Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why You Might Feel Like an Underachiever

I've had a lot of inquiries lately to coach "underachievers" and some recent comments from well-educated, young professional friends (who I know have their stuff together) point to the fact that, despite external perceptions, not all of you identify with the term overachiever and actually see yourself more as an underachiever.

This is very common. You might find yourself in one of 4 camps -
  1. You never have and never will identify as an overachiever
  2. You used to be an overachiever and feel like you're currently underachieving
  3. You don't like the term overachiever, but are ambitious and driven to succeed
  4. It comes in waves - overachiever, underachiever then back again
If you're feeling like an underachiever, here are my thoughts as to why.

Why You Might Feel Like an Underachiever:
1. You feel like an underachiever because you know you can, and should be, doing more given your potential.

2. You haven't found "your thing" yet. You're probably not in a place professionally or personally where you're being fully engaged. Once you find something meaningful and plays to your strengths, you'll be far more motivated. This could be for a career, hobby, or area of study.

3. You feel guilty wasting too much time on non-essential things. Have the discipline to say NO to things that aren't a priority and set up "systems" to help keep you on a path toward achievement, taking one step at a time (sign up for a class, automatic savings plan, personal trainer, career coach, etc.).

I believe that a large number of underachievers are just "closet achievers" waiting to be engaged. Once you find a system or a purposeful direction that works for you, you'll naturally start feeling like you want to work harder and make changes.

Small achievements lead to bigger achievements and "systems" are a great way to get started onto a path of success. Start small, stick with it, and if you need help feel free to email me!