In my late twenties I worked for a global professional services firm. I was the marketing director, with a small team, working for the managing partner. Every day it felt like I was hustling to prove my worthiness. Working all the hours, always being on, being the last one in the office or online each evening, taking on as many projects as the business could serve up. I was a star performer, part of the inner circle, highly respected.
And even though I was incredibly good at my job, had a seat at the table and delivered results all my higher ups raved about, I still thought that my worth was determined by how busy I looked.
Now this is a little embarrassing, but I still remember walking fast paced and with a look of intent on my face past my boss’s office on more than one occasion, with papers in my hand, because I knew that if he saw me looking busy and intentional he would equate that with value. The sad fact is that he did.
It took me a long time to realize that I didn’t. It was completely ridiculous. And I look back now on my twenty-something self with waves of compassion for how incredibly hard I worked, and how much energy I burned doing things that were meaningless, all for the sake of looking like I was adding value. The irony is, I was already adding value. The hustle was completely unnecessary.
Here’s the truth that can revolutionize how you work: You are already worthy. Your essential nature ensures your worthiness. You don’t need to sing or dance for it. You don’t need to hustle and grind for it. No act of busyness will add to it.
Do your work with intent and purpose. Make a meaningful contribution. And let the work do the rest.