In the field of psychology, how is an "overachiever" defined? What psychological obstacles might overachievers face?

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mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An overachiever can be defined as someone with a driving need to be successful to the point of avoiding failure or loss.  Most people wish to be successful and plan accordingly.  They may go to college or trade school to be the best mechanic they can  be.  The goal is for themselves to achieve for their own satisfaction and to show those close to them how they can thrive in the world with all of its competitiveness.  The overachiever goes beyond that so that the goal is not for their own achievements but to avoid the negative reaction of others.  The psychological obstacles an overachiever might face are feelings of doubt about their self-worth, low feelings about their own competence despite their achievements, and having to be perfect in everything which contributes to their dissatisfaction with their lives.  Teachers with advanced classes need to be on the alert for these perfectionists, the ones to whom a B+ is a disaster because it isn't an A.  Too often, the person isn't discovered until the problem is ingrained and requires therapy to conquer.