The Superstar Paradox: 5 Reasons Overachievers Miss the Mark

How overachievers can stop sabotaging their own success—or level of satisfaction after attaining superstar status

Style Magazine Newswire | 8/5/2019, 12:13 p.m.

● Get out of your own way. Even superstars create self-imposed limitations based on what they originally perceived their goal or benchmark of success to be. Once achieved, it’s instinctive to want to bask in that “place,” both emotional and physical. After all, you worked to extremes to get there. But, overachievers inevitably will want more, and then other kinds of self-imposed limitations kick in that are often founded on what we perceive our own capabilities and opportunities—or lack thereof—to be. Even the most confident overachievers suffer the “can’t rant” internal dialogue. Take heed that "can’t" usually is not a real thing. From “I can’t afford to do what I really want” to “I can’t start over now,” this word usually really means “I won’t”...I won’t try, I won’t make it, I won’t have good ideas and on the self-deprecating dialogue goes. Yes, you worked damn hard to earn your current accolades and are pleased with yourself and where you are, but sometimes a hard pivot is needed to get you where you really want to go. The truth is never that you cannot, you just have to get yourself past the “will not.” Resources like talent, money, conditions, time, etc. are often not a genuine end game, but rather merely obstacles and challenges that CAN be overcome with the right amount of ingenuity and chutzpah.

● Classify and conquer your “fatal flaw.” One definition of a “fatal flaw” is that which causes an otherwise noble or exceptional individual to bring about their own downfall, which can be their own death—whether figuratively or literally. The idea that any particular fatal flaw is holding us back is a primary reason why so many overachievers become hooked on their actualized achievements and come to rely on fake confidence and aggrandizement versus operating from a place of vulnerability and authenticity. This in an effort to hide or cover up that flaw, whether consciously or unconsciously. Sometimes the phrase “character flaw” is synonymous, with this notion revealing a bit more that the flaw is about the person, themselves, and not really his or her circumstance. One report cites that, “Heroes have a fatal flaw which they wrestle with on a consistent basis. This may open them up for specific conflicts later,” again underscoring that this most sinister kind of flaw can not only hurt you now, but also well into the future. So, to achieve true superstar status fostering genuine, lasting happiness, it’s imperative to discern if you have a fatal flaw and, once identified, work wholeheartedly to resolve it—or learn how to effectively function at a high-level amid it (if that’s even possible). One piece of published research identified “Ten Fatal Flaws That Derail Leaders” that included things like "don’t collaborate," "resist new ideas," and "accept their own mediocre performance" with one particularly eye-opening point of note: that the flaws identified “sound like obvious flaws that any leader would try to fix. But the ineffective leaders we studied were often unaware that they exhibited these behaviors. In fact, those who were rated most negatively rated themselves substantially more positively. Leaders should take a very hard look at themselves and ask for candid feedback on performance in these specific areas. Their jobs may depend on it.”