I’m a grown adult with a successful career - so why do I feel
like a kid who is about to get in
Sitting at your computer early one morning - because you’re always in early - and you see the email pop into your inbox. It’s your boss asking to see you. Right away you feel a pit in your stomach and your mind starts to race, because you assume something is wrong and that you must have caused it.
You wake up in the morning already tired and just want to pull the covers back over your head. You dread all the things on your schedule that you said “yes” to when you really meant “no.” You’re not sure how you always end up taking on the extra things that need to get done. Lately you’ve been getting more migraines and your IBS is flaring up. You’re wondering if things would feel better if you changed jobs, or even careers.
You’re on vacation with your family, and everyone is having fun except you. Your brain just won’t shut off. Your family says you’re “intense” and they’re asking you what’s wrong, but you don’t explain it to them because you don’t know what to say, and even if you did, they wouldn’t get it. You told yourself you weren’t going to do work while you were away, but you’re worried someone will miss something.
Many Adult Children of Alcoholics are surprised to learn that they bring their personal issues to work.
Many of us who grew up in homes with alcoholism or other family dysfunction learned early on to cope by switching parts of ourselves off when we left home every day. It’s what we had to do to get through the day. As children, we excelled in school despite what was going on at home. We enjoyed a sense of security, connection and accomplishment that we never felt at home. We thought of ourselves as different people inside and outside of our homes because, well, in a way we had to be.
So it’s no wonder we grew up to be adults who think it’s normal to ignore and overly compartmentalize our feelings and expect ourselves to perform at work no matter what.
And it’s no wonder we use our work as one of our primary coping mechanisms.
We work to feel good about ourselves. We work to give ourselves a feeling of control. We work to feel excitement and pleasure. We work so we don't have to feel whatever it is we would be feeling if we sat still for a minute. And for a little while this strategy is effective.
Until it isn't.
Then we need more. Just like an alcoholic needs more drinks over time to get the same high, we need more accomplishment, more recognition, more intensity, more busy-ness, more control.
For many of us, work becomes our drug of choice.
Here's the thing:
if you don’t deal with your childhood issues, your career will.
Are you ready to:
Wake up in the morning feeling rested, calm and in control
Say yes when you mean yes, and no when you mean no – without the overthinking
Be at work when you’re at work, and home when you’re at home, so that you can really be present with the people you care about
Show up as your full self, so your life on the outside matches what you feel on the inside
Have a relationship with your work where it works for you as much as you work for it
Finally clear out those old emotional blocks and get that freedom and peace you’ve been craving
Together we will:
Evaluate what you want to change, what you want more of and less of in your day
Identify childhood survival patterns that are no longer serving you
Strengthen your ability to use new emotional skills, such as gentleness and humor
Reprocess the old survival patterns that your brain has been using so the past can be in the past where it belongs
Develop new, life-giving perspectives about yourself and others that will guide you in the present and future
You can be successful AND feel worthy - despite how much money you’re worth.
You can be successful AND feel grounded - without running yourself into the ground.
You can be successful AND feel in control - without being controlling.
You don’t have to continue repeating old emotional survival strategies that you learned back then.
You can start being who you want to be today, instead of who you had to be as a child.
Your future self will thank you.
Areas of Expertise:
Entrepreneurs / business owners who identify as ACOA
Career decisions for ACOAs
Performance anxiety / fear of public speaking
Dealing with work stress / burnout