An exercise I have done often, and seen done during resiliency workshops, is to review the reasons “why” we do what we do. Why am I a nurse? Why am I an ICU nurse? Why do I choose to work as well as be at home with my girls? For example, a nurse might answer the why question, “I enjoy helping people. Nursing is fast pasted and ever changing or I find it gives me something important to be a part of.” For a different profession, the “why” might be different. No matter what the reason, if it is a life-sustaining reason, it can be helpful to return to it regularly and during seasons of burn-out.
We don’t all love our jobs, at least all the time. If we live off feelings, we can be hot and cold about it all the time. Life is hard and finding joy at work can be challenging. We may have seasons where it’s easy to get to work and other seasons we can’t help but hit the snooze button one too many times. What is the cure? A job change? Easier said than done when you have bills to pay and health insurance to hold on to. Per recent reports the risk of going without health insurance keeps 1 in 6 people in their jobs (1). Forbes says the other reasons people stay in their jobs is: security, friends at work, already know the job, age, too much work to find something new, and not knowing what might end up being worse (2).
Being reminded of your “why” can help you rejuvenate or help nudge you towards something different. Maybe it’s time to ask for more opportunities in the area you love. Maybe you are hustling too much and need to slow down, delegate more and set aside some time to enjoy life.
In her book The Best Yes Lisa Terkeurst writes about not being able to do everything 100% to the best of our ability. We have the opportunity to do some things amazing, but to have that expectation of ourselves all the time creates too much pressure and poor results. Her book was instrumental in helping me understand that not only do I have to know my “why”, but I have to pick the areas which are most important for me to focus on.
So what about you? What is(are) your why(s)? Why do you come home early some days? Why do you stay late? Why do you strive so hard at work? What sending you back into the madness the next day? What fulfills you in your job and what might you focus on to find life in it again?
Being brave and asking some “why” questions can help you assess how your work, your side hustles and even how your volunteer work is going. Is it all going great? Do you think about doing something different? Do you need to slow down? Be proud of yourself for asking these questions and being willing to contemplate where you are and where you want to be. I hope going back to the “why” helps you find more resilience in your life.
References: 1. https://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/news/20210507/fear-of-losing-health-insurance-keeps-1-in-6-us-workers-in-their-jobs 2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2018/01/05/the-ten-worst-reasons-to-stay-in-a-job-you-hate/?sh=5421418c2fc7