One of the ways I’ve fostered a healthier relationship with work is by making work morally neutral in regards to both my employment status and my performance. And before you lose your mind over that allow me to explain.
One Definition of Morally Neutral
In my opinion (which is what this whole website/channel is) most of us do not work in jobs that save lives, we are not landing rockets on the moon and for those of us who do not work these VERY INSANELY IMPORTANT jobs we have the privilege of viewing our work performance as morally neutral – meaning that if we do a mediocre job, get a meh performance review or honestly kind of suck at what we do we are not bad people because of our performance (but we may still be bad people I suppose).
A Second Definition
To take this concept a step further, I also think our employment status is morally neutral – meaning that your employment status does not make you a good or bad person. If you have the financial privilege and your job is too much it is ok to leave or find a better one. Our society places a lot of shame on the unemployed for absolutely no reason – most people do not choose the unemployed life and even those who do have good reasons.
Both of these definitions were crucial to my journey of untangling my worth from my work. And untangling my worth from my work helped me create a healthier relationship with work and it honestly made me a better worker. This journey has made me wonder – why do we define ourselves by our jobs at all? (more to come on this question in later content)
With these definitions in hand what do we do next? In my experience unpacking the following concepts and questions will take you on a journey to a healthier mindset with work.
- When your work feels too much ask yourself one of my favorite questions – does this really matter? Is this work getting upset over? Can I remove myself from this temporarily to calm myself down?
- Perfectionism – a major inhibitor for me in my relationship with work was my perfectionist tendencies. I had to learn to leave perfectionism at the door.
- On the hard days I asked myself – does being a good worker give me more value as a person?
- What can I do to help myself stop obsessing over work? Can I find distracting hobbies?
Unpacking these, deep diving in and finding ways to work around or work through my unhealthy habits helped me reduce stress, find better work life balance and honestly become a better worker because I’m a lot worse at my job when I am overly emotionally engaged.
Let me know if you want me to deep dive into these topics and if so which ones in the comments! If not I think the next video will be on separating who we are from what we do. And if you want some 1:1 help working through this please reach out – all my coaching details are here.