I was on a call with a client this afternoon and she was seeking guidance for the next steps of her spiritual path. “I feel like I’m not doing enough, but maybe that’s just me being an overachiever.”
I’ve noticed that “overachiever” energy usually shows up in two ways, and neither of them have very positive connotations. Either we:
a) feel the pressure of overachiever energy to do our best in a way that feels like an impossible standard to live up to
b) feel ashamed of our overachiever gifts because others around us shamed us for making them feel bad by comparison.
Neither of these frames is terribly helpful to us if we’re trying to advance on a path to our spiritual growth and personal empowerment.
The first will have us in a constant state of needing to “do” things and constantly seeking answers outside ourselves, when really what we may need most is rest and integration and to allow divine timing to unfold for us, while the second will have us sitting around waiting for divine timing to unfold and failing to explore our gifts in the meantime.
If this sounds like you, go back and remember what you were like in high school. Did you feel pressure to participate in every extracurricular activity because it would look good on your college applications? Or did you feel like you should tone it down because your peers were expressing toxic jealousy at your abilities?
I’m just going to come out and say it – some people who are on a spiritual path are just gifted. Honestly if someone has made their way to the point where they have thought to become a seeker at all that usually means they are pretty smart, at least smart enough to know to peer over the labyrinth walls and see the bigger picture. This doesn’t make them better than others or give them any justification for acting superior, but it does sometimes mean that they have extraordinary abilities or greater bandwidth than the average person. And often if they’re still in the midst of shedding their programming, they may have trouble harnessing these gifts for themselves instead of defining them only in relation to the approval or disapproval of others.
So let’s go back to high school again, and ask yourself: are you trying out for glee club because you love singing, or are you doing it because your parents pressured you? Are you in Community Service Corps because you get joy from helping others, or because it’s going to look good when you apply to that Ivy League school? Do you do lacrosse for your personal gratification and health/fitness, or because all the cool girls are on the team?
Embracing your overachiever energy in a way that is healthy, happy, and promotes your gifts is in itself a form of soul retrieval – you are finding all the parts of yourself that brought you joy as a gifted child.
The archetype of the Genius, the Precocious Child, the Savant is showing up for a lot of people in the collective lately, myself included. This energy allows us to engage with our gifts for no other reason than the fact that we possess the capacity for them and that doing so brings us joy.
In the moment it may feel like there’s no relation of the pursuit of your gifts in joyfulness to your spiritual path, but what you may find as you advance in your awakening was that practicing wax on/wax off and painting the house was actually helping you learn karate all along. I never intended to make teaching witchcraft part of my career, but here we are. I thought making a dozen Santeria white baths and giving them to my friends was simply a nice thing to do, and then when I released my EP I realized I had the ability to make all sorts of witchy accoutrements to sell at my merch table during live shows. Your work in this capacity may show up later on the path in ways that pleasantly surprise you.
So if you have any negative associations with your overachievement, start changing your language around it. You’re not an overachiever, you’re gifted. And if you come at those gifts from a place of joy, you can use them to your advantage in order to advance on your spiritual path simply by calling back all those pockets of power to serve your happiness.