Tuesday I had a talk with an aunt who’s working on a book that will share stories from different women about the choices we make. Something that came up in our conversation was this notion that our society is obsessed with stress. Not just that we are stressed, but that we actively invite stress into our lives because that’s what our world honors. Then today I saw THIS article entitled “The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death”. You should go read it.
The article brings up the marketing campaign “In Doers We Trust” by freelance marketplace Fiverr. It features this image I’ll leave right here.
Think about it.
Don’t we revere those who work long hours, put in time on the weekend, answer emails within 30 seconds and say things like, “I haven’t taken a vacation in 4 years”? Don’t we give someone the side-eye when they leave right at 5pm? Silently judging them for not putting in enough time?
And what if you’re on the other end - what if you’re the doer? Don’t you tell people, with a sense of pride: “Oh my gosh, I was at the office until 10 pm last night. Yeah, it was soooooo crazy. I just have so much to do. No, no dinner but someone left a soy sauce packet in the kitchen so I ate that.”
I fell into this mentality a few years ago and it was strangely and strongly addictive. I started working a bit late as my workload increased. Got recognized and praise for it. So I started working later. And later. And later. There were so many times when I didn’t really need to be there late, it simply became part of my image. And even though I KNEW I was burning myself out and quickly losing my mind, I still did it. Why?
Our society preaches that the more stressful your job is, the more important your job is and therefore the more important you are. If you’re not stressed, you’re not a good person. You’re not a hard worker. Are you having fun at work? Stop it. Be stressed like the rest of us and maybe you’ll get somewhere. #hustle
Well, I’m done.
This mentality is awful. I’m tired of self-worth being dependent on our level of stress and hustle. Why are we so afraid of balance? Why are we so afraid to actually enjoy life? Why are we so afraid of freaking getting enough sleep?! Maybe it’s our desire to control everything and we think if we just work a bit harder, we’ll be ok or happy or financially stable.
But something I have learned on this journey of starting my own business is that sometimes you have to let go. Loosen your grip. Give God some room to work. Figure out a way to work smarter not harder. You might be surprised at what happens when you stop living frantically.
Signing off to go live this beautiful life ✌🏽