When someone tells you to 'stick it out'.

When someone tells you to 'stick it out'.

Just recently I bumped into a girl I was lucky enough to meet in the past year. Funny enough, we bumped into each other at my current workplace. She was here for an interview. Upon learning this, I began to ask her about her decision to start doing interviews when she was already working. She expressed she was no longer happy at work.

Concerned about her happiness, or lack thereof, I began to ask her questions. Why was she unhappy, what was it that she was looking for, what industry she is in and why did she want to make a jump. Question after question, we chatted and giggled and agreed and shook our heads until I asked her this:

"What do your parents say?"
She replied, "Well I've spoken to them... and I've spoken to a lot of people, and they all say 'just stick it out'."

Hmm. Just stick it out...

These 4 words have the power to motivate you. The power to tell you to put your head down and weather the turbulence. The power to grin and bear it, until it gets better.

But, these 4 words, also, however, have the power to break you. The power to make you feel weak and the power to remind you that you don't actually have it that bad. The power to make you feel like your emotions are insignificant, not valued and rather pathetic. Let me say that again, those 4 words, despite their motivational intention, have just as much power to absolutely break you.

In the past 5 months, I have discussed work with many, many people. A lot of the discussions are positive and exciting, and some of them are negative and somewhat disheartening.

The negative ones who are 'on the brink of quitting' or 'on the edge of taking any more', have all got the point of feeling so disheartened, that they start to seek support, emotional nourishment, reaffirmation of their saddened emotions, reassurance that everything will be ok, from their friends, partners and families. It is at this key point that something invisibly detrimental happens...

...they get told to 'just stick it out'.

Just stick it out...

When referring to something that is at that very moment, eroding their happiness, their motivation, their drive, and believe it or not as I have been told many times before, their interest 'to wake up in the morning'... telling someone to 'just stick it out', is like taking that person, shrinking them to a size of a golf ball and placing it on a perfectly positioned tee and using a driver to demolish the ball across the fairway.

Telling someone to 'just stick it out', when they have built up the courage to discuss a very big part of their lives, feels like having the wind taken from your lungs.

How can these 4 words be that bad? Simply because this little statement shows, or says rather,

  • That you have disregarded their feelings and the reason/context behind their feelings completely. 
  • That they don't have it 'that tough' - again, disregarding where they currently are.
  • That 'things may get better'. - yes, there is positivity in this, however, it is also uncertain. Things also may not get better.
  • That they should continue with what they are doing (which is feeling hopeless, disheartened and helpless) until things possibly change  - why would you encourage someone to remain in a hopeless and disheartened state? 
Now, this message of the power of 'just stick it out', must be taken with the relative context. 
  • If you don't have electricity for a day, yes, you can just stick it out. 
  • If you have to attend an in-laws dinner and you aren't their biggest fan, yes, you can stick it out. 
  • If you are asked to be available for a weekend work project, yes, you can stick it out. 
  • You are in the middle of a long run on the weekend and it starts to pour with rain, yes, you can stick it out.
You can stick it out in such circumstances because they all have foreseeable ends. Your career, a long term commitment is another story.

When it comes to someone expressing their wish to change careers because they aren't sure it's their passion, it's the industry they want to be in, and well, because they aren't happy... remember, they have approached you because they are in a relatively difficult and somewhat dark space. They are looking for support and a short discussion about their happiness and future. 

One's happiness and future? These are two absolutely vital things, that when being compromised or somewhat eroded, should never be advised, to 'just stick it out'.

When someone tells you to 'stick it out'.
When someone tells you to 'stick it out'.


JHBeats is a 25 year old girl from Johannesburg, South Africa, who has a passion for chasing endorphin's found in healthy and happy living.

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