Are You A Success Addict?

I am vulnerable here and don’t know where to start. I have been listening to an audiobook called From Strength to Strength by Arthur Brooks, and a chapter spoke to me: Being Special vs. Happy and Being a Successful Addict.

Yes, this was me. It was big time! I also needed to be kind to myself, as I have always been an achiever, which could be the eldest child thing. Who knows? I also have Achiever as my key strength in Gallup Strengths Finder.

I was doomed!

However, I realised my self-worth and identity were determined by how successful I was and how successful my business was. When it failed, I failed. It was not healthy at all. I was struggling. Have you ever been there?

So, I decided to focus on who I am and what makes me as happy as Sonia.

Here is my list – and what is yours? Please feel free to comment below.

I am only sharing a little about me here as we all need some mystery.

Mum to an extraordinary daughter

Crazy average painter who is getting better

Local Duck Feeder, especially my one-legged duck!

Op Shopper Extraordinaire

Electric Bike Cruiser

Avid Hiker and Explorer

Laughing and being joyful as much as possible

Showing Kindness every day to everyone

Passionate about Mental Well-Being, especially teenagers

Teacher, Speaker and Writer on everything kindness, leadership, love and courage

Coach and mentor to as many exceptional people as possible

Extraordinary Commitment to building great future leaders and women in leadership

I love creating incredible, great cultures, teams and leaders

Finally, the CEO, leader & founder of company LeadershipHQ and an extraordinary team.

Today…Happiness and joy take precedence over being special. Being special might bring temporary recognition or validation, but true contentment and fulfilment come from within, from finding joy and satisfaction in life’s experiences, relationships, and personal growth. Happiness is a more profound and more sustainable state of being. At the same time, the pursuit of being special can sometimes lead to external validation seeking, which may not always result in lasting fulfilment. This is so true as it is not sustainable or healthy.

How to Stop Being a Success Addict

Stopping the cycle of success addiction can be challenging but certainly possible with self-awareness and deliberate efforts. Here are some steps that may help:

  1. Reflect on Your Values: Reflect on what truly matters to you beyond external markers of success. Clarify your core values and prioritise them in your daily decisions and actions. I reflect on my values daily. We have an excellent tool to help you here at LeadershipHQ – reach out to my team.
  2. Redefine Success: Expand your definition of success beyond traditional measures like wealth, status, or accomplishments. Consider including qualities like personal growth, well-being, and meaningful relationships. Success, to me, is about significance. You?
  3. Practice Gratitude: Cultivate a sense of gratitude for what you have achieved and the experiences you’ve had along the way. Focus on appreciating the present moment rather than constantly striving for more.
  4. Set Healthy Boundaries: Learn to set boundaries to protect your well-being and prevent burnout. Allow yourself to say no to commitments that don’t align with your priorities or values.
  5. Embrace Imperfection: Accept that perfection is unattainable and that making mistakes is a natural part of learning. Embrace your imperfections and see them as opportunities for growth rather than failures.
  6. Prioritise Self-Care: Prioritise self-care by engaging in activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. This could include exercise, meditation, spending time with loved ones, or pursuing hobbies that bring you joy. I now love my painting. What about you?
  7. Seek Meaningful Connections: Cultivate meaningful relationships with others based on authenticity and mutual support rather than solely on networking or advancing your career.
  8. Challenge Your Beliefs: Examine the beliefs and attitudes driving your need for success and question whether they are serving you well. Challenge any irrational beliefs or fears that may be fueling your success addiction.
  9. Practice Mindfulness: Develop a mindfulness practice to cultivate present-moment awareness and reduce the tendency to chase future goals constantly. Mindfulness can help you appreciate the journey rather than solely focusing on the destination.
  10. Seek Professional Help or a Coach if Needed: If you find it difficult to break free from the cycle of success addiction on your own, consider seeking support from a therapist or coach who can provide guidance and tools to help you make positive changes in your life.

Remember that breaking free from success addiction is a journey that requires patience, self-compassion, and persistence. Celebrate your progress along the way, and be gentle with yourself as you navigate this process of growth and transformation.

Written by Sonia McDonald (and below is my most outstanding achievement – my daughter Abby)