This is the last episode in the series, why talented women are trapped in corporate America. We have talked through 3 different types of mindset traps that keep us in our corporate roles. Today is probably the most common and consistent reason: identity. What if we can’t leave because our role defines our identity?
What is the first question you are asked when you meet someone for the first time? “What do you do?”
We are so used to saying, “I’m Jane Doe and I am the ___________ (your title) of ___________ (company name).”
Tony Robbins says: Identity is the strongest force in the human personality. We all have a deep and abiding need to remain consistent with how we define ourselves.
When we say, “I am __________” whatever comes after those first two words gets associated with our identity.
Can you see the power of consistently saying, “I am the ABC of XYZ corporation.” on a regular basis?
Because we have linked our title to our identity, it can make it very difficult to step out of our current positions and into a new role.
It makes it hard to demote, transition to a new company that may be smaller for example, or takeover/let go of a specific team.
When you talk with a friend who isn’t happy in her career what does she say? “I hate it but I can’t leave. This is what I have worked so hard for.” Or, “This is what I have always wanted.” Or “who would I be if I left?”
When you hear phrases like that from a friend, realize that at some level her identity is linked to her title and career. It’s helpful to help her realize this and work through it.
Because as Tony said, we all have a need to remain consistent with how we define ourselves.
In this example of your friend, unless the job is absolutely miserable, unbearable, to the point that it challenges other aspects of her identity, she is probably going to stay in her current role.
So my challenge for you today is to answer the question: how do you define yourself?
Who are you?
Are you defining yourself primarily as the “ABC of XYZ?”
Now that you are self-aware, you have the power to change your identity.
Start by writing down other aspects of who you are and the gifts you bring to the table.
Identify all of the aspects that make up your identity to help you realize how dynamic your identity truly is.
Take the time to realize that you can define yourself based on all of the attributes of your personality, talents, and gifts.
This should free you from the mental trap of staying in a role that is no longer serving you.