Updated: Apr 27
Resentment and frustration is an indicator that something is out of alignment in our life, and the sad truth is that the people in our life are not to blame. This was a hard pill for me to swallow because it meant that I had to take charge of my life and the choices I was making on an everyday basis including staying in a job that was not fulfilling for me.
I ask myself what have I said yes to when I really mean no?
Early on in my career (it wasn’t that long ago) I blamed other people, the environment and organisations I worked for, for the resentment I felt and lack of validation I received for my strengths. The truth is, if I received a pay rise, validation every day from my boss, or was given more challenging work to do, I still would have felt like something was missing in my career because it was not a fulfilling career for me.
It wasn't until I took radical responsibility for my life and the direction it was going that I realised if I had got to where I am now, I have the power to get to where I really want to be.
If we force ourselves to do something that we don’t want to do, we will find ourselves resenting people, blaming them for how we feel and feel tired and drained at the end of each working day.
Examples of this are:
· When we say yes to overtime, but we really want to say no.
· When we say yes to going to a job that does not light us up when we want to quit.
· When we say yes to more work but we would prefer to not take on that extra work.
These are our boundaries, or rather, lack of. We fear what would happen if we said no. Would we be rejected or judged by that person or should I do it because that's what everyone else is doing? Would they be upset with me? Fear can keep us in situations that we don’t want to be in. This creates a cycle of unhappiness and suffering and if we’re not connected with our body, it takes a big wake-up call such as health scare or an accident to get us thinking about the meaning of life and what is truly important to us.
The reason why there are people who love their jobs is because they full-heartedly want to do it and know exactly WHY they are doing it. So, when things get tough at work, they go back to why they are doing that job in the first place. They know what they’re working towards and there is purpose in what they’re doing.
When we are unhappy in our jobs, we think it’s “them” that make us feel that way, but the reality is, it’s us. We force ourselves to be in careers or environments that are not fulfilling, and as a result we project negative energy. Then we expect to be praised and get a pay rise. We do this from a place of fear: “how will I make an income?”; “what would I do if I didn’t do this?”; or “it’s normal - no one actually likes their job”.
If you’re in a career you feel unhappy in, ask yourself why.
Why am I unhappy at work? – because people don’t appreciate me, I don’t get paid what I am worth, I’m over worked, I don’t like how I’m treated by my colleagues, I’m bored.
Resentment appears when we think logically about our situation. We think that we’re fine, but deep down we don’t want to be doing what we’re doing. We either know what we would prefer to be doing but we don’t give ourselves permission to do it, or we don’t know what the alternative is because we haven’t invested time and money to find out what that could be.
If your answer is because the work is not fulfilling and lacks purpose, you are being honest with yourself by acknowledging that there is a huge part of you that does not want to show up for work because of these reasons. You can’t force yourself to like something that you don’t like but so many of us justify it with logic, when it’s not logic that drives us, but our internal motivators.
If you continue to force yourself to be in a career you don’t like, it won’t get easier just because you’re earning money or because you’re getting external validation. You will find it will get harder because you will realise that external validation like a pay rise or words of affirmation don’t connect with your internal motivations and what you would prefer to be doing. This is why some celebrities and millionaires are not happy.
I am not going to leave you hanging. Here is what you can do if you find yourself in this position.
Ask yourself these questions.
1. If you can imagine that in your current position your work problems no longer existed, would you be fulfilled by your career and the work you do every day?
2. If you received a pay rise, appreciation from work colleagues and you liked your boss, would you still want to stay in this position until retirement? How long would it take for that motivation to wear off?
3. If you know that money is not a big enough motivator to like your job then it’s important for you to find a more fulfilling career. This means you do some work and experiment with what that would look like. If you’re not sure where to start, do more things that bring you joy or ask for help.
4. If all the problems disappeared and that would bring you fulfilment in your current position, then you have the option to work on your own triggers and stay in that environment or go to another organisation that has similar job position to what you have now.
5. When you’re angry or frustrated with someone, ask yourself if you did something for them that you didn’t want to do. In other words, you said yes to a request from them when you wanted to say no. This can help with setting future boundaries that help you feel more empowered and less out of control.