Why Quiet Quitting is Detrimental to Your Mental Health

Meiko S. Patton
Published in
6 min readOct 24, 2022


Kristina Flour/ Unsplash

Over the past few months Quiet Quitting has become the modus operandi for employees doing the minimum amount of work required. One hand I can understand the sentiment. With the pandemic, the state of world affairs and more and more people becoming burnt out from unfulfilling jobs, quiet-quitting looks tantalizing, much like the forbidden fruit offered to Eve by the serpent. On the surface, the fruit was appealing, something to be longed for, but in the end, it became her undoing, and as her offspring, we can all attest to the ill effects we’ve suffered because of it.

Just because something is appealing does not mean it is good for you.

There is a saying that goes, “How you do one thing, is how you do everything.” Basically, it means if a camera crew where to follow you around for 24 hours a day, they would see that you not only quiet-quit at your job, but you also quiet-quit in every other aspect of your life.

Let’s analyze this:

You spend 8 hours at work

You spend 8 hours sleeping

You spend 8 hours in leisure

  • So if you quiet quit at work for 8 hours, what are the odds that you don’t also do so in your leisure time?
  • Be honest, do you give 100% in your relationships, or do you quiet-quit there too?
  • Do you give 100% to your kids, or do you quiet-quit there too?
  • Do you give 100% attention to your physical health, or do you quiet-quit there too?
  • What about your finances, are you diligent there or do you quiet-quit too?


Quiet-quitters, don’t be average in your thinking. Don’t do the bare minimum because that’s what everyone else is doing. In order to stand out and be phenomenal, you cannot do what everyone else is doing. This is self-sabotage. There is no one else on the planet exactly like you, so why would you not live up to your potential? How tall does a tree grow? As tall as it can. It does not quit growing or compare itself to other trees. It reaches its potential. What about you?

NY Times Best-Selling author Eric Thomas in his book You Owe You, says that you must aim to be number one in whatever you do. Not for ego, but because of the intangible value you gain.

Each of us knows when we give our very best or not. When you do not give your very best, your conscience knows it and it nags at you, because you have let yourself down. There is nothing worse than not keeping your word to yourself. When you let yourself down, your self-esteem drops and your ability to do good work in any part of your life suffers.


In my #1 Best-Selling Amazon book, How a Postage Stamp Saved My Life, I mention a theory called the Zeigarnik Effect. Basically, if we start something and do not finish it, we will be plagued until we do. We will feel bad about not finishing it. I believe this can also be attributed to things we only do half as well as we know we can do them. Our inner person is in emotional turmoil and we quiet-quit because we are not truly happy with ourselves.


In Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art, he says, “Most of us have two lives. The life we live and the un-lived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance. Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty or disease. Resistance cannot be seen, touched, smelled or heard. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It is negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing the work we know we should do.”


I recently had to come to terms with this in a very personal way. I was bullied and harassed at work for nearly two years at the height of the pandemic. I continued to come to work every day, I continued to do a stellar job every day, and I continued to go above and beyond every day. Even though I was experiencing turmoil on the job, I refused to allow them to change my work ethic or how I viewed myself. I could have easily resolved to do the bare minimum, and I could have quiet-quit, but I did not. That was my choice because I know for me, whatever I sow, is what I will reap. Fast forward to today and I am now on medical leave for my mental health because of the situation, but this, too, has been a miraculous gift.

This time off work has allowed me to prioritize my mental health and even to create a resource that can help other WOC going through the same situation.

My employer tried to break my soul, but I AM UNBREAKABLE. That is the name of my WOC Adult Affirmation Coloring Book, inspired by Beyonce’s song, Break My Soul.

©Meiko S. Patton


If you haven’t listened to Earl Nightingale’s, The Strangest Secret, please do so today. In his famous talk, he says “You literally become what you think about.”

In other words, your thoughts trigger images, pictures, and emotions. Those images trigger your attitude and actions. Therefore, what you think about you attract more of in your life. Let’s face it, we spend the majority of our time at work, so if you are constantly thinking, I’m only going to do the bare minimum, that train of thought will become ingrained in you. Unfortunately, those thoughts will be subconsciously lying under the surface of everything that you do. Because you have made it a habit, it’s easy to do less in everything else because it’s now become a dominant part of your character.


The reason why quiet quitting is detrimental to your mental health has everything to do with your dominant way of thinking. In his book, Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life, Brian Tracy says there are three parts to your self-concept and all three make up your personality.

The first part is your self-ideal, which is made up of all your hopes, ideals, and dreams. It is the thing you most admire about yourself. It is the person you would most like to become.

The second part is your self-image. This is the way you see yourself and think about yourself.

The third part is your self-esteem. This is the emotional component of your personality and is the most important factor in determining how you think, feel, and behave. Self-esteem is best defined as how much you like yourself. It determines much of what happens to you in life.

Here’s the point, whenever you DO or SAY something that is not in keeping with your character values, ideals, or the BEST way in which you could act, your self-esteem goes down.


When you quiet-quit, only you know if you are doing your best or not. If you are not doing your best, your self-esteem goes down. The more your self-esteem goes down, the more you dislike yourself. The more you dislike yourself, the more you will you allow resistance to control your life. You will always be afraid to pursue your passion because deep down you know you are not worthy of it because you do not like you. The only way to combat this is to do the very best in every situation you find yourself in. It is not easy. I know firsthand, but the person you become on the other side of it will be mentally strong enough to tackle anything that comes your way.

Originally published at https://www.smartgirlcredit.com on October 24, 2022.