Saturday I went out shopping with a good friend who used to be my co-worker. She moved on to a new position about six months before I did. Her departure was part of what convinced me to look. I saw how happy she was in her new job, and it encouraged me.
Talking with her again, I was reminded about how frustrated I had been in my old job. I have a serious disease to please - and in the end, it ends up displeasing me. Each time I start a job, I promise myself I am not going to fall into the same trap, but eventually I find myself ending up there anyway. I want so much to do a good job, and get my figurative pat on the head. I end up sacrificing myself in the bargain.
I always try to go above and beyond. I guess that wouldn't be a bad thing except, eventually above and beyond becomes the new normal. It becomes the expectation I have to live up too. So I bring it up another notch... and so on.
Cut to five years later and I am typically exhausted and bitter. Yet it really is my own fault. I am not good at setting boundaries. I am not good at stepping back, and saying it's okay to let some things go. Instead I get a giant case of the "It's Not Fair!" and become a martyr.
When I get to this point of overload, I'm too tired to move on. So afraid wherever I go will be worse than where I am. I hate being in that bad place. So afraid of what could be out there, that I stop imagining what could be out there for me.
Why do I always assume the grass is browner on the other side?
How do I keep myself true to going above and beyond when it's required, but learning to put myself first when it's not?