Overachiever

I am an overachiever. I have always been this way. Growing up, I played three sports, I was Senior Class President, I sought two degrees, I worked while in college, interned, and still managed to get good grades. I graduated with two degrees in three years, I finished law school in two. I did it all and boy, was I impressive. People said, “look at all she’s done at such a young age! She’s a boss!” At this time, “overachiever” was a positive word in my mind. Something to seek and be. 

In law, I did the same. I took on all the cases, all the appointments, all the leadership roles. Again, I did it all and boy, I was still impressive. Then in 2020, during a worldwide pandemic, things slowed down. I couldn’t be everywhere for everyone all the time. While I had the leadership roles, those roles had no meaning. We couldn’t gather. I couldn’t focus on continued upward mobility and networking. The world hit pause on my overachieving. 

And guess what? My career didn’t end. I slept. I rested. I recovered. Through rest, my whole perspective shifted. I was completely burnt out. I had lost focus on what was most important to me – my relationships, my independence, and my interest in serving others. What an absolutely crazy place to be – I needed the whole world to shut down to give myself permission to do the same. 

Overachieving isn’t a positive word. We have to focus on the things most important to us – the things that that align with our purpose. When we identify the tasks, goals, opportunities that are most important, we say “no” to everything else. Literally, everything. Doing it all is not only impossible but impractical. It leads to burnout, exhaustion, mental health decline, and physical illness. It is time to step away from overachieving and step into prioritizing. 

Moving forward, I am very aware of how much I put on my plate. I say “no” when I’m busy. I take days off when I need rest and to step away (no matter how busy I am). I refuse to sideline my health to appease everyone. I decide what is my priority and give it my best and that is all I can do.