In my definition, addiction is doing anything against your own will, knowing it’s not good for you. After all, if you weren’t addicted, you wouldn’t do it. I believe people do things they know aren’t healthy for them because it’s a distraction from disquieting and distressing emotions. Yet, in our society, being busy, hustling, going…

EP #9

Season 6 Episode 9: Leader Work Addiction

In my definition, addiction is doing anything against your own will, knowing it’s not good for you. After all, if you weren’t addicted, you wouldn’t do it. I believe people do things they know aren’t healthy for them because it’s a distraction from disquieting and distressing emotions.

Yet, in our society, being busy, hustling, going after it are applauded, encouraged, rewarded. Needing to work, wanting to work, those are accepted reasons to avoid all kinds of things. Therefore, I see a failure in our society to properly address this unhealthy addiction. But how do we know if we’re addicted to work? And what should we do about it? Let’s talk about this sensitive issue, love.

So for a lot of women who are opening up their laptop after the kids go to bed and saying, ‘Oh, I’ve got to work’: What are you not doing?… What do you have to confront in your life if you don’t have work as an excuse?” – Kris Plachy

What You’ll Learn

  • Society’s wrong rewards
  • Business as a buffer
  • Becoming a meddler
  • Self-care solution
  • Deep rest
  • Be honest and evaluate

Contact Info and Recommended Resources

My How to CEO program begins February 16, 2023 – The updated version of How to CEO includes the opportunity for management training for anyone on your team, while you go through the program.

The CEO Boutique: Digital Clinics offered by Kris Plachy: Essential Practices for Women Who Lead. Shop what’s available, including Kickstart Team Ops, Team Audits, Dealing with Difficult People and much more!

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Connect with Kris Plachy

Gorgeous. Let’s talk about work addiction. That’s fun. Here we go.

All right, sunshine, time for some truth telling. Let’s do it. Are you addicted to your work? How do we know? So what does that mean, right? What is the addiction? Addiction means, that you’re doing something against your own will, knowing that it’s probably not in your best interest. That’s a Kris Plachy definition, I’m sure.

For those of you who are professionals out there, you might be screaming that there’s a much more sophisticated definition. But from my perspective, anything you’re doing against your own will, but you’re doing it with intention, knowing it’s not good for you, to me, that has to be what addiction is. Because if you weren’t addicted, you wouldn’t do it.

So when we talk about that, it’s when we’re using an experience or a substance or activity to distract ourselves from something that we don’t want to feel or experience. So people use drugs to fill gaps in feeling disconnected, feeling lonely, feeling insecure, feeling, I mean, right? Let’s name it. People eat – all sorts of reasons for eating – people shop, people watch porn, people do things that are different. Anything to relieve the focus on the emotion that’s disquieting.

And so, what I have certainly noticed in female entrepreneurs is an addiction to working. And that comes, it’s so interesting, because we’re such a society that favors and recognizes busy, and values busy, that we fail to acknowledge that someone who’s working obsessively, relentlessly, constantly is unhealthy, that it’s not good for them. But what does this society do? It it rewards you. It rewards you with money, it rewards you with accolades, it rewards you with a reverence. And so it’s such a jacked up relationship, right?

You’d have a very different response from people if you had a heroin addiction versus a work addiction. So in and of itself, socially, we already have some problems that when we say, “Oh, I have to work. Oh, I’m just gonna work. Oh, I pick up, I’m gonna open up my laptop at night, every night,” there’s like a belief, like we all kind of know like, “Ooh, that’s probably, but that’s kind of cool that you’re so committed.” That’s the weirdness about it.

So I believe that a lot of women use their business as a buffer. I believe that a lot of women bury themselves in their business to hide from, like, I use the word the disquiet, the discomfort, the things in their lives that they don’t enjoy. And it doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t have to make sense.

So for a lot of women who are opening up their laptop after the kids go to bed and saying, “Well, I gotta work.” What are you not doing? Are you not doing the piles of housework that are in your house that no one helps you with. Are you not spending with time with your spouse because you feel separate and disconnected from them? Are you not in your own body because you feel so uncomfortable with yourself, you just wanna dive into your Slack channels, your email, and I want you to hear what I’m saying. This isn’t judgment. This is real.

The problem is that everyone around you isn’t talking to you about this as like a problem. They’re talking to you about it as like, “Ooh, you shouldn’t work so hard.” But it could really be a problem. Because just like every other addiction, where I see this raised to a level of really interesting work is for you, and really for me as your coach, is if you’ve used work as an addiction and a buffer, which is then ultimately an addiction.

Let me say that correctly, then. What do you do once that business actually doesn’t need you anymore? What do you do when the business is thriving and you’re not required to work 40, 50, 60, a hundred hours a week? A lot of those women are lost. They wanna fill the space of emptiness that they used to use work for, but they don’t have it.

So a lot of women will just go back in and meddle in their own company, cause all sorts of problems. They won’t let the company go. A lot of you listening to this haven’t invested in learning how to build a team and lead a team because you’re actually afraid of what your life will be like if you don’t have to work all day every day.

What do you have to confront in your life if you don’t have work as an excuse? Now, you may choose to never change. It’s up to you. I actually happen to know that life can be better, that you don’t have to use work as a buffer, that you don’t have to hide in your business, to avoid the challenges that you experience in your life.

You know, I’ve often believed that there’s always one thing that will change everything. There’s always one thing. And I know for myself that learning how to practice self-care and take care of myself first, it continues to be the one area that I know, I get this better, everything else will change. Because then I won’t use the other things in my life that make me feel productive, make me feel successful, make me feel meaningful, I won’t use them to distract myself. I will actually just be living this beautiful, meaningful life.

This is not gonna be a terribly long podcast because I want you to really just hear what I say. I could beat this up 400 different ways. You don’t need me to, you know who you are if you’re overworking, because that means you’re working against your will. That means you’re opening up that laptop when you know you don’t want to, you’re opening up your phone and reading email when you know you don’t want to. You’re constantly busy.

And the biggest response I get from women is I just, I love being busy. I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t busy. And you don’t even realize that’s a coping response because there’s something you don’t wanna feel. Maybe it’s just the presence of your own company. Why not?

When I go to Hawaii every year, you know, I’ve been doing that for a long time and I just got back from my last retreat and I intentionally practiced what I was calling deep rest. I did my retreat and this is what always happens. I do my retreat. I’m an extrovert, so I’m on. I love spending time with my clients. I do a lot with my clients that’s not on the agenda. We spend a lot of time together and in fact, even one of my clients asked me this time, she’s like, “Don’t you get like worn out?” I’m like, “I really don’t until the day it’s over”.

And then the next day, so we finished on Thursday and Friday, I woke up and I thought, “Oh, this is gonna be a great day”. And holy smokes, was I tired. And I forget the bone tired I get after I do a retreat. And listen, I don’t begrudge it. I love it. It means I have literally, the amount of energy exchange that I have had and how much I have been present for people and how much I’ve poured into them, I feel amazing about it.

I just, no. Oh, depress. So depressed for me is my beach chair, my Bose headphones that are quiet, noise canceling. and a completely fictional book. Usually I listen to Outlander. This time around I listened to these really cool murder stories that are like period murder stories by Karen Menuhin, I think is how you say her name. Anyway, super good.

But I watched how my brain wanted to write, wanted to go on Slack, wanted to create, wanted to do all these things to distract myself from the fact that I just felt exhausted, because that’s hard to feel, right? So instead, I said, “No, Kris Plachy, depress. Your body, all your body wants is depress. All your body wants is depress.” I was noticing I was hungy. I’m like, “Oh, I better eat”. No, you don’t need to eat. You need to stay here in this chair with your headphones on and listen to Heathcliff, Lennox, try and solve a mystery.

And I did that for six hours on Friday and Saturday. I didn’t work. I defied the desire. I defied that absolute discomfort of feeling like I should be active, so that I could distract myself from being present with myself and resting. So the simple answer here is, what could you be doing if you weren’t working? Make that list.

And then you’ve gotta really be honest with yourself. Look at each one. I could be doing laundry. I could be reading bedtime stories. I could be talking to my husband. I could be having sex with my husband. I could be sleeping. I could be planning my next vacation. I could be, I could, there’s so many things you could be doing. I could be going to yoga, I could be doing what? What could you be doing if you’re not working?

And then, what are your feelings about those things? So if you write, you know, doing laundry, what’s the feeling? Utter dread, resentment. Reading bedtime stories to my kids, exhaustion. Talking to my husband, frustration. I don’t know. What feeling do you feel when you think about the thing that you’re distracting yourself from with work?

And then really evaluate, okay, what’s the story that I’m telling myself here? And am I willing to move through that emotion to achieve a different result. If you always use work as your buffer, you are always gonna find reasons to be busy and exhausted, and I know that’s not what you want in your life.

There’s so much, right? We’re such an intricate species, we human things. And I want you to know you’re not alone, love. If you’re working a lot and you’re overworking. And I just want to remind you that part of that story that I think a lot of us also have is, “Well, I have to work this hard. I have to, it’s not gonna work if I don’t do it”. And all of that.

It’s all designed by your brain to keep you safe and keep you from feeling discomfort. Even if we go all the way into what I do, which is teach you how to build that support system to build that team that makes it so you don’t have to work so hard. Even that becomes difficult with women who believe that they always have to work hard, that it’ll never be right if it’s not them, right?

You see how this just stays this constant cycle that you can’t break. At some point, you have to be willing to believe me and others who tell you, love, it doesn’t have to be like that. Are you willing to believe? And are you willing to pay attention to those areas of your life that you are actively buffering out of? And who could you be if you made that choice? I think it’s an excellent question, and I think it’s also. An important one to answer.

I’m glad you tuned in today. Have a good day.

Hey, are you ready to go all in on you as the gorgeous, powerful woman and CEO that you are? Whether you’re running a company that’s at $400,000 a year or $4 million a year, or more, I know that there are practices that you probably need to advance in order to get the results that you need in your business. And those practices that we tend to ignore the most are the practices that have to deal with the people.

So if you’re ready to step up and really claim the voice that you have as a woman who leads, and really lead that team as a feminine CEO, I would love to work with you in our program. Go to krisplachy.com/ceo and learn all about what’s going on with us right now and get started with us this year.

This is the year, love. Let’s do it.

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