My ADHD has made me obsessed with achieving and its not healthy
I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist. I like things to be just so, and I’m never content until I achieve my goals. As it turns out, this personality trait has its roots in my ADHD. My ADHD has actually made me obsessed with achieving. Because of my ADHD, I need to constantly be striving for excellence and climbing higher and higher. If I don’t, I feel like a failure. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing — on the one hand, it drives me to achieve great things; on the other hand, it can sometimes make me take on too much at once or get stuck in cycles of self-criticism.
My ADHD has led me to a life of being a self-employed multiple business owner, this requires a level of perfection and achievement. My businesses are sports coaching and content creation, in both of these people use and benefits from what I create. This means that everything I create needs to be the best and I always feel like I need to create better and better things.
Every time I create a new peice of content, or coach an individual, I am always looking to achieve something. The great thing about this is that it means I am constantly looking to learn and level up. My mindset is that if I am keep getting better the things I do the more I shall surely achieve. Unfortunately this is not always the case.
It has become an obsession
My need to constantly gain achievement in life has got to the point where I am obsessed and its starting to have negative effects on my life. The need for achievement used to just be purely focused on my work life but now its cross the line into my personal and its not fun.
As a professional sports coach I look at sport in my day job as an achievement ladder, looking to get on the next rung up. I used to be able to play sport for the fun of the game but no longer, I am looking to improve and gain that next rung. This means that I have lost the pure joy that I used to gain from playing sport. Its gone from being a postive mental space to being another negative toll on my mental health.
It’s not just the sport that has been affected by my achievement obession. I am a kind caring person who is always looking to help others and I have brought my achievement mindset into that aspect of my life. I started coaching people in sport because I understood that I could help them through understanding them and then pushing them forward. This is something that I also enjoy doing with my friends and family. I listen to them and support and help them whenever I can. My need for achievement has started to ruin even that.
Now when I go for coffee or go for a walk with someone I am constantly looking for some form of achievement from that activity. Did they enjoy it? Do they feel better? Did they benefit? And one thing taught me is that sometimes its not possible to always achieve something in these situations. My friends and family got tired of me asking ‘Was that useful?’ or ‘Did that help?’. By asking these questions it took the personal-able nature out of my actions. Made them feel like I just listened to them to help fill my own need for achievement.
YET I LOVE MY OBSESSION
Now after reading all the above negative you might think why do I not do anything about my need for achievement. Why not seek help and get it solved?
Well its because I love it. The need to find, more and more, achievement has made me who I am today and made me successful at what I do. Yesterday I spent over 6 hours during the day doing bussiness admin stuff and got to the end of the day and felt like I had got nothing done. Now this wasn’t true but I still felt that way. Now instead of just being down about the fact I hadn’t achieved anything I went into my studio space and made a video that I am super proud of.
If it hadn’t been my need to feel like I had acheieved something with my Tuesday I would have never spent another 4 hours making that video and pushing myself forward as a content creator.
Lessons for future me
Now putting all the negative and positive aspects into words about my ADHD need for acheivement has made me realise that maybe I should look for some ways to not feel that need for achievement. But it has also made me realise how much it has made me who I am today.
Maybe all I need to do is next time my friend is telling about their worries over coffee is to JUST LISTEN and not look to help.
If you have enjoyed this rant and rave please drop me a follow for more. What aspects of your ADHD do you struggle yet love?