How to stop defining yourself by your job |

How to stop defining yourself by your job

Jane Boucher

Society reinforces the idea that our work determines our worth.

What has traditionally been the first question asked of a man in a social conversation? “What do you do for a living?” If he doesn’t have a good answer, society wonders what is wrong with him.

Women experience the same problem.

If she chooses to stay home and care for her children, she is somehow thought to be inferior to the woman who works outside the home.

Some people who are approaching retirement have never considered who they are outside of their job.

They don’t know what they are going to do with their lives.

Millions of men and women define themselves solely by their employment.

If your work is unfulfilling or boring, your life becomes that way, as well.

We sometimes feel that if we are our jobs, it speaks volumes about who we are and how we are trying to live.

It doesn’t.

It is just a job.

Our work allows us to get our needs met.

It is a shame that nobody ever figured out a way for us to ask one another,”Who are you and what do you do to support the people and things you love?” A person with a positive self-image realizes that work is an important part of his or her life, but it isn’t everything.

It may seem obvious that the better you feel about yourself, the better you will perform, but in fact it isn’t.

The key is to cultivate a stable self-image that can handle the bad days without letting self-esteem plummet when failure occurs.

Fostering positive self-esteem requires: * Acceptance of strengths and weaknesses.

* Encouragement.

* Praise and taking pride in achievements (even little ones).

* Helping and reaching out to others for assistance and support.

* Regular personal time to take care of yourself.

* Respect for your own uniqueness.

* Love for the special person you are becoming.

Whatever your self-image, you can choose to change.

It isn’t easy, but it is possible.

The most adverse conditioning, the worst handicap and the most crippling self-image can be overcome.

Typically, the reaction to negative personal information is either to cave in and believe it or fight.

Which will you do? To be successful, you need to eliminate old negative thoughts.

You are not the creation of an assembly line you are unique.

No one else has your fingerprints, thoughts or your way of seeing and doing things.

Don’ t be afraid to take risks.

Who knows what you can achieve tomorrow if you take more risks.

Try a new adventure, learn a new skill or befriend a new person.

It may change your life.

Jane Boucher is an author and professional speaker with offices in Reno and Ohio.

Reach her at 853-0226 or


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