Why do we even bother doing a good job? The people around us are stressed and complaining, the work load is heavy, and not everyone is as dedicated as we are. Yet we all get paid the same. Frustrating, right?
Many of us find ourselves struggling with the fairness of our positions, our pay, or our expectations at work. This comparison eats away at us and we can find ourselves spinning out about how awful the position is, second guessing why we are even working so hard.
I get it. It’s just part of the human condition, how we are wired, seeing what is going on around us and measuring it in the lens of how it relates to our own personal experience. In psychology they refer to this as egocentric bias.
Which is all fine and good…except it doesn’t generally lead to us feeling happy. It leads to us feeling resentful, aggravated,or taken advantage of.
So how do we deal with the question, “why do I even bother doing a good job?” Whenever these types of questions come up, the first step to getting around it is to actually answer the question.
Why DO I even bother doing a good job?
I do a good job because I want to, because of how doing a good job makes me feel. When I put it that way, I realize I do a good job FOR MYSELF.
What would happen if I didn’t do a good job, if I showed up half-assed? It’s totally an option, plenty of other people are doing it.
But how awful would that feel? It doesn’t seem like showing up in a way that is inconsistent with my core values would actually make me feel any better at all. It would probably make me feel ashamed and unfulfilled.
The truth is, the way I feel doesn’t in fact lay in the hands of how the people around me are acting or not acting, what the expectations at work are or are not, what everyone else is being paid. (Thank God, otherwise I would be in big trouble.) Once I come to grips with this, I realize doing a good job is always worth it. I am doing a good job because I like being the person who does a good job and doing anything else would make me miserable. It’s not about whether or not the people around me deserve my best work. I deserve my best work. If I stick with this reasoning, I can always feel purposeful despite my circumstances.
So I am going to keep trying to do the best job I can, for me.
I know I’m worth it.
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