Are you an dissatisfied Achiever?

when the pursuit for success pipeline you empty.

posted August 31, 2017 | reviewed by Jessica Schrader


Today"s guest post is through psychotherapist mock Dodes, LCSW, about a subject he has studied in depth, one the is very relevant for human being suffering with addictions, as well as many others.

You are watching: I feel disappointed when my achievements go unnoticed.

For many, the question over may it seems to be ~ strange. ~ all, who could possibly be unhappy about achieving? who doesn"t love acquiring positive feedback on that big project in ~ work, winning glowing reviews because that an artistic performance, or acquiring dozens that “likes” in solution to news that an success on Facebook?


It’s no an enig that an individual achievement is a cornerstone the American culture, perhaps much more than ever in our modern-day world of social media and also celebrity worship. Indeed, a significant national study published in 2014 by the Harvard Graduate school of Education found that a plurality of American youth chose “achieving at a high level” as their highest possible priority—nearly as plenty of as those who decided “caring because that others” and “being a happy human (feeling an excellent most of the time)” combined.


And, that course, there"s nothing dorn with success itself.

The trouble is that, for part people, achievement leaves them feeling empty to the core. It deserve to make castle depressed, anxious, even angry. Lock rarely recognize why. They might not also realize their unhappiness is pertained to their achievements in the an initial place. Often, all they recognize is that they feeling exhausted and also deeply unfulfilled, feelings that are tough to square v the success they have actually achieved. No this supposed to be invigorating? shouldn’t each success make them want to yell, “I’m going to Disney World!” favor Super key champs?


These civilization may feel empty since of what their success mean come them. For complicated reasons, they feel that they have to achieve just come feel an useful or worthy. Achievements aren’t a joy; castle a necessity. When someone is compelled to accomplish just come have any type of value, then they can’t stop. Avoid achieving, and they avoid being lovable. That a damaging burden.


This problem frequently starts in childhood, with parents that (usually inadvertently) teach youngsters that their value as civilization ultimately comes under to their achievements and what they do… not that they are. Return it isn’t intended, the dark next of this message, the course, is the who they are is not enough. This trouble becomes turbo-charged once those kids come to be teens and also adults, and crash right into a social media-infused, celebrity-obsessed culture, which insidiously conveys the same message: if you don"t get enough “likes” on facebook or Twitter or Instagram because that the impressive things you perform or say, well, you obviously not likable enough. And no matter exactly how well-liked you are, friend will never be as well known or famous as Elon Musk, Steph Curry, or Taylor Swift.


It’s easy for civilization who endure with this awful inner sense of doubt to feel inadequate in a world saturated with so much accomplishment and self-promotion, native friends and also celebrities alike—and every one of it right in their faces, or in the palm of their hands. In this sense, it’s a distinctly modern self-esteem epidemic.


I call these people “Unhappy Achievers,” and also they room a huge group. Their self-esteem is based almost entirely external of themselves, and also therefore, understandably, they feel exceptionally empty. To make matters worse, due to the fact that these individuals typically appear to be high-functioning and are frequently highly successful, their experiencing is regularly overlooked by friends and also loved ones.


At the exact same time, ironically, while several of these unhappy Achievers perform in fact attain at a an extremely high level, several of them actually do not finish up achieving really much in ~ all, since their resentment about having to attain and carry out is so great that they procrastinate. Return on the surface, the two teams may show up to be polar opposites—those who offer in come the tremendous inner pressure come achieve, and those who stand up to achieving due to the fact that of the tremendous internal pressure to do so—they are plainly two sides of the exact same coin. Indeed, the basic dynamics are the same: both subsets believe that they have to achieve just to it is in valued, and also both subsets deeply resent that fact.


Are friend an dissatisfied Achiever? see if any type of of the following describes you.

1) You have a good job, perhaps an attractive partner, go the end to pretty restaurants indigenous time come time, and come home with the visual proof, beautiful filtered to impress your followers on Instagram. Everyone thinks you have actually your life together, and also on the surface you do. But inexplicably, deep down, you still feel not successful or empty lot of the time.


2) when you achieve something, the satisfaction is surprisingly fleeting. You obtain an A on your final paper, the audience applauds raucously after your show, your boss says she’s impressed v the occupational you walk on the new client file; and also you quiet pump her fist and think, “Now ns can lastly take that easy and just gain this feeling of accomplishment!” yet in minutes or hours—or maybe a work or two at most—the satisfaction disappears, and you feel more compelled than ever before to start work-related on the following attempt to attain or impress.


3) You are socially successful and appear outgoing, a big hit even if it is going out v friends or meeting fellow attendees in ~ a conference. Maybe people even think that you as the “life of the party.” yet you feel privately lonely also when you’re surrounded by people, and you have the right to only truly relax when you’re alone.


4) girlfriend procrastinate doing points that need to be easy, and also you don’t know why. Possibly your boss wants you to forward the report you already wrote to one more department, or your mom wants friend to post your new painting to facebook so all her friends deserve to see. These points would take it no more than a minute or two, but you can’t seem to make yourself execute them.


These are just a couple of examples, of course, but if they feel familiar, I would encourage you come ask yourself these questions:

When you post that snapshot online, when you work-related yourself come the bone to complete that high-profile work project, once you do yourself the life that the party, carry out you emphasis excessively on exactly how you imagine it makes others check out you?How walk it do you feel the you have actually to accomplish or achieve, just to enjoy those rewards or avoid those consequences?Do you find yourself wishing you might do something, anything, the is truly "just because that you”? carry out you feel prefer you invest so lot time and also energy do the efforts to accomplish just to feel good enough, the there’s no time and also energy left over because that what girlfriend want?

These questions are just a starting place. Yet if you acknowledge yourself as an unhappy Achiever, there is something the you have the right to do the is important “just because that you.” You can start come look at her deeper motivations come achieve, and with time—and often with the aid of a good therapist—you deserve to start to finally figure out just how you feel about having come achieve, and also what you want to do.


Josh Dodes, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in private exercise in Philadelphia, PA. Visit his website here.

See more: How Many Cups Of Rice For 20 People ? How Many Pounds Of Rice Feed 25 People


Weissbourd R., Jones S., Anderson T. R., Kahn J., Russell M. (2014). The youngsters we median to raise: The actual messages adults space sending about values. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Graduate school of Education.


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