How to free yourself from the trap of identification at work
We spend a large part of our life working. Work is a source of income, satisfaction, recognition and meaning. But work can also become a source of stress, frustration, worthlessness and suffering. When we make work too much of our identity, we expose ourselves to significant psychological risks.
Identification with work is the fact of defining oneself mainly in relation to one’s professional activity, status, role or performance. It is a way of giving oneself personal and social value. But it is also a way of limiting oneself and of depending on the gaze of others.
When we identify too much with work, we lose touch with other aspects of our personality, our needs, our desires and our values. We lock ourselves into a role that may no longer suit us or fulfill us. We subject ourselves to requirements and constraints that may be excessive or inappropriate. We expose ourselves to fluctuations in our self-esteem depending on professional successes or failures. We deprive ourselves of alternative sources of satisfaction and balance in our lives.
How to get out of the trap of work identification? Here are some leads:
– Become aware of our deep motivations: why do we work? What drives us? What makes us happy?
– Develop a global vision of oneself: who are we beyond work? What are our qualities, our skills, our passions, our dreams?
– Cultivate rewarding activities and relationships outside of work: what are our hobbies, interests, friends, family?
– Give yourself time and respect: how do we take care of ourselves? How do we manage our stress? How do we respect our limits?
– Give ourselves the right to evolve: how do we remain open to change? How do we accept our mistakes? How do we learn from our experiences?
Work is an important part of our life, but it is not our whole life. We are much more than what we do. We have the power to choose who we want to be and how we want to live.