Have you ever asked yourself the question Who am I?
This month, our theme at Bold True Life is identity and today I want to talk about what happens to our identity as we grow and go through big changes in life.
I don’t know about you, but my life these days looks very different than it did 10 years ago. Within the last decade, I’ve transitioned from a 19-year-old college student to a young professional at her first full-time job to a first-time business owner learning the ropes of entrepreneurship.
Over these past 10 years, I’ve also traveled, invested in personal development, gotten married, and gone through so many other experiences that have helped me find my voice. And all along the way, I’ve grown into a woman that my 19-year-old self probably wouldn’t recognize.
It’s hard to believe how much has changed in just a decade. But my life is quite different than it was back then. And so am I.
Nobody talks much about how transitions impact our sense of identity. But every change we go through has an effect on the vision that we have of ourselves. Each life development slowly chips away at the aspects of ourselves that don’t seem to fit anymore.
Going through a big change on the outside inevitably leads to one occurring on the inside too.
Every transition we face in life forces us to reckon with our identity. Because each one of them widens our perspective. And as the world around us suddenly starts to look a little bit different, we also start to see our place in it differently. And we begin wondering where exactly we belong in this new world order.
Whether it’s starting a new job, getting married, moving away, or losing a loved one – major changes all have this phenomenon in common. These situations are unsettling enough that they make us reconsider the roles we’ve grown comfortable in.
Who are you right after a big transition? What does life look when you finally graduate from college or become a parent for the first time? What about after a break-up?
Change often involves some unraveling. Because it brings up so many feelings to navigate through – excitement, anticipation, fear, worry, and even panic to name a few. It’s easy to get lost sorting through all of the thoughts and emotions that come up. In fact, it’s likely.
Big changes are often breeding grounds for identity crises.
It’s a scary prospect, but getting lost is a natural part of transitions. The good news is that you won’t be lost forever. But you will need to work through the feelings and questions that come up in the process.
One of the hardest parts of change is recognizing that what you used to do isn’t working anymore. The past is no longer a reliable blueprint for making certain decisions. So how are you supposed to go on with making choices for yourself?
The first thing you can do is focus on the present. When you’re not caught up spinning into the past or the future, it’s easier to make decisions that feel right in the moment. The only thing you really need to make an informed choice right now is clarity on your objective and values.
Getting clear on these two factors is the second thing you can do to make a good decision. Ask yourself what your goal is in a particular situation. And then check in to see if this goal is in sync with your values. If so, then you’ll probably feel good about your current decision in the long-run too.
Reconnecting with your identity after a transition usually takes some exploring. But the essence of who you are never really changes. It’s always there to guide you. And focusing on the present moment offers you a chance to reunite with that essence. The one that will always bring you back to your true self.
Your identity is ever-evolving – you’ll be growing into wiser versions of yourself for the rest of your life. That’s the main purpose of change. And the beauty of it too.
It’s ok to question your identity sometimes. You’ll never grow if you don’t.
So have you ever gone through a change that sparked an identity crisis in your life? What did you learn from the experience? I’d love to hear all about it in a comment below this post or an email!
Peace and blessings,
P.S. – Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or uninspired by your life? Is there a challenge you’re facing or a goal you’d like to work towards? If you’re ready to take a bold, true leap in your life, I can help you. Click here to schedule a FREE discovery session with me.