I want to ask you a couple of questions and I would like you to consider how you feel after each of these questions.
How has your job performance been this year?
Now for those of us in sales that's an easy one to answer, but for those of you in other jobs maybe that's not quite as easy, but I would imagine you have a review at the end of the year maybe? Some MBO's to max out on? What will be in that review in your opinion? Will it be favorable?
The next question I would ask is how do you feel about yourself?
Do you feel successful, do you feel unsuccessful, do you feel mediocre? Do you like who you are showing up as in the world you live in? Do you like yourself?
The third question I would ask is are these questions related?
For a very long time in my own life my identity was wrapped up in what I did for a living. If I was successful, if I was meeting my quota expectations, then I had a positive view of who and what I was as a person. If I were not at my number, if I were having a tough year, my self-esteem was nowhere to be found...it was as low as my quota numbers.
I now know that this should not be.
These two things are not connected. Our identity is completely separate of who and what we do for a living. A job is a means to an end, and we work to live; we don't live to work.
Those of us that actually like our jobs have a bit of a bonus...to actually get paid to do something that we enjoy. It enables us to put more of our heart into our work. But I would suggest that if you are measuring your worth by what you do and how well you do it that measure is going to keep you running like a hamster in a wheel. And it will not enable you to live your fullest life.
Who you are as a person, and what your worth is as a person has absolutely nothing to do with what you do for a living.
Who you are as a person has to do with your values, your own self-worth, what you believe in, what you don't believe in, what you do for others, what you do for yourself, what you do when no one is looking, how you express love for yourself, and others.
It took me a long time to find myself. I was wrapped up in other people's expectations of who and what I should be. I hadn't bothered to be quiet, to sit down and figure out who I was myself. But once I let all of that be stripped away and decided to be my own self based on my own beliefs, my own intrinsic self-worth, my love of me, and the joy of living this life that I live...my entire perspective changed.
Suddenly it didn't matter how well I performed at my job, as long as I was happy. And you know what the funny thing is? I found that being happy at my job made me more successful than I had ever been. When I was striving so hard to meet those expectations others put on me, not to mention the ones I heaped upon my own back, I was out of touch with me. I wasn't being genuine.
Polonius said to his son in Shakespeare's play Hamlet, "...to thine own self be true...", and my final question to you would be: Are you being true to your own self?
It's funny, because it seems so contrary, but there is real strength and power in letting go.