Are you a Workaholic? Here’s Some Sense of Self Advice

When I was younger, I had no idea that my life was not supposed to be about performing perfectly so I could feel good about myself. I don’t mean to say that doing things well so you feel satisfied is wrong. Absolutely not. But if feeling good about yourself becomes compulsive, meaning you can’t compromise on the outcome of your activities or your behavior, something is off.

I had the need to feel good about myself because I wasn’t in touch with my real self, my own person-hood. I didn’t understand that, as an individual, I had rights and needs and that it was my ultimate goal to attend to those. Instead, I was always working hard to become the best musician, to be the best mom, to be the best problem-solver, and to save the world.

Are you a workaholic?

But I did it for the wrong reason. I did it to feel good about myself because, obviously, that wasn’t my default state. Feeling good about myself provided me with an experience that functioned as a substitute for my lacking sense of self. No wonder I had to earn that feeling over and over again, which made me a workaholic and a perfectionist. But also an angry person, when I was unable to reach my daily quota of ‘feel-good.”

Although on the outside your activity or behavior may look legit, doing things for indirect motivation, which ultimately has a self-serving purpose, is bound to lead to failure, next to causing a huge amount of stress. Learning to do things for the right reason has been my karma in this lifetime, I guess. Over time, and after having written several books about it, I am getting good at it; learning to do things for direct motivation rather than indirect motivation has caused me to become real.

But sometimes I fall back into my old strategy of wanting to feel good about myself, going out of my way to be perfect, or having a tendency to manipulate others to get things just so . . . It’ll be a lifelong journey, I guess, but hey, I’m never bored.

In the comments, let me know if you are a workaholic living with a substitute sense of self.

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