Quiet Quitting Isn’t the Real Problem

quiet quitting is not the problem - life coach SaraEllen Hutchison

They say that professional women are “quiet quitting.” Why?

Have you ever worked so hard that you subconsciously silenced your soul?

Workaholism is often a sign that we’re we listening to culture and family expectations instead of ourselves. And it is very disorienting when we jump to meet those expectations but find that there isn’t energy coming back at us in the form of support.

Early in my law career, I had high hopes that with the right training and support, I would succeed. I remember working so hard in a futile effort to get my supervisors to like me that I ended up silencing my soul.

I stopped listening to that little voice inside me that knew they would never nurture my career as I had hoped, and instead looked to society and family expectations to drive me forward. As you can guess, I was unhappy and didn’t know why at the time. So I quit litigation work for two years.

Looking back, there was a way for me to become a successful attorney without trading my soul. I had to completely rethink how I sourced my energy for the hard work of practicing law.

Quiet Quitting isn’t the real problem

And the answer — or the problem, depending on who you ask — is not the new buzzword, Quit Quitting. 

“Quit quitting” implies that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t make it and you aren’t the best. It’s rooted in the extreme independence myth of American culture – symbolized by a John Wayne type, the lone cowboy who can pull himself up by the bootstraps, and doesn’t need a community, and never cries.

“Quiet quitting” reflects just another judgment by those who think the answer to everything is to hustle more.

“Quit quitting” is just another admonishment to soldier on without examining whether you’re on the right path.

If you feel like quitting and feel ashamed about this, the answer isn’t to just hustle harder on the same track. 

The answer is to slow down and consider whether this goal that is wearing you out is even your goal. Ask yourself, what is driving your actions? Is it “what ‘good’ people do” or is it “what do I really want?”  

You are an adult with the right to pursue your own career goals regardless of what others think.

You get to choose your driver. Not society. Not family. You do. 

After you ask yourself what is driving you, you get to decide what goals to pursue. You get to decide what success means to you. And if you find you still want to go for the same goals, you get to work toward it from a different energy inside you. 

Following your own lead instead of “Quiet Quitting” sources your own energy instead of hustle and workaholism.

With your new choice, you get to step off the treadmill of people pleasing. No longer exhausted by trying to please family or culture, you’ll restore your inner source of energy to work with dedication again. Your life options expand beyond just selling your soul to “the man.” As the authority in your life, your choices are no longer workaholic at full speed – or full stop quit and be a starving artist or a Stepford wife. 

Another benefit of choosing for yourself is that when people – the asshole men, or the mean girls – talk down to you or pressure you to be like them, it no longer rattles you. You have a deeper sense that your career will turn out ok, and the opinion of some difficult person isn’t going to determine your fate.

I was never willing to accept limited options in how I could live my life. “Quitting” turned out to be the best thing for me at the time.

I had two years working in non-profits and found my way back to the law on my own terms. I re-chose the law from a position of strength. The reason why I was able to stay in the law is because I got in touch with what my reasons are for being in it. I sourced my energy from within instead of continuing out of the need to look “good” or be successful in the eyes of family or society.

“Quiet Quitting” is based on false all-or-nothing assumptions.

The truth is that many options exist for women between the extremes of all-out hustle or total collapse and failure. Unfortunately, “hustle, or else just quit” is just another false dichotomy that the world tries to shoehorn us into, similar to “Madonna vs. whore.” If all your options appear to suck or feel disempowered, it’s the patriarchy talking. Ignore what it says and keep looking or invent your own third option. 

The only thing you should quit is putting the expectations of others over the voice of your own soul.

I wasn’t alone in this journey toward answering the call of my soul’s voice and sourcing my energy and drive from an authentic place within. I had help from healers, coaches and mentors, and you deserve this same level of support too. Click here to learn how you can get my help personally, or just sign up.