Work & Worth: Why It’s a Problem

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One of the first questions you ask when you meet someone new is “what do you do?”  – as if what you do for a living somehow equates to who you are. I get it; it’s an innocent question and one we all ask just for the sake of conversation. But the underlying subconscious message is kind of toxic if you stop to think about it. It tells us that our worth is dependent on something outside ourselves – some measure of success, whatever it may be. That to be loved, valued, and fulfilled, we must keep doing, hustling, struggling, and achieving.

Why? For what? Happiness, love, and fulfillment? These feelings can only be found within ourselves at the end of the day. You can’t simply acquire them like you can acquire another degree.

Becoming a doctor does not make your more worthy of love than when you were a high school student. Writing another book doesn’t mean you’re more worthy and valuable than you were before you wrote it.

We get so stuck on the external measures of success that we overlook the fact that we’re already worthy, loved, and valuable just as we are. It’s okay to be right where you are, doing exactly what you’re doing. That’s almost controversial to say in our society these days – a society that always wants MORE and wants it RIGHT NOW.

I’m not saying to never work on yourself or never try to achieve anything. I’m just saying to let go of the guilt and of other people’s expectations of what you should be doing. Let go of the timelines. Life isn’t meant to be lived one milestone to the next. You can’t plan what age you’ll be when you fall in love and get married, or have a “5-year plan” for every aspect of your life. You can try, but chances are you’ll be miserable and chasing timeliness that don’t even matter.

For me personally, I get asked all the time when I’m going to write another book. “It’s still marinating in my brain,” I say, which is partially true. There are always book ideas floating around in there that I write down in notes on my phone. But the other truth – the one that no one wants to hear, not even myself sometimes – is that I don’t want to yet. I’m not ready. Writing my first book was fun and therapeutic, but it was also insanely time consuming. I don’t regret writing it, but the truth is it took time away from doing fun things with my friends, and it took time away from my relationship. You can’t get back time.

If I’ve learned anything over the past few years it’s that if you have to force something, you need to let it go. Circle back to it later.

“Oh, but Kylee, there’s never a right time! Jump in before you’re ready or it’ll never get done!”

You know what? No. I reject the idea that I have to do something when I’m not aligned with it. I reject the idea that to be a “true writer” you have to always be writing something for someone else’s enjoyment.

We’re so much more than just our job titles and what we do every day. Take time to understand yourself and how you actually want to feel (not the laundry list of BS you think you should do). Go from there. Be patient with yourself and do things for the joy of it, not because someone thinks you should.

The one goal we should all have for 2019 is to just have fun. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?

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Comments

  1. says

    Oh my goodness thank you! I’ve always been such an overachiever and as I get older I’m realizing that my capabilities at work aren’t the only thing about me. And that is so important! I love the idea of just having fun in 2019.

    Hayden

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