Being an Overachiever Is a Bad Habit: You Can Kick It

Dr. Christine Bradstreet

I spent most of my adult life as an overachiever, but I kicked that habit. I never knew any other way. I expected a lot, and I pushed to make sure things happened.

I’m a fast learner, and I get easily excited by shiny objects, so I’ve taken on a lot of projects. They all had to be excellent, or I would feel like a failure.

And to be honest, I’ve been good at a lot of things. Except for something very important…

There was something I was not very good at.

Want to know what I wasn’t good at? Being satisfied. Enjoying the moment. Being patient. Appreciating things for how they were instead of thinking about how I could make them better.

That was then, this is now. I hope you can kick the habit sooner than I was able to.

You’re already good enough. Things are good enough.

  • Good enough
  • Smart enough
  • Strong enough
  • Accomplished enough
  • Beautiful enough

I’m not talking about being sloppy or putting up with less than you’re capable of, but you can take your foot off the gas just a bit.

“Would that there were an award for people who come to understand the concept of enough. Good enough. Successful enough. Thin enough. Rich enough. Socially responsible enough. When you have self-respect, you have enough.” Gail Sheehy

Take a break once in a while.

Take the sort of breaks that are good for your body and your mind. See the beatury all around you. Feel good about who you are and what you've done.

There’s a house not far from me. I walk past it most days, and I’m enchanted by it. There’s nothing all that remarkable about the house. It’s attractive and well kept, but it’s of average size for the neighborhood.

I’m enchanted because there’s something about the look and feel of the back door that reminds me of my high school best friend’s house.

When I see that back door, it takes me right back to Laurie’s house and the summer before senior year we spent goofing off in that backyard. Lying in the sun, telling stories in the grass, drinking beer we weren’t supposed to have.

I feel it in my gut when I walk past that house. It makes me smile. It makes my heart feel warm.It makes me want to knock on the door and ask to sit on that back step, but that would be really weird.

There are a lot of other things I take in on that walk. The warm breeze that comes off a lake. The smell of orange blossoms. Alligators, egrets, orchids.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein

The point is, get out there and live life with your senses open. Get your nose out of your phone. Take a break from thinking about work or the kids. Let your house be messy, leave the dishes in the sink, hit that publish button even if you think it could be better.

Bring your whole self to what’s before you right now. Soak in the beauty of it like it’s nourishment for your soul because it is. Act as if your life depends on it because it does.

I don’t want you to miss that amazing high that happens when you see something that takes you back to a very special place. The memory of that high stays with you forever. The dishes in the sink? You’ll forget those.

The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.-Henry Ward Beecher

As always, I wish you all the best.

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Dr. Christine Bradstreet is a renowned transformation specialist, an inspirational author, and a health and wellness expert. Through her teachings, people learn to create more of what they want in their lives - more health and wellness in their bodies, minds, and spirits. When she's not writing, she offers workshops and lectures, and she works individually with clients to promote healing in their lives. Visit her at


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