Underachievers have had very likable personalities in history, mainly because they just want to chill, man. They are laid back, care free and ready to go with whatever the world throws at them. And as we know first hand, the world has a lot of shit to throw at us.

There are reasons behind underachievement that may not be as forthcoming as we’d expect them to be. Could it be that these underachievers REALLY DO care about their achievements or lack there of?

Lucky for you, we’ve put our thinking caps on and dug deep interviewing friends and family members that have pretty low motivations to achieve in high speed like some of us ambitioneers running around like mad trying to one-up ourselves concurrently in this game called life. One notorious underachiever I know said he likes to pace himself at 20% of his 100% capacity. He’s aiming for distance, not going for speed.

Here are 10 reasons why we underachieve:

1. Fear of failure. We are so scared to fail that we never attempt to try for fear of the shame we may feel in trying.

2. Fear of success. Massive success terrifies us, so rather then try harder we aim for being unseen as massive success would mean massive attention and that scares us.

3. (Too) Great expectations. If we have superior expectations that are very rare to achieve, the needle in the haystack opportunity may be unrealistic. This means that we’d need to adjust, get back to reality, and take it one step at a time for getting something all at once is not realistic. For example, when I got out of college I thought I’d be a millionaire by 25. Is it possible? Yes. Does it mean working harder at my 9 to 5 job. Definitely not.

4. Passive-aggressiveness in parental relationships. It is hard to achieve when you hold irreconcilable differences with your parents. Taking care of these resentments through journaling, group therapy and regular one on one therapy can help.

5. Inability to control impulsive behaviors. This includes addicts, loud mouths, perpetual know it alls at the top of the list. Being impulsive makes it hard to get and keep a job. Many people that are impulsive often switch jobs often.

6. Lack of opportunity. There may be extemporaneous circumstances that prevent you from getting a job based on racial discrimination, geographical discrimination, and bias that management’s have that are out of your control. Opportunities flow more easily to other genders, races, colors, and more. These circumstances are not under our control and can cause low self-esteem and low self-worth.

7. Overwhelming learning disabilities. Sometimes we can be diagnosed or go undiagnosed with learning disabilities that are out of control. This is when we need to reach out for help from others to get us where we need to be – confident and accountable.

8. A ‘I’ll never try, because I don’t want to fail mentality.’ This is the worst kind of underachievement because it prevents progress and change in anyone buying their own BS.

9. High IQ and embarrassed about it. Many highly over intellectuals tend to be embarrassed about their higher IQs and simply play dumb to fit in the in crowd. It’s unfortunate but happens when they feel like their intelligence will threaten others, making them lash out by isolating them. This tends to happen in corporate when others are threatened by someone else’s success. It’s envy at it’s worst.

10. Inability to take risks. Many find that keeping a steady boat means staying safe and compliant so the boat doesn’t tip over. This mentality causes stifled progress, and leads people to the monotony of a job that is paying them, but not challenging them. The root of not people able to take risks is fear, and many enjoy their comfort bubble of repetition to ‘keep it safe.’

What other causes lead to underachievement?

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