By: Edith D Johnston PhD LPC
Achievement: something accomplished, especially by superior ability, special effort, great courage, etc.; a great or heroic deed: his remarkable achievements in art.
1. something that has been accomplished, esp. by hard work, ability, or heroism
2. successful completion; accomplishment
A common question is: what are we achieving or plan to achieve — in school or career. When we address the question: are we underachieving or over achieving, we are looking at potential and intrinsic motivation.
Others will provide this label when their assessment of our abilities is greater than our performance. Their assessment is that we have the potential to successfully achieve more than what we have demonstrated.
Under Achievement can indicate: personal concerns or situations that need to be addressed (depression, loss, abuse, etc.); a need to fit in and not stand out; learning challenges (dyslexia, learning disabilities, vision problems, etc.); or risk behaviors, like drugs or alcohol.
We need to be honest with ourselves about the underlying reason for the Under Achievement. We need to decide if we need help and be willing to ask. The first question for getting help may be asking where help is available for you specific need or situation.
We also need to assess our value of accomplishing achievement. What are the benefits we receive when we achieve? We need to why we want to achieve. Next learn how to achieve. Each of us has different methods and means to identify and complete the next step. Define what works for you and decide if going forward is desired.
Another factor in Under Achievement can be perfectionism. If we cannot achieve the perfect results then why bother. It is an all or nothing perspective. It becomes almost impossible to move forward. Here it is necessary to understand that perfection is not reality; and striving for your best is progress, is achievement.
Others will provide this label when their assessment of our productivity and driven behavior is beyond average, beyond what is expected, seems to be singularly focused, or very intense. Many times this assessment is based on lack of understanding and concern for a comparison with their performance.
Over Achievement can indicate: individual drive, intense creativity, evolutionary purpose; perfectionism; compensation for expectations of performance by self or others; or fear – such as; of failure or being worthy.
With perfectionism we need to acknowledge that perfect is not real. Nature has uniqueness and idiosyncrasies – not exact or perfection. Perfection can lead us to not completing or not sharing because the project is not perfect. Yes, we have returned to that topic of perfectionism – each extreme of the continuum.
The drive and intensity comes from intrinsic motivation and the exhilaration of being in the flow. Focus, determination and the thrill can lead to blinders and neglecting a balance for ourselves. We can become at risk without any concern for taking care of ourselves or our relationships. Great results can happen with a significant cost.
Being all you can be and achieving your greatest potential involves personal development of all aspects of your life. Balance is key.
Excellence not perfection is the goal. To implement and share is the objective. Achievement is knowing you can and doing it! Achievement involves goals, dreams, steps of progression, completion with balance of meeting one’s needs.
Excellent: 1. Possessing outstanding quality or superior merit; remarkably good.
2. Extraordinary, superior
Achievement involves starting something and completing. The completion can be laying the ground work and handing the new born off to others for further development. Achievement involves vision, dreams, ideas and devising the plan for accomplishment or creation. Achievement involves commitment and hard work. Achievement is a process, a journey.
Achievement can be solo and yet many times requires the inclusion of others for the desired results or outcomes. Leadership and communication can be crucial skills for achievement.
Get in the groove. Experience the flow. Collaborate with others. See your vision clearly. Determine the steps. Implement the process. Share, deliver, and complete the results. Achieve! Make the choice, take the action in school, career and life!