WEST Wisdom Blog

The Anxious Go-Getter: Keep the Achievement, Lose the Anxiety

Posted by Jennifer Assily on Jun 1, 2021 1:00:24 PM

Have you ever felt like your productivity and success depend on carrying a load of fear, perfectionism, or anxiety? Are you looking for strategies to continue the work you love without feeling overwhelmed? On June 3, Dr. Courtney Paré, a holistic anxiety and self-advocacy coach and naturopathic doctor, will join WEST to share her personal story of recognizing the anxious go-getter in herself and guide us through her step-by-step process for building a more constructive relationship with anxiety, letting go of perfectionism, and living a values-driven life.

Dr. Paré coined the term “anxious go-getter” to describe a person who relies on external sources of validation to define confidence, happiness, and peace. Often, this means making happiness contingent on a specific future goal. However, for an anxious go-getter, it’s not really about the goal itself: upon the achieving it, they find the anticipated validation never comes or is fleeting, and another future goal becomes the new prerequisite to peace and happiness.

      Often, anxious go-getters are high contributors, drawn toward cultures and spaces that validate achievement, but also may falsely validate fears that they are not enough if they fail to meet an externally defined marker of success. An anxious go-getter may have an impressive resumé, but can always find a new metric of success to seek—better quarterly financials, more publications, faster promotions. They may have trouble accepting positive feedback for their successes, instead focusing on their next unmet goal.

              In combatting the difficulties that may come from an anxious go-getter mentality, Dr. Paré encourages people to focus on reframing their relationship to anxiety rather than on necessarily eliminating it. “Self-compassion is key,” she says. “What often happens [when addressing anxiety] is there is an added shame on top of what people are going through.” Paré suggests leaning into gentleness instead, thinking about how you would engage a child or a close friend experiencing anxiety or struggling with self-worth, and bringing that compassion to your relationship with yourself.

              In approaching ourselves and our anxieties with compassion and without judgment, we open space to build a values-driven life. Detaching our sense of self-worth from external markers of success requires us to think about our personal definitions of success and failure, and how those are informed by our values and desires. Dr. Paré suggests asking questions such as, “Did I act in accordance with my values?” and, “Is this what I want, and not just what my boss or social group wants from me?” The answers to these questions go beyond defining outcomes as “successes” or “failures”—they can be tools for gathering information about our identity, sense of self, and the direction in which we plan to move forward.

For Dr. Paré, cultivating a healthy relationship with anxiety is personal, and she wants to share the benefits of this process with others who may have similar experiences. “Part of why I personally am so passionate about this subject matter is that I identify with being an anxious go-getter myself, and I recognize the joy that it can rob us and the benefit on the other side. I know, I see it, I feel it.”

Click here to register for The Anxious Go-Getter: Keep The Achievement, Lose The Anxiety on June 3, 2021 from 4:00–5 :30 p.m. EST. 


You can also register for our other upcoming events: In It Together - Sharing impactful stories and supporting each other on June 8, 2021 from 4:00–5 :30 p.m. EST and our free virtual Spring Networking Event on June 10, 2021 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. EST. 


Topics: Women, Career, Work Life Balance, Resilience, Success, Women in STEM, Upcoming Events, Professional, Discussion, Resources, Interactive, Balance, Tools, Role Models, Career Path, Vision, Developing Your Skills, Self-Awareness, Decision Making, Strengths, Values, Impact, Career Development, Empowerment, Advice, Learn, #WESTevent, #WESTorg, Grow, goals, Purpose

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