Most people associate their identity with what they do. You are a mother, father, project manager, engineer, scientist, artist, director, psychologist, etc. Yet, when circumstances change, people begin to question their identity. Suddenly, you feel lost. If you start to do X versus Y, you somehow now have a different identity and don’t know how to act. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s take a closer look how this plays out.
After thirty years, Sara retired from NASA as a project manager. She received countless awards for performance. She helped manage and put into orbit global satellites that tracked weather patterns across the globe. The research from these satellites informed international policy. Sara was proud of her accomplishments.
As Sarah said her goodbyes, there was a fake smile present. While she knew it was the right time to leave, she didn’t know what was next. The gurgle in her stomach didn’t allow her to enjoy the abundant food at her retirement party. The smile protected her from talking since her throat was semi-closed from anxiety. Sarah felt the insecurity about the unknown permeate her entire body whenever someone asked, what will you do now? Her whole life has been tied to NASA.
The next day, Sara met up with a non-NASA friend. Her friend, Kim, noticed something was off. Kim, asked Sara, what’s going on? You’re withdrawn instead of excited about what’s next. Sara pulled up her head from looking down at her feet and looked Kim in the eye. I’m scared. NASA was who I am.
Kim leaned forward in the deep green velvet chair and darted, Bullsh*t, with a genuine smile!!
Kim continued on, Sara, what made you a great project manager?
Sara suddenly relaxed her shoulders and said confidently. I communicate extremely well with people. I see the vision for the future five years down the line. I troubleshoot issues that others never foresee. I kept a positive attitude in the office even when projects had major setbacks. Colleagues knew they could trust me.
Kim replied back, Sara, listen to this closely. Here’s what you said. You’re a fabulous communicator, visionary, troubleshooter, positive, and trustworthy. This my, dear friend, is who you are. These are the values and traits that you bring with you anywhere you go. What you do doesn’t matter.
As your circumstances change, your character comes to the forefront.
Your character, ie, your identity, is not what you do.
With these fast changing times, with updates by the hour, what you do is not as important as how you want to show up in the world.
Part 1: Who do you want to become?
Think of the values you want to embody, e.g., trustworthy, reliable, loving, etc.
Part 2: Pick the top 3 and rate yourself daily.
Regardless of what’s going on, I’m here for you and your teams. How can I best support you right now?
Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!
Chief Energy Officer
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