Time and again clients will come to me, initially wanting to eliminate some excessive craving, like the woman who told me she devoured a bag of potato chips every night before dinner. After several sessions, it came out that there were massive layoffs at her company and she worried every day about receiving a pink slip.
Or the woman who, in her own words, ate her weight in sugar every day. Turns out, she was working two jobs (one of which was "just a paycheck") to make ends meet. Neither job gave her a sense of accomplishment. In fact, she continually referred to one of them as "just a paycheck." Sometimes a sugar craving is the body's way of asking for energy -- that was certainly the case here.
We need to remember that everything feeds us. Career, relationships, spirituality, hobbies and relaxation might be as important -- if not more so -- than what's on our plates. If something's out of balance, we'll always be hungry.
Work's a big one. After all, we spend a lot of time there, and we can experience migraines, upset stomachs, stiff necks and back and shoulder pain if our professional lives are out of whack. Gallup agrees. According to the organization's 2013 State of the American Workplace report, it was revealed that 70 percent of workers are disengaged, costing employers an estimated cost of $450 to $550 billion per year.
Let's be clear: No one is suggesting that you leave your job without a back-up plan for food and shelter. Starting over is difficult. Even Oprah Winfrey admitted the difficulty of starting something new, but maybe -- just maybe -- it's time for you to think of pursuing and preparing for a different path. It's tough, but it can also be pretty great, giving you a greater sense of achievement, accomplishment, peace and happiness in the long term.
Check in with yourself from time to time, and ask:
1. Am I getting enough challenges?
Can you utilize your skills and talents? Most importantly, can you still learn and grow -- or is this a dead end?
2. Do I have a healthy work/life balance?
It's not unusual these days for someone to do the job of two people. It's also not unusual for part-time hours to actually be full time. You still need time for relaxation, recreation, friends, family and hobbies -- you'll be a lot happier, healthier and more productive in the long term.
3. Does my job give me a sense of personal fulfillment, of achievement?
Do you love what you're doing and feel like you're making a contribution to society, or is the job "just a paycheck"?
4. Do I have a sense of community?
Do you have good co-workers? Is the environment friendly and supportive -- or hostile, with a lot of backbiting and fear?
5. Do I feel appreciated?
If you're experiencing unrelentless negativity and criticism, it will eventually wear you down.
For more by Irene Ross, click here.
For more on success and motivation, click here.
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with our women’s conference, “The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power,” which took place in New York on June 6, 2013. To read all of the posts in the series and learn more about the conference, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter #ThirdMetric.