Using the suggestions from page 100 of Sexaholics Anonymous book Step Into Action, one member works Step 6 on one of his character defects:
A. Character Defect: Workaholism
B. What is my life like with this defect?
(How has this defect affected my life? How does it affect my life with others? What does this behavior cost me and others? What payoffs or benefits do I think I am receiving? What feelings do I associate with this behavior in the moment or later in reflections? What patterns trigger this defect or are triggered by this defect?)
I need to always perform. I ask, “What will people think of me?”
I find it hard to relax and allow myself time for pleasure.
I have a “to do” list, and it is never finished.
I never get thanks or praise from my “to do” list; I am the one driving it, not others.
If I don’t get the “to do” list done, I don’t feel right. I feel I have disappointed someone, like my father? My mother? God?
This defect is tied up with my “perfectionism” and my “procrastination.”
I find myself repeating my father’s counsel to me, “A job worth doing is worth doing well!” I can’t let up. I have to finish it, and finish it well “come hell or high water!”
I need to get things completed, otherwise I am “haunted” by the need to finish it.
I’d rather finish a job than spend time with others “wasting time.” This makes a “loner” out of me. I tend to isolate myself from others by focusing my life on my work rather that others.
I can’t waste time with others or with my hobbies.
Even my hobbies have to have a product or a purpose or I won’t invest time in them.
This behavior costs me friendships; they say, “He is too busy,” “He is always busy. I won’t disturb him.”
I get a lot done, but am I doing my work or doing the work that others should be doing?
I seem overcommitted as I sum up all the things I am involved with.
Do I work too much because I fear losing my self-image or other’s image of me (ie. What I think of what they think of me).
C. What would my life be like without this defect?
(What alternative behavior might I practice instead? What is the opposite of this defect? What might I gain by surrendering it? How might the quality of my life improve? How might I be different in my relationship? How might removal of this defect affect my productivity, serenity, and usefulness to others? How might my relationship with the God of my understanding grow?
As an alternative, I would make sure that I take breaks and enjoy the moment.
Without my workaholism I would be more relaxed.
I would take time to “waste” on hobbies and talking with people, developing friendships.
I would not feel deprived by time spend in prayer or at meetings.
I would appreciate living in the moment and enjoying what I am doing.
I would make sure that I am not taking over someone else’s responsibility by committing to some work.
I would let God “take care of everything” and just do the next right thing, and not fuss.
By surrendering my workaholism, I would allow myself more time for relationships, but without neglecting my responsibilities.
By allowing more time for relationships, I would not feel as lonely as I do now.
By not holding on to work as the highest good, I would place love of God and charity for others as higher goods. I would value work as service to others not as a way for me to gain more self-esteem.
Since God is my source of strength in all that I do, in any good that I would do, then I need to dedicate myself to my relationship with God. This means being committed to investing time to build and maintain that relationship. Sometimes I want to skimp on my prayer time, meditation time or study time. Such a decision is short-sighted if I believe God is my strength.
D. My Prayer
(short simple prayers that support my willingness to surrender this defect to God)
O, my God, I have relied too much on my own judgment and strength to do good and to please You. May I use Your Grace to rely on You and Your care for me. May I not worry about the job that I am doing, but rather be quick to ask Your help and Your judgment in carrying out the task.
O, my God, I ask Your help in keeping my life in balance. Help me to appreciate life in the moment, to observe the precious gift of the moment. May I grow in awareness that You are with me every moment, and await my call for help.
O, my God, I surrender the results of my work into Your hands. May I be content to do the next right thing and be satisfied to trust You for the results. Help me to quiet my inner voices that doubt, question and criticize my work. May I listen to Your guidance in the work and in the results.
O, my God, help me to focus on the work of my hands and be patient, forgiving and merciful with others and their work. Let my inventory be of myself and your work in me, and not in an effort to take others’ inventory.
O, my God, I am grateful for the work You have given to me. I am grateful for the gifts and time You give me to perform the work. I am grateful for Your love and care for me.
Amen, to all of the above.Long to be happy and free? Click to find a meeting!