Hello SOTGC community,
As a recovering overachieving perfectionist, I battle with managing to get it perfect and achieving the goal healthfully.
I grew up being trained in the art of overachievement. It started in the gifted and talented subclasses some friends and I were put into in elementary school; it continued as I trained to compete in gymnastics and received “free money” for college. In work, this translated into consistently hitting the ceiling and getting passed up on several possible next levels. Then my way of functioning took a nosedive with a depression. My soul wasn’t built for the training I received but it was built to live out the dreams put within me.
So how could I learn a new way and get the dreams in me, out to the world?
This isn’t a blog on “perfectionism made me depressed and I didn’t get promoted.”
This is a blog on retraining and living at the top of your platform.
So, if this sounds familiar, let’s discuss the problems with perfectionism and the benefits of performing out of your identity.
Problems with perfectionism and overachievement:
1. Trades “strategic victory” for “brute force”
a. Perfectionism and overachievement initiate a short-term perspective and isolatory self-reliance
b. May even cause you to get passed over for promotions! BBC Capitol article shows this Surprising Reason Overachievers Don’t Get Promoted in a Sept 12th article
2. Ignores the real gifts you have to offer and focuses on getting it absolutely right instead
3. Cultivates single-minded tunnel blindness rather than awareness and flexibility
4. Manufactures unrealistic expectations and unrelenting disappointment
a. Anything short of perfection becomes failure
b. This shortly translates into personal internal attacks
5. Trades thoughts of “I will” and “Let’s do this” for “I’m not satisfied yet” and “just one more edit”
a. eventually this creates a shame-based perspective rather than a hope-filled strength
Benefits of performing out of identity:
1. Presents each task as a strategic objective
a. Performing out of your identify and knowing your strengths develops greater patience
b. Also helps develop stronger focus
2. Strengthens you to live out of your gifts, skills, and identity
a. Over time, this increases kindness to self, greater respect of self, and stronger trust in own abilities
3. Generates space to see others and empower them too
a. As you are achieving goals with humility of mind, it allows you to not just look out for our own interests but also for the interests of others
4. Builds on the pursuit of excellence
a. “Excellence” leaves room for growth in character and in tasks
5. Inspires and motivates you and those around you
a. Unlike perfectionism and overachievement, which create a dryness, performing out of your identity becomes a living, learning space
b. This invites others to join in and do the same
As a next step, I’m not asking for a Jerry McGuire Memo. Remember in the movie when Jerry had a “breakthrough” while on the road and penned his memo manifesto that changed his life, along with one goldfish?
I’m not saying we all need a breakdown and to pen a life-changing memo. I am saying let’s retrain ourselves to address goals, tasks, and achievements out of our true selves. Sure, it might be life-changing minus the manifesto memo. The goldfish is up to you.
Do you want to live more out of your identity? Try one of these next steps:
- Take a free Jung Typology assessment or go for the real deal, the Myers Briggs. It may reveal some areas of your personality that can be enhanced.
- Take a Strength Finders or a Stand Out assessment online. http://www.strengthsfinder.com/home.aspx , https://standout.tmbc.com/
- Make a list of what you know to be true about yourself and schedule your days to honor these gifts and skills.
I’d love to hear from you on these thoughts too.
What works for you as you move from perfectionistic overachievement to living out of your identity?