Overachievers Anonymous

Do you know someone who is an overachiever? According to wiki, overachievers are individuals who "perform better or achieve more success than expected." The implicit presumption is that the "overachiever" is achieving superior results through excessive effort. What makes people able to do more, be more, to seem superhuman?

"Endurance athletes are either running toward something or from something. Most of us are running from something." A friend said that to me while we were on a 36 mile bike ride. It stuck with me.

Some of the superhuman among us are actually suffering. Their ability to push themselves beyond their limits simply means they are burning their capacity at a high rate of speed. Until they crash . . . between games, between performances, on the weekends . . . and the crashes get longer, more devastating and sometimes deadly. They push because they are terrified of what will happen if they stand still.

Depression, anxiety, addiction, suicide, chronic or terminal illness can all be symptoms or consequences of a life lived in overdrive. Abby Wambach, Urban Meyer, and Michael Phelps are some of the famous overachievers among us whose stories bring light to the ailment that can be living life to "perfection."

Are you an overachiever? Are you running toward something? Or away from something? Do you even know? Take the Running on Empty Quiz.

And if you know or love and overachiever, how can you help that person find permission to be human?

booth kammann