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Overcoming Work Addiction: Step 5 – Kill the Triggers

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

I’m addicted to my cell phone. If I’m in the car, waiting for the doctor, in line at the grocery store, or during TV commercials, I’m checking my phone.

I’ve created a whole bunch of ‘triggers’ in my life that are associated with me checking my cell phone. At this point I have no control over this habit. That’s scary!  Especially while I’m driving!  It’s terrible.

Checking our cell phones is pretty harmless (unless we’re driving), but what if the thing we turned to was much more serious. The same way we turn to our phones when we hit a trigger, we turn to work when we hit other triggers.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation in your business where you felt out of control so you turn to working more?

We entrepreneurs have many things that trigger our sense to need to do more! We turn to many things to relieve that stress. But what are those triggers?  What are those things we turn towards? What brings us comfort? Do we even know and fully understand this?.

The Bible says

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 NIV

I believe this bible verse had the two steps to help us identify and overcome the triggers of our work addiction.  I like the watch and pray parts.  Those are 2 actionable steps.

First, watch.

We must know and understand these triggers.  Watch out for them.  Avoid them. If debt is a trigger, then you need to focus on getting our of debt. If marital problems are the trigger, then focus on doing the little things in your marriage to make it right.  If clients send you into a stressful situation, then dump the bad clients.

Let’s point out some potential triggers that send us back into work mode

  1. Bank account low

  2. Sales numbers down

  3. Launch went wrong

  4. Conflict with client, vendor, employee, or contractor

  5. Home issues

  6. Competition envy: seeing them win a contract or launch a new service

  7. Nothing better to do at home

  8. Thinking of your long to do list

Our addiction to working has 4 major parts

  1. Trigger – the situation that triggers you to want to work

  2. Role – work promises to escape, relive or fix that stressful situation

  3. Object – the ‘gring mode’ that we turn to instead of God to meet our needs in the moment

  4. Goal – comfort, because we don’t like feeling the pressure or stresses that triggered us to work

So now that we know and understand these triggers that send us into work mode, how do we break the cypher?

Then, Pray.

The second part of that bible verse, Jesus has us pray.

What does it cost you to associate a stressful trigger to a quick little prayer? Maybe at first it will see disingenuous because you know that immediately following the prayer you’re still going to fall into the addiction. But over time, any small prayers in sincerity start to have an effect over the work addiction and you’ll catch yourself sooner or get yourself our of grind mode faster.

You are addicted to working or you wouldn’t be reading this blog post. You’re addicted to comfort and you and I find things that will silence our pain and bring us peace. But the peace you’re searching for in work is a fake, a fraud, an imposter. The real peace is found by seeking Jesus more.  

In him you will find purpose and passion, which will then give you a Godly understanding of what your vocational identity really is, which then will put your work into its rightful place in your heart.

We often don’t rank work addiction as “bad” because we see people overdose on heroin and thing “well, at least I’m not shooting up, instead I’m working more.” The only problem is that God sees all addictions the same: competition to Him and imposter solutions for something He can only truly provide.

Godpreneur Rule #86: Godpreneurs find releif and comfort in God during stressful times in their businesses.

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