This Is For All the Overachievers!

Time to read: A reasonable, not-overachieving one minute and thirty-six seconds

(No photo this week because I'm not overachieving today!)

Hi, my name is Christina, and I'm an overachiever. It's been 2 months since my last overachievement, and it's been going ok. Well, if I'm honest I've been jonesing for another overachievement and fighting the weak parts of myself to not fall off the wagon into overwork and stress.

It's nice to meet you. Can you relate?

Over-acheiving is an addiction because your brain gets a delicious hit of dopamine every time you check one more to-do off the list. Ahhh… good.

So, in the absence of over-working, I've been uncomfortable. I don't mean the pillow-on-the-couch-is-squished-in-a-weird-way uncomfortable. I mean a deep down in my gut uncomfortable. I feel antsy and discombobulated. I have more than enough work right now, and I'm learning a ton about myself and my emotions in an advanced coach training course. There's a lot going on at home, too, so it's not like I'm sitting around eating bonbons and watching Oprah all day (and, hey, no judgment if you eat bonbons and watch Oprah). My plate is full, and I'm uncomfortable because it is not over-full, and I'm not ploughing ahead on a big project.

If you are a chronic overachiever and cycle through burnout and exhaustion, here are some thoughts:

  1. The messages around you state that more is always better. Bigger portions. More with less. Faster results. Higher salaries. More responsibility. You find yourself on a constant hamster wheel in pursuit of "more." I'll tell you this, it will never be enough. There is no "ahhh…I made it" at the end of that game.
  2. Notice if you use work to avoid discomfort. A friend of mine once observed, "Christina, you work to manage your anxiety." You may be using work to numb uncomfortable feelings (like fear, doubt, or uncertainty).
  3. Notice how your sense of self-worth and value is wrapped up in what you produce. Overachieving has made me successful. It got me a PhD, corporate promotions and a successful coaching business. And each time, there has been a price to pay to my relationships, wellbeing, and happiness. The price isn't worth it anymore (and probably never was), and I'm determined to learn how to be successful without the overworking.
  4. See what it happens when you give yourself permission to stop overachieving and just be with the discomfort, even if it's only for 2 seconds. Start small and work up from there. I have a feeling the secret to peace, flow, and ease is weirdly in the discomfort.
  5. Ask yourself, "for the sake of what?" What's the purpose behind the achievement? Is it joy and learning or is it the outcome and recognition? Align your work to your values and align your daily choices to what you want for your entire life, including family, self-care, hobbies, and relationships.

I don't have the answer to this one yet as I'm on this journey with you. When I figure it out, I'll let you know.

For now, you are enough. You have enough. You're doing enough.

More soon!


P.S. Think of 2-3 friends who need to hear the message that they are enough and are doing enough. Send them this newsletter with your love and this link so they can sign up to hear more!


The way you spend your day….

Estimated read time: 1 minute

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I want to check in with you about how things are going in your job.

I know you struggle with burn-out, overwhelm, and what to do next. You keep thinking things will change if you just work harder, take on more responsibility or give the changes in your company more time. Being stuck is a total drag.

These struggles have me thinking about a funeral I attended for a colleague from my corporate days. He worked hard, sometimes staying at the office on Christmas Eve, traveling internationally, sacrificing for the company and putting many things off “until retirement.” The church was simultaneously crying and laughing hysterically at the stories his children told of the things their dad was finally doing in his retirement. He was just beginning to enjoy all the things he had worked for when he died 2 years in.

When I hear you say, “I’ll wait until next year. Maybe things will get better on their own,” or “I can put up with anything until my kids are out of college,” it breaks my heart. Time is short. Your life is valuable. The time to bring back joy, balance, health, and meaning is NOW. Retirement is too far away. Even next year is too far away.

This quote makes me think of you everyday:

How you spend your days is how you spend your life. ~Annie Dilliard

You are the one with the power to make things better for yourself. Waiting for your company to make things better for you is only going to make you another year older.

If you are:

  • waiting to see if things will get better on their own;
  • procrastinating on making a change because you’re scared of the financial consequences;
  • skeptical that things can ever be better in your job;
  • wishing you had the roadmap to professional fulfillment,

Let’s hop on the phone. Email me at to schedule a session with me.

I promise you they can be better. Don’t wait another year to create your life and work on your terms. The time to be happy at work is now.

We’ll spend 30 minutes creating an inspiring and empowering plan for things to be better NOW.

Whether we end up working together or not, I can't wait to connect.

Happy Halloween!


P.S. If you know someone who would like to receive this newsletter, they can sign-up for The Corporate Rebel Video Podcast and Newsletter HERE.

Are you stressed?

Estimated read time: 1.75 minutes

Focus (not stressed) Central!

Focus (not stressed) Central!

I've had a lot going on for the past couple of months - buying and remodeling a house, selling a house, a HUGE project for my business (which you will get to see soon), kids, laundry, marriage, board meetings, fundraising, life.

Does this look like some version of your life?

I've noticed as I'm moving through these various things that friends and strangers alike say things like:

You must be so stressed!

Overwhelmed yet?!

Wow - you must be barely keeping it together!

I'm willing to own that perhaps I look messy because I went to the store unshowered on the way home from carpool in the clothes I pulled off my floor. But honestly, I'm not at all stressed.

Focused, yes.

Stressed, no.

It seems like culturally, we are attached to the idea of being "busy" or "stressed" so much so that we project it all over the place, even in casual conversation, even when we have no idea if the person is actually stressed or not.

Here are some thoughts for you this week:

  • Pay attention to all the times someone casually assumes you must be stressed or overwhelmed and notice the impact it has on you (and them).
  • Become aware of the times you say it (I was surprised at how often "stressed' words came out of my mouth).
  • Then stop, laugh and say something more supportive - like, "Wow, that is so exciting!" "You must be so engaged!" "Are you thrilled?" "It must take a lot of focus."

Notice the shift that happens in you and others.

Let's see what we can do to shift from "stressed" and "busy" to "engaged" and "excited."

And that's what I've got this week. I hope it helps.


P.S. If you know someone who would like to receive this newsletter, they can sign-up for The Corporate Rebel Video Podcast and Newsletter HERE. P.P.S. I'd love to hear why you think we are so focused on being "busy" and "stressed." So, if you like to share your opinion, hit reply to this email and tell me what you think.

What to do when you feel overwhelmed

Estimated read time - an easy 2 minutes

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Spring break season is over. If you went away, you may be like me, overwhelmed with laundry and groceries and unpacking and work and getting back into your schedule and OMG!

If you stayed home, you may be mourning your free time and routine-less existence.

If you didn't get a break, you may be overloaded with work and activities and counting the days until your next vacation.

Do any of these sound familiar?

Overwhelm happens to all of us sometimes. And sometimes, overwhelm is a tricky little bugaboo that distracts you from actually doing THE THINGS.

A client emailed me yesterday about her overwhelm, and after I dashed off this response, I realized, this is great information for you (and me). Here you go.

Your “how to function” when you're overwhelmed plan. In order.

  1. Breathe.
  2. Breathe again.
  3. Make a list of all the things.
  4. Breathe.
  5. Figure out which ones someone else can do or you can outsource or delegate or skip or negotiate or push out. (Can someone else pick up your child - like a neighbor or friend? Are there things on the list you can skip or move to next week? Where can you ask for help?)
  6. It’s rare that we have to do all the things ourselves, right now.

    You can back out of things or skip them to honor your sanity and time with your family or yourself. You can. Really and truly. I've tried it. It works.

  7. Then break down all the things and decide which comes first, which second, etc.
  8. Breathe. Then keep breathing.
  9. Focus on one thing at a time. Overwhelm sets in when you look at the huge long list and the entire packed future. Allow yourself to do one thing at a time (make phone call, insert data into report, answer email for 15 minutes). Do one thing at a time. Sometimes I even talk to myself out loud, ("Ok, Christina. Make that phone call now") to keep myself from moving too fast into the future.
  10. Breathe.
  11. For the future, take a look at what you say yes to and where you might want to say no more often (volunteering) so you can put your focus where it is most important (family, work projects, exercise).

Move forward, one step at a time. Oh, and remember to breathe!

I hope this helps.