One thing I’ve found after living a good few years on the limitless sobriety spectrum is, the personality traits that once attributed to our addiction, may actually still be there.
My addictive personality has switched from its laser focus on alcohol to allowing me to dial in better leadership, create a healthy life structure, and overall has given me a greater sense of purpose.
On the flip side, my own underlying addictive personality traits can still create brain overdrive, obsessive thoughts, and from time to time, allows the thoughts of negative emotion to creep in.
An addictive personality is a double-edged sword with an unwanted dark side, but could it also be a major driver of entrepreneurial success?
Is an addictive personality a myth in itself? How do we use these personality traits to our advantage?
Addictive Personality: Myth or Real?
Addictive personalities have often been regarded as a myth, and this is somewhat true.
There is no proper psychiatric diagnosis that links the traits of an “addictive personality” to a higher risk of addiction.
An addictive personality is often more a combination of a person’s past and present environment, addiction history, and most importantly, their genes (Zilberman et al., 2018).
Therefore, an accurate and perhaps more scientifically description for an addictive personality is addictive genetic disposition.
Constant exposure to substances in early brain development may also impact addiction-related behaviour, and the way we process stimulus-response learning, which is the basis of habit formation.
This is why establishing healthy habits during the early stages of sobriety are absolutely critical, especially these 5 simple habits.
Addiction, the Dark side of Entrepreneurship.
When we establish healthy habits, our predisposition to addictive tendencies tends to work in our favour in most parts when it comes to business.
I say most parts because this is where the dark side of addiction can begin to creep back in.
A highly motivated work-life drives our feeling of success, and creates purpose, which is one of the core habits we need to nourish and sustain long-term sobriety.
That being said, a strong desire to succeed in business can make us under prioritise our personal life, perhaps we overlook our own health, and neglect times for rest and recovery.
This addictive drive, although once seemingly beneficial, often leads to burnout (Keskin et al., 2015).
This can create a strong level of stress; severely impact our mental health, and cause us to ignore good habits, which could completely derail our sober journey in early sobriety.
Using Your Personality to Your Advantage
Looking at the more positive side of addictive traits, we can actually use these tendencies to create better drive, success and purpose.
A lot of the tactics here heavily involve establishing good foundational habits, creating good structure in our life and gathering a base understanding of the neurotransmitters that drive addiction and sobriety.
You can read my full article on Neurotransmitters here.
Once we cover these key areas, we are able to gather a better understanding of what drives addictive habits, allowing us to be more in control.
The longer we move in this direction allows our neural circuitry to practically rewire and “unlearn” some of our self-destructive and more undesirable habits.
This neural rewiring is thanks to neuroplasticity, which is a fancy way of describing the brain’s ability to reorganise, rewire and regrow neural networks (Puderbaugh & Emmady, 2021).
An addictive personality, otherwise better described as an addictive genetic predisposition, is something that can follow us years into sobriety.
Although like a double-edged sword, it can have a pretty nasty dark side, we can use it to our advantage to create better success in our life.
If we implement good sustainable habits and create a better understanding of addiction itself, we can rewire out the old circuitry and self-destructive foundations that are commonly attributed to an addictive personality.
If you have any questions regarding this article, reach out.
- Goldman, D. (2013). The genetic basis of addictive disorders. Neurobiology of Mental Illness, 696-705. https://doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199934959.003.0052
- Keskin, G., Gümüşsoy, S., & Aktekin, E. (2015). Entrepreneurship: Is it an addiction? Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 195, 1694-1697. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.06.259
- Puderbaugh, M., & Emmady, P. D. (2021). Neuroplasticity. StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32491743/
- Zilberman, N., Yadid, G., Efrati, Y., Neumark, Y., & Rassovsky, Y. (2018). Personality profiles of substance and behavioral addictions. Addictive Behaviors, 82, 174-181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.03.007
Former drinker, Nutritionist, Biohacking enthusiast, self-experimenter, research fanatic, and self-taught writer, Stephen immerses himself deep into the literature of human optimisation and better understand the nature of addiction. His goal is to help people take control of their addiction, reset their cravings, unscramble their broken brain circuitry and use actionable strategies that work ten times better than anything else.