Recovery comes in all forms. Let’s chat a different form of recovery, I refer to it as role-related recovery. This has been part of my personal journey over the years as I’ve gotten married, welcomed two children, and am looking to change careers. All of these are positive changes that have come with their own set of challenges. My role in life transforms with the season I am in. I’ve had to learn that my identity, my role, is seperate from the tasks I do.
Often we identify as the tasks we take on. The bookkeeper, the housekeeper, the cook, the cleaner, the driver, and so on. I’m here to tell you, you are not defined by the tasks that you do.
Your role and your tasks are two different things. You determine your role in life, and you decide which tasks to do.
You can CHOOSE to take on tasks that align with your roles, or you can CHOOSE not to. For example, you may cook the meals (task) because that aligns with the parent (role) that you want to be.
Your role is part of your identity, who you are. Your tasks are things you do. Know the difference and repeat this to yourself. If you’ve found yourself identifying as your tasks, I want to help you change that mindset. Here are four tips that have helped me reframe my mindset to see my roles as positive and my tasks and just that, tasks.
(1) Align your life and your roles.
YOU get to decide your role, no one else. In this phase of life, my role is to be a mother and a wife. I believe and desire to be both of these things. This is my identity. Look at the season of life you are in and decide for yourself what your roles are.
Allow yourself time to do this. Your role is who you are at your core, the person you want to be. Currently, you might not know what this is and that’s okay, just start somewhere.
(2) Reframe your mind
We take on roles that we desire and ones we think we are required to do. When you find yourself saying things like
“I have to get this done” or “If I don’t do it, no one else will”
try to reframe your mind. Say things like, “this task aligns with the role I desire to be”.
For example, if you are a mom and you are choosing to make dinner try saying to yourself, “I’m choosing to make dinner because feeding my family aligns with the mom I desire to be.” rather than “If I don’t do it, no one will.”
Trust me, this takes A LOT of practice! Reframing is a difficult mindset shift. Remember, you are capable of difficult things. The more you do it, the easier it gets.
(3) Replace the word “role” with “task”
The task you are taking on is specific and has an ending point. I relate this to motherhood. When my toddler is having a tantrum, my task is to be there for him and help support him through his emotions. My role is being his mother. That role won’t end, and I don’t want it to, but the tantrum (the task) will end. Understanding that there is an endpoint can help us deal with our tasks. Sometimes knowing it will end, is exactly what we need to make it through.
(4) Eliminate extra roles.
Learn what roles you have believed to be true about you, that you don’t want to be part of your identity anymore. This has allowed me to have more mental capacity for the roles I truly want to identify with. This might require you to seperate your job from your personal role.
I am working to consciously change my mindset about my career in education. I used to identify as a teacher and I’m working to see teaching as a task that I do, rather than who I am. My current phase of life has me rethinking my priorities. My work is what I do, not who I am.
Mindset work is never easy but the reward is always worth it. I hope you find these tips helpful in your own role-related recovery. Allow yourself to let go of the extra roles and see the things you do as tasks with an endpoint. Your roles are what you choose, choose them to align with your life.