Does Substance Abuse Make Your Employees Afraid of Success?

Often the question of “fear of success” is associated with male and female role differentiation and usurping. Many studies have been done on both modern and mid-twentieth-century levels of “fear of success” with respect to male and female gender identification and role playing. However, fear of success is related to many other variables, especially in more modern situations where the male-female role patterns are much more neutralized.

Before discussing the effects of drug and alcohol abuse on internal feelings concerning success and failure, it is important to examine the current research on psychological predispositions to fear. The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology published the results of a study geared to finding any correlation between fear of success and fear of failure. [1] It was found that fear of success and fear of failure are highly related, and that the remaining, less fearful test subjects stood in the middle, without any unreasonable concern about success or failure. In other words, emotional attachment and lack of positive association with life challenges were both correlated to fear of success, as well as fear of failure.

The individuals who did not attach emotion, and therefore personal identity and connection, with the possibilities of success or failure were much calmer, more down-to-earth and accepted life as it came, rather than as a stress factor.

Stress factors are key to the understanding of perpetual psychological dependence on drugs and alcohol. A study using nine cocaine addicts during inpatient and post-hospital time periods discusses how certain psychological traumas are “relived” through repeated cocaine abuse. [2] In this manner, test subjects were able to recreate past horrors within themselves out of a need to “fix” the past. Rather than moving on and embracing new life challenges, they escape to their drug and obsess about past failures.

It is precisely these emotional connections between the outer world and the inner psychology which enable recurring obsession with the past and fear of the future. Paranoia and dementia are already side effects of certain drugs, but this added psychological reinforcement causes long-term damage.

If your employees are exhibiting withdrawal from new and better work opportunities, do not take advantage of possible pay raises, and seem to barely get the job done, they may be suffering from emotional malfunction and drug addiction. Have your employees tested to make sure that you catch a problem before it costs your business money. Contact CMM Technology today: +618-9204-2500.

1. “Objective measurement of fear of success and fear of failure: A factor analytic approach.” ScienceDirect – Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology . N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.

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