3 Tips Making The shift from overachiever to high-performer

Written by: Brenda Johnston, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

I have a confession to make, for most of my life, I was an overachiever, and I thought it was what would make me successful. What I didn’t realize is that there is a huge difference between being an overachiever and a high-performer.


As an overachiever, I was constantly looking for validation outside of myself. I was driven to succeed because that validation gave me a sense of self-worth. Looking back, I can see how I was motivated to perform so I would be accepted, desirable and, in some sense, loved and admired. This was especially true when I worked in Corporate and felt like I needed to constantly jump through flaming hoops to prove I was better than the guy next to me.


So you may be thinking, what is the difference between an overachiever and a high-performer?


Overachievers, also known as high-achievers, live in a scarcity mindset, which manifests as being extremely hard on themselves. It’s for this reason that they will always try to control the outcome of things in their lives (career, relationships, health, finances). They tend to be the people who regularly switch from strategy to strategy or idea to idea because they are constantly second-guessing themselves, leading to them feeling defeated and losing more even more confidence. You will however, rarely see them display any lack of confidence in public.


Overachievers also tend to have difficulty perceiving and understanding their emotions. IN fact, for years, I was actually convinced I didn’t have emotions. Don’t get me wrong. An overachiever can achieve a lot of amazing things, I know, because I did. BUT, they often burn out because they will burn the candle at both ends and self-sacrifice to get that achievement.


A high-performer, on the other hand, is confident in the choices they make. They create and lead from the heart and they know their value and worth don’t come from external factors. High-performers have a huge appreciation for the deep internal work that requires them to be in touch with their emotions, thoughts and behaviors and they are very coachable. They are also just as serious about the time they take as downtime as they are about the work they do in the world.


Here are 3 things you can do to help you gradually make the shift from overachiever to high-performer:


  1. Be mindful of that urge to switch directions. This is a trap overachievers get into to avoid possible failure. Ask yourself why you want to switch directions and be honest with yourself. Is it because you really just want a win versus finding a solution that works or maybe not finding a solution at all.

  2. Get comfortable with constructive feedback. In fact, seek it out and understand that it as an opportunity for growth. This is an area where the right coaches and mentors can be so valuable. You also need to embrace the fact that feedback doesn’t mean you are failing.

  3. Notice when you are putting on a “show” because you feel like you can’t be your authentic self. An easy way to recognize this is when you have what I call “faker syndrome” that voice in your head that makes you feel like a fraud. Being a high-performer means being authentically you and honest.


Transforming your mindset takes work, and it’s an ever-evolving process. It took work, but when I connected with the right mentor and I made a choice to step into the mindset of high-performance vs overachiever, growing my business became a lot easier and a LOT MORE FUN, and so did my life!


Let’s get social, connect with me on Instagram, visit my website or check out The Limitless Life Podcast.


Read more from Brenda!

Brenda Johnston, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

After being chained to the same corporate job for close to 14 years and living with debt for most of her adult life, Brenda decided it was time to stop playing small. She changed her relationship with money and success (and more importantly herself) to turn her passion into profit. Within 7 months of leaving her corporate job, she had built a successful 6-figure business. As a High-Performance Mindset Coach, and the host of The Limitless Life podcast Brenda helps other driven Women tap into the power of their subconscious minds so they can access their full manifesting potential. She does this by helping transform limiting beliefs and fears that are creating patterns of self-sabotage so they can create an abundance mindset and go from worry to wealth.

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