Why "all or nothing" mentality is pure nonsense

Why "all or nothing" mentality is pure nonsense

Oct 07, 2022Klara Banek


Do you sometimes feel like you are constantly working and trying but are unsatisfied with the results? You spend hours and hours in front of a computer and a book, but you're still not happy with what you've learned. You always push yourself to do a little more and be a little better. More, more, more. 


Do you recognize yourself in the above? You may be suffering from a problem that affects many young people, a problem known as overachievement. 


Overachievers are all those who achieve success beyond the expected level but are never satisfied with the results. People with this problem constantly want to be the best at everything they do and are often unaware of how to function differently. Overachievement appears at an early age, and if the indicators are not noticed in time, a young person grows up so that he does not know how to function without striving for perfection. 


It may not sound like it, but Overachievement is not suitable for you. It leads to fatigue, causes the desire to achieve unrealistic goals and hurts a person's mental health. Imagine living in constant stress because you think what you are doing is not enough, even though you invested so much time and effort in your work before that. 


Although, not all characteristics of Overachievement are bad. People with this characteristic show that everything can be achieved with effort, but it should be remembered that it is pretty enough to do your best. Anything above leads to various problems and the creation of complexes that are difficult to eliminate. 


How do you recognize an overachiever? 


In addition to constantly chasing the title of the best and brightest person in the room, overachievers are individuals who are driven to success by a great fear of failure. It is believed that overachievers value their worth based on their achievements, and we don't have to be experts to understand what such pressure and thinking do to a person's mental health. 


In case you are not sure whether you suffer from Overachievement or suspect that someone in your environment is struggling with this problem, here are a few characteristics that will help you recognize an overachiever: 


- Self-neglect - overachievers often neglect their personal needs and relationships with people in their immediate environment to achieve business success. 


- Too high and unrealistic expectations - in addition to expecting more from themselves, overachievers also expect more from others in their environment. Although this should be a positive motivation, overachievers can often be uncomfortable in how they communicate with those "worse" than themselves. Overachievers consider those who are different from them to be lazy and unambitious. 


- Constant feeling of guilt and discomfort – even if they wrote an exam well or did a great job, overachievers will feel bad if they don't take a break and do nothing for a change. Overachievers cannot function normally if they have nothing to do. 


- They race against time – overachievers are always in a hurry and want to solve a lot of things in a short time. Every task must be solved as soon as possible, all so they can start performing a new job. 


- Fear of failure - this is the characteristic we most often associate with the appearance of overachievers. Most overachievers are afraid of failure. It scares them so much that they often can't even enjoy their achievements because they tried so hard to avoid disappointment. 


Overachievers avoid new and exciting things for fear that they won't be good or might make mistakes while learning. 


- The need to please others - at an early age, overachievers consider love and approval from other people as an achievement. Recognizing other people is very important because it makes them feel good, but they also constantly want more. 


The problem with overachieving early in life is that children don't know what it's like to not be good at something, and later everything they do is based on whether they get praise from other people. In that case, overachievers never really had a chance to understand how much we can learn from mistakes and retrying. 


Overachievement is believed to begin early in life when children strive to behave like their parents. So we can say that Overachievement is passed down from generation to generation. Unfortunately, in this case, the parents cannot help the child to be "normal" because they do not know how to function differently.

We often witness Overachievement in education as well. These students are often better than most and progress above average for their age. Although they do it unconsciously, teachers and professors often expect more from children who struggle with Overachievement than other students, which creates additional stress and a need for constant progress and achievement. 


How to help an overachiever? 


Overachievement is a problem that is difficult to solve. It is so ingrained in a person's functioning that it takes a lot of effort to make a person realize that she is good enough and satisfied with what she does, even if it is not always perfect.

It might not be enough, but try to explain to the overachiever why it's good to be average, why we don't always have to be satisfied with how we do something, and why making mistakes is okay. Please encourage them to try something different, to make mistakes and then try again.


Try to explain that with more attempts, they will see a task from more perspectives and probably get better results than if they had succeeded the first time. Overachievers and the rest must learn to be patient and not rush through life. 


Just because we weren't immediately rewarded for a task doesn't mean we didn't do the job well. Remember that effort will always pay off. If not now or in a week, it will pay off later in the future, at the very moment when it is needed. 


Dear overachievers, don't feel less valuable and don't run away without failure. Bad decisions and failure are a part of life that will help you become even better at what you do. We believe it isn't easy, but don't push yourself to be above average at every moment and task. 


So, don't let the saying "all or nothing" define your life. Everything necessary in life - both business and private - happens in the in-between. 

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