Overachiever But Emotionally Exhausted

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’ve been working for the same company for over 3 years. I’m good at what I do, my bosses often call me a “star” Due to my

sales performance. I often make half of my stores turnover by myself, and consistently have kept up with my high targets and expectations until now. Recently I have been promoted to Assistant Manager, and I’m finding myself exhausted from not only keeping up with my own personal targets, but also trying to lift my co worker’s performances.
I do recognize that i could be a workaholic and an overachiever.

I feel like something needs to change as lately I have had depressive and emotional outbursts at work. I have recently struggled with personal home issues, and when this happens I tend to put my all into my working life, it’s like I feel that work identifies my success and self worth, only now I feel I have lifted the bar too high, I cant keep up with what is expected of me. Because of all this self doubt and internal struggles there have been clashes with me and my co workers, and my manager.

I feel like they don’t understand how emotionally exhausting it is to be the company’s “topseller” and to be an asst manager at the same time, I love my job but recently i just don’t feel like I can cope with the pressures of sales and targets.

I sometimes feel like it’s my fault I’m like this, that I cant relax, that I keep pushing, pushing, pushing myself to breaking point. I’m the only driven person in my store, so I feel like if the store suffers it is because of me.

I would tell all of this to my boss and manager, but like I said I feel like they don’t understand my nature. I feel stuck, hopeless, lost and confused. I feel like i’m only good at my job because i put literally everything into it to the point where it effects my mental health. Unfortunately now that the results are there and the bar has been lifted i feel like i cant go anywhere but forward, i have to keep pushing to make the higher targets, to make more sales.

Maybe I have depression? I really do not know.

The funny thing is I don’t even get paid well for what I do, I don’t know why I care so much, but I do.

A. You may have depression but it is difficult to determine. What may be driving your overachieving behavior is low self-esteem. You may feel the need to outperform your colleagues in order to feel good about yourself. Overachieving ensures that you are at least “good enough.”

I had a client who was a workaholic. His focus was on making money. He invested a great deal of time in his work but his career and money were not of equal importance to his wife. His marriage was damaged and he was facing divorce. His imbalance led to a great deal of suffering for both parties.

Your focus on work takes away from other areas in your life that need attention. By your own admission you are not happy. You’re putting more into your job than the good it is returning. It has become a detriment to your mental health. There has to be a balance. Something has to change.

Therapy is a great avenue to help you explore this problem in more depth. The therapist can also help you achieve a more balanced life and assist you in scaling back your overachieving tendencies. Click the help tab at the top of this page to review therapists in your community. I wish you the best. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Apr 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Overachiever But Emotionally Exhausted. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/04/21/overachiever-but-emotionally-exhausted/