When Work Isn't Working Out

January has just arrived and already it is the year of solid decisions. Many had a rather enjoyable 2016 and even more had a rather terrible 2016. Previously I had made a tough decision to go down to part time at my job and within weeks this quickly turned into me deciding to leave altogether. It’s common, especially for me, to hold onto to things that are not helping me if it’s helping someone else in the long run. Needless to say the job was turning me into a terrible person. I even had to admit to myself that I was becoming a monster. I decided to leave and informed my boss of all the whys and that I was currently looking for another job.


The decision actually sucked quite a lot. I felt that I had been brought through here for a reason but I didn’t understand why everything just fell a part right there in front of me. I’m always looking for the underlying message in everything. I question whether I rushed things or whether I was ever really supposed to be there. Maybe it was a sign that the world of dancing, as much as I loved it, just wasn’t for me and this was my attempt to say I tried.


Within a couple days my boss turned to me and said the greatest thing ever. “I’m willing to compromise, I need you and I don’t want you to leave”. We sat behind the desk for about an hour and crunched numbers and ran scenarios until we came up with a plan to get me where I need to be. This had me thinking about how important it is to value yourself.


We generally hold a lot of value in our jobs because it pays our bills and we don’t want to upset the people we work with or for. But how does our jobs value us? In this society we are beat down to nothing everyday. Everywhere we look there is the perfect body you will never achieve, the unrealistic lifestyles that only exists on television, and the constant judgment of the world on our heads for everything we do, think, or say. If you’re looking to wallow in self-pity, you’re no more than a power button away from all the torture you could want.


I deal with fear and failure on a daily basis. All of my new students start out by telling me how terrible they are. They’re preparing me for their failure, they’re preparing themselves for their failure, and they haven’t even stepped out on the dance floor yet. This very thing happens to us everywhere else. We don’t go to the gym because we think we will look stupid or we’re too fat and people will stare at us. We accept a minimal raise and allow supervisors or others to mistreat us and run our lives because we feel that is what we deserve and somehow their status confirms that they are better or smarter than us.


These are all lies. Take an inventory of the things you value most and put them in order. Maybe you have family that you don’t see or spend any time with because you’re always working. Your health is very important and maybe that is lacking because you’re depressed, stressed out, or don’t have the time for yourself.


Here was my scenario: I have this job that is very rewarding and fun. I get to make people laugh, face their fears, and become amazing dancers. I really enjoy my job. But, financially it wasn’t happening for me. I couldn’t pay my bills with what I was making there and this began to put a lot of stress on me. I am a very independent person and when I have to start leaning on others for help I start to have a lot of issues. My relationships were beginning to suffer. I wasn’t seeing my better half hardly at all due to our schedules and when his kids were here it was the same thing. He felt like they were living their own life and I was always working. I felt that way too. Easily I could have said that I have a job and this is just life, but I would be wrong. I had to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. On top of never seeing anyone at home, I was becoming a mean and angry person. So when people did see me I wasn’t a pleasant person to be around. I didn’t want to leave my job but I had to think about the damage that was being done in the long run. I was sacrificing time, I didn’t have any money, I was sacrificing relationships and my sanity all because I enjoyed parts of my job and I didn’t want to disappoint my boss who I know really needed me there.


Don’t be afraid to value yourself. I stepped out on a limb to leave and actually got a better result than I could have expected. If my boss had not stopped me and offered an alternative I still would have been fine in the long run. With a new year comes a new beginning for a lot of people. Don’t be afraid to step out and make the changes and sacrifices you need to so you can be happy where it truly counts.