When a catalytic event changes our sense of self

- 220204

There was a time when everyone I knew would introduce me as ‘Anne from Louboutin’. Internally, I was ‘Anne from London’ for 13 years which earned me the nickname ‘the queen of England’ by Jlenia, our head of production. When I decided to step out of the long tenure I’d had there, there was a major change of identity to deal with as I was no longer either of these personas that I’d inhabited. At first, I was worried that my value would suddenly disappear, having gone from a big title in a company that (finally) most people knew of, to no title in my own little company. Who'd want to give me the time of day? Turns out, most people did. My sense of self was certainly altered, I was lucky, I didn’t get stuck in ‘identity paralysis’ (probably because I threw myself into some online courses).

Perhaps this is why this Harvard Business Review article felt so important to share after I read it. The writers sum up the glaring importance of dealing with this identity change when they explain:

“Our identities are shaped by how we feel about them, so to make a successful transition, we have to acknowledge and actively work on our emotions.”

If you’re anything like me, working on emotions is something you’ve not really done much of. So, to avoid getting stuck after something big changes in our sense of self, we need to work at letting go of our past identity and let ourselves be intentional about what comes next. Read more here.