An insecure overachiever is someone who constantly strives to do better but never feels like they reach it. They tend to believe that their worth is based on their job, work or career. As a result, they are not confident in their achievements and crave praise to remind them that they are good enough. This impaired thinking is often based on past childhood experiences and poorly directed praise from their parents and role-models.
Overachievers with hidden insecurities are likely to be highly critical of their own work performance and have an unrealistic view of their own talents and abilities. They fear being inadequate, so they go above and beyond the call of duty to prove themselves to their co-workers and bosses.
You might be an insecure overachiever without even realizing it. It can be disguised as having general anxiety towards work or having too much passion for what you do. This makes it attractive to employers. They are able to ignore the dangerous effects this personality trait might have on a person and instead revel in the benefits of having an endlessly determined employee.
Signs You Could Be an Insecure Overachiever:
You Work Extra Long Hours
The trouble with needing to prove that you’re a hard worker is that there are very few ways to show how hard you’ve worked – especially when you struggle to feel pride in what you’ve produced. The usual way forward for an overachiever is to measure the hours you’ve worked. To this kind of personality, long hours equates to hard work and success.
These days, there are an awful lot of insecure workaholics and overachievers. Most workplaces are filled with people who never feel like they’ve done enough. This means long workdays are pretty commonplace. Like a vicious cycle, when they see others working long hours, overachievers feel like they have to do the same. There’s nothing worse than being at the bottom of the barrel, even if it’s entirely in your head.
Overachievers who suffer from insecurities find it hard to call it a day when a task hasn’t been finished. Instead of letting go until the next morning, they’ll work into the night. This can lead to all-nighters and sacrificing any other personal needs until the work is finished.
You Take Criticism Hard
An overachiever with self-esteem issues thrives on praise and validation. They need to know that their hard work has paid off, and they need to know that other people see it too. They are constantly trying to be the very best in their career and won’t be comfortable with anything less.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to always produce flawless work. Sometimes, even when it’s minor, there are improvements to be made. To a perfectionist, like most insecure achievers tend to be, any form of criticism is hard to handle.
Hearing that the work they’ve produced isn’t perfect can send an insecure overachiever into a downward spiral. It could lead to even more excessive work hours and pressure, all in the name of self-doubt. This could result in feeling unworthy of their job and previous career success.
You Have Little Time for Other Interests
As an insecure overachiever, your life revolves around your work. This means there is little time for a social life, a family life, or any other hobbies. Weekends, nights and even holidays are spent working in the hopes of furthering your career and doing the very best you can do.
Prioritizing is also a difficulty for insecure overachievers. They regularly put work above anything else because they see it as the most important factor in their lives. Without it, their self-worth depletes and they lose their sense of identity. Constantly working allows them to feel the never-ending stream of self-esteem that they crave so much.
Having no time for other interests can make a person narrow-minded, though, and results in their work suffering. If you’ve ever looking to shed your overachiever skin, the best way to start is by loosening your schedule.
You Never Feel Good Enough
A key part of being an insecure overachiever is always feeling like your performance isn’t enough. You constantly strive to be better but never achieve it because the goal is distant, unrealistic, and often always moving. Overachievers who are secretly insecure rarely see the true value in the work that they produce, instead often nit-picking at its minor flaws. They are always searching for places to improve.
Self-critical overachievers are typically looking for praise in everything they do but aren’t always good at receiving it. They want to be told that they’re successful but struggle to believe it. This could come across as humble but is, in fact, the result of deep insecurity.
You Believe Your Success Is Just Luck
Instead of feeling confident in their skills and abilities, overachievers often remain insecure and have trouble believing that they have earned their career success. Instead, they assume that it’s just a case of “right place, right time” and maybe, extra hard work.
Insecure overachievers often suffer from imposter syndrome. This is the term used for people who don’t believe they deserve the recognition they’ve received. An overachiever with imposter syndrome fears that one day they’ll be exposed as a “fraud”. They see themselves as unworthy of their success and assume that one day someone will notice that they’ve never truly been good at their job, only lucky in the right moments.
Are You an Insecure Overachiever?
Being an insecure overachiever can be a pre-curser to all sorts of anxiety conditions and is dangerous for your health. The pressure to always be your very best, even when the “best” doesn’t really exist, creates stress on the body. There is hope though, with someone to talk to and good people around you, it is possible to undo the effects of insecurities and regain balance over your life.
Copyright © 2012-2020 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.