You must have heard about the identity crisis and its effects on our psychology. But, how can we overcome the unhealthy identity crisis? Let’s find out.
Identity is the reason for the existence of an individual. Nothing surpasses the value of one’s identity that represents who he is and how he relates to the world around him.
When we are confident and self-aware, we know how to survive and make a place in this world. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to get this opportunity as we are still bound to the neverending search for our true identity.
Moreover, it takes a really well-developed and healthy individual who has faced the darkest times of self-realization to actually make an impact in the world. Ironically, many of our traits are useful in real-life applications, but when we try to use them to understand ourselves, we fail every time.
We encounter many people who are in search of the self. When you meet them, you realize that they are very abstract, subjective, and deep with their emotions. These emotions direct towards the process of identifying oneself.
I have been through this stage a long time ago and have experienced how terrible it feels to know yourself only to find out you know nothing. To my surprise, I never thought that finding something about us is so difficult.
However, I was able to overcome it using some exercises that I am going to discuss later in this section. I feel the effects of the crisis even now, but still, I am much better than before.
So, “What are the reasons for an identity crisis?”
“How can we overcome the unhealthy identity crisis?”
Let’s find out.
Why do we go through an identity crisis?
“Why do we go through such difficulties in the pursuit of self-knowledge?”
Our identity is important to us. We must know everything from our likes, dislikes to goals and aims. The more we know ourselves, the better we accept our quirks.
But, the problem lies in our attitude when we dive into the never-ending depths of self-knowledge. One thing that we have to realize is that everything related to our identity depends on how we want to see ourselves.
For instance, a person may be anything, a success or a failure. But the course of our personality changes when we aspire to become something else other than being us. It happens because of our evolving tendency that never ceases to look for ways to a better life.
Hence, we need to find out the reasons behind the identity crisis.
So, here are the 3 most common reasons why do we go through an identity crisis.
1. We have lost ourselves to fit in with the world:
Now, I will be completely honest here.
Nothing is more devastating than completely losing ourselves in a world full of people who conform to irrelevant notions and customs. They do not accept anything inconsistent with their fixed ideologies.
Moreover, the people who do not fit in this view suffer from the loss of identity as they are too busy following others and believing that something is wrong with them.
As a result, they feel isolated and neglected.
2. We try to adopt many personalities and neglect our own:
This is more common with the people who are social chameleons.
Trying to adopt multiple identities for different situations makes it difficult for us to accept who we are. While there is nothing bad in adapting to circumstances, yet we lose the important aspects of our personality, which is detrimental to us in the long run.
For instance, a person who is very agreeable and open-minded adapts in social situations to suit the interests of people around him. He adopts a mask, which helps him merge into his surroundings. However, too much use of this mask wears him out, and he desires to be himself once and for all.
Hence, we adopt many personalities but neglect our own.
3. Our personality changes every 5 years:
This is something that has been said by many psychologists over many years.
Our personality changes over a period of 5 years, and we redefine ourselves over time. A person who seems to be sincere and respectful might be more easy-going and flexible in the span of these 5 years.
Now, when we look at ourselves, we find out that we are no longer the same person we thought we are. Everything changes slowly, but we observe and realize it after a long time.
Hence, the reason we undergo an identity crisis is that our personality changes every 5 years.
So, we have discussed the reasons behind the identity crisis and how they influence us.
But, “How can we overcome the unhealthy identity crisis?”
Let’s find out.
How can we overcome the unhealthy identity crisis?
Until now, we have discussed a lot about the identity crisis and the reasons we experience it consistently. There is nothing we could do to stop and escape from it.
However, our identity crisis depends on our needs, desires, and ambitions. It is the ultimate road to self-development. Moreover, the crisis is equally necessary to help us discover the beautiful parts of the self.
But, we can overcome our identity crisis by following some simple and effective ways that turn out to be beneficial to us.
So, here are 5 enlightening ways to overcome the unhealthy identity crisis.
1. Engage with your environment actively:
I have mentioned in the previous sections how it is futile to believe in people and conform to their rules and conventions. Besides, I have also discussed that the herd mentality is not good for one’s self-development.
But, our surroundings have a significant role to play in it. We might ignore people who disregard our worldview or perspective, but the source of inspiration is not people but our environment. The rich source of experiences that helps us refine our identity to the healthiest limit possible is our environment.
Hence, to develop a strong identity we must engage with our environment actively.
2. Create your own principles:
Living in a community is important for safety and security concerns. We have evolved for ages by living in a community and satisfying our basic needs.
However, living in a community does not mean that you should be conforming to everything it says. Our society can be wrong in many ways, and if we influence ourselves by their judgments, we will never attain our true identity free of crisis.
For instance, when society dismisses a particular view and deems it as immoral, then a person with strong principles can act against it and prove its significance to people.
In this way, he develops a healthy identity.
3. Find what motivates you and your causes:
Everyone has different causes and motivations for doing something in life. Our desires and motivations are clear when we identify with them and bring our dreams to reality.
Likewise, the motivations for different people are different. It is important to find out what motivates you and your causes that help can you achieve your goals.
Many people end up believing in others and try to resonate with them by making similar goals. However, they wear out soon as they do not actively engage in chasing them. Their negligence makes them sad, depressed and lost in life.
Therefore, it is important to find out what motivates you and your causes.
4. Make your own path and follow it:
You must have seen many images representing a man walking his own path alone without any goal or target. That image says a lot about human psychology. Our identity depends on our subjective and resolute selves.
However, most people have no direction or goal they can commit to. We are busy listening and seeking advice from people who do not have a goal themselves.
Therefore, it is better to make your own path and follow it. Walking your own path helps you identify with your true aim in life that seems right to you. Moreover, it also helps in dealing with an identity crisis.
5. Lastly, if you do not fit in, then don’t try to:
The above points are for people who are lost or unsure of their identity. Following those steps helps them discover and be sure of who they are and gives direction to their lives.
But, “What if you are too different for anyone to understand?”
“What if you are a square peg trying to fit in a round hole?”
Well, in that case, do not even try to. You will never find peace and stability even if you do. There is nothing in it that can help you achieve your greatest self and identity. One should be authentic to himself to understand the implications of his conformity.
It is better to be alone, not lonely. Be comfortable with who you are. If you do not desire money, fame, or power, then don’t run after it. Instead, chose what you need. Some people chase authenticity, creativity, and novelty in life.
In such cases, it is futile to believe in anything that society says. Just do your own thing and be happy. It makes you special.
To sum up, our identity is the epitome of our self-development, which never ceases to exist as long as we are alive. But, we can lose our ways when we face the reality of society and get discouraged by it.
Nevertheless, it is important to overcome an identity crisis and live your life the way you want. Nothing can outmatch a highly self-aware person who is confident of his identity.