Is Part Of Your Anxiety Caused By Being An Over-Achiever Or High Expectations Of Yourself?

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Green Grove
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 1/27/2009 5:53 PM (GMT -7)   
This issue came up in my therapy, and I thought I would share this with you all.  So many of us with anxiety issues are very creative with a vivid imagination, and we tend to take on so much in our personal lives.  Wanting to achieve certain goals and having realistic expections of your life is a very healthy thing, but can become bad when we put too much pressure upon ourselves to be "perfect" by doing way too much and expecting the best.  Then when nothing turns out like we had hoped, we drown ourselves in sorrow which causes our anxiety to rise.  So here are a few questions :)
 
1.  How are you an Over-Achiever?
 
2.  Do you have unrealistic expectations from life?
 
3.  What can you do to simplify things?
 
 
For me personally, I want so much out of life that it hurts sometimes when I can't get everything done.  I worry myself to pieces about keeping my house cleaned, making money, taking care of loved ones, etc. . . Plus I expect so much from myself where my future is concerned, such as wanting to go back to college, multiple career goals, staying fit and healthy, etc.  Most every job I have had I rose up to the top very rapidly taking on more than I could handle, then I would burn out quickly and start struggling and stressing about the job.  I also used to fly up in the clouds with my imagination and hopes, only to be smashed back down to the earth whent things didn't turn out like I wanted.  Now I am definitely more realistic about things and am simplifying things by lowering my expections and wanting more normal things in life like to just do my best with working, enjoy life to the fullest because it is too short (which means to have fun:), and just loving the simple things now by realizing I'm only human :)
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"Defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out."
~Edwin Markham~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.
 


Mizzbeeutiful
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 1/27/2009 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I truly believe now that my high expectations of myself contributed a lot to my anxiety becoming full blown. By me being a pre-nursing student i'm pushing myself to make all A's and raise a 5-year-old, and work part-time. I realized from last semester that it just sent my mind into overload and the anxiety set in big time over the long holiday break. I've started classes now but i'm trying myself not to push myself too hard and i'm trying to put myself into study mode but i cant seem to get my focus but i'm trying!!! Just gonna relax this semester and try my best and stop pushing myself beyond my mental and physical limits because i lost a lot of sleep trying to achieve all A's last semester. I'm gonna get back into the spirit of hanging with my friends and just enjoying life again......thinking of maybe giving up school all together.....dont know.....just a thought :-)

nervymeg
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 1/27/2009 9:05 PM (GMT -7)   

Yes, yes, yes, absolutely! Good topic Sam. I have always been a high achiever and expect perfection from myself at work, in my studies, as a friend, even in my weight and apperance.  I would never put such stringent expecations on any other human being and yet it's okay for me to do it myself. Insane!

I would love to be one of those laid back people who doesn't beat themselves up for every little thing that goes wrong, but I guess it's a part of who I am now. It does feel great when achievements are made...but I can't help but feel that I would be a great deal less anxiious and prone to panic if I could calm down and allow myself to fail everyone once in a while.

Let me re-phrase that, I would like to be able to fail and be flawed and not spend two weeks beating myself up over it.

Meg


Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
 


Mazfire
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 1/27/2009 9:14 PM (GMT -7)   
"1.  How are you an Over-Achiever?
 
2.  Do you have unrealistic expectations from life?"
 
 
 
 
 
No on both accounts. my expectations are realistic, sometimes to the point of fatalistic- and im not an over achiever- im good at what i do, but im not a perfectionist and i dont set goals that are unreachable or unrealistic.
Thats just me, im sure everyone is different.
 
Maz XX
            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
 
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Aries8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 1/28/2009 11:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, I'm an over achiever and I set expectations too high for myself. I have to be careful that I don't do that with my daughters. I've always been that way. It's difficult to remember that I don't have to be there for everyone. That I don't have to rise to the top in one day. And I also have to remember that I may never rise to the top. That my achievements may not be measured in a career. We can be successful in other ways, not just in relation to money.

This is a good topic and something we need to mentally think about on a daily basis. Otherwise we will remain in the cycle of expecting too much of ourselves, only to be disappointed again.
Anxiety Disorder/Mitral Valve Prolapse
 
Prozac and Carvedilol


markofkane
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 1/29/2009 5:36 AM (GMT -7)   
My anxiety is caused by more responsibilities and worries of the future.

P-Fit
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 419
   Posted 1/29/2009 11:45 AM (GMT -7)   

OH YES!!! I'm very Type-A and had high expectations placed on me since I was a kid. MY father made it very clear that once we all turned 18yrs old we were pretty much cut off and needed to get a scholarship or pay for our own college. He expected us to all make honors in school. MY mother favored the boys in the family and so the girls spent many yrs trying to be perfect to gain her acceptance...it never came.

I've relased my anger and bitterness towards them for the most part. Once I became and adult and had my own kids I knew I needed to get myself together.

I'm trying to learn that my value has nothing to do with the letters behind my name or the degree on my wall. I still have body image issues but Im working on those too. I've worked to spend more quality time with my family and schedule time for myself just to chill out and relax/meditate. I also try to help others/volunteer when I can because I know that I hve been very blessed even with the challenges I have mentally/physically.

 



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Post Edited (P-Fit) : 1/29/2009 1:19:04 PM (GMT-7)


melodee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 800
   Posted 1/30/2009 6:14 AM (GMT -7)   

Great topic!!

I always have unrealistic expectations and that is the main problem that is causing my anxiety!

Green Grove said...
Wanting to achieve certain goals and having realistic expections of your life is a very healthy thing, but can become bad when we put too much pressure upon ourselves to be "perfect" by doing way too much and expecting the best.  Then when nothing turns out like we had hoped, we drown ourselves in sorrow which causes our anxiety to rise. 
 
Most every job I have had I rose up to the top very rapidly taking on more than I could handle, then I would burn out quickly and start struggling and stressing about the job.  I also used to fly up in the clouds with my imagination and hopes, only to be smashed back down to the earth whent things didn't turn out like I wanted. 
 
This is exactly the problem I have! And yes, I burn out fast, real fast. I do not seem to know how to quit until I am able to get the best results, I am a perfectionist, I struggle and keep struggling until I achieve my goal. rolleyes This is of course also my strength as most of my clients are very happy with my work. I wish I knew how to relax more! lol
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