Sometimes in my office people are curious about me. Some ask what do I struggle with? There is an assumption that therapists do not struggle because of what they know. Knowing and doing are two different types of learning. I had an anxiety disorder for most of my life. I suffered from depression and anxiety when I was a child and young adult.
K.D. Holmes Blog
Well this is one complicated question, but I will attempt to sum it up as best as I can. Overachieving is made up of habits, personality traits, mental health symptoms, our history, and social networks -- which makes for a complicated way through this issue.
Overachieving is comprised of emotional urges, habits, and so much lost time. I was constantly consumed by the urge to achieve, while outwardly it appeared like I was thriving. Ultimately the internal costs far outweighed any of my successes.
I see so many clients who have no idea that overachieving is a part of their mental health problem. They come to me with so many achievements, yet they are consumed with anxiety and/or depression, thinking that their inner overachiever god is "good", necessary, and "essential" for life.
Gratitude is an oldy-but-goody thought practice that can change your mental focus from the glass is half-empty to half-full. It's an example of one of my favorite DBT skills -- acting opposite. I am reminded of it weekly when clients start to feel better by resistantly practicing acting opposite.
Am I an Overachiever?
A significant part of my practice caters to adults and teens who suffer from anxiety and depression rooted in being an overachiever.