The Importance Of Finding An Identity Beyond Work

How much of your identity is defined by the WHAT you DO, every day?


I was at that NYU Winthrop Hospital conference last wk, where one of the speakers shared the results of a survey she did w athletes in her practice. One of the questions on the survey was: what % of your identity is defined by being an athlete in the sport(s) you play. The average answer: 89%!!


I think back to my past (hence the pics chosen), & from as early as I can remember till about 22, I was “Eric the athlete.” I traveled to play diff youth sports all over the country.


Then when I graduated college, I became (in my mind at least), “Eric the sports exec.” That 89% # up there, looking back, now that I reflect, doesn’t look so far-fetched.


Then my crash came…& I couldn’t actually do the work any more…work I could do blindfolded w my hands behind my back, escaped me. Was that part of me crashing even further? An identity crisis? Had to be! Who was I at that pt if not the guy running revenues for sports teams? Yeah I adored my fam, & considered myself a loving uncle to my 2 nieces…but was that enough?


Now, feeling like “Eric the MH advocate,” I’ll be damned if I make the same mistake. Our identity needs to come from MORE than what we DO for a career, every day…1) bc it can escape us at any moment, 2) bc it’s near impossible to live a balanced life like that.


Controversial topic but: what’s happened to celebs who’ve made poor decisions w something they’ve said, written or done? Roseanne? Laurie Loughlin? Anyone remember Tim Hardaway’s comments?


Our identity NEEDs to be about more than what we DO, professionally. If you find ways to make yourself do things other than your work – even hobbies, or family life, so that you’re not defined by your work, would love to hear how you do it. Do you force it till it’s 2nd nature? Put it on the calendar & do it no matter what? What’s your trick?

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