We all have one, right?
So who are you? What identifies you? And what is the difference between the roles we play in life and our identity? I have many roles: wife, daughter, coach, business owner, friend, teacher, etc.
But are those your identity?
Sometimes we are more comfortable in certain roles than in others, and sometimes these roles become a defining factor in our identity. How many of us know someone whose life revolves around their job, or is defined by their role as a parent?
It’s easy to get comfortable in our roles and to start to identify ourselves that way. We allow our plans and decisions to be defined by what our job requires, what our kids need, our spouses schedule, etc.
But what happens when there is a change in that defining role? When the kids learn to drive, or leave the nest altogether? When there is a divorce or a lay off at work? Or when you leave corporate work to work for yourself? What happens when it is time to reinvent yourself?
These kinds of major life shifts can happen unexpectedly, or they can happen by choice, but ultimately they can have the same effects on our sense of identity. We may not even realize that we have hitched our identity so strongly to that role that is no longer ours. We may not even see it when we are in the middle of struggling with it.
I have been in this struggle, and I am blessed to have a friend who is a fantastic intuitive and saw what was going on for me. That is why I am sharing this with you, so that you will have it in your awareness and will be able to notice if it is coming up in any area of your life.
Last week I had been feeling …off, so I asked my friend to give me a reading so that I could figure out why. What he saw was that the issues I have been working with and pushing against in my life, the things that have been causing discomfort for me are all related to identity!
I have had a lot of transition in the last year, not the least of which has been the transition from employee to self-employed. That is a HUGE transition! I have worked for someone else for the last 23 years of my life. I know how to manage a business, I know how to manage staff, but I am learning how to manage MYSELF in a new way.
I need to let go of the identity of “employee” and step into the truth of who I am.
But I don’t want to just hook onto a new role that defines me. I don’t want to become “business owner” or “coach”.
These things are what I do, not who I am.
So how do I create a strong identity for myself that is not determined by what line of work I am in, or whether or not I have kids, or being married, etc.?
By understanding my core values and conducting my life from a place of connection with these values.
If I come to my role as a business owner from a place of integrity, connection, compassion and gratitude, the decisions I make may be different than if I come from a place of “I have to make this happen or I am going to go belly up! (ahhhh omg cue thefreak out!)”.
Because the fact of the matter is that even if a business flounders. That’s the business, not me. *I* don’t flounder, *I* don’t fail.
These roles aren’t who we are; they are how we relate to the world. If you know what you believe and what is important for you, then you are the best you possible and you can’t fail at that.
When we claim our values, we return to Self, and we are better able to focus our energy on our passion, power, and purpose in this world.
Things to Ponder:
Where are you attaching your identity to your role?
What can you do right now to remind yourself that you are not the roles you play?
Where are you living from a place of core values?
What small step can you take right now to connect to your core values?
I would love to hear from you in the comments!
Are you too connected to the roles you play? Are you going through a transition that is challenging your sense of identity? I can help. Navigation Coaching can help you discover your core values and start to live from a place of connection to those values. Check it out!