Are you an Insecure Overachiever?


You can be recognized by your need to please, achieve and deliver outstanding results.


And you trip yourself up by pushing yourself to work overtime, constantly doubting if you’re doing enough, and pretty much non existent boundaries.


The bad news


The bad news is some companies prey on you right out of university with the aim to squeeze every last drop of productivity out of you. And the scary fact is many of you will be close to or reaching burnout very early in your careers. 


Unaware that your eagerness to do an amazing job is being manipulated for the benefit of the bottom line, you wonder why you don’t seem to have enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done. And fearful of admitting you struggle, you keep bottling up your exhaustion, frustrations and worries and keep up a brave face. Everybody else seems to be able to do it, right? So surely there must be something wrong with you?


Wrong. Listen to the BBC’s radio programme about this phenomenon: Insecure overachievers


The good news


The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do in order to recognize companies with a tendency to hire insecure overachievers and to tame the insecure overachiever inside yourself.


Here’s how to start:

  • Take a look at your (future) company’s work culture. What are some of the catch phrases in use? ”Play hard, work hard?” ”Sleeping, eating (fill in the gap) is cheating?”
  • Listen out for little tell-tale signs. Many times during an interview employers will hint at long hours and highly stressful projects. But they make light of it by assuring you that someone as ‘young and ambitious’ as you will easily cope.
  • If you believe you’re already working in an organisation like this get professional help through coaching or counselling to assess the situation. Workplaces like these sap your confidence and the longer you stay, the more you suffer.
  • If you think it’s not the company but you yourself who sets the bar too high, again get some professional help. Coaching can help you identify unhelpful patterns and adapt new, more balanced, beliefs and behaviors. It will also remind you of where and when you get energy and how to keep your motivation high.
  • And lastly practice self-compassion. You’re in a tough situation. Working in high pressure environments takes a lot out of you. You’re not failing.
    Take consolidation in the fact that you’re not alone. The pure existence of a term for what you’re experiencing tells you there are millions of other insecure overachievers out there too.


If you want to assess your specific situation with one of us don’t hesitate to reach out for an exploration session. Don’t wait for burnout to take action.

Take good care of yourself,


Manuela Damant
Visionary Collective Leader Azkua


At Azkua we are on a mission to turn businesses and organisations into a force for good. And we believe that it is professional women like YOU, who will be at the forefront of this transformation. Purpose driven, caring, grounded and influential women.