7 Signs You Have Become a Work-Martyr - And How to Regain Your Balance

  | Michelle Arios


Most people who are work martyrs will adamantly insist that they aren’t, and that’s one of the biggest problems. You can’t fix a problem until you acknowledge it, even if you don’t initially perceive it to be a problem. Work martyrdom isn’t healthy, and if you find yourself sinking in, you need to address it immediately. Do you find yourself in any of these positions?

1. You Call in Sick to Your Life to Sneak off To Work
Most people are keen on the idea of calling in sick to stay in bed to relax. Work martyrs will actually cancel life in favour of work events. While there are certain situations where an important deadline might have severe consequences, there’s almost never a legitimate reason to cancel your plans outside of work and sacrifice a day off.

2. Asking For Help Feels Like Asking to be Slapped
If you’re really overwhelmed and you’re allowing people to keep dropping heavy files on your desk, you probably considered delegating some of that responsibility. That’s a normal thought, and it’s what any reasonable person would do. If you feel like asking for help would damage your pride or reputation, it’s time to reconsider your priorities.

3. You Can’t Really Justify Your Stress
You’re stressed to the max, but why? You’ve accomplished a lot this month and you’re continuing to accomplish even more. If you’re still stressed no matter what you do, you’ve caught yourself in a perpetual loop of dissatisfaction with yourself. That’s not healthy under any circumstances.

4. You Doubt All Of Your Coworkers on a Regular Basis
If you don’t do it, who else is going to? The answer should be anyone with the proper job title. If that’s not good enough for you and you’re beginning to micromanage responsibilities that could easily belong to other people, you’re a work martyr.

5. Nothing Actually Feels Rewarding
You’re done with one big thing! Now it’s on to the next big thing. You don’t ever step back to appreciate what you’ve accomplished because you’re so consumed with the idea of moving forward. This makes life a lot more labour than love. You need room for other things.

6. You Don’t Have Anything Good to Talk About Anymore
Everyone is talking about their marriages, the birth of their children, their incredible extended vacation, and the exciting finale of their favourite show. You’re talking about meeting a deadline. You can’t relate to their experiences and you miss the social depth your conversations once had.

7. Your Relationships Are Suffering
If you’re so overwhelmingly consumed with your job that the distance is growing between you and the people you love, you’re in a toxic marriage with your career. Work should never come before the people you want to build a better world for.

What Work Martyrs Should Do
Some work martyrs have deep-seated issues with placing their self-worth solely in their ability to accomplish tasks. These people have some serious soul searching to do, and they may need help from trusted people to do it.

Other work martyrs are people who have skipped past the burnout phase and decided to blindly march forward. Whatever the case, work martyrs need a serious vacation. Some of them need to find other jobs, especially if a new position will allow them more creativity and excitement than their current position.

Above all else, work martyrs need to find something that truly and deeply makes them happy outside of their professional lives. Gravitating towards that happiness will provide much-needed release, relief, and revelation to people who have completely martyred themselves to their work.

Authors Bio: Michelle Arios is a careers and business blogger, currently writing on behalf of BizDb.co.nz – a constantly upgraded business directory. Michelle is also a huge fan of self-improvement, and might often be found listening to motivational podcasts or reading personal development books. Feel free to reach out to her on @MichelleArios.

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