Do you have a sense of self? How do you maintain your personal identity and avoid an identity crisis?
Maintaining a strong inner sense of balance provides you with a sense of personal identity, when you have a strong inner sense, your personal identity is not threatened when a crisis occurs.
Creating inner strength stability requires a degree of internal fortitude. We can begin to develop this fortitude by recognising and appreciating our own unique set of resources, strengths, values, and abilities. To actively maintain our personal identity during times of a crisis we need to spend some time figuring out who we are as a person and learn to connect with that person on a core level.
Sadly, most of us have lost touch with our creative self. We have allowed the roles we play to define who we are as a person when it should be the other way around.
There are four very strong outside influences that impact our sense of self:
- What we do and who we hang out with. If you get your personal identity from what you do, then the loss of a job can trigger a full-blown identity crisis. If your personal identity is based on who you know, the loss of a friend might cause you to question who you really are.
- Media. We would all like to think that we make up our own minds about most things. In reality we are constantly being conditioned by our environment to link certain things with pain or pleasure. Advertisers study human behavior in an effort to link their products to our emotions. Their advertising campaigns are designed to create subconscious, emotional associations designed to influence the choices we make.
- Colleagues: The attitude of our closest colleagues also has a powerful influence on our personal identity. Their opinions can actually precondition us to view things the way that they do. We may value someone else’s opinion so much, that we subconsciously adopt their viewpoint without any personal experience.
- Large groups: Groups can also shape our preferences and by extension, our personal identity. In such cases, acceptance often hinges on our ability to conform to group opinion. Wanting to accepted can move us to alter our behavior and preferences. Whether the changes we make are beneficial or otherwise will depend on the sort of crowd we associate with.
Our lives and the dreams we pursue should be an expression of our most cherished goals and core values. Not the ones dictated to us by advertisers, friends, or group opinions.
Most people choose a life course and personal identity that is based on external criteria. They end up following a path that leads them away from an honest expression of their true self. Consequently, with each step, they actually distance themselves from the life they truly long for.
Circumstances and friends have a way of changing. Sometimes they support our dreams and passions while at other times they provide a challenge. The ability to keep your dreams alive in the face of challenging circumstances is one of the greatest attributes of a successful person.
To accomplish this requires that you actually know who you really are and what you really want. Once you are in touch with your true self, the changes around you become much less influential. Instead of your personal identity being anchored to external forces, it remains safe and secure no matter which way the winds of change decide to blow.