Have you ever taken on a job that wasn’t even yours to accept? A job you subconsciously started? A job you didn’t get paid for?
I have. I have taken on so many jobs that weren’t mine and instead of being paid for it, I ended up the one paying for it later.
I took on the job to fill the silence in the room lest the silence feel awkward.
I took on the job of people pleaser because I wanted everyone to feel comfortable and happy.
I took on the job of meek girlfriend so I could keep my man happy.
I took on the job of complacent friend, sacrificing my values and happiness for the sake of others.
I took on the job of the martyrmom (a term from my new author friend, Ashleigh Renard) to make sure everyone knew how hard motherhood was so I could get validation for my hard work.
All the jobs; all for the sake of everyone else’s comfort and happiness. All the jobs, masked as a helpful, caring person. All the jobs; a poison to my soul.
This is a cancer, especially among women, a spreading belief that’s settled into our bones like the genetics of our foremothers; it’s heavy, ancient, ingrained. There’s a line people crossed once upon a time that went from “of service” to “subservient”. We moved from helpful to helpless, from useful to used up. Few have crossed back over. To do so means reclaiming you: your worth, your happiness, your soul. It means making people uncomfortable. It means releasing old relationships to make way for new ones. It means doing big work and big work is often scary and hard.
Where did it become normal to sacrifice our feelings? Our values? Our beliefs? When did we start allowing people to walk all over us? When did being a supermom become a pedestal to strive for when it robbed us of our identity? When did our silence become so loud it became our norm? Why do we do this to ourselves?
It’s not our job to people please. It’s not our job to fill silence. It’s not our job to make sure others are happy and comfortable. It’s not our job to sacrifice ourselves for someone else. It’s not our job to live small so others can live big. It’s not our job to ensure someone else’s happiness. It’s not our job to be swallowed whole by motherhood. It’s not your job to do anything that doesn’t sit right with you. EVER.
I quit the job of people pleasing slowly, like an employee who quits but returns meekly begging for the job back. I repeatedly acknowledged these behaviours with the admonition that I was done putting everyone else’s needs and happiness before my own only to return to people pleasing when I least expected it. It was an ingrained habit, like chewing a certain number of times before swallowing, unconscious and automatic. A friend needed support with a cause, I volunteered time I didn’t have to it. A boyfriend wanted me to ditch my friends for his friends so I ditched. A co-worker begged me to take a shift when I really needed to study. I was a door mat. Worse, I felt like a door mat so it only made sense that I let people continuously walk all over me. I deserved it didn’t I? (Spoiler: Hell no, I didn’t. NO ONE does.)
I still hold the job of silence filler but I’m getting better at letting the silence have its spotlight. Quiet doesn’t have to be awkward or weird. Silence can be pregnant and powerful. Silence should be welcomed. But yet, at times, silence makes me uncomfortable so I assume the others I’m with are uncomfortable and that’s when I start talking. And I don’t stop. It can be more awkward to watch me go than to just sit in the damn silence. I’m learning to embrace the silence though. Slowly.
When you catch glimpses of your soul in your blind spots, you begin to slowly tune into your Higher Self. Your gut will tell you if a decision is right or wrong or if you’re doing the “right” thing but for the wrong reasons. You intuition will scream at you when you’re engaging with the wrong people for your wellbeing. Your body knows, a deep, primal knowing that we all have access to if we take the time to curl up, listen in and tune out distractions.
I wish I could say I woke up one morning and loudly proclaimed, “I quit!” and my life was suddenly irrevocably better and healthier. However, that’s not how life works, and quitting these jobs took effort. First, you need to realize your worth. What does worth even mean? It seems like a common hype word these days: “Know your worth!” Worth is defined as “usefulness or importance, as to the world, to a person, or for a purpose.”
Your worth is merely your existence on this planet as a thinking, breathing, living piece of cosmic stardust made human.
Your worth is your purpose to the planet, your value as a member of humanity.
The fact you exist equals your worth to the grand design of the cosmos. By being that thinking, breathing, living piece of stardust means you are allowed all of the gifts humanity has to offer and that you deserve the best of all things for the highest good for all. Knowing your worth looks like putting yourself first. Knowing your worth means valuing your uniqueness. Knowing your worth is being the best version of you because the Universe and the people in it right now along side you will benefit from your best self. When you are align with your best self your purpose emerges and that’s where you best life begins to blossom.
Honouring your worth may look like taking a day to yourself to spend time alone. Honouring your worth may look like leaving a marriage that is stifling and unhealthy. Honouring your worth may look like saying goodbye to toxic friendships and walking away.
And yet, so many of us take the jobs not fit for our best lives. We people please. We say sorry too much. We sacrifice our yeses for unworthy no’s. We accept partners unequal to ourselves and tell ourselves it’s enough.
Can we quit already? Can we begin the shift that sets us onto a trajectory of thriving wellness and endless joy? Can we say today, I choose me. I choose my happiness. I choose my yeses. I choose my energy. Can we say, just for today, I will do something for me? Not something that pleases someone else. Not something that sacrifices anything you value or believe. Not something that harms anyone else, yourself included. And can we do this without all the damn guilt? When did loving ourselves become so taboo that it’s damn near extinct?
Can we just proclaim, right here, right now: I AM WORTHY OF ALL THE UNIVERSE’S OFFERINGS AND I GLADLY ACCEPT ALL THE LOVE SO I MAY LIVE MY BEST LIFE FOR MYSELF AND FOR THOSE I LOVE! I’M DONE MARTYRING. IM DONE SUFFERING. IM DONE SACRIFICING MYSELF FOR OTHERS. I AM WORTHY OF MORE. I LOVE MY BEAUTIFUL, UNIQUE SELF. I AM THE ONLY (NAME) IN THIS ENTIRE VAST GALAXY AND I AM WORTH EVERY PIECE OF GOODNESS I CAN MANIFEST.
Say it out loud three times. Loudly and proudly.
Here’s my resignation: I quit. I quit saying unwanted sorry’s. I quit sacrificing my needs for my husband and kids. I quit filling the silence with unnecessary chatter. I quit.
What will you start quitting today?