If you were asked to describe yourself, what would you say? Write down the first five things that come to mind. Maybe you described yourself by the roles you fulfill and how you relate to others? You might be a mother, father, brother, sister, employee, and student. Maybe you described character traits or attributes such as kindness, compassion, being funny, shy, or outgoing. Maybe you even wrote down areas that you’re not proud of, such as viewing yourself as lazy, angry, and overwhelmed. Maybe you didn’t even know what to write.
Regardless of how you describe yourself, the important thing is beginning to uncover your self-identity and the beliefs you hold about yourself. Your self-identity is your sense of who you are and what you stand for. It’s the foundation for all the decisions you make in life. For instance, how would your behavior be different if you identified with being lazy vs. self-motivated? What about being shy vs. outgoing? People behave in accordance with their identity. If you want to change your behavior and how you feel, change the beliefs you hold about yourself. It’s time to expand your identity and develop empowering beliefs. You need to dig deep and uncover your ideal self-image where you can see the vast opportunities in front of you. It’s time to create your identity!
Experience an identity crisis
Not knowing who you truly are can often lead to confusion and uncertainty. Maybe you never really discovered who you are and what you stand for, or maybe you’re going through a major life transition and are experiencing serious change. Either way, working through this identity crisis may be exactly what you need to bring your life back into harmony and start working toward your destiny. An identity crisis is a crucial part of becoming the person you want to be, and developing the beliefs that coincide with this ideal you. Think of this as developing an “I am…” statement. One in which no life changes or loss can disrupt the view of who you are. It becomes the essence of your being and holds true through thick and thin. This is why many people develop a mission and values statement. It’s a way to ingrain a healthy, stable, and secure belief about who they are. Really begin to uncover the principles, values, and passions you want to be the foundation for your behavior and decision making.
Stand for what you believe in
How does your identity relate to others and your surroundings? One of the strongest foundations that affect self-identity is the acquaintances and people we surround ourselves with. Social acceptance is one of the primary areas of concern for many people who are confused about whom they are and how they fit in. People want to be accepted, supported, and simply liked by others. Though letting social approval dictate the decisions you make can prevent you from taking profound steps and making progress. There will be people who don’t agree with the decisions you make and won’t believe in your ability to succeed. Part of reaching for your potential will be to keep faith when others criticize your vision, and to stay strong in the face of adversity. There will come a time when you have to stick to your vision and take the steps you know to be right despite disappointing others. When you have a clearly defined self-identity and know what you stand for, making important decisions will be natural and intuitive, regardless of what others are telling you.
Focus on your strengths
Self-identity relates to the your skills, talents, and abilities. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, so don’t simply dwell on what you can’t do, focus on developing those talents and skills that can take you to the next level. Begin to identify with your strengths and reframe the way you view your set-backs. Maybe you aren’t as successful as someone else or aren’t where you want to be in life. Instead of focusing on everything you’re lacking, recognize that you are making progress and how much you’ve learned along the way. Reframing is a powerful tool to change the reference point with which we view our situation, and to begin identifying with the gains being made and not the loss or lack of progress.
When your identity is achieved, you will be able to tell someone with passion and conviction the purpose, values, and principle with which you live your life by. These will be the foundation for all decisions you make, whether in relationships or business. It’s time to really consider how you’ve been viewing yourself and the strong implications this has on how you behave and what you’re willing to do. Stop identifying with limiting and self-defeating qualities. It’s time to create a character of courage, serenity, and dignity, and recognize the inherent power that you have to fulfill you destiny.