So often I meet people who are completely identified with what they do, their accomplishments, their family roles, or their stories that they do not comprehend that there is anything beyond that. At this time in our history when our financial institutions are collapsing and our economy is troubled, many are panicked and fearful of losing their jobs, their livelihoods and their material security. More than that though, it is the loss of identity as a person who works at company X, a person who has a place to go to every day, a person who can buy what he/she wants or needs, etc. What’s happening is not just a financial earthquake, but an internal earthquake that is disorganizing and ripping apart many of our beliefs. People who have lost or are losing themselves are great clients to work with! It’s like building from scratch instead of knocking down walls and rearranging the furniture. I’ve never been interested in furniture placement. I’ve always been interested in what the foundation is built upon. Ironically, that is where most people are starting to realize. Without the proper foundation, any building can come tumbling down.
Last night, I had the privilege of listening to a talk by Laura Berman-Fortgang, a very successful coach, author and business woman and she so wisely put it: there is no such thing as a career crisis, the only crisis there ever is, is when you’ve lost yourself and sense of connection with who you are. So many people who have been doing jobs they don’t particularly like in organizations they don’t particularly care for are angry at what is happening in the world. They believed that at least, they were making money and had a job. With that security gone, they are left with little, or little that they can identify with.
So, if you have lost everything or are in the process of losing things, this is the perfect time to take a look at what it is you are identifying with. Personal power does not come with money, or anything that money can buy, and what better way to learn that than watching money disappear in front of our eyes! Personal power comes from connecting with our core selves. This brings us back to the question of who we are. Once we understand who we are then it truly doesn’t matter what we do. Haven’t you ever come across people who have “small” jobs, maybe a mail carrier or a janitor with a strong sense of self and living his or her values every day. That person has more personal power than someone who has a salary 100 times greater but who lost the sense of who they are in the process of getting there. What’s amazing is that the person with true personal power is not ever affected by what happens on the outside. The question we should be asking ourselves today is “who am I?” And if somehow we’ve forgotten or are not sure, it is our job to find out. Because without knowing who we are, we have no personal power to lift ourselves out of what is happening around us.