All I have heard is how bad it is to be an overachiever — to resist the temptation to procrastinate, to always want the best grades, to do the very best I know I can do. I have read countless “lists” of ways to spot an overachiever as if finding one is somehow a prize in life. Apparently overachievers keep score in their relationships, they care less about the welfare of their children and more about being a good parent, they hate criticism, they care most about the outcome, they obsess over most things, and they live in a state of relief at all times. I have felt pretty crappy about myself because being an overachiever is often times seen as a weakness instead of a strength.
That changed for me this week.
Yesterday when I met with my project mentor we spoke for a while and at the end of the conversation I told her I would get done with what she had requested by next week instead of the end of the month. I then said, “sorry I may seem obsessed I just don’t like to get behind on things” and she simply told me that I don’t need to apologize because I am a perfectionist and an overachiever. At first I thought she was saying it in the sense that it’s my crutch, but before I spoke she continued on to say that being a perfectionist or an overachiever doesn’t make you a bad person or even a person with issues, but it means that I work hard and I care about the work I do. I don’t give up easily and I like to do things right. I also like to make people happy. When the conversation was over I left with a new view not simply on my own self but also all people who are similar.
It isn’t bad to be an overachiever. Can there be risks with being such? Yes, at times there can be. It is important to take a break and enjoy life outside of your tasks, but when it comes to those tasks and things like your education, being an overachiever isn’t a bad thing. If someone tells you that you are an overachiever, don’t be ashamed — be proud! It means you work hard to keep your life (or parts of your life) organized in a way that allows you to be successful. I don’t know if this post will really be helpful to people, but I just wanted to share a part of me regardless if people think it’s bad or not.
I am an overachiever, a perfectionist. I am proud of who I am and I hope you will be proud of who you are too.