Apr 07, 2022

Why Codependency Can Lead to Burn Out for Over Achievers

by Lisa A. Romano

burnout codependency in the workplace high achieving women

Codependency and the Over Achiever

  • Do you feel like life has no meaning?
  • Are you simply going through the motions?
  • Do you wish you could feel alive and connected to all that you experience?

There's a lot of pressure to be perfect these days. We're expected to have successful careers, amazing social lives, and be super fit and healthy. And if we don't measure up to these standards, we feel like failures. We can appear to be super put together at work, and run successful companies, yet in our personal lives, we can often feel like we are faking it. 

We fear that if others knew we felt so insecure, we might lose everything we've worked so hard to attain. 

Many codependents are over-achievers who push themselves to the point of burnout. The fear of not being good enough is like a ghost of the past, that consistently whispers, "You're not trying hard enough!"

Below the veil of consciousness, we are driven to look perfect, to have no needs, and to be the superheroes we believe others expect us to be. 

Codependency is a pattern of behavior where you put the needs of others above your own, and you have difficulty saying no. This can lead to people pleaser syndrome, where you're always putting other people's needs first and never getting your own needs met. In fact, making sure others are forever pleased with you, can lead to physical health as well as mental health issues. Feeling unable to be 'human' also leads to resentment in relationships. 

Who's Driving the Bus

We might look like women and men who hold great careers, and have families that are put together, however, for the codependent high achiever, we often feel empty, lonely, and like a fraud on the inside. 

We have forgotten what it is like to think for ourselves, rather than for others. We cry in our cars when we are alone, or in the shower where we know, no one will hear us. We go through the motions of life, without feeling connected to our experiences.  We know something is wrong, but we have no clue what it is we are doing that is causing our deep feelings of emptiness. 

If you are a codependent, over achiever, who feels disconnected from life experiences, you are NOT alone.

There is help. 

Codependency can also lead to burnout because you're always trying to do too much and never taking time for yourself. If you're a codependent over-achiever, it's important to learn how to cope with your codependency, so that you don't end up burning out.

In this blog post, we'll explore the signs that you might be a codependent over-achiever, the effects of codependency on your life, and how to cope with being codependent.

The effects of being a codependent over-achiever.

Being a codependent over-achiever can lead to a number of negative consequences, both for you and the people you're trying to please.

These include:

Resentment: If you're always putting other people's needs first, you can start to feel resentful. This is because you never get your own needs met, and you can start to feel like you're being used. It is as if there is a microchip in your brain that has programmed you to smile even though you might want to say 'no' or maybe even scream. Others are convinced you have no needs, so, they grow accustomed to you not having any. At work, you will lack boundaries, work longer than you should, and cross boundary lines often becoming way too personally with projects you're working on. 

Burnout: As mentioned above, if you're always pushing yourself to be perfect, you can eventually burn out. This is because you're never able to relax and enjoy your life, and you're constantly under stress and pressure. This can lead to mental and physical health problems. Stomach issues, skin rashers, nervousness, feeling jittery, and the inability to relax are clues you are pushing yourself too hard. 

Relationship problems: codependent over-achievers can often have difficulty in their relationships. This is because they're always putting other people's needs first, and they can start to feel like their own needs are never being met. This can lead to tension and conflict in relationships. Rather than open up and tell your partner you're struggling to keep it together at work, you stuff your emotions and keep doing and doing and doing. Even though you need time to yourself, or maybe you need to ask your husband or kids to start dinner, you will rush home, ignore your needs and be the superhero to everyone else in your life. In time, denying your needs leads to deep feelings of resentment and relationship breakdown. 

If you're a codependent over-achiever, there are ways you can cope with this condition.

Here are some tips:

  • Identify patterns in your childhood that may have led to developing the need to seek approval from others. 
  • Educate yourself on inner child healing, emotional abandonment and codependency recovery.
  • Ask yourself whether or not your parents nurtured you enough to cause you to believe that you at your core were enough. 
  • Be mindful of how little time you spend thinking about yourself and set time aside to compartmentalize your day to include 'me-time'.
  • Begin a meditation practice. You can find my meditations here on YouTube or you can follow me on Insight Timer to get going.  http://bit.ly/32zOvUh
  • Invest time each and every day to work on your codependency patterns so you can become more acquainted with your authentic self. The 12 Week Breakthrough Coaching Program was designed to help wounded adult children find their way back to their true selves. https://www.lisaaromano.com/12wbcp
  • Practice homelife-Work life-authentic self-balance! This means you actively set time aside for each area of your life rather than ignore one for the other. 
  • Journal morning, taking time to imagine what a more balanced, fulfilling day might look like. 
  • Redefine your definition of success. 
  • Catch yourself when you discover you said 'yes' when you actually meant 'no'.


If you are a codependent, over achiever, who feels disconnected from life experiences, you are NOT alone.

There is help. 

You can't fix a hole in the wall you can't see, so rather than look outside of you for answers, begin looking within.

To learn more about how my online programs can help you bring meaning, fulfillment, joy, and love back to your life, visit https://www.lisaaromano.com