For many years, Kat Nieh was working at a startup that fulfilled all of her workaholic dreams. Life was good for the most part, but she was sacrificing her own needs and the job didn’t align to what she wanted anymore. The long hours, high-level stress, and a lack of a life outside her job finally took their toll. On today’s show, Kat shares a little bit about the second chapter of her book, Dear Workaholics, which she titled “Can you relate?” Considering all the hats you are wearing and all the responsibilities you’re shouldering. You don’t have to be a people pleaser, nor a constant giver. Set better boundaries, and put yourself first. People may not like it, but they’ll get used to it.
Listen to the podcast here:
[ Episode 8 ] 1.2 – Can You Relate?
“Chapter 1.2 – Can you relate?”
“I’m Kat, and I’m a workaholic to my core. For many years, I was at a startup that fulfilled all my workaholic dreams, which allowed me to work on large variety of projects. I let my passion run wild and learn so much through each of my experiences. A major plus was working with fellow passionate workaholics and we made many impossible things possible through our determination and infallible belief. I was doing exactly what I thought I was supposed to be doing. I lived and breathe work as an independent and highly capable woman working in a male-dominated tech and gaming industry. I’m making an impact within the company and the entire community and I was financial stable with great company perks.”
“Life was good. For the most part, I thought so. Isn’t this what we’re all told to do? I was lying to myself repeating over and over again. When a colleague would ask me to complete an extra task, I would say “yes” thinking it was for the overall good, when what I wanted to say was “no”, because I already had too much on my plate. I didn’t want to disappoint them. I believe I could handle it all. It’s just one more thing. They wouldn’t have asked for help without a good reason. I was a person who they came to, to get it done. I got this, right? The problem was that the answer was always “no” when it came to my own needs and the answer was always “yes” when it came to working.”
“Sacrificing my own needs for the greater good and working hard was deeply ingrained in me. That’s what it means to be a good member of society. My work ethic made me a workaholic at heart. I had truly believed I was okay with that all. What ended up making it not okay was when the job and the work culture changed. The job didn’t align with what I wanted anymore. The long hours, high-stress levels and the lack of a life outside my job began to silently weigh me down. I say “silently” because, remember, I was lying to myself. Everything was okay. I was living the life I was supposed to live.”Being a workaholic isn't all bad unless you let your “I can do it all” voice take over and run you down to an empty cup. Click To Tweet
“I don’t believe being workaholic is necessarily a bad thing, even though that’s been the common preconception. Being a workaholic has led me to achieve success and make a big impact not only on my previous career, which I’m proud of for many reasons but also on my personal development. I don’t think I’d have experienced a quarter of the growth I’ve had without my drive to work at it. Being a workaholic isn’t all bad unless you let your “I can do it all” voice take over and run you down to an empty cup. Do you know the phrase “Being spread as thin as a pancake?” Well, I was thinner than that considering all the hats I was wearing and all the responsibilities I shouldered. I was more like a crepe, but a better description would have been a burnt, crispy, workaholic crepe. I was also a people pleaser and a constant giver.”
“My old self used to put aside my desires to help everyone else but myself. I gave because I wanted to be helpful in any way I could. I wanted to be liked and accepted. I wanted to make a difference and all those desires served to continuously empty my cup. I had to learn to say “no”, set better boundaries, and put myself first. People won’t like it, and that’s okay. They’ll get used to it. The shift to allowing myself to take pleasure in all aspects of my life, which does include helping others and working towards my goals, was a big lesson for me. There always things I won’t like doing or we’ll have to sacrifice, but it will always be my choice, not anyone else’s choice forced upon me by obligation or guilt.”
That is the end of Chapter 1.2. That gives you a glimpse of where my head was at and who I was before. I also know that there are parts in there that are a part of who I am—a part of my base personality. Those are the parts that I need to recognize and learn how to embrace as well. There are also the parts of me that I had to face because those were the parts that are keeping me in this same cycle over and over again. To get out of that cycle and change my circumstances, I had to make a decision to change. I had to do something different. I had to take control of my own life and know that this is possible for you as well. All you have to do is make your own choice. See where your life is at all the good and bad. Notice what you don’t like and what you want to change in your life.
You can continue blaming other people, or you can take back control of your own life and choose to change things. Stop blaming others. Stop thinking there’s no way out of your current situation. Stop giving away your power. Take it back. Your life is your choice, not anyone else’s, no matter however or whatever someone else tries to convince you otherwise.
So what is your choice? What do you plan on doing now? Make your choice.
Stay tuned for another reading of another chapter in my book, Dear Workaholics.
Until then, you got this and I am here with you.