What often can make strong achievers in the world is living in an environment early in life where much is expected, and the outcome of failure is very consequential. The challenges associated with developing a successful lifestyle are approached with a strong work ethic and a disposition that is not paralyzed by missteps. The attitude is to bear down and learn because limited achievement has life changing implications. Sounds like a harsh and unforgiving approach to life but very often the outcome is an actualization of more affluence for this person. They feel safe in the world because their needs are fulfilled – and often in abundance. However, for some individuals, feelings of safety are never actualized. Consequently, the ‘drive’ never recedes, causing many problems.
This person is often viewed as responsible – but on a closer look, his response is ‘over-responsibility’. The over-responsibility response is a badge of honour. They have a drive to ‘take care’ of everyone in their environment. One of the problems with over-responsibility is that it often results in anxiety that impacts personal daily life. The individual may believe their accommodation to maintaining a high level of responsibility means that without it they will be viewed negatively and experience disapproval from others. This is an untested assumption – ‘ I am nothing and will be rejected by my family and peers if I don’t demonstrate excessive responsibility.’
Sometimes people who have lived the life of over-responsibility fail to understand how they achieved their success. The overarching belief that guided their life was that to fail could never be an option because it was too consequential. In some cases, as they become parents, they don’t offer even a modulated or tough love experience for their children. This parent may become over-indulgent, weakening that child’s ability to do well in the world. The child are often less resilience and less confident.
Just a Thought …
From Willow Grove Counselling, Inc.