Role vs. Identity: Is This Clear Enough? - Puris Consulting
Role vs. Identity: Is This Clear Enough?

Written by Katy Goshtasbi

Posted on: February 28, 2022

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Role vs. Identity: Is This Clear Enough?, image of a woman holding a ? mark card over her face

Identity versus confusion is a subject that comes up a lot in parenting circles. While the concept seems to go back to your childhood, the results show up in your everyday life- and brand.

Pain hurts. That sounds obvious.

Addressing our pain is even more painful. It’s way easier to ignore our emotional suffering.

In fact, many of you may want to stop reading this post right now because it may be too painful to read.

I get you.

When I changed careers from “securities lawyer” to “branding expert”, the pain of losing my identity was too much to take.

Here’s the thing: I wasn’t losing my identity. I was changing roles.

What Is the Difference Between a Role vs an Identity?

According to Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development, between the ages of 12 and 18, we develop a sense of self and face the questions of “who am I” and “where do I fit in?”

It’s not that cut and dry, though. Most of us are constantly evaluating (deep down in our soul) these very important questions.

Answering these questions often leads us to more confusion. Couple this with the crazy pace of life and no wonder we are uneasy, unsure of ourselves and apathetic towards our jobs, circumstances and support system. According to Erikson, weathering crisis helps us find our answers.

Back to me and my shift from lawyer to branding- you may consider this a crisis. It sure felt like one. Here’s how I look at it (then and now): my roles may change, but my identity is always a human being worthy of love and kindness and compassion – from others AND from myself.

In brand development, I often talk about shifting who we are and authentically expressing our truth to our audience.

When you shift and grow, your practice, careers, friends and social circles may shift, too.

There is definitely fear of losing your identity when what used to define your passion and purpose seems gone.

But you are NOT ever losing your identity. You are just iterating your brand role. Your role is not your identity.

I just shifted roles from “lawyer” to “branding” expert. These days, I’m iterating yet again to another role in my business. And it is painful and scary, too.

Why Is Understanding Your Identity Important to Your Role?

Creating clients, making money and being successful is NOT enough.

The trouble that most of us run into is that we are operating so fast and hard from our roles, that we forget to concentrate on our identity. Work takes priority- it feeds us and makes us feel safe. Plus, work is what we “know”. In comparison, our identity often feels like a squishy topic or vague for examination somehow.

But that’s a false belief….

You need to first work on yourself and your identity so you can avoid burnout and choose the roles that serve you and your audience best. This may seem harder than focusing on work- and it can be.

But the pay-off is insanely amazing, freeing and well worth your effort.

Focus on creating the next best version of yourself. Your perfect roles will show up. Only then can we set you up to have a remarkable brand for others to follow.

If you have questions, find me on social media. I’m always happy to be of service and support.

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Need collaboration and support with your brand, dealing with changes/transitions to grow your brand? Check out my services page.

Download my Top 5 Action Steps To Easily and Gracefully Master Change

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