What’s the Major Cause of Your Underachievement?

When we’re born, our parents have high hopes for us. When we start school, the teachers think we’re the next crop of bright students. When we begin our jobs, the hiring manager sees something in us to believe we’ll surpass any and all expectations. Well, they were all wrong. 

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Whether we were put on this planet with natural, inherent gifts or talents or we easily attain all types of skills, many of us underachieve. For whatever reason, we fail to live up to the hype and we don’t meet any of the expectations that were placed on us growing up. Why? There are many reasons, such as boredom, distractions, arrogance and the head-scratching wrong turns.

What is very interesting about individuals that underachieve is this: a person that has the acumen to do great things in his life chooses not to, but a person that doesn’t have the same characteristic wants to break the glass ceiling and change the world but can’t. Is this fair? Take that up with Mother Nature.

Are you a person that has all the gifts to succeed and flourish but just can’t? Well, here are five causes of your underachievement:


The tale of a prodigal child who gets bored in school and refuses to participate is a timeless one. We all knew at least one kid in elementary or secondary school who had the tools to garner A+ grades and receive a full university scholarship because of their grades. However, their apathy for school led them to flunk out of college and seek out greater aspirations. Seeing an answer to a question before it’s even asked or ending a game of chess after the first or second move can become monotonous over time.


A genius may become distracted by something else entirely, something that doesn’t relate to education or a career. Instead of being interested in advanced nuclear physics or civil engineering, the underachiever will become engrossed in an unproductive interest, such as video games, drugs, rock climbing, busking or partying. Distractions will derail any bright mind.


No matter how talented or smart you are, the lack of resources within your family could very well hold you back. Indeed, there are countless stories of self-made men that had to annihilate inhabitants of the concrete jungle, but for some it’s just not possible. Whether it’s the failing government schools or a deeply impoverished household, the best and brightest may not be able to leave home with a clean, starched collar and a belly full of food. 


Family can be the bane of your existence or a true help in life. Family is supposed to be there for you, guide you, offer wisdom and so on. Unfortunately, sometimes a child is born into a family that is dysfunctional, poor and unhealthy. A genius child could be dealt a bad hand with an alcoholic father, a drug-addicted mother and a little brother or sister they have to look after their entire lives, which also means they can’t live out their dreams.


The wrong people can oftent influence you negatively. We often see this in school within the popular cliques where they bully others, do drugs and skip class. At the same time, the roots of the underachiever’s underachievement may be witnessed here. Rather than focusing on chemistry class, they’re off at a friend’s house building their own heroin lab. Perhaps we should have listened to our mothers when they said little Joey was a bad influence.

Some of us overachieve. Some of us underachieve. Some of us achieve nothing at all. That’s life. Indeed, it can be very difficult for a young person to guide himself correctly to the right path, particularly when he or she is a little bit more special than their peers. In today’s world, it’s always better to take advantage of you’re the talents you were fortunate enough to be born with than to allow them to wither away. 

Do you think that you are an underachiever? Are any of the points above the cause of it?