An addict can be anyone whose life is controlled by something, or someone, other than themselves.
Which means, the fixation doesn’t have to be a physical substance like alcohol or drugs or food or pornography. It’s something much more abstract and mysterious. Something you can’t even see or touch.
And that makes the addiction that much more more insidious.
The example from my own experience is approval. It’s the addiction to what people think of you. The compulsion for absolute control over how you are perceived by the world.
It’s one of the many unspoken dangers of being an entrepreneur. Because you are the brand. And so, you get seduced into this ego vortex of excessive impression management. Trying to control how people think and feel about you. Doing the hustle dance down approval alley.
And in that moment, it feels good. It’s an adrenaline rush. The brain loves it.
But after five or ten or fifteen years of treating yourself like a goddamn object, wasting your life obsessively catering to others, you find yourself exhausted. Because it’s all just theater. You’re always running for office. Every person you meet, you don’t actually want to connect, you just want their vote. And if you don’t get it, you become crushed by the slightest misperception of your identity.
Fuck. Just writing about this is making me claustrophobic.
If you’re the kind of person who can’t think of anything you want to pursue in your career without strategizing about how it might make you more fascinating to the masses, you might be addicted.
If you find yourself obsessed with correcting people’s perceptions and deciding how to avenge their thoughts of you, you might be addicted.
If you’re wearing yourself out trying to make other perceive you in a certain way, you might be addicted.
If you’re constantly trying to be the life of a party you’re not even at, you might be addicted.
If your boundaries are falling by the wayside because you don’t want to come across as rude for speaking up about how people have upset you, you might be addicted.
It’s okay. You’re not alone. And it’s never too late to break free of the constant pressure to perform.
Even if your ego is trying to take you down into another useless crusade. There’s a way out.
Remember, it’s one thing to crave a healthy amount of approval, it’s another thing to demand it, become addicted to it and compromise your integrity in order to purchase it.
LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you going to be miserable until you get your next fix of approval?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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