The High Functioning stress Addict - When the money is good but life is not

boundaries burnout overwhelmed podcast Sep 15, 2023

The money is good… life is.. well... not!

You’re stressed, overwhelmed and largely functioning on autopilot.

At the start of your career you launched yourself into work. You were driven, hard working and took responsibility.

Some of that drive came from ambition - you were excited to build an extraordinary life. You knew that if you want to have what most people don’t, you have to do what most people won’t.

However, some of that drive is also self destructive.

 Sometimes it’s perfectionism. Scrutinising everything you do to the nth degree, looking for flaws, mistakes, or things you’ve missed.

Maybe it’s overthinking. Constantly worrying about “what if…?” questions, trying to predict the unpredictable and control the uncontrollable.

Or people pleasing? Constantly taking on more work, saying yes when you wish you could say no, and violating your own personal boundaries in order to keep the peace, to avoid conflict, to avoid feeling judged or criticised.

Sometimes it’s the insidious need to appear bullet proof and infallible, which leads to a lot of worrying what other people think, and ruminating over conversations. This can also lead to a lack of vulnerability and never letting people get too close because what if they see everything you’re struggling with?!

Perhaps it’s workaholic behaviours where you feel the need to justify your own existence by always needing to be doing something useful or valuable. The moment you stop you feel like you’re wasting time or being worthless.

Maybe it’s being the helper or the fixer. This time you only feel like you’re enough or worthy when you’re needed by somebody else. If you’re not needed then what good are you?! Or you only feel worthy when you’re the go to problem solver - the only person who can get things done in a crisis. So now, even though crises are stressful, you’re addicted to them because it makes you feel validated.

All of this gets compounded even further when your work meets:

* Your need for self worth,

* Your need to feel in control, and

* Your need for escape.

Firstly, work can become surrogate self worth. It’s the only place where you feel valuable, or worthy, or needed, or like you’re enough. As they say with addiction, you can never get enough of something that ALMOST works. It ALMOST makes you feel like you’re enough, it ALMOST feels like self worth, but it’s not TRUE self worth. It just gives you a temporary hit of external validation. But of course it doesn’t last, so you keep going back for more.

Secondly, work can become a source of surrogate “certainty”. We all have a need to feel a sense of control, safety, or stability. If this is lacking in one area, we can often find ourselves looking to make up the deficit from other areas.

This doesn’t give you what you really want or need, but it does temporarily mask the pain.

So you may feel out of control in your relationship, in your dating life, with your health or with your relationship with yourself. But you may feel in control of your working environment. It feels predictable and controllable. So you keep turning to work to get that hit of “certainty” or “control”.

And thirdly, work is also a distraction or gives you a sense of escape from the struggles you’re having in your personal life. The longer you work, the less time you have to spend with your own thoughts.

 Now, the upshot of all these traits is that you can achieve some big things in your career. You climb the career ladder, build your business, make good money, and maybe even get some recognition along the way.

 But unfortunately this can often serve to entrench you even deeper into the same problem. And as your career grows, the responsibility, demands, expectations, and workload increase with it.

 So whilst you can achieve a decent level of material success as a high functioning stress addict, you’ll eventually hit a glass ceiling that you’ll never break through if you continue to allow these habits to drive you.

That’s why we say, “What got you here won’t get you there”.

So not only do you find yourself plateauing, but all that stress and overwhelm bleeds more and more into your personal life.

You find yourself stuck in survival mode more and more frequently. Which means that you have less and less time, space or energy to build a life by design. And if you don’t build a life by design you end up with a life by default.

You are nowhere near fulfilling your potential. You know it, and it’s pissing you off.

Now, that’s going to be a bit close to the bone for some of you, but I WANT to trigger you. I want to trigger something within you so that we can finally set you free.

 At what point do you see this approach to your life working?!

Do you see this leading to genuine happiness and fulfilment?!

Do you see yourself being genuinely successful in ALL areas of life - health, wealth & love - AND enjoying the journey along the way?!

 Something HAS to change.

The solution doesn’t have to be to quit your career, burn your business to the ground, renounce all materialism and take up chanting and bongo drums!

Of course you can still be driven, hard working and ambitious! You can have it all - the body, business, career, relationships and lifestyle.


 Ask yourself honestly:

What’s going to happen if you never fix this problem?

What’s the brick wall that you’re headed towards that you’ve been pretending isn’t there?

What’s the prognosis look like in 10 or 15 years for your health, your relationships, your overall happiness and your quality of life?

I know that’s a horrible question to ask, but this is what it takes to change your life once and for all.

 Because so far you’ve been bullshitting yourself that now isn’t the right time. You’ve been telling yourself…

 “When I get through this next phase, when I finish this next project, when I have more time and less stress, THEN I’ll get my shit together.”

 You’re waiting for the day that you’re less stressed & overwhelmed before you start fixing the reason why you’re stressed & overwhelmed!

 Now, there’s zero judgement here. You’ve been in complete survival mode and doing all you can to keep your head above water. Combined with the fact that this is a complete blindspot for most people.

 So there is zero fault or blame or shame here. You can’t be held accountable for something you’re completely oblivious to.

 But now that you’re aware, you can make a better choice to do something about it!

 Because if not now, then when?!

Rachel & David 


PS we did a podcast on this check it out - LISTEN HERE





At Chase Life Consulting we specialise in the physical and cognitive health optimization and strategic performance of female entrepreneurs and executives.

If you are looking to get into amazing shape and become a better leader within your business or organization APPLY HERE for our 6 month Private Mentorship Program.   

We are excited to connect with you! 

Rachel & David 



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