Last month I attended a mental health conference of which many types of people attend whether they work in the field, may be there to learn to help someone they care about, etc. In one of the seminars, we were introducing ourselves and the woman next to me said “I’m just a mom” to which I reactively replied to her “Don’t say ‘just’!” By saying “just”, I saw she was minimizing herself amongst a room of mostly psychologists and therapists and I couldn’t let that happen (Come to find out, before being a full time mom she worked in aerospace engineering!). We are all moms, dads, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, career titles and whatever other titles we use in our lives. They are all important jobs, but we cannot define ourselves by those titles.
This week, the challenge is to remind yourself that you are more than the title you are acting in and take notice if you are letting a title and its stereotypes dictate your decisions. For example, I worked with a C-level client who felt that with that title meant he needed to answer e-mails on the weekends. This was conflicting with his time with his daughters and his role as a father. He had minimized his role as a father because he thought being a C-Level manager trumped being a father even though in his heart spending time with his kids was more important to him. Needless to say, the e-mails were still there when he went back to work on Monday and he LOVED being in the dad role on the weekends. You are a person and your humanness, values, relationships and talents encompass the whole you, not “just” a title.