A Must Read for Over Achievers

Posted October 16, 2013 by Rebecca Niziol in Life After Five
dear OA

Dear Over Achiever,


Hello! It’s nice to see you taking a few seconds out of your busy schedule to do some light reading. Let me start by saying you’re not alone. We’re one in the same. There are thousands (make that millions) of us out there doing our very best in each moment to be better. We share a lot of the same tendencies: perfectionism, fully loaded calendars, racing from one goal to the next, and some pretty stressful days.

The truth is being an over achiever is our biggest blessing, and also our biggest curse. It is the motivation that keeps us constantly seeking out new knowledge, exploring something beyond ourselves, and bringing excellence to all we do. It also turns us into stressed out, anal, “nothing is ever good enough” types of people. It drives us to look at what’s missing and what’s wrong in our lives, constantly seeking to solve problems (that sometimes don’t even exist).

I might not know you personally, but I already know you’re an incredibly hard worker. You probably beat yourself up a lot, especially when you can’t get it all done. You have incredibly high expectations for yourself and others, and feel frustrated or disappointed when those aren’t met. I bet you aren’t taking the time to stop, slow down, and celebrate what you HAVE achieved… no, you’re probably racing forward to the next achievement to tackle already.

How do I know?

Because I used to be just like you. In most ways, I still am. Then something happened, I realized I was spinning my wheels in the rat race to better and more. I was working really hard for something, never really getting where I wanted. In a constant state of striving, I burned out. I started questioning the belief that is at the core of all over achievers


Does hard work equal success? If so, when will it ever be enough?


It’s a mindset we’ve grown up to believe. Your little over achiever self was fueled by every A+, blue ribbon, and pat on the back from a loving parent, teacher, or coach. We are taught that when we work hard, we are rewarded for our efforts… we are successful.

Somewhere along the way we start to attach our self worth to the amount of hard work we invest. We measure of value by our accomplishments. We know we’ve made it when we’ve hit certain marks: the perfect job, the perfect relationship, the perfect family. And if we don’t, or haven’t yet, we better work harder to get those things checked off our list!

I’d like to offer a new alternative.


Your value and self-worth has nothing to do with what you accomplish.


That’s right. Nothing you do or don’t do makes you any better. No amount of hard work or lack there of, could ever add to or take away from who you are.  You are already whole and complete, right here, right now.

Either that’s hitting home, and really freaking you out by how deeply true it is, or you’re cringing at that statement because it shatters your foundation of how you live your life.

Because you’re so effing good at working hard, the idea of letting that go is terrifying. I’m actually not suggesting you do that. I’m just saying that when you can start to use your over achieving behaviors as a tool rather than a weapon, you’ll reach a whole new level of happiness, fulfillment, and yes… success.

You imagined you’d be further along by now? You thought you’d have more, or feel differently? You don’t have what they have? So what?

Of course you’re disappointed! You were told if you worked your tush off you’d have all of those things that you want. And you did that, so why didn’t you get the reward? Hard work is what people rely on when they don’t know this secret:

Life is about alignment, not work. The more in alignment you are, the more ease, flow, and success you experience. So here’s what you do over-achiever:

Get your thoughts in alignment with what you want. Focus on what is working, instead of what isn’t. Make choices and get in action to move you closer to what you want. Beating yourself up for not working hard, that does not help. Worrying about what the future holds? Nope, that is not doing it either.

Think of your goals, dreams, or desires as a target. Each and every thought you have, choice you make, action you take gets you closer to the target. Don’t you want to make sure that each step is taking you in the right direction?

If I can do this, I know you can do. I didn’t say it’s always easy, but it is simple. Align your thoughts with what you want, and you will be successful. You will be happy. You will feel fulfilled. It does take effort, but I already know you’re really great and staying dedicated and invested in something you really want. This will serve you for the rest of your life.

This quote from Abraham pretty much sums up what I’m trying to say:

If you believe that you must work hard in order to deserve the money that comes to you, then money cannot come to you unless you do work hard. Financial success, or any other kind of success, does not require hard work. It does require alignment of thought. You simply cannot offer negative thought about things that you desire and then make up for it with action or hard work. When you learn to direct your own thoughts, you will discover the true leverage of energy alignment.

From one over achiever to another, I hope you believe me when I say this:

You are enough.

With Love,


About the Author

Rebecca Niziol

Rebecca Niziol, ELI-MP, is many things: a life coach, yoga teacher, dancer, event planner, connection catalyst, and your new best friend. Her mission is to empower others to live the authentic life of their dreams. After years of traveling North America and Europe, she is happy to have found a home and community in Chicago.