The Mental Downside of Over Achieving
Websters.com defines over-achieving as performing better
or achieving more success than expected. While this article
discusses how athletes can fall victim to the downside of
over achieving, the lessons can be applied to every day people.
When athletes a mission to be the best in their sport many
factors need to fall into place. Mental preparations, proper
exercising, diet, training regime, supportive friends and
family, and a knowledgeable coach are just a few of these
factors. Overall, there must be a positive mental and physical
atmosphere that allows athletes to excel.
When athletes are exhilarated with their performance they
feel on top of the world, untouchable and non-stoppable. These
feelings are a much welcomed relief after weeks, months, or
even years of hard training. Athletes love their sport and
feeling victorious at it. However, sometimes these feelings
can cause more harm than good. Over-achieving can become addictive,
negative and disruptive in several areas of an athlete's life.
The downside of over-achieving can start with one victory,
one comment, one ideal, or another's pre-conceived notion.
Athletes, just like every body else, harbor expectations of
themselves. It is when these expectations become a focal point
or obsession that addictive behaviors can begin.
These over achieving athletes want that indestructible feeling
all the time. That feeling can become the focal point for
many people, not just athletes. It is their belief that being
indestructible all the time is their right for all they have
put into their sport. They believe they should be the best
and they will do whatever it takes to get there. They will
train through injuries. They start to tell themselves that
they are not good enough and that they need to do better.
These thoughts all support a negative emotional environment
that can lead to depression, a mental breakdown, or serve
as their exit from their beloved sport.
An over-achiever can often feel alone or distant from loved
ones. This distance only fuels the negative emotional atmosphere.
Sad thoughts can quickly snowball into massive feelings of
isolation and desperation. At this point the over achiever
is at their lowest point. The exact opposite from where they
desperately want to be- the best.
Feeling alone makes anyone feel imperfect. Feeling imperfect
makes over achievers push even harder to become better. The
downside of over achieving can become a vicious cycle. It
can lead to physical problems suck as being sick, injured,
and drug and alcohol abuse.
All of these feelings are not in sync with the original plan
of having a supportive environment. Often over achievers alienate
their friends, family and spouses. Over achievers also alienate
their authentic self.
Succeeding in life or in sport is an amazing feeling, but
over achievers must learn, know and accept balance in life.
While pushing further, harder and longer every one must accept
that they are doing their best at all times.
Over achievers should have constant support from family and
friends. They should keep their circle of support updated
on their progress and their feelings. This alleviates feeling
isolated and alone.
The constant need for perfection extends beyond sports. It
affects everyone. It affects young and old. Men and women.
Often the drive to be the best is the over achiever's ultimate
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