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  • Writer's pictureBrian R. Schobel, CPA

The Burnout Paradox: Why Overachieving Leads to Underperforming


The modern world glorifies the grind. It celebrates the notion of tireless work ethic, holding up the overachiever as the ideal. Yet, there’s a dark side to this relentless pursuit of excellence—burnout. The very drive that pushes you to excel can also lead you to underperform.


1. The Overachievement Trap:

Our culture applauds those who go the extra mile. But what happens when that extra mile turns into ten? Before you know it, you've trapped yourself in an endless cycle of overachievement, only to find that your performance starts to wane.


2. Quality Over Quantity:

Often, the more hours you clock, the lower the quality of your work becomes. Being effective is not about how much you do, but how well you do it. Master the art of saying 'no' and prioritize what truly matters.


3. The Importance of Rest:

Our minds need downtime to process, analyze, and create. Taking breaks or even taking a day off is not a sign of weakness but an essential component of long-term success.


4. Self-Compassion:

The journey towards your goals is just as important as the end result. Be kind to yourself along the way. After all, you are your most important project.


To quote Arianna Huffington, "Burnout is not about giving too much of yourself but about trying to give what you do not possess."


Recognizing the paradox of overachievement is the first step toward a balanced life and sustained excellence. Let go of the incessant need to be 'on' all the time, and you'll find that your performance—along with your well-being—will reach new heights.


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