Balancing the Overachiever


If you’re like me you have spent far too many years working far too many hours. The accomplishments, the accolades, and the personal satisfaction have been big ego boosters and a driving force to keep you going but at some point, you may have, or will eventually, discover that it came with a big fat price tag.

Time is all that you have.

We become slaves to the things that drive us, and that’s counterintuitive to the very nature of our being- freedom. So how do you balance your work and your life because for some of us, maybe most of us in America, we measure our lives in terms of our work. What we do is who we are and we forget that we are human beings and not human doings. At some point in an overachiever’s life it no longer becomes about the money but the work.

There is a difference between an overachiever and a hoarder. For those whose love of money outweighs their love of anything else, they become slaves to their balance statement. For the overachiever there is a drive within them that says to them every step of the way, “there’s one more step before it’s really finished”. The problem is there is always one more step and one more step and time slips by quickly. We bring death closer to our doorstep by the mere stress it causes to be so driven. So at the end of your life what do you want your life to say about you?

No one is so powerful that they can stop the march of time. ~ St. Marher

A couple of years ago you saw me begin to write about balance, or maybe I’m kidding myself and it’s been way more than a couple of years ago. I began to see the toll on my life and the fact that the fun things I had wanted to do with my life kept getting shelved for the things I felt were more important. Family time was basically when I could fit it into my schedule. My husband kept saying he wanted to spend time with me. People find this crazy because we work together but we don’t really see each other during the course of our day. I ate dinner standing up long after everyone was finished, or worse I’d rush dinner so I could go back to work. It wasn’t working. For now, I’m out of time with you today so let’s pick this back up next time and I’ll show how I worked my plan and how it’s working out. Not perfected yet, but how does cutting 10-15 hours of your work week sound at this point? Impossible? Maybe not. It’s all in what you want your life to say about you.

2 thoughts on “Balancing the Overachiever

  1. I’m at the opposite end of that spectrum: I’m not an over-achiever but a people pleaser. I’m also quite individualistic as well as highly opinionated, which makes for several bad combinations. If a client is unhappy, I will work a long day to make them happy. I’ve denied my own relaxation time, personal pursuits and goals for the sake of keeping a client happy.

    It had to stop.

    But the problem doesn’t stop with clients because it started with family. So in this wild need to be approved and valued I scramble to please those who won’t be pleased with that outcome anyway. If you grew up with someone important in you life like I did where nothing you did was validated without a “keep-you-humble” statement in with the praise, then you’ll understand the inner voice I deal with everyday. Much of my pursuit as a follower of Jesus stems from my fear He doesn’t approve of me all the while knowing in my spirit the cross shows He isn’t worried about my performance in that way.

    So, I’m slow to get there. I want to play local coffee houses and the like but I haven’t made the time. I’ll get there. In the meantime, my heart is growing to a place of peace about it all. I’m beginning to make time for me that matters. It’s a painful process though because self-employment hasn’t always been profitable and this year I’ve gotten behind twice—both in big ways. I have to balance paying rent (late) with all the other bills (late) while providing enough sustaining funds to stay in the game.

    All that to say, the solutions are sometimes hard to apply when the goal posts shift, but I’m getting better at it.

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