My job and me: getting honest and making changes

by R.B, NSW

I loved my job… or I thought I did. I had done the same job for 14 months, working five days a week in a very physically demanding position, as a waitress in a busy cafe where I was literally running most of the time.

I thought I loved it because it was exciting and it was social.

But what I thought was excitement was actually just my nervous system being stressed out because of the demands of work. I noticed that my nervous system was stressed out because I would wake often at night needing to pee, find it hard to relax, and always needed to do things, even on my days off or on my breaks, which are all signs of an over-active nervous system. It was as if my body was in constant ‘fight or flight’ mode. After taking some time off work and creating a slower pace to live in, I can really feel the difference between how I am now and how I was then.

What I have come to admit, and finally be aware of today, is that it is not very social: it is in fact so busy that you do not have much time to be social and to connect. In saying that, I am grateful for a few very special connections that I have made at work with co-workers, and these will remain strong once I leave. But I also have to admit that I CHOSE to stay there even though there was a lot of abuse in the form of bullying. I chose that because I am used to abuse: so used to it that I do not call it for what it is. I did not want to ‘rock the boat’ or make others not like me.

So last week I was happy to go to work… and then a week later I have had a major turnaround.

This turnaround comes from having ‘called out’ the abuse for what it was: I chose to not put up with people with their hangovers from drinking and taking drugs, who shout and are rude. I have felt in my body how incredibly exhausted it is, and I have chosen to make a change – for after all, it is only I who can really do this for myself.

With deciding that I needed to resign, I re-wrote my resume and sent three copies out. I have already been to a job interview and have another to go to. This has all happened in a week: if you had asked me two weeks ago if I was looking for another job I would have answered, “I am happy where I am”.

I have to admit that the reason I stayed in that environment for so long was because I was comfortable, and I didn’t want to get to the truth of what was really going on.

This has been a great week for getting honest and making changes… and this morning I read a message on Facebook – “It’s choice, not chance that determines your destiny”.

I know deep down inside what is true or not, or what is right or not, but I have been so very well practised at not listening to that.

I am going to be changing that, and look forward to listening to myself more and more!

425 thoughts on “My job and me: getting honest and making changes

  1. It is interesting how we can stay with what feels comfortable even though every cell in our body is telling us otherwise. Well done R.B. for getting honest with yourself and for calling out abuse at your workplace, many will feel inspired by this and the loving choices you have made.

  2. we can work extraordinarily hard at not actually saying what is going on around us… This particular affliction is endemic in jobs, in relationships, in schools, in institutions, let’s face it everywhere.

  3. Great blog, being honest with yourself and others over the abuse that you felt and actually calling it out is very inspiring, it is easy to accept abuse as normal being part of our everyday life. If we all called out any form of abuse society would have to change, and that’s why many don’t call it out, because we have become comfortable allowing abuse to be part of the way we live.

  4. Getting honest about the bullying by others and your own self-abuse in allowing it and, running on nervous energy, has set in motion real change R.B. Well done for the great choices you have made!

  5. “It’s choice, not chance that determines your destiny”. This is a great quote, for I too believe there is no such thing as coincidence or chance! Only we can make the world go round with our choices.

  6. Our lives are governed by our choices… even when we try to keep things the same, that too is a choice. So a really good look in the mirror at what choices we are making and how we truly and honestly feel about things, our lives, our livingness has to happen for us to evolve, cast off that which does not serve and help to see what does.

  7. It’s amazing how our mind can have a thought about something and our body tells it totally differently. Our body knows love and it doesn’t seek comfort, it’s our mind that wants to rationalize its previous choices to remain where it is and not evolve.

  8. Our minds can have such a grip over our lives if we’ve spent more time listening to it than the body. When we start to listen to the body, it speaks pretty loudly about what it likes and what it doesn’t – and then it’s up to us to choose whether to listen to those messages or not. Great to read how you were able to listen to your body and understand what you felt about your job on a deeper level, realising that it was the nervous tension that you liked, because it was masking what was really going on on a deeper level.

  9. It is very interesting how we find justifications to behaviours that we know do not support us. ‘It is social’ and ‘it gets me out of the house’, therefore it must be good for me are very popular but when we get honest with ourselves we find out that these justifications are said to make us feel better, to prop us up and avoid what is truly going on inside of us.

  10. Things can and do change very quickly if we take the time to look deeper into what is going on for us that we were accepting something that is detrimental to ourselves, as you were. A great example for us all to follow RB.

  11. I started a new job not so long ago and now the novelty has kind of worn off and I have been observing how I am feeling every day and it is so clear to me now that it all depends on how I am with myself, how I have been spending my time outside work, which of course depends on how I am at work equally. I remember how I used to think that it was because of this person or that project I didn’t enjoy my work in my previous work, but I am so glad now I know that I don’t have to change my job to feel different about what I do.

  12. It is so true Rosie we live in a society where dismissing what is true is considered and expected as ‘normal’ behaviour, and we so often seek solace in the comfortable lifestyles, work included, we choose. Being honest about what we truly feel and what we choose is not only honoring of who we are but also liberates us from the lies and limitations of the ideas and pictures of how we should be, rather than being and living what whole-heartedly feels true.

  13. It is ironic how something that is harmful or abusive can be ‘comfortable’ yet it is so easy to slip into and is endemic in society. Congratulations RB for extracting yourself. Every time someone does so it gives permission by example for others to do likewise.

  14. It’s quite amazing, when we choose to be honest with ourselves, our situation can become very clear and the pockets that do not serve us are very noticeable. It’s like saying no to those pockets and be willing to change is all that’s needed for life to present possibilities. I’ve experienced this and couldn’t believe the pace of the change and how supported I was by circumstances.

    1. This makes me wonder, when change doesn’t happen if there is more honesty and support needed to look at what is underneath our behaviour, because when the energy is cleared it is like a dam releasing the water it has held back for so long. The landscape changes completely and that is not always a bad thing.

  15. Awesome R.B. I think most of us know that feeling of being too comfortable in a job as well as not wanting to rock the boat, especially when we’ve accepted certain behaviour for so long, its like we have no right to one day decide we no longer accept it. But that’s just a story. Speaking up about anything is always important and will always support others to follow. It’s never too late.

  16. Thank you RB for sharing it is amazing that once we become more self loving we start to see and feel how certain behaviours that seemed okay in the past are actually abusive to our bodies, choosing to call them out and walk away from them, opens up other possibilities for us.

  17. Last Wednesday I had a very long day – travelling 4 and a half hours at either end of the day with an 8 hour meeting sandwiched in between. Much as I had tried to prepare, I was not really ready for it so I ended up pushing through just to get to the end. Needless to say I woke up the following day feeling shattered – and to be honest, it’s now Saturday and I’m still not back to full energy. The point of me telling you this is that I realised when I woke up feeling exhausted, drained, fuzzy and generally under par, that this was how I used to feel every day when I was working in my previous job. I literally ran on nervous energy, digging deep into my reserves and pushing through every day. So although I didn’t (and don’t) feel great, it has been awesome to feel how far I have come and how much I have changed in a relatively short space of time. Very cool. Next step is to clock this drive before it takes a hold.

  18. It is extraordinary how often we can find ourselves in something that is abusive and yet put up with it due to its seemingly normality… yet rare to have the awareness to recognise the harm and say enough. Well done for saying enough and making steps away from what does not support you, stepping into the empowerment of knowing where you end up next is of your own choosing.

  19. What I’ve learnt recently is that the way I am, my behaviour, my attitude, my choices actually determines what goes on around me, and I’m not an innocent bystander watching everything go on around me, but I am actually creating the reality I live in.

  20. I love the quote you use here “It’s choice, not chance that determines your destiny”. And while it’s easy to say chance, in fact it’s how we are, how we live, how we choose to move that determines how we are. We really are in charge so what do we choose and are we willing to see our choices?

  21. When we get caught up in emotions such as excitement it will always lead us on an emotional roller coaster of inevitable highs and lows – and living like that everyday can be exhausting.

  22. Wow, that’s such a cool realisation R.B. What a massive decision to go from saying you love your job to realising that actually you were just a bit addicted to the rush it gave you. An amazing thing to be aware of!

  23. When we allow abuse in any form to become the accepted norm it can be very uncomfortable when we realise that we have chosen to allow the abuse that affects us and thus magnify the abusive energy that affects everyone else.

  24. RB it’s very powerful to read about your honest relationship to abuse and how you’ve allowed it, it feels very different to seeing ourselves on the receiving end only and being the victim. I also appreciated this quote “It’s choice, not chance that determines your destiny”. This again is empowering, as opposed to feeling at the mercy of life, a victim, or waiting for life to deliver us something. It confirms that the power lays with ourselves. Our “destiny” is always the return to our soul – the divinity we truly are.

  25. To move on from situations of clear abuse (self-chosen by the way) is not that easy because we have to renounce to it and to say yes to something else that we may not be familiar with. It is also important to feel what are we to learn from those situations because it seems clear that going through them might be necessary for some people at some points of their life to be able to say no to abuse forever.

  26. We can convince ourselves that everything is OK and that in fact we are doing quite well, Good on you RB for taking the time to scratch below the surface to feel what was really going on and then take action.

  27. With the willingness to see truth and to act upon it, is a movement that opens us up to more loving and supportive situations to flow our way.

  28. We know deep inside ourselves if a job is right for us or not, and it is all to easy to stay in a job because it’s comfortable it brings in the money, and is not too difficult to do, yet if there is any form of abuse you either need to stand up and put a stop to it, or move yourself out of the abuse, our body is a great marker of truth and the more we listen to it the more it keeps us in the knowing.

  29. We have to follow what is right for our body and we can feel it when we are doing something that goes against that, regardless of the profession.
    I have been in hospitality a long time now and many, many years ago I would have agreed with your experience of it. I used to wake in the night, dream of work constantly and I was generally on edge all the time. Since I came across the teachings of Universal Medicine however, I have been able to work in a way that does not drain me. I used to be really exhausted at the end of a day but now there is no customer that affects me, the way I move or sleep. I now relish at the challenge of a “difficult” customer, as I am able to read that it has nothing to do with me. I also enjoy bringing an equal-ness to my role whilst giving an old fashion deep level of care to the service industry. Waitressing has a bad rep, people relate to being somebodies slave but it is only this way if we rank ourselves bellow, if you hold your integrity, it shines in any position. Well done for following your heart, I hope you found what is right for you!

  30. Abuse can be ever so subtle in our lives that we think we are being petty if we speak up but abuse is abuse and the more we develop love in our relationship to self there naturally has to come a moment where we no longer can tolerate what we once put up with and therefore we cannot but call out abuse no matter how big or small it may seem to be or look like on the outside for energy is energy.

  31. We like to think it is chance that determines our destiny so that we can continue in our irresponsible ways, while bemoaning our fate, when in fact it is we who can change our life by choosing to take responsibility and make self loving choices.

  32. I have found that change comes very quickly when we take our ‘glasses’ off and see what is truly there rather than what we want to see. When we don’t react but ask ourselves if this is something we actually want in our lives the next steps are straightforward. Everything is an opportunity to learn.

  33. Reading this makes me aware of a belief system that I have that says ‘you should be grateful to have a job’. To a degree that is true – but I realise it can also mean ‘you put up with whatever gets thrown at you’ – which is not of course ok. Abuse in any way, shape or form is not ok, even on subtle levels and as you rightly say RB, we have a right to choose a different way forth, one that is more self-loving and supportive of ourselves.

  34. I find it quite sad how we choose comfort over our wellbeing. When I was detached from or numb to my feelings, I often chose the well trodden comfortable route, but now that I listen more to the wisdom of my body I choose what supports my wellbeing over my desire for comfort.

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