Thousands of capable, high-achieving people are suffering from Performance Addiction (PA), which is the belief that perfecting appearance and achieving status will secure love, respect and happiness. It is born out of an unsupportive story about the past. PA is the most common characteristic of the curse given the reinforcement of non-stop performance in today’s day and age. It is an irrational, inaccurate belief system, hardwired from earlier experiences, reinforced by cultural expectations. It is often rewarded and usually leads to over-doing and over achievement
Performance addicts turn to activity like alcoholics turn to a drink, like gamblers are drawn to the gambling table. If performance addicts are not constantly busy achieving something, they don’t feel worthy. When good performance doesn’t buy them happiness, they think they must perform even better. When that effort fails, they decide to try harder, go faster, be more dedicated, and ultimately they believe they must make more sacrifices. They believe in the religion of perfection. They think they can perfect their way into happiness and as a result they can end up achieving their goals for the wrong reasons which usually takes their life terribly off course. The emotional consequences of this are also experienced physically, as this all takes an immense amount of personal energy. And as their energy gets low without recuperation, they can go into a downward energy trend that is equally challenging to acknowledge and change. The overwhelming feeling created by the emotional drives to perform, particularly at something they don’t really enjoy, leads to exhaustion and fatigue and the downward energy trend DET.
Ref: Arthur P Ciaramicoli PhD, The Curse of the Capable 2009