Tristan talks about decoupling your worth from your work on this installment of TAP In with Tristan. What happens if the worthiness, belonging, or acceptance you’re seeking doesn’t come? Tristan will tell you – you’ll set the goal higher and higher and higher, which can only lead to anxiety, depression, and burnout. Check out the full tip for advice on dealing with this situation!
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Tristan: What’s going on, Living Corporate? It’s Tristan, and I want to thank you for tapping back in with me as I provide some tips and advice for professionals. Today, let’s talk about decoupling your worth from your work.
For many of us with goals and aspirations, we tend to think of ourselves as overachievers. We take pride in the work we do and in doing that work well. In working with many self-identified overachievers, I’ve found most of us tend to have a chip on our shoulder , typically due to some type of inequity or family challenge that we experienced in our youth. This challenge led us to feel like we have something to prove. Maybe we need to prove ourselves to our family, friends, or the world. Sometimes we just want to prove that we’re different, special, worthy of love, or that we belong.
One of the most common ways we find to prove ourselves when we’re younger is through academic achievement. That route easily translates to professional achievement as we transition into adulthood. We begin to base our choices in our career on what we believe will provide us the most acceptance from those we seek it from. We feel like if we can accomplish certain things in our professional life, we will finally prove whatever we set out to prove.
There are a few problems here, though. What happens next when you achieve that goal? What happens if the worthiness, belonging, or acceptance you were seeking doesn’t come? I’ll tell you. You set the goal higher, and higher, and higher, which can only lead to anxiety, depression, and burnout.
If any of this resonates with you and you feel you wrap up your value or sense of belonging into your performance at work, there are a couple of questions I want you to ask yourself:
Since you can’t work towards solving a problem until you know the source, I want you to ask yourself, “How did you arrive here?”
Once you find clarity on where this need to prove yourself is coming from, ask yourself, “How has this way of being served you in your life to this point?” Just because this isn’t how you want to live moving forward doesn’t mean nothing good came from it.
Next, I suggest asking yourself, “How would I show up at work if my worth wasn’t tied to it?”
And lastly, ask, “If I achieved everything I set out to do, made all the money I desired to make, and received all the recognition I wanted, what would I do next?”
These questions are just meant to jumpstart the reflection process, but decoupling your worth from your work doesn’t happen overnight. If you need or want more assistance, I suggest seeking out a career coach AND a therapist to help you throughout the process.
This tip is brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @layfieldresume, or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.