Your Identity and Mr Benn

I was watching a Chartered Financial Planner, Pete Matthew, on his channel the other evening and he was discussing the effect of retirement on most people. When someone retires, and they are asked what they do, they will probably reply that they are a ‘retired’ Teacher/Doctor/Nurse.

In other words, they identify themselves with their former profession. Most of us when meeting someone for the first time will be asked, ‘What do you do?’

Let’s explore this further.  When you eventually come to retire if you still identify yourself as a ‘retired’ Teacher/Doctor/Nurse that will remain part of your identity and it will be difficult to adjust. Whilst you are working and most people reading this are, you may still identify yourself by your profession as well as, for example, Dad, Husband, Tennis Player and F1 Fan. But is that really who you are?

The problem with identities is that they are maintained by your Ego and your Ego only knows about your past and present. It knows nothing about your future. So, are you your qualifications, or your mind? Or maybe even your body? Am I my face, or my arms and legs? If not, what, or rather, who am I? Maybe the answer is my spirit which I have had since birth. Then I went to school and wore a school uniform. This changed several times as I grew older.
Then one day the Careers Officer suggested engineering, ‘Like your Dad.’ So, I studied electronics and mechanical engineering and got a job. Metaphorically I visited the costume shop every few years, rather like the children’s TV character, Mr. Benn. Mr. Benn would visit the costume shop and walk out of the changing room into a new life.

Whilst this study and career progression was taking place I also became a DJ and had two mobile discos and worked for a year in a night club to pay my mortgage. As it happened there was another Steve Kay in the town, a few years older than me, he was known as Steve Kay the Doctor and I was Steve Kay the DJ to the locals in the Bakers Arms.

Your identity can be very restrictive, but you can also visit the costume shop and try on a new one. How about a Coach’s costume? Or a Leadership Trainer’s costume or maybe one you have always wanted but never quite had the courage.

Our costume shop is open right now for people wanting a change and it will give you all the confidence you need. All you need to do is contact Lorna and ask her about our NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner programmes.