Sunday, June 8, 2008

Overachiever vs High Achiever (Ms. K vs Keisa)

Overachievers are unconsciously fulfilling a need they have for approval and recognition. Their desire to get the approval from other people prevents them from living the life they want to live. It's all about proving themselves to someone else verses building their own lives. Overachievers do not believe that who they are is enough, so they go looking for achievements to make them feel better about themselves. Overachievers focus on what's still missing.

White, J (1999, March 12). Stop Overachieving! Be A High Achiever . Retrieved June 8, 2008, from The JWC Group Web site:

High achievers are confident of their talents and are able to enjoy their hard work and the success it brings.
Grabmeier, J (1998). Overachievers find success comes with a psychological price. Retrieved June 8, 2008, Web site:

Today I stumbled upon these two terms and had an a-ha moment. I definitely fit the profile of an "overachiever" with a twist of "impostor syndrome". I never feel like I am done with anything that I do. And then when I finish, everyone loves it, but I secretly believe that anyone could have done it. Last week, one of my colleagues called me obsessive compulsive. I was initially offended...until I thought about my problem-solving approach: I NEVER give up until I solve the problem.

I love being a school librarian. I get a rush when I witness my students learning. I love researching and finding resources for my teachers. What I can't figure out is how to turn work off when I get home and how to push that overachiever to the side to make way for the real me underneath.


LifeLongLearner said...


I'm also dealing with the same struggle to let the job stay at school. With 592 students in a PreK-5 library on a fixed schedule, I'm planning classes for 31 large groups. I hate settling for mediocre and strive for best practices in the 21st century learning mode.
Thanks for the transparent sharing, it helps me process my goals and aspirations also.

Monarch's Librarian said...

Thanks for your comment. It's taken me almost 4 years to learn that I need to FOCUS on 1 or 2 goals per year. With such limited time with my students, there is no other way to stay sane and feel successful at the same time :)