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You Are Not Your Job

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"I was terminated."

This was the text I received a few months ago from an Awake Exec who lost her job.

She knew it was coming.

After all, she was privy to the numbers.

She'd also watched as colleagues went into the boss' office one by one, only to emerge and pack up their things.

And then... he asked to see her.

In the days leading up to their meeting -- in a cruel twist, yes, there were days -- we'd been chatting about how she could mentally prepare.

And while I'm not a huge fan of mantras, these are situations where they actually do come in handy.

So her mantra became: I am not my job.

Maybe you need this one too.

Maybe -- like my friend -- you've become so overly identified with your work that even the slightest threat of it being taken away instills not just fear, but outright panic.

This is dangerous.

When your self-worth is wrapped in things that are outside of your control, you're setting yourself up for an emotional roller coaster.

In other words, you're up when the job is up, and down when the job is down.

This is also true when your worth is wrapped in a relationship by the way, but since I specialize in careers I won't digress... too much.

Suffice it to say that we must come to our work and our homes as full beings already -- otherwise we will expect too much from them.

And yet...

We all know change is hard especially when there are mortgages to pay, mouths to feed, and retirements to save for.

But change is also inevitable so, knowing this, why do we resist it so much? Shouldn't we just move through it knowing that whatever happens is designed to prepare us for the next step of our lives and to teach us something we didn't know before?

As humans, we are clearly hardwired to be creatures of habit and comfort. Translation: If we didn't get shaken up once in a while, most of us would be perfectly happy to live in quiet complacency.

But this is obviously less than we've been called to do... so the rug has to get pulled from underneath us sometimes which is essentially life's way of saying M-O-V-E.

The trick, of course, is to understand that it's happening FOR us instead of TO us... and let go.

Ever heard of the parable of the trapeze?

Naturally, trapeze artists know there's a period where you have to completely detach from one bar to grab the next.

Life is like that too, isn't it?

I mean, the tighter our grip on the "old" bars, the less available we are for the "new" ones.

So back to my friend.

I'm happy to report she found a new opportunity -- one that's a better environment for her skills and interests.

Seriously. This is a message she posted just a few hours ago:

I feel like I've been here much longer than three weeks, in a really good way. Sometimes things happen so that we can find other ways to grow and help others. I am so happy and thankful for all of these things and for all of you. Thank you for believing in and supporting me!

How amazing is that?

Further proof that sometimes all you have to do is get comfortable in the air and -- lo and behold -- you will land on your feet.

For more by Emily Bennington, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.

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