Jungian Therapy for Anxiety & the Overly Driven Person
It’s actually painful to be an overly driven person, as both Jungian therapy and therapy for anxiety in general recognize. When we allow ourselves to get caught in this way, we run a great risk of chronically devaluing our inner life, and our true worth.
The overly driven person :
1. Never Relaxes or Feels Secure
The overly driven person can’t afford to lower his or her level of alertness, or level of effort, for fear of being overtaken or overcome. She lives by the old sports maxim: “You’re Only as Good as Your Last Game”.
For the overly driven person links self-worth and specific achievements. Now, Jungian therapy would acknowledge that we should have particular achievements of which we are proud. But if our sense of identity is built around socially recognized achievements, then we are on very shaky ground.
2. Fears Chaos; Continually Struggles to Maintain Control
Often the driven person strives to fend off their greatest fear: the collapse of a situation into chaos. Often that fear is rooted in experiences of chaos in their past at some point, or in a fear of chaos inherited from the family of origin. Therapy for anxiety knows that the response to this threat is to strive for greater control — of others, of ourselves, of the environment.
3. Thinks in Absolutes
In Steve Jobs’ biography, I was struck by the fact that he had only two attitudes to the work of others. He would either say “This is excellent! Amazing!”, or else he would say, “This is s–t!”. Excrement or excellence: no in-between. Overly driven people are often locked into perfectionism in their demands and expectations of themselves and others. So if a thing isn’t perfect, then it’s a complete miss and worthless.
4. Pushed by Unconscious Factors
Jungian therapy would emphasize the unconscious forces at work in the overly driven person. They may be rooted in past traumatic experience, past emotional dynamics in the family of origin, or overidentification with an archetype. Often, if a person is to gain freedom from driven-ness, she must become more conscious of what’s doing the driving. Therapy for anxiety includes healing around basic issues of self acceptance, satisfaction in what has been accomplished, and security.
“Is It Ever Gonna Be Enough?“… Metric – Gold Guns Girls
Often /a-midlife-transition can assist greatly in untangling the knot of drivenness.
PHOTOS: © All rights reserved by ray_wilson_jr
VIDEO: © “Gold Guns Girls” © 2009 Metric
© 2011 Brian Collinson 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, ON (near Mississauga)