Hyper-Achiever

Description: Dependent on constant performance and achievement for self-respect and self-validation. Highly focused on external success, leading to unsustainable workaholic tendencies and loss of touch with deeper emotional and relationship needs.

Characteristics: Competitive, image and status-conscious. Good at covering up insecurities and showing positive image. Adapt personality to fit what would be most impressive to the other. Goal-oriented and workaholic streak. More into perfecting public image than introspection. Can be self-promoting. Can keep people at safe distance.

Thoughts: I must be best at what I do. If I can’t be outstanding, I won’t bother. Must be efficient and effective. Emotions get in the way of performance. Focus on thinking and action. I can be anything I want to be. You are worthy as long as you are successful and others think well of you.

Feelings: I don’t like dwelling in feelings for too long. They distract from achieving my goals. Sometimes I feel empty and depressed inside, but don’t linger there. Important to me to feel successful. That’s what it is all about. I feel worthy mostly when I am successful. Could have fear of intimacy and vulnerability. Closeness with others would allow them to see that I am not as perfect as the image I portray.

Justification Lies: Life is about achieving and producing results. Portraying a good image helps me achieve results. Feelings are just a distraction and don’t help anything.

Impact on Self and Others: Peace and happiness is fleeting and short-lived in brief celebrations of achievement. Self-acceptance is continuously conditioned on the next success. Lose touch with deeper feelings, deeper self, and ability to connect deeply with others. Others might be pulled into the performance vortex of the Hyper-Achiever and become similarly lopsided in their focus on external achievement.

Original Survival Function: For the Hyper-Achiever, self-validation, self-acceptance and self-love are all conditional—conditioned on continual performance. This is often the result of either conditional or altogether absent validation from parental figures. Even with very loving and approving parents, it is easy for children to get the sense that they are loved in return for achieving, obeying the rules, having good manners, etc., rather than unconditionally.

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