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  • Writer's pictureKeith Jeffrey

Is THIS Who I am? Your Work is NOT your Identity

In a conversation with a client the other day we began to explore how important their work actually was to them. They felt that what they did to earn a living was not working for them right now but given the expectations placed on us about career progression they felt guilty about that.


I believe that your professional purpose should define what you do, but sometimes that's not always possible so take a deep breath and think about your work, does it define who you are?


Your work and identity are not the same things.


Thinking abut the following might help you stay balanced.

1.The Perils of Identifying with Your Actions: When you tie your identity too closely to what you do, you create an unhealthy cycle. Your self-worth becomes dependent on external factors, like job titles, achievements, and societal expectations. This not only puts immense pressure on you to constantly perform but also leads to dissatisfaction and burnout. 2.Embrace the Fluidity of Life: Life is unpredictable, and it's okay to evolve. Embracing the idea that what you do can change over time is liberating. Understand that growth involves trying new things and taking risks. Don't let fear of judgment or failure hold you back from exploring new paths. 3. Discovering Your True Values: Instead of defining yourself solely through actions, take time to identify your core values. What really matters to you? Family, health, creativity, or making a positive impact on others? Knowing your values helps you make decisions aligned with your true self, bringing more fulfillment and joy. 4. Separate Self-Worth from Achievement: Your worth as an individual is not tied to your accomplishments or the number of hours you work. Allow yourself to take breaks, relax, and enjoy life without feeling guilty. Remember, you are valuable, regardless of what you achieve. 5. Practicing Mindfulness: Mindfulness helps you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. It allows you to observe your actions without being consumed by them. By practicing mindfulness, you can avoid getting lost in the chaos and stay true to yourself. 6. Cultivating a Healthy Work-Life Balance: Work is an essential part of life, but it should not define your entire existence. Find time for hobbies, interests, and relationships outside of work. Engaging in activities you love nurtures your soul and helps you maintain a healthy work-life balance. 7. The Impact of Social Media: In today's digital age, social media plays a significant role in shaping our self-perception. Remember that the highlight reels on social platforms don't fully represent reality. Limit your time on social media and focus on your own journey rather than comparing yourself to others. 8. Surrounding Yourself with Supportive People: Surround yourself with individuals who appreciate and support you for who you are, not just what you do. Building a strong support system can boost your self-esteem and provide encouragement during challenging times.


9. Give yourself a Break! Step back and reflect on your story, give yourself some self-love, look after yourself and practice acceptance. I hope this is helpful.

Message me if you think I can help.



Man in blue shirt holding a photograph of himself in front of his face
Remember who you really are


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