Awesome, Empowering Thought from Leah Harris

leah_harris_headshotI saw this article on my local news website a while back.  It tells a little about a keynote speaker, Leah Harris, at a conference of professionals that was sponsored by the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health.

The article is short and interesting.  But this one paragraph JUMPED out at me:

After years of considering her life in terms of her diagnoses of borderline personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and suicide attempts, Harris said she realized there was tremendous power in redefining herself as someone who had dreams and ambitions.

I absolutely loved this.  She has titles that easily categorize and group and define her: borderline, OCD, suicidal (or, having been suicidal).  But her empowerment came when “she realized there was tremendous power in redefining herself as someone who had dreams and ambitions.

I love, love, love this!

In 2008 I wrote a blog post titled I Lost More Than My Job 2 Years Ago, where I talk about losing my identity, which I had encapsulated in my little professional job title, printed on my business card.

Losing a job title makes you a nobody, kind of.  At least, if you’ve been using a title to define yourself for many years, like Leah talks about, losing that title, or switching it to “unemployed,” can be very debilitating.

I tell people that I eventually lost hope, but one day I got my hope back.  It was when I came up with the idea for JibberJobber.  It was when I found dreams and ambitions!

When you lose sight of who you are because you listen to titles and stereotypes that try and define who you are (that’s profound, reread that), step back and REDEFINE YOURSELF as someone who has DREAMS and AMBITIONS!

This is so empowering!  Please share this with someone who needs to hear it!

2 thoughts on “Awesome, Empowering Thought from Leah Harris”

  1. It’s interesting how we define ourselves by our jobs. When you meet someone for the first time, their first question always tends to be ‘what do you do?’ I used to dread that question when I was out of work.

    Losing a job is definitely distressing, but can also be a great opportunity to redefine ourselves. Thanks for reminding us that even in the most demanding circumstances, we have the capacity to empower ourselves for the better.

  2. Great post….I have often defined myself by my relative success in the job market, as in “How well did I fit in?” What I often lose sight of is that this is really a two-way street: I have to fit into the job world and the job world has to adapt to me. If we are true to ourselves, we discover more gifts than ifwe obsessively try to fit in.

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