Are You A Meaningful Achiever?

The switch from 'overachiever' to 'meaningful achiever' could be just what you need.
Christi Hegstad May 22nd, 2024

For years, I referred to myself as an overachiever. I always aimed for the A in school – and if I could do extra credit for the A+? Sign me up!

A version of this extended into adulthood, too. If there was a bar to jump over, I didn’t want to just jump over it – I wanted it raised to a level no one else had yet jumped, and I then wanted to leap over it with at least six inches of clearance.

Above and beyond.

Go big or go home.

The time came, however, when trying to give 110% to 110 different activities led to a big question:

What is it all for? *Why* am I giving this (whatever ‘this’ was at the moment) my all?

And I realized that while I wanted to achieve, I didn’t want the harried, frazzled, spinning-my-wheels feelings that often accompanied it. I wanted to aim high and set bold goals and exceed my own expectations, but I didn’t want to feel so scattered and exhausted by it all.

Thus came the phrase that has defined me and most of my clients ever since:

Meaningful Achiever.

Are you a Meaningful Achiever, too?

You Might Be A Meaningful Achiever If…

Below you’ll find a few characteristics I’ve observed in Meaningful Achievers over the years. See if you relate to any of these:

* You want to achieve goals, complete projects, and set milestones to stretch you. In fact, you may not feel fully ‘yourself’ if you’re not moving toward a goal of some kind.

* You find great satisfaction in checking things off your list. You may even add items to your list at the end of the day just to check them off.

* You want to know that what you’re doing makes a difference – to you, your family, your team, and/or beyond.

* And amidst all this, you also want to feel healthy, rested, purposeful, and honoring what matters most to you.

If any of this resonates, you might very well be a Meaningful Achiever, too.

From Overachieving To *Meaningfully* Achieving

On my ‘About’ page, the description of me includes overachiever – with the ‘over’ crossed out, just like that. I no longer want to overachieve, overextend myself, overdo things to the point of exhaustion and burnout.

Rather, I want to be intentional about choosing what truly matters, honor the ‘why’ behind it, then give it my all – in meaningful, purposeful ways. I still aim for excellence (that A+, so to speak) but not in a million different directions and not without knowing why.

One of my longtime favorite quotes comes from Rabbi Harold Kushner in his book, Living A Life That Matters:

Burnout results not from hard work – people are capable of working very hard – but from a sense of futility, the fear that all the hard work isn’t making a difference.

That book was published over 20 years ago, and I believe the sentiment still holds true.

If you’re feeling stretched too thin, on the verge of burnout, or wondering why you’re working so hard, consider taking a step back and reassessing. Start by asking yourself a few questions, such as:

Of all your roles and responsibilities, which ones matter most to you at this time in your life?

On the flip side, which ones may need to go on the back-burner for a while?

What’s your why – the purpose – behind each of those top priority roles you’ve identified?

I can tell you, from my own experience as well as many coaching clients over the years, achievement feels so much more fulfilling when it’s purposeful, intentional, and honoring your deepest values and your highest vision.

Try on the ‘Meaningful Achiever’ title for a while and see how it fits. If you’re achieving at your highest potential while feeling purposeful and fulfilled, keep it up! And if you’re not quite there, I am here to help – contact me and let’s chat about coaching.

You can earn the A+, clear the high jump bar, and achieve bold + difference-making goals where it matters most – all while keeping meaning and purpose at the forefront. Welcome to meaningful achievement! It’s a delightful place, and I’m happy you’re here.

Website Design by Happy Medium