The Rough Seas Of The Roles We Inhabit And How To Calm The Waters – Part Five
Life role certificates; a fun keepsake
Once you have agreed on the expectations between you and the person in relation to your life role, you can then write it up, framing it for a fun and sentimental keepsake to keep in the kitchen or around the house.
Be as creative with it as you want, print it on weathered card for effect, experiment with fonts and even put a wax seal on it if that takes your fancy.
This serves as a reminder of how you can work together, finding compromise in a respectful way and will act as a template reminding you how to get the most out of your life role in such a way that it not only serves and supports you but others too.
How to successfully juggle life roles
This is where your core identity really comes into its own. Juggling life roles is never easy but it gets increasingly stressful and difficult if you are either wearing masks for each role and have no clear core identity. Your core identity will allow you to remain quintessentially yourself even though you may be switching between roles out of necessity.
Make sure you allow time to nurture each of your roles individually, such as being a professional (time with your boss outlining your objectives and goals for example), alone time with your husband and story or conversational time with each of your children and / or family time as a whole.
Time blocks are an important way you can achieve this, scheduling in blocks of time dedicated to each life role whereby you limit outside distractions like phones, TV, computers and / or other people for instance. For a more in depth look at time management strategies, please read my article titled ‘Personal productivity; How to achieve in record-breaking time’.
One of the things I have been actively working on in therapy is individualization. Throughout the years I have come to learn what many probably know automatically – that from the moment we are born we go through a process of separation. When we progress in years this process continues. We go from our parents care to being more independent, then marrying our partners, beginning a life with them and eventually even having our own children, a further process of separation from our parents.
With this in mind there will be changes in the dynamic of certain life roles at different stages of your life. For example, the dynamic you have with your sister or mother will change once you marry and again change when you have a child of your own. Change is usually a little scary and stressful so it is worth anticipating that you might go through a mourning phase for how things were prior to adopting your new life role.
But take heart, this process of individualization in your life roles is natural and healthy and this period of adjustment is not to be confused for anything destructive, neither does it mean that you have over invested your identity in any one role.
In truth I’m still trying to figure it all out, just like you. I still have moments when I hate the idea of having a life more separate from my parents and days when I struggle to stop myself from over identifying as a professional or being a blogger.
I don’t have all the answers but I like to think I have more than in my twenties, and that I will have still more in my fifties. What I hope is that the knocks and bruises I’ve received in life have enabled me to learn a little along the way and can help you in your life journey too.
One thing I do know for sure, it is a truly amazing feeling to be liberated from the emotional baggage my life roles dumped on me, like an unwelcome house guest who arrived unannounced. I hope that in bringing the subconscious into the conscious realm and by explaining the rough seas of the life roles we inhabit, you can unpack those bags too. By unpacking the emotional baggage of life roles, you can prevent them being destructive and instead have them be nourishing, both serving and supporting you as you venture through life.
Do you like the idea of making your very own life role certificates? What strategies have you used to help you navigate juggling multiple life roles? Does the process of individualization leave you feeling sad or do you agree it is the natural progression of life? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.
Stay tuned – next month’s Hot Topic is ‘How to Halt Put Downs and Come Out On Top’.
Following using psychology to transform my life, I founded Accessible Psychology to help empower others to live the life they long for. My journey is living testimony that no matter where you are, absolutely everyone can apply psychology in order to lead more fulfilling lives.
Oh and I love Oprah, Marie Forleo, Tony Robbins and lovely people like you!