Menu
January 14, 2016

Is It Worth It?

My mom has these great one-liners, many of which I’ve stolen and used in my career to help people like they’ve helped me. All of them still echo in the background of my childhood. I can even see mom’s facial...

Is it worth it?

My mom has these great one-liners, many of which I’ve stolen and used in my career to help people like they’ve helped me. All of them still echo in the background of my childhood. I can even see mom’s facial expression and hear her tone when she’d say certain ones. I’m so grateful for a mom that taught me so much.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, like many people, I started getting addicted to a dangerous drug: people-pleasing. That’s the age where you’re independent enough to do stuff for others (drive them places, buy them things, etc.) and insecure enough to care very deeply about what everyone on the planet thinks. It’s a dangerous combination for sure.

Having my own car and money—combined with my desire to make everyone like me—would lead me to stress myself out by voluntarily doing things for other people. (Let’s be honest, not much has changed.)

We do that, don’t we? We voluntarily insert ourselves and commit to do things for other people that may or may not be a good idea.

“Oh I’ll bring that casserole. It’s no problem.” (You have no groceries or time. It actually is a problem.)

“I can pick up the pizza. It’s on my way.” (It’s actually way out of your way during rush hour.)

Or we dream up scenarios that are ridiculous and impossible to live up to, and then hold ourselves to an impossible scenario that we created.

I’ll surprise my husband tonight by cleaning the entire house and making a home-cooked meal before he gets home from work. (You get off work at the same time that he does. This is physically impossible unless he works three states away.)

We put ourselves in these situations and then resent the very same stressful situation we find ourselves in. When my mom started seeing this pattern in me, she told me to start asking this question:

“Is it worth it to them for what it’s going to take out of you?”

And y’all, I use this technique to this day. It’s brilliant. In every scenario where your commitments have you strained and stressed and stretched thin, ask yourself that question.

Is it worth it to them for what it’s going to take out of you?

Maybe it is. Maybe no one else can bring that casserole. Maybe home-cooked casserole is the only available food because there are no takeout restaurants for 100 miles of you, and it’s imperative that you rush yourself around getting groceries to make said casserole. Maybe.

Maybe no one else can get the pizza, so you have to take one for the team and go out of the way to get it. Maybe so.

In those instances, the answer to the question would be yes and you would proceed accordingly.

But maybe it’s not. I’ve realized that when I shut up, someone else usually steps up. Or maybe you work to wrestle your Suzie-Homemaker Pinterest-Perfect Peer Pressure standard you hold yourself to and instead just bring Chinese takeout.

Maybe your husband doesn’t care about a clean house or home-cooked meal. Maybe he’d rather have a relaxed, happy wife that night instead.

The best part of this question is that you get to decide how you answer it.

Is it worth it to them for what it’s going to take out of you?

Related Articles

Aug 15, 2017

What Makes The Best Marketing

My final semester of my senior year in college was dedicated to my Advertising Campaigns class. This is the final class you have to pass... More
Aug 10, 2017

Making Your Business Stand Out

A while back, I coached a woman who was just getting her wedding planning business off the ground. As she researched her competition and filled... More
Aug 3, 2017

How to Come Up With Content Ideas

Even though I have 100 ideas per minute, sometimes I find myself staring at a blank page and a blinking (tormenting) cursor on my screen... More

Leave a Comment

  1. Kelly Zurbuchen-Haas says:

    Love this! This has been a struggle for me in the past as well. I always want to say Yes to everything as I believe I have a servant’s heart however when I have practiced saying “No.” I find myself feeling guilty because I have not gone through the thought process you have laid out in your post. The “is it worth it” technique that your mom passed down to you really gives a person a rational formula for balance between how you can serve others and take care of yourself. And yes, I have a gift of stating the obvious. 🙂 What does seem obvious to state isn’t always obvious in practice however and this post is a welcomed reminder. Thank you! Keep doing what you are doing it is very helpful! Sincerely Yours, Kelly Haas 🙂

  2. Rachel Nielson says:

    And on the subject of the husbands, maybe his standard of good meal and clean house are different than yours. Don’t project your insane standards onto someone else and then think that they care about it! (Also don’t get mad at that person when they aren’t always willing to uphold your standards of housekeeping, party-throwing,etc. ) That’s what I have learned about myself!

    Great post–thanks!

  3. Letty says:

    Thank you for sharing this great ideas, as a church leader i find myself pleasing others all the time…I will adopt this question every time from now on and to everything i do,
    to give my best as is needed and as Im able.

  4. Julie says:

    That is poignant and I wish I’d learned it 20 years ago. This Christmas as we were getting to host 20 for dinner and my panic was rising, I thought “no one is going to have fun if I am cranky”. I took a deep breath, smiled, received the help the guests offered and all had a wonderful time.