Lately, I’ve been learning what makes overachievers tick. I’ve noticed that I tend to be unusually good at coaching overachievers and much of my desire has been to understand why. I figured out a lot it has to do with my personality and that I tend to embrace simplicity. Overachievers need this, because of how convoluted their lives can get. So, today we’re going to look at why less is more.
Much of what overachievers do is they deal with problems by throwing more time and energy at them and trying to control them. This works quite well in a lot of cases, but you can probably see some of the issues that arise. In particular, you have a very limited amount of time and energy. Often times overachievers find themselves burnt out and very tight on time. Also, with all that time and energy being burnt up, there might not be space to just enjoy life or do things that actually matter to you.
My answer to this is to find ways to do more with less. The process can be done with just two steps. Let go of perfection (yes, I know this is hard), then simplify.
So, a great example of this is preparing for a party. I’m sure you’ve met the person (or may be them) that cleans everything and turns themselves inside out whenever they hold a party. Usually, for all that effort, nobody really notices or cares that your house is clean and you just wind up burnt out. Even if people do notice, you might at most get an off-hand compliment for the entire day you spent cleaning and stressing.
So, first, the hard step. Let go of being perfect. There is a reason you don’t want people to see a dirty house. You want to be perfect because you can’t being judged or vulnerable if you are perfect. This is where you have to be brave. Being vulnerable is secretly, pretty awesome. If you let people just see your house as it normally is or just a little messy, you are allowing yourself an opportunity to grow. Being imperfect is far more meaningful and impactful than perfection.
The fact is we idolize people who are unafraid to step beyond their insecurities and show up as themselves. You can see this when you read books or watch TV. We don’t like perfect characters because they are unrelatable and boring. We love people that come across human and struggle just as much as we do. Chances are people will actually like your home more when it’s dirty simply because it feels like a real house and they feel like they can be themselves.
If you can overcome the fear of being seen as human, flawed, and wonderful, you can then simplify you life a lot. Instead of cleaning the house like a maniac and hosting a giant party, you can just have a few friends over for a movie. Instead of spending hours and hours writing the perfect paper, speech, article, resume, etc. you can just let your humanity come through and let your audience relate to you. Instead of never trying something out of fear of looking like an idiot, you can do it and have a blast and inspire others to dare in ways they never dreamed of. It all starts with just letting yourself be seen and loved for you.