How To Recover From Overachieving


Hello, my name is Michelle, and I am a recovering overachiever.

For many of you, overachieving does not sound like a terrible thing. However, being an overachiever can have serious consequences on a person’s mentality and emotional health. Hardworking and overachieving are not the same thing. And when I was in high school, I was an extreme overachiever, and those tendencies and characteristics still linger in me.

But how do you know if you’re an overachiever? Well, you have the desire to do everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. From hanging out with friends, to leading a club, to performing in that recital, everything. Also, you set a very high standard for yourself. You want to excel, not just succeed.

Overachievers experience more stress and anxiety then average people, and at some point you have to stop yourself and recover from it all, and here is how.

Say No

Seriously do it, and often. When you’re used to saying yes and doing so much, you need to practice saying no to what is not necessary.


Yes, do something and fail at it, obviously nothing insane that can cause harm or injury to you or others. It will help teach you that failing is okay and natural and even necessary to learn.

Take a Break

Take time away from any and all responsibilities. Stop working and enjoy a vacation from it all. It will be refreshing and can recharge you into doing what you need to do and show that taking time away is good for your mental and emotional health.

Prioritize Your Goals and What Gets You There

When you try to o everything, how do you really know it will be beneficial? You honestly don’t, so it is much more advantageous to take time and figure out what your goals are and how you can get there. Focusing you energy is much more worthwhile than doing everything.

Are/were you an overachiever? How have you helped yourself?


12 Comments Add yours

  1. Chiara says:

    Omg I love this!!! Can we be blogging friends? I agree on this on so many levels. We have to take it easy and allow ourselves to breathe. But we also have to humble ourselves and give credit to ourselves too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great tips, especially saying “now” when needed!


  3. I’ve always been an overachiever. It’s a hard habit to break! It was especially bad in high school. But then I switched instruments in band (I started playing trombone) and I of course wasn’t very good at it since I was new. And I actually loved having a hobby where I felt like I didn’t have to be the best. I really enjoyed it.


  4. Shann Eva says:

    Yes! I can relate. It’s so hard to say No and take a break, but I have to make myself or I get totally burnt out. Great post!


  5. This is great! I definitely need to learn when to say “no”! haha.


  6. I as an overachiever until I got fibromyalgia, and that slowed my ass down real fast and changed all those overachieving habits pretty much instantly. Le sigh. But at least it’s taught me how to pace myself, except other people haven’t accepted that I’m not an overachiever anymore and still expect that out of me. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can relate to others who still expect you to be that overachiever. I’m 63 years old and some folks still expect me to be in charge of everything, like I once was. Well, I gave that up years ago — actually decades ago. I too got fibromyalgia. It may be our body’s way of staying “stop”. Learning to pace ourselves is the answer. Everything in moderation. Just be glad you learned earlier than I did.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am definitely an overachiever! Always trying to do too much and being constantly stressed and anxious. Ugh! Great post 🙂


  8. I so relate. I actually have to laugh because I have a post in que about this very thing.:) I tip my hat to you fellow overachiever.


  9. Hammad Rais says:

    Amazing and simple. I’m more like an average achiever but reading these tips had made me realized that it’s better the way I’m.


  10. Yvan Ung says:

    As a physics grad student, I definitely exhibit some overachiever traits; however, a bad midterm season in graduate school caused my mental health issues to not only become too big for me to ignore, but too big for me to stay in graduate school after this semester is over. I had to drop 2 courses after the outburst of my mental health issues after the receipt of the midterms, in effect destroying my motivation on both dropped courses. The remaining course does not have any, but no one expects much out of the final anyway; HW are worth 70% of the total grade, 30% from the final.

    If you compared the homework and the tests side-by-side, you’d see a rather large discrepancy: 90%+ average leading up to these accursed midterms in both courses and disappointing grades in both even though I did not actually fail either test.

    That’s a bit weird but when it comes to grades I would rather have a 90%+ and still find myself at the bottom of the class than to be at the top of the class with 30%. (I know, the last number is underwhelming but I know it to describe an actual grad-level mathematics course I know about but did not take – any nonzero grade is passing in that particular course IIRC) I would have been OK with getting out of a PhD program with a 3.80+ even though it needs not be a 4.0. (3.80 is not an arbitrary number; it’s my masters GPA)

    However, I do not try to downplay any of my achievements; they’re realities I must deal with, whether for therapy or anything else. Hence I acknowledge any achievement in full.


  11. Michelle, I’m so pleased that you are dealing with some real issues women have dealt with for eons. Some of us learn; some of earlier than others; some of us later. At forty I started “stopping before I thought I was done” and I was usually further along than others would have taken it. I am happy to hear young women like you telling others how important it is to say NO. Someone else said (I cannot recall who), “If you cannot say ‘no’, then your ‘yes’ has no meaning.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s