The drive to achieve is a great and powerful motivator. Those individuals with a drive and to succeed in life are wonderful assets to American society. From the beginning of first grade through graduation from college high achievement is considered to be a major positive. We want our children, friends, and family all to achieve the best they can. Is it possible to become too achievement oriented? Can over-achievement become a negative? Achievement addiction is often referred to as workaholism. When a person’s drive to succeed interferes with other aspects of their lives they are suffering from workaholism. You could be suffering from workaholism when family, love life, health, and/or leisure become disoriented because of your drive to succeed. Achievement addictions is connected to the Type A behavior pattern, that is the hard-driving, competitive, and stress-prone person.
Questions to Consider for the Potential Achievement Addict
Do you find yourself always trying to “keep score” of accomplishments and “wins”? The Achievement addict is always judging or scoring their success. These individuals are incredibly competitive. People who are erroneously keeping score of every aspect of their lives could be suffering from workaholism.
Do you often have a sense of scarcity of time-not enough time in the day, or days in the week to get things done? The over-achiever never has enough time to complete the tasks they require themselves to complete. The very nature of being an over-achiever is to do too many things. These individuals will constantly be on the run attempting to use every single moment of their day to complete tasks that would seem impossible.
Do you regularly use to-do lists and time-saving devices? As previously stated, the over-achiever will have a lot on their plate to accomplish. As a strategy to complete, what would seem to be the impossible, they will have several to-do lists and other time-saving devices.
Do you take quick meals in order to get back to work? Workaholics do not have time to sit down for a meal. They often have what is referred to as ‘power-lunches or dinners’. These are quick and to the point, so they are capable of getting back to work. Over-achievers do not believe there is time in the day to waste. As a result, meals often turn into several snacks throughout the day. The time it takes to sit down and eat a sufficient meal is not time well-spent.
Do you need little sleep and wake up ready to go? The drive to achieve can be so great that many do not get adequate amounts of sleep. Even so, they are capable of getting up and getting right to work without any complications. Unfortunately, at one point or another lack of sleep, increased stress, and workload often catches up with them.
Do you have difficulty enjoying idle time? At the end of the work day or week the majority of people enjoy their quiet time doing nothing at all. That idle time can feel like torture to the over-achiever. Any free time should be directed towards work.
Do you work on vacation? This is a clear sign of a workaholic. Individuals that cannot take time away from their work to enjoy life have achievement addictions. In some cases it is necessary to work on vacation or off days as a result of monetary or promotional issues. For the most part though, it is necessary to take a vacation and enjoy life. Those suffering from achievement addiction will begin to see negative effects of their achievement seeking on their social and family lives.