Identity vs. Role – One step towards Success

I attended a sales training seminar for work. During the lecture, I had learned that there are two factors that affect the way we perceive ourselves. What I also learned is that perception plays a big role in how we strive for success. Now, mind you that in the context of the seminar, these two things revolved around the concept of selling. However, I had found that this concept could be applied to anything in life. So let me share with you some knowledge that, I believe, could change the perception of how you live your life. Because this certainly changed mine.

84ce9168230c5d1dc056bb533450d190First Factor:

IDENTITY: Identity is composed of the qualities, attributes and personalities that make you, you. It’s who you are as a person, your true self. It is your self-worth and what you believe to be.

On a scale from 1-10, the speaker of the seminar had told us to rate ourselves in Identity.

10 being that your self-esteem is at its highest and you truly embrace your true being without any insecurities or doubts. You don’t let anyone or anything affect who you are. You live a worry free life because you don’t care if anyone will accept it or not.

1 being that you constantly let others dictate who you are and you let self- doubts control how you live your life. You constantly doubt if you are ever really good enough, always worrying about what other people think.

Now the speaker had a terrific point about human behavior as we grow up.  We all start at a level 10. As toddlers, we live how we want to live because our minds are a fresh slate. I mean, this is why kids get away with so many things right? They don’t worry about looking silly wearing their super hero outfit in public or if their hair is flying around everywhere and they definitely don’t care if they a giant chocolate smudge on their face. They do whatever they want because they believe that they have the right and the ability to.

Now as we grow up, things like gender roles, social norms, different customs and beliefs soon start to take an effect on how we see ourselves. Things like aptitude tests, college applications, job applications either chip away or add onto the ranking of own identity, our own self worth.

3587a01a708b3197328e3a77c4967355Second Factor:

ROLE: Roles are the positions we hold. For instance, one may have a role of a sister, a brother, a client, an employee, etc. Roles are the things we aspire to be and usually gives us a reason for what we do in this life.

You can have different ranks for the different roles you hold. For example, a person’s rank as a manager would be different from that person’s rank as a father. The ranking of this category usually is based on the skill you have for a particular role.

And a lot of the times, as mentioned in the seminar, most people would mix roles and identities together when it comes to believing in what they can accomplish. But do you want to know the secret?

These two, roles and identities, should be independent of each other. At times it may seem that they coincide with each other, but your roles that you hold shouldn’t dictate your self worth. Just because you got rejected the job or didn’t get promoted or made a couple mistakes, doesn’t make you less of a person. Once we start letting our roles impose on our identity, it creates a barrier that prevents us from reaching our greatest potential. We start doubting ourselves because we may think, “I’m not creative enough”, or “I’m not smart enough”, or “I don’t have as much experience as he/she does.” – which all have to do with the roles we have, not with our capabilities. Skills can be taught and learned, but confidence can only be grown from within. Once we start to separate roles and identity, the sooner we can overcome the obstacles that prevent us from achieving greatness.

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