8 Signs Of An Overachiever And How To Stop Being An Overachiever All The Time

Last Update on October 21, 2021 : Published on October 23, 2021
Signs Of An Overachiever

Success is what we all want and work hard for but what happens when you overlook your mental and emotional health to reach your dreams? It’s great to be an overachiever but working too hard to reach your goals can take a toll on your happiness.

Being an overachiever is good but if your obsession with success goes too far, it can be unhealthy for your well-being when you adapt habits such as working long hours, forgetting to eat, not sleeping well, etc.

While this kind of quality can help you reach academic and professional success, it can create an imbalance in your life as well. Overachievers may forget to care for their needs or the needs of those around them.

Reaching your dreams is great but not when it comes to the price of your health, happiness, and mental peace.

In this blog, you’ll be discovering the signs of an overachiever, the difference between overachievement and high achievement, and what to do to stop being an overachiever all the time.

Signs Of An Overachiever

Signs Of An Overachiever

Being an overachiever is not always a bad thing. If someone says you’re an overachiever then it is not necessarily bad; it could mean that you’re smart and hard-working. But if your success is constantly followed by or dimmed by anxiety or fear of failure, then maybe it’s time to step back and reevaluate your choices.

Here are some signs of an overachiever that can help you identify your achievement level:

1. You’re Only Focused On The Outcome

If you’re only concerned about reaching the goal and not about the process of how you achieve your goal, then it can be a sign of an overachiever. For an overachiever, failure is not acceptable but a source of measuring their self-worth. When you reach a goal, you feel relieved instead of feeling pride or happy about your achievement.

2. You’re A Perfectionist

If you’re too concerned about being perfect or are scared of being imperfect, then it’s can be a sign of an overachiever. Being a perfectionist is okay but when your perfectionism becomes the source of your anxiety and begins to take a toll on your happiness, then it can be unhealthy and even toxic.

3. You Often Criticize Yourself

It’s okay to self-talk and it’s also okay to criticize yourself now and then but as an overachiever, you often set high expectations and then reprimand yourself if you don’t meet those unrealistic and high expectations. Overachievers tend to self-doubt and the stress of reaching the end can cause you to feel anxious all the time.

4. You’re Often Worried About The Future

As you’re more worried about avoiding failure, you always tend to worry (sometimes over-worry) about the future than live in the present. When you’re too worried about the future that’s yet to pass, you tend to often ignore the present and what you have here and now.

5. You Work Beyond Your Capacity

If you find yourself working all the time and tackle work that is beyond your capacity, then it can be another sign of overachievement. You rarely take a vacation or rarely go on breaks when working. If this behavior prevails for a long time then it’s a sign that you’re pushing yourself too much.

Related Read: What To Do When Work Becomes An Addiction

6. You’re Prone To Emotional Outbursts

Achieving goals beyond your capacity can put you under a lot of stress and unrealistic expectation from others that, in turn, can make you more prone to emotional outbursts. When you’re always on edge, emotions can run high if you don’t know how to compartmentalize them.

7. You Tend To Do Everything At Once

Apart from working hard, you’re also involved in everything and anything you do. For example, in school, you’re a member of all the clubs. At work, you volunteer for everything. And while being involved in everything can be good, it can eventually lead to burnout.

8. You’re Motivated By Your Fear

If you’re motivated out of fear to achieve your goals, then it can be a sign that you’re an overachiever. This kind of motivation can be a sign of anxiety. You’re working hard to avoid failure rather than working on achieving your desired outcome.

This kind of behavior may often cause you distress, worry, and anxiety that can impact your self-worth and confidence down the line.

Overachievement vs High Achievement

Overachievement vs High Achievement

What’s the difference between high achievers and overachievers?

Overachievers are focused more on reaching the end and facing the result than the journey they are on. For them, the achievement is reaching the finish line. Overachievers don’t care much about the end as much as they care about reaching the end.

High achievers are focused on reaching their goals too but they put more effort into how they perform than reaching the end.

Success doesn’t mean reaching your goal or ticking things off your list but it’s all about the tribulations you face, the journey you embark upon, and what you learn from your mistakes along the way.

How To Stop Being An Overachiever?

How To Stop Being An Overachiever

If you’re an overachiever who often feels anxious, here are some steps you can take to ensure a healthy emotional, social, and mental balance:

1. Consider Your Goals

When you begin setting your goals, take a step back to consider each. Why are they important? Is this goal something you care about? What will you feel when you achieve this goal? Is this goal realistic? Considering your goals will help you gain a perspective on why you’re chasing them.

2. Engage In Self-Care

In your bid to work hard, take time to engage in self-care too. Make sure that you don’t overlook your mental and emotional health just to reach your goals. Take frequent breaks, reward yourself, and do something every day that will help boost your well-being.

3. Reconnect With Your Loved Ones

In your race to achieve everything at once, your relationships with your loved ones might suffer. It’s important to remember to connect (or reconnect) with your loved ones. Did you know that having healthy social connections can help you reach success too? Make time for your loved ones.

Writer’s Thoughts

Being an overachiever can be good but not when it costs you your happiness and emotional well-being. Sometimes, being an overachiever can increase your stress, cause poor social relationships, and even cause fear of failure.

Fortunately, there are ways you can stop being an overachiever all the time and take a step back to focus on the quality rather than the quantity of your success.

If you need professional help, you can contact us at info@calmsage.com or DM us on social media. I hope this article will help you put things into perspective. If you found this article helpful, let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Take Care!

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.


  1. Phil Krenshaw
    Phil Krenshaw

    Your three objectives to help an over achiever do nothing to stop that drive for perfection and the need to succeed. Why connect with your loved ones when they prevent you from achieving you goals?

    1. CS Team
      CS Team

      Hi, thanks for visiting Calm Sage. When your loved ones prevent you from achieving your goals, you can try to connect with a support group online or form new social connections with people who have similar goals as you do. Here, the key is to balance your drive to overachieve and reconnecting or forming new healthy connections can help maintain the balance. if reconnecting with your loved ones doesn't help, you can always reach out for professional help.

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