I think I’m addicted to chaos.
I heard about this term, “chaos addiction,” in a book I read on team and scaling called “Buy Back Your Time” by Dan Martell. He talks about it in terms of finding (or even creating) things to worry about or difficult situations in the interest of feeding your nervous system’s out-of-whack baseline stress levels.
Think: business owners who don’t manage their time well and pile on intentionally impossible tasks. Moms who say “yes” to everything even though they KNOW it’s not physically possible to be in two places at once. In general, people who are addicted to chaos seek out chaotic, high-stress situations because they don’t know how to exist without them.
Although I don’t take things that far, I can relate.
Getting personal here: although I consider myself a high-achieving person (goes back to my kindergarten days where I received an “O” for outstanding on every report card), sometimes I struggle HARD with slowing down, saying no, and just resting. It feels wrong! There’s so much to do! (I also tell myself that I can’t relax if the house isn’t clean. WHERE did I make that up?!)
If you relate, this reel by creative coach and author Maria Bowler will change your life. I’ve shared it before, I’ll share it again, and I will never stop sharing!
“Actually resting can feel terrible. It can feel like withdrawal and nobody tells us that.” – Never related to something more.
I was talking with one of my mentees in the Design Minimind (my 1:1/group program for designers) about this very topic. She was struggling with a packed schedule, but also with finding productive ways to rest at the end of the day. My advice? Answer two questions:
Consider this your invitation to address any chaos addiction you have in your life. Where can you slow down? To whom can you say no? When can you allow yourself to rest—actually rest—even in the chaos of life?
Let me know if this struck a chord with you. I adore the mini conversations I get to have with you guys!