Early on in my corporate career, I was a whirling ball of ambition. I came in early and stayed late, volunteered for projects, and fought hard to make a name for myself. After a few years, the novelty wore off. I found myself with an infant at home, completely worn out, and caring much, much less about whether or not anyone ever called me “vice president”. So I took a stand. I thought to myself, “By now, they either know what they have in me or they don’t. I am standing up for myself! I am NOT going to work on Sunday afternoons any more! I’m going to take a day off every now and then! And if they don’t like it, that’s just too bad!”
Sure enough, I worked up my courage and did not go in to work that weekend…and nobody noticed. I sat at my desk on Monday morning, feeling dejected, because in a blinding flash of the obvious, I learned that all of the crazy expectations of me were self-imposed. No one ever told me I needed to work weekends. None of the corporate extracurriculars were mandatory.
I had done it to myself. I had “good-girled” my way into burnout.
This is a lesson I had to learn more than once - to examine the “shoulds” bouncing around in my mind to make sure that I wasn’t sacrificing anything that no one needed me to sacrifice. I learned that when I said, “I’m going to take a break/get a massage/do what I want now,” everyone around me did not argue or push back, but said, “Great. Have fun.”
This is where the “Demanding” in Demanding Joy comes from. It doesn’t mean that we walk around the world demanding that others give us what we want. It means that we’re ready to take responsibility for our own health and happiness. You demand your joy when you’ve reached a level of discomfort with your life that spurs you into action. You demand it when wishing for joy proves ineffective. When you’re ready to get out of your own way and finally get all the good stuff that you deserve.
It’s when you put on your big girl pants and demand some joy - from yourself.
Demanding your joy can be really hard sometimes. It takes a lot of work. Personal development is not for wimps. But you can do it. You DO deserve it. Are you ready to demand your own joy?
If I can support you in any way, drop me a note - firstname.lastname@example.org.