Workaholic: Do Some Peoples Childhoods Set Them Up To Become A Workaholic?

Although some people work to live, there are others that live to work. Naturally, these people are going to have a radically different experience on planet earth.

When it comes to the former, someone’s life won’t revolve around their work and they will typically only work at certain times. Yet, when it comes to the latter, someone’s whole life will revolve around their work and they will spend most if not all of their time working.

Lopsided

At this point, it could be said that someone will either generally be in balance when it comes to this area of their life or they will generally be out of balance. If someone is generally in balance, they will be able to focus on others areas of their life and to recharge.

But, if they are generally not in balance, they won’t truly be able to focus on other areas of their life or to recharge. If they continue to behave in this way, they could end up working themselves to death.

It’s Acceptable

The trouble is that although they are out of balance, it doesn’t mean that the average person will realise this and end up mirroring this back to them. This is because they can live in a society that values hard work.

In this society, someone can be seen as either working hard and living in the right way or doing very little and living in the wrong way. There can be no middle ground and almost certainly not a focus on work-life balance.

An Endless Flow

Thanks to this, they can be used to receiving a lot of positive feedback from others and very little if any feedback about how they need to slow down and take it easy from time to time. In fact, a lot of people could hold them up as an example to follow.

As a result of this, there will be no reason for them to slow down and take a step back. Still, even though they won’t slow down, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be forced to slow down.

No Choice

By working so hard, they could end up burning themselves out and they will then have to stop working. They could be out of action for a few days or a number of weeks but, however long it is, it might not be long until they go back to how they were before.

What has taken place will be a warning, yet if they are unable to see it this way; it might not be long until the same thing happens again. Something very similar could happen or it could be even more severe.

A Machine

One is going to be a human be-ing, then, but they will act more like a human do-ing. From the moment they wake up right until the moment they go to sleep, they can be on the go.

There is the chance that they won’t wake up feeling refreshed, with them needing something to get them going and they might find it hard to sleep at night. Their mind can be filled with the things that they haven’t done that day and what they want to do the next day, making it hard for them to switch off.

No Desire to Change

Living in this way is going to take its toll, so regardless of whether they do or don’t earn a lot of money; it’s not going to be serving them. Nonetheless, if they were asked if they enjoyed living this way, they would probably say yes.

They might say that as stressful as their life is, they wouldn’t change it for the world. It could seem strange how someone could feel comfortable with something that is slowly destroying them and depriving them of so much.

What’s going on?

Most likely, if they were to slow down, let alone stop working, they would start to feel very unconformable. At first, they could feel agitated, restless and it could be as if they are being deprived of something that they desperately need to be able to survive.

If they were to stay with how they feel, they could end up coming into contact with deeper feelings. This could be a time when they will experience shame, guilt and even self-hate, and they could feel worthless, unloved, rejected and abandoned.

A Deeper Level

What this could show is that their early years were not very nurturing, with this being a stage of their life when they were deprived of the nutrients that they needed to be able to grow and develop in the right way. This would have caused them to experience a lot of pain and it would have stopped them from developing a felt sense of love and worth.

Spending most of their time working will then be a way for them to avoid this pain and it will be a way for them to feel loved and valuable. Deep down, they can believe that if they work hard enough and long enough, they will finally be lovable and seen as worthy of life.

Why Work?

As to why they became hooked on work and not something else, this can also be due to the environment they grew up in. Perhaps they were brought up by at least one caregiver who was also a workaholic.

This would have unconsciously been seen as a way for them to receive what they missed out on. Alternatively, they may have been forced to work from a young age and this would have meant that their adult life is simply a continuation of what they were forced to do at this stage of their life.

Awareness

If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Part of moving forward will be for them to grieve their unmet childhood needs as this will play a big part in what will allow them to realise that they are lovable and valuable. And, as they gradually accept this at an emotional level, their need to work all the time is likely to gradually subside.

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, inner child and inner awareness. With over two thousand, eight hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.