For the lady with a burning desire to overachieve

For the lady with a burning desire to overachieve

For the lady with a burning desire to overachieve

Ever since I can remember, I have been the girl that likes to go above and beyond in everything I do.
One of my mottos in life is to work and live in such a way that I will never have any regrets, and while this is great, there have been many times in my life where I have felt the burn that comes with
so much striving, as well as setting high expectations for myself.

Being an overachiever has always been something that has been rewarded in our culture and the wider
world. When I think about my school days, I remember how we overachievers were constantly
praised by our teachers, and looked at by our peers as some sort of creature from another planet.
Yeah- being part of the smart and fast-track group was nice and made me feel special! haha

However, as I have grown older something has changed.

I have seen the other side of being an overachiever, and sometimes, it is not all it’s cracked up to be.
The burden to always feel the need to prove something lingers around you and the gold sticker received for being a star pupil at a young age develops into a silent wait for affirmation, recognition and approval from others as an adult.

Overachievers are more likely, to feel anxious at very random times (I have had my fair share of
anxious moments!) and this often stems from the need to avoid negative judgment because they are
always praised for doing so well.

We live in an environment that really pushes women to be all that we can be and that’s great.
We are encouraged to go for our dreams, become more educated, get our accolades and trophies,
travel more, hustle harder and get our money. While all of this has its benefits, I can’t help but feel
within me, a sense of over striving to achieve these things at the expense of something else. My
ambitions have grown through the roof and suddenly I am no longer content with my life because
there are just so many other options that I could have. It feels as though success is always there in a
million different forms, just within my reach, but always just a little out of grasp.

The Girlboss movement is redefining our ideas of success, and it really epitomises a woman who is in
control, taking charge of her own circumstances in work and life. She is ambitious and driven to
succeed in her career or business. She is also a woman who pursues her passion(s) as a career with a
thirst for continuous growth. She sounds pretty inspiring to me!

And yet as inspiring as this can be, I wonder if this woman is plagued with constant thoughts of
more. Wanting to do more, experience more and have more, and so pushing herself to the
maximum limit to manifest her own desires.

I am busy seems to be a permanent badge that we wear nowadays as we try to cram in 20 tasks
before the day ends. I can’t tell you how many times my husband tells me off for burdening myself
with too many tasks in a given day. ha! For many of us, our weekdays and weekends are packed full of deadlines, meetings, social events, dinners, and other recreational activities. Being busy sometimes feels like the ultimate status symbol in our society, and those we aren’t running themselves into the ground are thought to clearly not have anything worthwhile going on in their lives…

“I just don’t know how you manage to do it all!” we say to the woman who is a wife, mother,
employee, business owner and philanthropist. We wear many hats- thank God for the grace He gives
us to cope with it all! Almost every woman I know is a such a strong go-getter and although we do wear many hats, again I cannot help but feel that infused into our roles and tasks, lies our own hidden expectation to just want to keep pushing to do more and
more- to be superwomen.

Is that really needed though?

If you were only called to be a mother would that be enough?

If you were not called to have a big ministry, remained in employment, with
an average salary would that be enough? If you didn’t run a

If you didn’t run a business and were not known for anything crowd or Instagram worthy would that be enough for you?

Don’t get me wrong- I am not saying that we shouldn’t strive or desire personal development, and
progression in life. And this shouldn’t be confused with diligent and disciplined work in life. What I
guess I am trying to say is… but first the will of God for your life.

Striving to be a woman of obedience rather than a woman who can prove that she can do it all. God may be calling a lot of us to a life of obedient obscurity, and we should get to a place where we are OK with this, because ultimately whatever our bridegroom desires for us should be our own desire.

Pursuing a life of busy, and striving to tick all the superwoman boxes can distract us from the
one thing that is important and won’t be taken away from us as Jesus said to Martha about Mary
(Luke 10:38-42). That one thing is Him. A living relationship with Him which fortifies our lives with
knowledge, faith, love, humility and hope.

I will forever be drawn to that narrative because in it, Jesus is highlighting that only one thing really does matter and that is sitting before Him and drawing from the ever nourishing well of wisdom and knowledge.

And yet this can be so hard right?

Just so hard, because in many ways we are a product of the environment that we live in, and we consciously and unconsciously take on board the things that we see. I am at a stage in my life now where I am beginning to feel tired of always trying to be the overachiever. The little girl who was incentivised by shiny “You are a star” stickers is growing increasingly weary of performing – for people to judge my worthiness based upon how well I do, what I have, and where I am in life compared to someone else.

What I desire is the courage and faith to release all my dreams, goals, and questions into the hands
of God accepting that if I never have what I want, I will have what He knows is good for me, and that
will be enough.

One of the traits of overachievers is that we are constantly trying to avoid bad outcomes and we are
heavily focused on the future to the neglect of the present. I am so guilty of this and if there’s one
mental trait that’s highly correlated with being an overachiever, it’s anxiety. It goes back to the
future-focused mindset: Constantly worrying about what the future holds and trying to cover all areas of your life in your own strength is a recipe for stress, and always feeling as though you never quite measure up.

In our relationship with God, the title or status of overachiever becomes void because we truly see
that we are not in control, and in fact, we must willingly relinquish this urge and exchange it for a
declaration of dependence on Him. I must consciously, intentionally and daily surrender my rights,
ability and might to Him.

Trying to be a perfect spouse or parent, having a perfect home, wanting to get everything
in order, right now, in perfect precision must be released from our hearts. Life isn’t perfect, and
there are many highs and lows- all part of our learning process.

If you have this overachieving trait just like me I’d like to remind you that Jesus is the great shepherd
(Psalm 23). He leads us beside still waters daily. Let Him lead you, and be the orchestrator of things
in your life. Rest your heart and brain and remember that

Before we existed with all our to-do lists.

He was, and He is.

 

 

 

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I am so excited to announce the recent launch of The Echoes of My Heart journals to help encourage you toward greater intimacy with your Lord in your own quiet moments of reflection and study. I pray that you will purchase one and be immensely blessed as you begin to journal, or continue to journal in your relationship with the Lord. 

 

You can read the popular blog post that I wrote about journaling HERE

YOU CAN PURCHASE A JOURNAL HERE

 

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Alethea Awuku



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