Overachiever Anxiety: Stop Feeling Like You Are Not Doing Enough


I was born an overachiever. Add to this I am a Type-A first born and let’s just say I have struggled to stop doing.

  • I walked before I crawled. (And was early on that.)
  • I was keeping to-do lists in middle school (although I bet it was actually elementary.)
  • I took my first personal development course in high school.
  • I had a high school teacher tell my mom that if I did not slow down, I would have a heart attack by the age of 40. (I did make it past 40 without a heart attack, but that has more to do with my diet and exercise than level of doingness.)

It took me till my early 30’s to realize I could not do everything. And that only came about because my son was born, and life decided to do a mini explosion at that same time.

It was not till my 40’s that I decided I needed to learn how to not do anything. To just be. After all it is not healthy to be constantly on the go.

This is not to say I don’t have my moments. In fact, they happen a lot, when I feel like I should be doing more. When I wonder why I am doing enough and how I can be so “lazy.”

But what I have found is that this is about unrealistic expectations. Usually, amped up on limiting beliefs around not being worthy and acceptance issues.

Below I am sharing with you the process I go through when I am struggling with thinking I have not done enough and the overachiever in me is trying to take over.

(I do this in my journal so I can refer back to it if I need to remind myself of what I am doing!)

How to Stop Feeling Like You Should Be Doing More

  1. Create a list of either everything I’ve done that day or that year. This depends on what my current stress point is. Sometimes I am worried I did not accomplish enough in the day. Other times it is a big panic about not doing enough in the year or my life! This past week the current stress point was that it’s already September. I felt I had not accomplished enough. So, I made a list of the big highlights for 2019.
  2. Congratulate myself. Yes, that is right I give myself a pat on the back. This is something I typically don’t do, after all I have more stuff to do! But acknowledging that I have accomplished things does a lot for my sense of needing to do more.
  3. Ask myself why I think this is not enough. You may have to dig deep to come up with the answer as it may not be on the surface. When looking at my list of what I had accomplished in 2019, I realized that there was one specific item not on the list. This one thing was creating all the feelings of having done nothing. (It was making more money.)
  4. Ask myself if there is a way that I could have done more while keeping balance. The important part of this question is in the word balance. Could I have done more? Absolutely. Would it have taken me out of balance to do more? Yes! Maintaining some form of life balance is important. Otherwise you burnout and endanger your health.
  5. Now the hard part, digging in to figure out why you feel this way. What limiting beliefs are triggering this. In my own example the belief behind this feeling of not doing enough is that you are not worthy if you are not highly successful. This has been a belief I have been working on, so I pay attention when it pops up and then work on it.

Hopefully these steps will help you stop feeling like you need to always be doing more. While being an overachiever can have its benefits, it can also cause problems. Discovering why you are being an overachiever helps make it productive and healthy.

So tell me, what do you do when you feel like you are not doing enough?

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