Our identity is formed by characteristics we have no control over, gender, race, and economic class. It also includes our opinions, moral code and beliefs. Our identity is a combination of memories, values, experiences and relationships. The teenage years are about developing our identity, which is why it is such a tumultuous time. When we move to adulthood, while more stable, we continue to evolve.
Change impacting our sense of self can cause an identity crisis.
A crisis can occur when we are met with the challenge of changing career, divorce or gender roles. An event brings to your attention your that beliefs have changed, or you recognise decisions have been made based on others expectations. It’s at this point you decide to make changes and do some self-evaluation.
Changing career is not something which can be done lightly. There are various reasons this may occur, the role no longer exists, family commitments, and change in values and interests. Whatever the reason, it takes time to make the change, and you may not be able to go back to the level of income you had before. Training may be involved, which could take weeks, months and years. A support system based on family and friends will be vital.
Divorce is a shock to the system, even when you instigated it. There are a lot of changes which take place and not all of them you are prepared for. This is a massive period of change and exploration of who you are without your ex-partner.
We live in a society that is based on information being freely available. Sometimes the new information may cause us to question beliefs. We may realise our political opinion or religious view is no longer the same. Often beliefs have been formed via our friends and family, or we have graduated towards people with the same ideas. With these changed views, there is likely to be a period of change in the dynamics of these relationships.
Our identity evolves, and life’s experiences allow us to expand who we are and opens the possibility of creating change.
Our identity is formed by our repeated behaviour. This creates who we believe we are.
When you have decided to make a change, such as running to get fit, instead of seeing the goal and all the work required looming in front of you, try and imagine yourself as a runner. How would they behave? When you have your answer, you know what action to take because this is the person you want to become. Every small step towards the person you want to become, your brain accumulates the evidence, for this is who you are. The more evidence your brain acquires, the more you will identify with that image of yourself until it becomes integrated
Who would you like to become? What small action do you want to take to start the journey? I would love to see them in the comments below.
Have a great day