Driven to Succeed, Prisoner of Success, Workaholic, or Someone Who Can’t Say ‘No’?

The workaholic: hides from life by consuming themselves in their work.  The prisoner of success: little time for social life because they crave the pressures of a full load at work.  The person who can’t say ‘no’: everyone takes advantage of you because you are too nice to say no – you’re so “pleasant” and “accommodating.”  Ask yourself some of these questions to assess if it’s time for a change: how many hours a week do you work, can you easily forget work when you aren’t there, do you bring work home, do you miss family events because of work, are all your friends from work, how many hours do you spend just for yourself, do you feel guilty when you take time for yourself, and if you aren’t doing something ‘productive’ is it time wasted?With the Labor Day Holiday approaching, we all think about a weekend of leisure, whether that means a slow-paced Friday through Monday of solitude and barbecues, or an action-packed one of friends, parties, and go-go-go!

What Labor Day means on the calendar, however, is that summer vacations are over, people are back in the office, and it’s time to get things accomplished.

As you contemplate the number of hours you’ll be spending on your work in the months ahead, do you dread the thought? Will you have a mountain of work to do, yet still take on more with a smile (maybe forced) on your face? Will people be pulling you in every direction?

If so, you may be:

A prisoner of success, or the workaholic. The workaholic hides from life by consuming himself/herself with work. He or she clings to work as a lifeline, fearing to venture into their own private arena. The prisoner of success has little time for a private life because he/she craves the excitement and pressure of having a full plate at work. He or she loves the importance of the job and the money it brings. However, the prisoner of success feels overwhelmed and detached most of the time.

A person who can’t say ‘No’. If others usually take advantage of you because you’re so “nice” and “accommodating,” you are probably the person who can’t say “no” at work – every office has one. At work, people throw boring or difficult jobs on you, making your life stressful. At home, your partner, children, and friends probably make your life crazy, always asking for favors. In your community, you’re the first one called when something needs to get done. You may have a kind heart, but if you can’t set boundaries, your well-being will suffer.

I describe myself as a ‘recovered workaholic.’ More accurately, I’m a ‘recovering prisoner of success.’ I won’t narrate my entire story now, but you can read some of it here.

As you head into the ‘home stretch’ of the fiscal year, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many hours every week do you work?
  • When you’re not at work, can you easily forget it?
  • Do you bring work home? If yes, how many days of the week?
  • Do you miss family events due to job obligations?
  • Are all of your friends from work?
  • How many hours every week do you spend for just yourself?
  • Do you feel guilty when you take time for yourself?
  • If you aren’t accomplishing anything measurable, is time wasted?

If you weren’t comfortable with the answers to your questions, it may be time for a change. If you were, you may simply be driven to succeed!

Thanks to Phil Benichou for including this post in his Carnival of Small Business Issues, and to The Virtual Handshake for including this post in the Carnival of Capitalists.

Thanks, also, to Mabel and Harry for inclusion in the Carnival of Leadership Development.

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