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Coping with Competition

A New Perspective Through Recovery

Professional success is championed in the United States — a country known for its business opportunities. However, achieving high-powered positions in a company or starting a company is ripe with stresses despite the financial stability or importance that one’s job title carries.

Regardless of this success, the stresses of competition in the workplace can be incredibly difficult to cope with. This is especially true as the economy writhes in a constant state of inherent flux only exacerbated by the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With professional and financial success comes a great deal of competition. This can create an atmosphere of stress, doubt, anxiety, and more.

It can even lead to the adoption of dangerous and addictive substance use as a way to cope with the cutthroat environment throughout these high-powered professional positions. As a result, being aware of the coping strategies one uses is paramount to prevent the development of addiction and create a healthy work-life balance.

The Stress of the Professional Sphere

There is no shortage of stress in anyone’s job. Dealing with the constant competition in the workplace can add to the already stressed mindset one may occupy. Not only can there be financial stresses as an individual budgets for their own livelihood, but there can also be additional pressure when others may have their eyes on one’s own position.

Reaching the rank of a position such as regional supervisor, vice president, executive, CEO, or another high-ranking role is cause for celebration. However, it can also come with the feeling that one may have a target on their back. The pressures set upon an individual by coworkers, peers, and excessive professional expectations can be extraordinarily difficult to cope with.

Those in these kinds of positions also may find that their workdays never have a definitive end time. Perhaps they feel that they must always be by their phone in case an important call or email comes in. This can make it very difficult for an individual to take a vacation or even a single night off from the stress. Being on guard at all times, maintaining an air of authority, and constantly dealing with unexpected professional crises takes a large toll on one’s mental health.

Likewise, this air of authority is also something that is expected to permeate at all hours of the day, especially in the work environment. Admitting one’s mental health is suffering or that stress is becoming overwhelming can be very difficult.

Not all coworkers may be ready to challenge the stigma surrounding things like therapy or mental health disorders. This can make it difficult to properly address these stresses, leading to an increase in other, more dangerous coping strategies.

The Prevalence of Addictive Substances

Drugs, alcohol, gambling, and more can all quickly become one’s way of coping with competition in order to relieve stress. Talking openly about therapy can feel like it may ostracize one from their peers. Unfortunately, discussions around hitting the bar after work are often commonplace, despite the detrimental implications. Built-up stress will look for any form of release, and it can easily come in the form of alcohol, drugs, or other self-destructive behaviors.

The financial stability that may be provided as a result of one’s executive position can also make this option more accessible. An individual may not have to budget as much for these substances. This makes them a fast-acting, accessible, and common coping strategy for stress from the cutthroat competition that is pervasive throughout one’s daily life.

Taking Control of Stress

Acknowledging the prevalence and possibility of addiction as a result of one’s professional life is a major step in coping with the effects in one’s daily life. It is important to acknowledge the following:

  • How much one is spending on addictive substances

  • How often do they engage with these substances

  • If an individual is using with professional peers or by themselves

These can all help an individual identify the potentially dangerous relationship that one may have with these substances.

However, seeking professional help is always the best option. Addiction is a disease that can affect anyone, regardless of one’s career status or financial situation. Different recovery facilities may also have unique clientele that helps demonstrate the widespread nature of addiction and help an individual connect with peers in similar situations. This can include creating support groups made of other professionals in similar situations, all coping with the competitive and stressful demands of one’s professional life.

Acknowledgment is the first step towards creating healthy coping strategies and establishing essential work-life barriers. Working with peers and professionals that understand how addiction and substance abuse can affect those in high-ranking professional spheres can provide acceptance and camaraderie needed for a healthy change.

CEOs, executives, and other professionals are commonly tasked with living and working in a highly competitive and stressful environment that can have a major effect on one’s mental and emotional health.

The stress of competition can pave the way for the development of destructive coping strategies — most prevalent of which is the use of drugs, alcohol, or addictive substances to quell the effects of stress in one’s daily life. At Chateau Recovery, we understand the unique position that you are in and are prepared to help you cope with the personal and professional hurdles you face every day. We pride ourselves in curating effective communities of peers dedicated to understanding and acceptance. You will have the chance to start your journey alongside other professionals who share in your struggles and goals.

For more information on how we can help you, call to speak to a caring, trained staff member today at (435) 222-5225.

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