This is probably the achiever archetype I identify the most with. People who are Constant Achievers (and I at times) live by the motto:
‘You can rest when you’re dead’.
The constant achiever is a multi-tasker who always juggles several big projects. If you identify as a constant achiever work is always on your mind and you are likely checking emails around the clock.
In your spare time, you renovate your apartment, take a language course or prepare for a marathon (yep, yep and yep)
Everything you do has a purpose and a goal. Your to-do list is your comfort blanket and you likely to most things in life very quickly. As a consequence the constant achiever is rarely in the moment and at high risk of burnout.
Drivers and Fears:
- Achievement as a safe zone.
- Addiction to the ‘high’ of achievement.
- It is uncomfortable to take it easy, laziness is frowned upon.
- Fear of stopping development.
How to overcome:
- Get clear on the negative consequences of constantly achieving. List what it does to your health, relationships, and results.
- Practice self compassion. Start with: Avoid saying and thinking judgmental things about yourself, spend time doing things you enjoy, Letting go of external validation.
- Behavioral Experiments: This part was central to the ‘achievement detox’ I did a few years ago to limit the damage my achievement addiction. I embarked on a 1 year experiment during which I took on a very junior role at work and banned all achievement focus from my life. It was an eyeopener but also a very painful experience. In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy we instead recommend smaller experiments such as:
- Post on LinkedIn and stop yourself from checking the results for 24 hours 😉.
- Have a dinner party without meticulously preparing the food.
- Swim on the slowest lane and allow yourself to be overtaken by everyone
Yep, have tried all three and for a Constant Achiever, it’s hard work and something we need to keep practicing.
Next up: The Competitor