Do you ever find yourself undervaluing yourself and overcompensating for either yourself or others?
If you do, it can be a big sign that you’re experiencing low confidence and self-doubt.
In today’s world, it’s very common to feel the huge pressure to both acknowledge and satisfy or exceed high expectations. You may even feel the pressure to match or outshine the competition posed by others and of course the biggest competition you face, which is of course yourself!
Often you may also overcompensate if you’ve grown up to be a high-achiever or to exceed expectations, yet your vulnerability is hidden by the expectation to be ‘perfect’. Alternatively, perhaps you’ve always been a rescuer and have always prioritised everyone else’s needs except your own?
So what happens when you still find yourself frequently overcompensating in any area of your life? What is it saying about how you feel about yourself? And what are the detrimental side effects?
Here are 8 tips to help you to start to overcome the need to overcompensate.
ASK YOURSELF HOW ARE YOU OVERCOMPENSATING?
Initially, it’s important to recognise how you overcompensate?
Do you burn the midnight oil and work longer hours than needed so you then experience a lack of work/life balance, or feel burnt out and stressed?
Do you feel the need to be ‘perfect’ or to deliver incredible high levels of work or to give too much in friendships, relationships or family life but find yourself spinning round and round?
Do you feel far from ‘good enough’ or doubt yourself in relationships?
Do you overcompensate with time, money, energy or emotional support?
Perhaps you start off with good intentions, but find yourself still procrastinating, perfecting and worrying hours or even days later, only to end up re-living the old self-prophecies of not feeling good enough.
WHAT ARE YOU OVERCOMPESATING FOR?
Everyone will have a different reason why they are overcompensating so it’s important to be honest with yourself. Do you feel good enough? Are you genuinely happy with your career, relationships or yourself? Do you compare yourself to others or feel inferior? What are you looking for when you overcompensate? and What do you hope to achieve? If you find this difficult seeking help from either a coach (if it’s an issue that you can move on from) or from a therapist (if it’s an issue which overwhelms you) will support you to clarify why you overcompensate.
HOW TRUE IS IT THAT YOU’RE NOT OFFERING ENOUGH OR YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH?
Our thoughts can be incredibly powerful and of course can help to keep us safe and to survive. However, more often than not, we can either be living an outdated story of ourselves, or we tell ourselves something, which isn’t necessarily true, or we have blown out of proportion. Alternatively, we can be living according to other people’s beliefs or stories about ourselves or their own insecurities and experiences.
On a scale of 1-10 (1 being unlikely) (10 being the most likely) ask yourself how true is it that you’re not offering enough or you’re not good enough? Think of yourself here and no one else.
WHEN WERE YOU LAST TRULY PROUD OF YOURSELF?
Think back to a time when you didn’t feel the need to overcompensate? Has there ever been a time? If there has, when was this? Who was around you? How did it feel? What helped?
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU TRIED TO NOT OVERCOMPENSATE?
Firstly, consider how overcompensating is affecting your health, wellbeing, confidence and even your success? Are you using all your energy and experiencing stress and burnout?
Start with one small step every day, challenge yourself to gradually overcome the need to overcompensate. Perhaps you could try to write an email or report without checking it 10 times. Or perhaps you could try to prioritise your needs by setting yourself and others boundaries?
Think of the bigger picture here. How might life be different if you didn’t overcompensate? How would you feel? How might things improve? Start to visualise a more confident you!
WHAT ONE THING CAN YOU DO TODAY TO TAKE BACK YOUR POWER?
One thing can you do today to take back your power and reign back your need to overcompensate?
This can be done in smaller or larger steps. How can you start to reign back your need to overcompensate today?
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Of course we all need a good balance between being kind and more assertive with ourselves. However, overcompensating often walks hand in hand with overwhelm and a harsh inner critic.
Remember, part of the work is being kind to yourself so practice this daily.
How can you be kind to yourself? What do you enjoy doing? What helps you to relax and let go?