12 Nov Free from Work Addiction
This is an excerpt of an interview of Fran Fisher, MCC by David E Wright, President of Insight Publishing.
David Wright: “How did you make the transition from “false self” to “true self?”
Fran Fisher: “I used to be a workaholic. I was addicted to my work. By the way, my definition of a workaholic is people who define their worth by what they do—what they accomplish—not by who they are being. My experience coaching individuals in corporations during the last twenty-five years has been that our western culture supports, encourages, and rewards this behavior. This is based on “outside-in” beliefs and behaviors and is a recipe for burn out.”
The Anatomy of my Addiction
- Deep desire to make a positive difference in the world. Heart and soul passion. A vision of a world that works for everyone. (true self)
- High standard of personal excellence. (true self)
- Fear of the judgment of others. (false self)
- Limiting belief—never enough/never good enough (false self)
The thoughts that drove my actions were the fear of the judgment of others and my limiting belief that what I did was never good enough. How did that play out?
- Serious and highly focused
- Accommodating and pleasing, so people wouldn’t judge me
- Working hard to fulfill my standard of excellence
- No time to play unless I had all my work done—my work was never done
What was the effect?
- I accomplished a lot which fed my addiction.
- My employers loved me and rewarded my hard work and long hours.
- My presence and behaviors were hard on my relationships (co-workers, children, husband).
- My working long hours with no play, recreation, or fun time was tough on my health.
- I depleted my adrenal glands more than once.
In October 1989 I experienced my final burn out. I had been working sixteen to eighteen hours a day, six to seven days a week, for more than two years. My mind was fried, and my body was shaking so badly, I couldn’t hold a glass of water without spilling it.
I took off and walked the beach on the coast of Oregon for a week. In deep reflection, I saw what a fool I was being, blaming my employers, when in actuality I was the one who continued to let them let me burn myself out. I was accomplishing great results for them, and I was hurting myself in the process.
In deep reflection, I took inventory of my strengths: highly capable, strong, intelligent, visionary, courageous, high standard of excellence, and committed to making a difference. From that objective view I could see that I had been doing those qualities in reaction to and in the defense of the circumstances outside of myself, driven by inner voices of “have to” and “should” and my fear of judgment. I was not being those qualities from the inside-out.
I realized that if the whole world is going to work for everyone, then my life has to work, too. In the mist of the morning on that ocean beach, I chose to stop leaving myself out of the equation of life.
My True Self Became the Center of My Life
I discovered my Vision and Life Purpose. I Am Divine Inspiration, lovingly and passionately calling forth Essence into Action and Extraordinary Expression. My Life Purpose is to let divine love and light shine through my body, mind, and spirit, unleashing creativity and radiating Joy.
I went back into my life and started practicing the art of “letting” versus “driving” to make things happen. I cleaned up my life and put things in order of priority for my well-being. Essentially, what I did was transform my life from “outside-in” to “inside-out.” The synchronicity of events that transpired following my personal transformation brought me more joy, freedom, ease, prosperity, and fun! Today I am a living testimony to the shift in the quality of our lives when we can learn to live true to the essence of who we are.
“The simple truth is that we won’t be able to heal the world until we can come to balance within ourselves. We can’t even use our full creative potential or enjoy the blessings of intimate relationships when we are chronically worried and on overload.” — Joan Borysenko