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The Overachieving Barrier and How to Get Past It

The Overachieving Barrier and How to Get Past ItIs overachieving a bad thing? I guess the answer depends upon whom you ask. Some people posit that it is necessary because anything less smacks of mediocrity. It’s absence means a lack of creativity and excellence. However, there is an aspect to overachieving that becomes a barrier. Let’s look at three ways in which this is so that will show you how to get past the overachieving barrier.

The Overachieving Barrier and the Good of Others

Overachieving as a goal disconnects you from others, becoming a barrier to full and free living. How? Overachieving becomes a thing of and unto itself. You look at and interact with others for their instrumental value rather than for and as God’s gifted and beloved creation. Thus, you miss the opportunity to connect with them in life-giving ways as fellow human beings. Moreover, this disconnection from others works in another way.

You get so focused on your results and pushing yourself to achieve above and beyond what is required that you lose sight of whom you’re serving. What you’re doing becomes an end of itself. When you lose sight of people in this way, it’s easy to convince yourself that you are doing them good when in fact you no longer are. It has become about you and not about serving others.

Thus, to get past the barrier of overachieving, you must constantly keep connecting with other people as human beings and not objects to be used. In addition, always see yourself as a servant and keep in focus those whom you’re serving.


The Overachieving Barrier and the Purpose of the Whole

It’s not only with people that you can become disconnected, thus creating an overachieving barrier. When you focus so exclusively on overachieving as an end in itself you also lose sight of the purpose of what you are doing. You no longer know whether or not the end of what you’re doing is being served. You keep striving and striving without the sense and satisfaction of accomplishment. You become an island of overachievement unto itself  surrounded by an endless ocean that keeps you isolated from purpose.

The “why” is always important. It helps to keep you grounded. It helps to give you focus and serves as a guide and milepost along the way. How then do you get past this overachieving barrier that has been created?

Know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Then, keep the purpose of what you are doing in focus

The Overachieving Barrier and Glorifying God

Overachieving as an end in itself not only disconnects you from others and purpose, it also becomes a barrier between you and glorifying God by doing what God wants. You see, when this focus on overachieving overtakes your ultimate purpose of pleasing and bringing glory God, it becomes an idol.

Jesus remained connected with his ultimate purpose and did whatever God wanted and in so doing, glorified God. Here is what Jesus said:

 I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do (John 17:4).

Jesus kept his focus on why he was here and moved steadfastly toward it. This is how you must be, seeking to glorify God in every aspect of your life:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31 NRSV).

When you live like this,  doing the work God has given you to do for the glory of God, you will get past the overachieving barrier for once you start with God, you will move to love others as yourself. Purpose will be in view. And the bonus? You will be reducing the stress in your life.

For more on overachieving, check out this video, “The Pitfall of Overachievemnt”:

Get closer to God and gain a deeper understanding of who God is.

Photo credit: domeckopolof

The Overachieving Barrier and How to Get Past It
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