2.a person or thing that performs below expectations.
Underachiever…it is something I have labeled myself most of my adult life. I have spent many restless nights trying to come up with ways to get rid of that label and come up with a new one. A more impressive one. successful perhaps? That would be nice. A man with a purpose? Hmmm…NO. Articulate? I like that but…doesn’t fit me at this moment! I have rejected many labels and continue to use underachiever. Or even stronger, confident underachiever. Yeah, that’s me!
The second part of the definition above is a person or thing that performs below expectations. Boy, isn’t that hitting the ball out of the ballpark! So since I lost so much sleep looking for ways to get rid of my label, its time to start finding ways to become confident and drop the underachiever. Who’s expectations am I using to judge myself? Is it mine? Or is it mine compared to others? Heck, not even my therapist has been successful at extrapolating an answer for me.
The truth of the matter, at least in my mind, is that yes I have underachieved. I went to a very exclusive Catholic School where many of my classmates went on the become lawyers, architects and successful businessmen. Hell, we even got a Catholic priest out of that education! Well, I shouldn’t have used that term hell. Oh well! You get the point. But are these people actually happy? Are they good parents? Husbands? I can’t say wives cause it was an all boys school! What do they think of me? Hmmmm. Here lies my dilemma. Why do I care? I shouldn’t but I always compare!
Where does this come from? Is it from the rough childhood upbringing? An alcoholic father and a 7th grade dropout mother. My mother was a loving, protecting and caring woman who did all she could for me and I love her deeply for that. But she was limited cause she too had it rough in that house. I am 48 now. How long can I blame my childhood situation for my lifelong underachieving status?
Could I blame my high school guidance counselors for letting slip through the cracks? I don’t know their official job description, but guidance wasn’t given to me. Our class valedictorian was given plenty of guidance and help with college scholarships. All she ever said to me was you could have scored higher on your ACT young man. And that was in hallway. I have NO clue what her office looks like! But maybe I didn’t exude “Help Me” or maybe those “like me” weren’t worth her time cause she tried in the past and none of them ever used her guidance. Or maybe I was to blame!
From the Mind of Shoo!