#94 When Good Employees Betray Themselves

when employees betray themselves

Is it possible that as a good employee you sacrifice your sense of self? Learn what it means when good employees betray themselves.

The Good Employee Mentality

Who doesn’t want to be a good employee? 

Let’s face it, many professionals strive to earn a reputation of being good. Partly because they are concerned about what others think. And partly because being a good employee masquerades itself as a form of security. After all, good employees aren’t let go… or are they? That’s a different discussion for another article, see Post #87, “Am I A Good Employee?

While the desire to be a good employee may be noble, it can come at a grave cost – the cost of negotiating who you are. That is when good employees betray themselves.

This, my friends, can lead to dire consequences – shallow self-worth and a decrease in sense of self.

Ask yourself: am I choosing this path on my own free will, or am I flowing in the direction of the wind?

The Ultimate Betrayal

For illustration, let’s look at two employees. Employee A practices self-betrayal, Employee B practices self-loyalty.

Employee A: Employee A gets caught up in the day-to-day; they fall in line with the crowd without realizing there are other options. They will conform and bend to the will of the employer.

Thus, Employee A believes they are doing what they are supposed to do to get ahead and be good. They question nothing or no one and go along with most everything without intentionally choosing this path for themselves. 

In other words, Employee A conforms to whatever direction the wind may take them without even realizing it – the ultimate betrayal of self.

Employee B: Employee B may get caught up in the day-to-day as well, but they do so knowingly. They fall in line with the crowd only at their own discretion, and only when they believe it’s the right thing.

Employee B, while pursuing goodness, makes conscious decisions to create their own path. They deliberately decide when or if to conform, whether they will fall in line or verbally object, and when/how to execute boundaries.      

The takeaway: Employee A does not deliberately choose their path, eroding their sense of self and experiencing self-doubt. Employee B, who stays true to their own value system, experiences a solid sense of self that translates to resilience.

Good employees betray themselves when they ignore the power of individual discernment.

Who You are is Non-negotiable

You will always have a choice: to conform or not, to obey or not, to speak up or not, to improve things or not, etc. While remaining loyal to yourself can be the harder choice, the rewards are priceless!

Brene Brown said it best in this YouTube video where she discusses her book, Braving the Wilderness: 

“Our worth and our belonging are not negotiated with other people. We carry those inside of our hearts.

And so for me, I know who I am. I’m clear about that and I’m not going to negotiate that with you. Because then I may fit in for you, but I no longer belong to myself.

And that is a betrayal I am no longer willing to do to myself anymore.”

In the noble pursuit to be noticed, good employees betray themselves when they live out of alignment with their own value systems.

Need help with your own alignment, or don’t know how to start? Send me a note and we’ll jump on a call together so I can you started in the right direction!

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