Do you want to learn how to overcome an identity crisis?
Do you find yourself questioning your existence and your values in life?
Identity crisis is majorly about questioning who you are, your purpose, and what your values are.
It is that point in your life when you try to make sense of everything concerning you.
This could take different forms like questioning your career path, spirituality, sexuality, self-esteem, etc.
It may seem like a bad thing, but it isn’t.
This is because it’s an experience that makes you look inward and question certain things about your life to be the best person you can be.
This blog post explains;
- What Identity crisis is
- The signs and causes
- How to overcome it so you can make the most of this life-changing experience
Hence, read on to discover how to overcome identity crisis.
How to Overcome Identity Crisis; Signs and Causes of Identity Crisis
Identity crisis can be stressful and energy-consuming.
Also, it is characterized by some signs or behavior patterns.
Some of these include;
- Searching for more passion, reason, or meaning in life
- Questioning your spirituality, career path, and value
- Navigating through some changes in life like divorce
- Debating your role in the society
- Questioning your gender identity
- Figuring out your sexuality, etc.
If you’re experiencing any of these, it could be a clear sign that you’re experiencing an identity crisis.
However, it is nothing to be ashamed of.
This is because it is something that almost everyone struggles with at certain stages of their lives, e.g., teenage years, adulthood, or during a mid-life crisis.
Hence, you’re not alone in this.
Furthermore, the causes of identity crisis could differ in individuals.
However, the causes are all tied to negative or positive events that provoke deep introspection.
Some of these things include;
- A big change in life like getting married or divorced
- Having a child
- Change of environment
- New job or losing a job
- Health issues
- Losing a loved one
- Stress from work
- A traumatic event, etc.
Overall, some of these things could cause you to express anxieties and self-doubt over the essence of your life.
Identity crisis can yield positive results if handled appropriately and vice versa.
It could lead to a mental health situation.
Also, it may lead to seeing life from a negative perspective which will gradually open the door to depression.
Hence the need to know how to manage and overcome it so that you can reap the benefits of this life-changing experience.
Tips on How To Overcome Identity Crisis
Here are some tips on how to overcome an identity crisis
1Explore Who You Are
There’s no better way of solving an identity crisis than confronting it.
Spend some time with yourself to really find out who you are, your likes and dislikes, values, principles, etc.
Ask yourself some questions and try to answer them in any way that would be easy for you to understand.
Some of these questions may include:
- What were you like some years back?
- Has it changed? Why?
- What were your values in the past?
- Are they still the same?
- What are your current interests and principles?
- What do you regard as most important in life currently?
- If you are going through some major life changes, have they changed you? How has it changed you?
Remember that all these questions are not meant to be answered in a day.
You should take your time and go through them.
The answers you get in return will open you up to better reconcile your past and the present.
Overall, an identity crisis is all about questioning your identity and finding the appropriate answers.
Hence, there’s no better way to stop it than to look inwards and honestly question yourself to find the answer to your questions.
Thereby helping you build self-awareness and overcome identity crisis.
After you have answered these questions, you are in a position where you understand yourself better.
This is all about discovering yourself, finding out what gives you joy/fulfillment, and doing it.
It’s also about making life more meaningful for yourself.
It could be taking a new career path, volunteering, connecting with new people, picking up a new hobby, etc.
You can even decide to develop a new routine that will involve some activities you have not done before.
It helps to realign you with your authentic self, thereby helping you overcome your identity crisis.
3Reach Out to a Social Support System
Social support systems are usually good ways of reconnecting to yourself and society.
They help you realize that you are not the only one going through that phase.
This social support could be your friends, family, colleagues at work, people that share similar interests with you, etc.
Also, you can find a social support system with mental health groups.
This is where you find persons who go through different mental health challenges different or even more intense than yours.
It opens your eyes to the possibility of other people experiencing the same thing as you and gives you hope for a better you.
More so, some underlying issues like anxiety and depression may accompany or even contribute to your identity crisis.
Also, when it seems to be getting out of hand, you may seek external professional help like therapy.
A step-by-step process of a therapist with your corporation will go a long way in helping you come to terms with yourself.
The thought of knowing that people care about you will give you the courage to find yourself and overcome your identity crisis.
4Tune out External Judgment
When one is going through any mental development process, the last thing they need is another problem compounding their condition.
A situation that could add more to your identity crisis is external judgment from society.
The society we live in is bound to interfere in our day-to-day lives.
However, do not allow society to decide who you should be or influence your self-definition.
Always define who you are and not who society thinks you should be.
One thing about society is that it is never constant.
Therefore, basing your self-definition on who it says you should be will lead you to depression because tomorrow it will change and expects you to become a new person.
Therefore, in overcoming an identity crisis, embrace self-perception and tune out societal judgments.
5Know When to Practice Self-Compassion
Self-compassion is the act of talking to yourself kindly, forgiving yourself for what you didn’t do right, learning your lessons, and moving on.
However, there is a difference between self-compassion and letting yourself off the hook when you have done something bad.
Letting yourself off the hook is more like becoming defensive when you have done something bad instead of showing remorse and making amends.
To help you overcome your identity crisis, know when to apologize when you do wrong and forgive yourself.
Do not become all defensive in the name of self-compassion.
Self-compassion is more about reflecting on what has happened and walking towards making amends.
It is an antidote for recovering, growing from your past mistakes, and overcoming an identity crisis.
6Do Not Fall into the Comparison Trap
A lot of things can cause or trigger your identity crisis.
One of such triggers is comparison.
When you begin to compare your growth or achievement with those of your colleagues, you will begin to question why you have not come as close to them in being successful.
Likewise, comparing yourself to others will only make you feel less of yourself.
Therefore, fueling your identity crisis.
To overcome your identity crisis, avoid comparing yourself with others.
Always remember that all fingers are not equal and that people perform at different speeds.
This will help you overcome self-doubt and identity crisis.
It would also give you the self-confidence an
7Be Flexible/Open to Change
This is one of the effective ways to self-discovery and fulfillment.
You have an identity crisis in the first place because you have a fixed/rigid mindset on how things should be in your life.
So, when things turn out the opposite, you begin to question your life’s purpose/identity.
Likewise, you’re unwilling to accept the changes some events are bringing into your life.
Hence, you fall into depression and anxiety.
Being open to change is having the willingness to accept the changes that life’s events or circumstances bring your way.
It is also doing so with the mindset that these changes do not change who you are (i.e., your identity).
Instead, that they make you wiser and a better version of yourself.
Having this mindset will make you comfortable with change and easily cope with the stress of these life-changing events.
Thereby helping you to overcome your identity crisis.
8Focus More On Working on Yourself Than on Your Problem
When going through an identity crisis, we tend to dwell more on problems, forgetting to work on ourselves.
Also, we focus on our imperfections, forgetting the good things that have happened to us.
It makes us seek to become perfect before we decide who we want to be.
To overcome your identity crisis, you have to understand that there is no perfect version of anyone.
Also, you should bear in mind to focus on working on yourself, not to become perfect, but to better than you were in the past.
9Understand that You are not Defined by What Your Looks
Pressures within and outside you will sometimes make it look as if your appearance determines who you are.
They make you look at yourself as not being so lucky because you are black or disabled or have a funny-looking nose.
However, you should understand your appearance does not define who you are.
Therefore to deal with an identity crisis, do not try to align your identity to your appearance.
Instead, discover other interesting things about yourself like your personality traits, values, things that inspire you, interests, experiences that have shaped you, etc.
By tapping into these aspects of your life, you’ll discover unique things about yourself.
Thereby giving you a sense of self-worth and helping you to get over your identity crisis.
10Work on Your Self-esteem; it Will Help You To Overcome Identity Crisis
Most times, identity crisis stems from our lack of self-esteem.
Low self-esteem will generally make you question many things about your life.
It would make you see yourself as not good enough for anything and drive you downwards to self-condemnation.
Another thing it does to you is to highlight your insecurities and present them before you.
Hence, to overcome your identity crisis, first, try to overcome your low self-esteem.
It would help you better deal with your insecurities and help you handle identity crises better.
11Empower/Encourage Yourself; it will help you to overcome your identity crisis
When you are in this maze of figuring out who you are, one of the best things you can do for yourself is becoming empowered in that state.
You can do this by reading up some self-development articles, books and watching inspirational videos.
These self-help materials could be a great source of motivation and encouragement on your self-discovery journey.
They could also help you understand that identifying oneself involves a constant learning, unlearning, and discovery process.
Overall, these materials could help you understand the true meaning of self and how to answer the questions of your identity.
Thereby helping you deal with your identity crisis.
12Strive To Achieve Realistic Goals
On the journey of self-discovery and dealing with your identity crisis, achieving great things can give you a stronger sense of purpose.
It could also give you a clearer definition of who you truly are and what matters to you.
So one of the ways you could better cope with an identity crisis is to reevaluate your goals, set better goals, and try to achieve them.
These goals could be in your career or personal life.
Set new and realistic goals in those areas you feel your life does not measure up.
Strive to achieve those goals.
Achieving those goals will give you a sense of validation and purpose.
Therefore, helping you get over your identity crisis.
Journaling is a process of documenting your life in the past or the present bit by bit.
It is one of the best ways to capture your experience.
This is because you would have to write what you felt at different points in life and how you feel about the experience.
Also, it gives you room to see who you have been in the past, who you were some minutes ago, almost visually, and helps you connect the two to find any loophole if there is any.
Journaling is a great process for learning from your past and present experiences.
More so, it is one of the effective ways of developing more self-awareness and understanding your personality.
Hence, practice journaling to become more self-aware and deal with your identity crisis.
Wrapping Up on Overcoming Identity Crisis
Identity crisis is one of the situations which, when handled well, yields great results because it helps you define who you are.
In such an experience, you may get to the point when you realize that you can create that person you wish to be.
When such happens, accept it in good fate and get to work.
However, while on this journey, you should understand that defining oneself isn’t a day’s task, neither is it a journey that ends.
There may be the need to go through another aspect of self-definition in the future.
This is because identifying who you are is a constant unlearning, learning, and discovery process.
Hence, as you go through the different phases of life and circumstances, there may be the need to question certain things about your life.
However, remember to do it from a place of love/self-compassion and not anger/resentment.
Overall, the inner self-introspection that comes with questioning your identity (identity crisis) can be a powerful force of change that sets us on the right path to realize and reach our full potential.
However, this can only happen if we approach it with the right mindset of learning from the experiences and recognizing the aspects of our lives that we need to change.
Here’s to self-discovery and being all that you can be.