People who consistently go above and beyond when they're on the job are usually the ones who are extraordinarily motivated. They're engaged in their work, and they get tremendous satisfaction from contributing to the success of their business, its positive impact on the customers who buy their products, and the communities in which they work.
But while there is much to be said for going above and beyond to provide your coworkers and customers with your very best, if we don't take time to find a balance in our lives-to rest and recharge our batteries from time to time--then the outcomes to us and to those around us can turn quite negative. In fact, if we are too driven, this can actually become an obstacle that stands in the way of our success.
So, how can you tell if you are being too driven in your work? Here are three signs that your extreme motivation may actually be putting your personal health and well-being--both physical and mental--at risk:
1. You have precious little time to rest and relax
Many of us think we can fit everything into our busy work and personal life--with room for more. As a result, we may bite off more than we can chew. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed more often than usual, it may be that your drive for success is actually leading you toward a life of long-term anxiety. Not only that, but when you put your work and goals before all else in your life, you may put off the restorative vacation or much-needed time away from the office that enables you to rest and recharge. Remember: taking time off from work is not a sign of weakness--it can actually help you succeed in the long run.
2. You're constantly comparing yourself to others
When we have mentors and successful coworkers and bosses we look up to, it is very tempting to want to copy everything they do in order to reach their level of accomplishment. You may even consistently keep your eye on what your peers are doing, just to make sure you're staying a step or two ahead of them. However, focusing on others and not on yourself can damage your own self-esteem and happiness. Always remember to concentrate on doing your own personal best, lest you fall victim to jealousy or envy.
3. You find yourself compromising your values
What are you willing to do to get to the top? If you find yourself answering, "Anything and everything," then you may need to take a step back and reassess where you're at in your career and in your life. Pause and get clear on what your goals are, and what you are and are not willing to do--cross off those things you are not willing to do from your list. Stating these things to yourself out loud can help prevent any unnecessary and corrupt moral compromises. Ambition, willpower, and drive are not always bad things to have, but always be cautious and make sure they are not doing you more harm than good.