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7 Signs You Are Unhealthily Addicted to Success

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Addiction

Do you ever feel like you hit a goal or succeed at something major but your satisfaction is only short-lived? No matter how much you achieve, you always feel like you have to do more, push harder and you can’t really enjoy your accomplishments? You might be wondering why you never feel content despite the fact that your life looks good on the outside. If this sounds like you, you might be addicted to success.

But what does that mean? See, every addiction has one thing in common. It has the purpose of getting a person out of a miserable state of mind and making them feel normal. Achievement addiction is no different. It can create fears, tension, stress and burnout. There is a high chance that you are moving away from pain and not towards something you desire. Your drive and decisions are fear based, which ultimately affects your emotional well-being and quality of life.

Here are 7 signs of achievement addiction:

1. You find purpose in achievement

You constantly feel emotionally drained, stressed and burnt out and only find relief when you hit a goal.

2. The expectations you have for yourself are way higher than average

You hit your expectations no matter the cost, even if that means to not value your own needs. You’re very hard on yourself, know how to push through and beat yourself up to succeed. You don’t tolerate mediocrity for yourself.

3. You ask yourself what else there is to life

You’ve already “made it” but it’s not the way you thought it would be. You spent a certain amount of time chasing your biggest goal and making it a reality yet you feel unfulfilled and cannot find a sense of peace which can be extremely stressful and disappointing.

4. You measure your self-worth through your achievements.

In between wins you hate yourself, have anxiety and feel like it’s been awhile since your last accomplishment. Success is like a drug to you. You need another hit of it otherwise it feels like you’re falling behind.

“When you take care of yourself, you’re a better person for others. When you feel good about yourself, you treat others better.” – Solange Knowles

5. You’re at the peak of your professional life but don’t feel fulfilled  

You see people admiring you for your life but you feel guilty about not being fulfilled and happy. Maybe, you even doubt if you deserve it.

6. You are very results-driven and accomplished but you don’t feel content

You feel stuck and trapped in a life that doesn’t feel aligned with who you are and becomes exhausting at one point.

7. You’re constantly tense

Perhaps you suffer from chronic conditions, pain or repeating patterns in your life. Stress and the pressure of having to perform is not only reflected in how you feel but can also break out physically.

What can we do instead of chasing our goals that become less satisfying each time, but still keep thriving? There is a huge misconception that we get more stuff done when we push hard, suffer and sacrifice.

The funny thing is that to create sustainable performance and get to the next level we actually need to be in alignment and feel good, take off pressure and change our approach. It’s scientifically proven that when we experience stress, our IQ drops and our ability to make good decisions decreases.

First and most importantly is to find out the hidden reason behind your drive. What are you trying to avoid and why? What is it that terrifies you and what are you trying to prove to either yourself or someone else? Once you’re aware that all the pressure is simply created by yourself you also have the ability to take it off.

Next you start dissolving the emptiness, frustration or anger. Sometimes being aware of the problem is already doing the job but deeply rooted fears might require some more work. To change an old belief pattern you can use tools like journaling, meditation, nlp, hypnosis, therapy and of course coaching. Think about it that way.

“The truth is that there is no actual stress or anxiety in the world; it’s your thoughts that create these false beliefs. You can’t package stress, touch it, or see it. There are only people engaged in stressful thinking.” – Wayne Dyer

Everything you do is the result of an emotion which is connected to a thought or belief you have about life. Therefore changing your beliefs will change your reality and emotional wellbeing which can lead to you achieving everything you want in life without you burning yourself out.

Have you ever felt like you’ve been chasing your goals so you can find contentment, but when you finally achieve them you don’t really feel any different than you’ve felt before? Let us know in the comments how you can relate.

Katy Trost is a coach and advisor to tech CEOs at Series B and beyond. They partner with her to become more effective leaders and implement a system that creates consistency in their scaling organizations.

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