Do you really know what your self identity and worth are tied to?
What is the thing that you think makes you who you are? Is it your family, friends, and values? Or is it your title, professional contribution, and salary? Or it something else altogether?
I thought I knew what mine was tied to: having a meaningful impact.
I've been between jobs a few times, whether due to being let go or voluntarily leaving a place that was making me miserable, and I have always felt lost during those times. Since I can't remember the last time I had a nine-to-five job and since I tend to give my all to anything I consider worth doing, I thought it was lack of meaningful employment that made me feel this way. I was wrong.
Yes, I need to be making a contribution and for my work and life to have meaning, but if that contribution does not have a salary or income associated with it (e.g., working on my own business or contributing my time to a worthy cause), I still feel lost. This may sound superficial or short-sighted and made me feel bad until I realized the reasons behind it.
Part of my self-worth comes from contributing to my family's financial well-being and security. That paycheck is therefore necessary since financial stability is very important to me and necessary for my peace of mind. This is just who I am, right or wrong, and why without that salary, I will keep feeling adrift.
What about you? Are you sure you know what your self-identity and worth are tied to?