over-achievement.”

As you learn more, there is a vast difference between performance and achievement. Overachieving will crush performance, and underperformance will hurt your level of achievement. You don’t want both going on at the same time! 

That’s not only a vicious cycle, a sequence of reciprocal cause and effect in which two or more elements intensify and aggravate each other, inevitably worsening the situation; when two or more vicious cycles conspire, you end up in a downward spiral. 

And living a healthy, High-Performance lifestyle® is designed to help you stay out of vicious cycles and downward spirals that distract and hold you back with hidden lifestyle challenges.  

So, what do you do in a situation like this? 

You have to get your energy back, for starters, into a mode of healthy performance and focus on fewer goals, if not just one goal, that you take deep before you go wide. 

This enables you to start establishing a performance lifestyle first. You are not yet at the level for high performance, but as you get through this phase, you will be back on track towards becoming a healthy high achiever who thrives. Now, even when we start correcting course, most of us are still two steps away from that stage. 

We become a High-Achiever first; That’s Next >   

Learn more about the HPL® Blueprint.

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John Allen Mollenhauer

The HPL Podcast High Performance Lifestyle

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