I HAVE AN ADDICTION
One that has enslaved me and has ruled my entire life.
My addiction influences everything I do, and it has given me amazing highs but also incredible Lows.
Some have called it ambition, others have called it drive- but what it really is is an addiction to high-level performance.
From when I was 16 years old and in high school, I felt I had to balance 2 part time jobs on top of school and work.
During college at 18 years old I was a full-time student and worked full time to cover my expenses while living on my own.
Now in my adult life at 23 I have pursued 5 ventures in the last 2 years and have always had one thing in mind:
I didn’t believe in days or time off for ME, I didn’t believe in coming home at 5 pm and watching TV until bedtime. I had to always be working towards something, building something, “growing” in some way.
This sounds great in theory, but the lack of BALANCE led to my consistent demise.
Here’s the thing, my entire life I have used my performance as validation of my worth. You see I have always been a confident person; I’m forward, outspoken and secure of my views. But being confident in person does not mean I understood or acknowledged my value; the fact that my health, mental wellness and sanity mattered TOO.
I have only come to start to care about my value THIS YEAR, and it has transformed me in many ways.
I want you to understand that this has nothing to do with how I demand people to treat me, or what I expect to receive. This has EVERYTHING to do with how I treat myself. Having a low self-worth is not cured by demanding better from people and their interactions with you, it starts first within yourself and how you care about YOU and choose to put YOU first.
For me this meant acknowledging that my addiction for consistent high-level performance was not giving me self-worth, it was denying it from me, because I was denying myself the personal benefits of living a more balanced life.
Here’s how I came to realize my addiction; I burned out. I observed how my mind fought against me when I took time OFF to care for myself. I felt worthless every single day, for weeks. I stayed strong, more than because I simply couldn’t work because my burnout was so bad, but because I knew the right thing to do was to slow down and tend to myself.
I started to feel better, not only mentally, but that outward confidence started to be backed by a calmness and certainty of self that I had not experienced before. I went from feeling guilty from taking care of me to telling myself FORGET everything else, it’s ALL about me in this moment and that’s all that matters.
I say I told myself, because I literally did. I had that internal dialogue every hour of every day that I was “lazy”. I WENT ON STRIKE AGAINST MYSELF. I have always rebelled against outside influences, this time I rebelled against my own insecurities- and it was LIBERATING.
To all of you fellow high-level performance addicts that are hitting roadblock after roadblock, with all your luxuries, income, achievements and outward success, but lacking in fulfillment, joy and self-worth; try putting yourself first for a change and experience the clarity and peace of mind that comes with it.
Much Love – Laurie