That’s right. Suck it up. You are lucky to have a job, especially this job. Besides, you have bills to pay and the project will fall apart if you left. Hell, you’d be a traitor to the cause!
Why are you even thinking about leaving when you had a really good day just a few… Humph, when was that?
Wake up! You have fallen victim to the Seduction of the Good Day.
There is a minimum level of praise or acknowledgement you must receive to tolerate a tough situation. If you don’t consciously have a minimum, you will continue lowering your standard, and it will take less and less validation to keep you working.
Granted your quality of work and quality of life will deteriorate, but a clever person can always find a reason to tough it out. After all, endurance and toughness are enshrined in most cultures as virtues, right along with perseverance and resilience.
We remember that time a couple of months ago when a boss, colleague, or customer said something affirming when they didn’t have to. Or we had “that project” a few years back when we were on fire, completely engaged, and having a great time with a great team.
Most jobs have days that suck. Some jobs have more than others. Even then we can keep going in good spirits if we get enough validation, we have the chance to do good work, and we align well with our team and customers. These experiences affirm the good sense in staying where we are.
However, when those affirming experiences get farther and farther apart, we start to lean more and more on those few good days. We tolerate a growing disconnect between our work and what we want our lives to be about. We tell ourselves, “see, it’s not so bad.” And then we find we’ve been seduced by a good day. Stick with this pattern long enough and even a “less bad” day will do the trick.