Syndrome of Disavowed Yearning
13 Apr 2017
I am trying to understand the hollow feeling I sometimes get once have I accomplished what was thought to be a great challenge or goal. I want to understand what is missing. I get that, “is that it” feeling. For example when I published my first book. I recall rushing home to a box delivered while I was out of town for business. I burst into an empty room void of people, I grabbed the box and ripped it opened like I was an 8 year old on Christmas morning. There was no confetti, no music, nothing special. Such a big lifetime accomplishment “a book”, completed, done. My name, my picture, my words! Then 5 minutes later I am wondering what all the excitement was about. What is next is all I could think. Oh, if I just finish (fill in the blank)…
So I wanted some answers and searched on-line. Here is part of an article called “Why Do Many High Achievers Feel Unfulfilled? The Syndrome of Disavowed Yearning”, by Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A.
In the people who become high achievers, they sublimate what would have been an aching yearning into accomplishing things. If you’re like them, even if that doesn’t fill you up from the inside out, the conditional grin of approval for what you do instead of the love and celebration for who you are can certainly distract you from the yearning. However, as great a way as that is to cope, down deep something at your core feels false. And after many years of accomplishments, those grins of conditional love and approval wear thin and you can feel empty.
In the article he outlines some of the conditions that could have caused these feelings. These conditions may have been passed on from your parents, or conditions from your upbringing. None the less it is psychological and it is real. This article explains the condition, but not how to remedy it.
So if I understand correctly I may be trying to fill a hole with the wrong stuff. It may not matter how much I accomplish or how great I might become it will not fill the void I am trying to fill.
I refused to stop reaching for the stars, but I will seek answers to fill the void. I believe the answer will come when I am able to help others. That is my biggest goal. I know I am moving forward towards the outcome of helping. So for today, what is next is my question.
Keep moving forward.
Thanks for joining me today.