You may have heard it before. Identity, what is it and what triggers an identity crisis?
What is Identity?
Your identity is basically who you are, your personality, your values, your beliefs, knowledge of one’s own skills and abilities. It’s also related to personal self-esteem. Your personal identity is also known as (Sense of Self).
What is a strong Identity?
If a person has a strong identity, it means that person’s self-esteem, beliefs and goals are resilient to opposing opinions and beliefs, with little or no self-doubt. They know who they are, and they know what they want. Other peoples’ views and set backs have little influence.
People with weaker or less defined identities often have less stable personalities, they’re more likely to be influenced by others and society. They’re prone to suffering from what is known as an identity crisis. When a person suffers an identity crisis, it can be described as a person losing their sense of self, unsure of who they really are or their place in society.
During an identity crises, a person may start thinking deeply about themselves, and perform a type of self analysis to try to get some answers to their doubt and confusion.
Those more likely to suffer an identity crisis
Younger people, teenagers are more prone to suffering an identity crisis, they have to deal with many changes, physically, mentally and emotionally. They also have to deal with peer pressure, and pressure and expectations from parents, plus many more influences. While teenagers are more prone to suffering an identity crisis, we can also be affected by identity issues in our later years as well.
There is a personality trait known as openness. Those who are high in the openness trait sometimes struggle with their identity. This is because they’re so open-minded, open to different ideas and ways of thinking. The openness trait is linked to intelligence and creativity. However, it can also result in someone being less decisive and more prone to confusion about the world, and their place within that world.
Our identities naturally change or adjust as we have new experiences which is perfectly normal. Major or extreme events can cause more dramatic changes to our identities or trigger a possible identity crisis.
Other possible causes of an identity crisis
If somebody believes they are a particular type of person. For example, someone who believes that they are well respected, discovers that they are not so well respected. If their self-image is broken or damaged, it could trigger a lot of confusion and doubt, or in other words, an identity crisis.
Someone may be very confident in who they are and their understanding of the world, perhaps an illusion of the world. If that illusion cracks due to a major life event, the same result can happen.
Choosing our identity?
For some of us, our identity is perhaps a choice. It’s choosing who you’re and where you fit into society. Once the choice is made, it should ideally become a strong and stable identity, which allows you to get the most out of life and to remain stable and of sound mind.
If you are suffering from an identity issue, do some self discovery, find out who you’re. Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses and then choose your identity. When you make the right choice, it will fit and become a strong identity. However, it needs flexibility to deal with the big life challenges, so you can make adjustments.
Who we are is a result of both nature and nurture. Genetic traits do provide a foundation for who we are. However, perhaps some of us do have at least some power to influence what is built on top of that foundation.
Can we actually choose our identities? It’s a question that psychologists are still trying to work out.
Also, look into improving your self awareness.