Have you ever faced an identity crisis? It’s a crisis of meaning where you just don’t know who you are anymore. Sometimes it is extreme and you need help to get through it and sometimes you can use reflection and talking to friends to feel better. A change in how you perceive who you are usually comes with changes in your life circumstances.
Here are some events that can trigger confusion or introspection of your own sense of self:
– Starting or changing a career
– Changing jobs
– Getting laid off
– Getting married
– Getting divorced
– Moving locally or farther
– Losing a loved one
– Raising a family/becoming an empty-nester
– Cosmetic surgery, weight loss or even orthodontic treatment
These events can cause us to question our identity or who we think we are. Many times it is a good thing because we are evolving into the person we’ve always envisioned for our life.
That’s where the crisis comes in. Emotionally, we may not be certain how to act, how to be and if we are ready to step into that new identity. I’ve experienced multiple changes in my life – moves, jobs, careers, family changes and more where I looked again at my own sense of self. I remember the worst identity crisis I experienced was after resigning from a position that no longer matched who I was and my goals. Leaving that position called up all sorts of questions about who I was and I went into a spin of self-doubt and confusion until I started my business.
As a business owner, I love identifying with the compliments and reflections of who I am as a speaker and workshop leader. It aligns with what I love to do and I can see that what I facilitate in my talks and workshops impacts people in a positive way.
Your identity is the outward expression of who you are such that people can describe you to other people or make decisions about you. More importantly though, is your own sense of identity – who do you think you are and who do you want to be?
If you are in transition and confused about your identity and your sense of self, there are a few things you can do.
1. Relax and slow down. Re-connect with who and what is important to you. During transition time, when your identity is changing, your mind may be racing and your ego is certainly taking exception to the change – good or bad.
2. Create a picture of who you want to be, how you want to be seen and how you want people to speak of you. Write it down.
3. Make a list of your talents and abilities. If you are in a spin of self-doubt, ask people who are your supporters. Identify your favorite successes and what is common across all of them.
You don’t have to worry and have a lot of stress during a crisis of identity. Each time you get in that spin, remind yourself that life is a journey and have faith that you will find your sense of self again.
Now go ahead, breathe a sigh of relief. You’ll make it through.
If you are in transition, I offer a complementary 30-minute consultation to help you reconnect with your true self. Simply fill out this form with your request and your contact information and I will connect with you to set up a call.
Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential.
© 2014 Kathy Garland