For many of us, our identity falls in the category of what we “do” rather than what we are. We spend so much time creating a picture for everyone else to see and get caught in the ideas behind this identity leaving little to no room for change or growth in another direction or disappointment in ourselves and others for creating the change. Then when there are changes like a marriage ending, career changes, pandemics, we are lost as to who we are.
It is much easier for us to stay “safe” in that identity even if we are not happy. Our ego struggles between what we want for ourselves truly and what we think is best for others to see. It tells us we are not good enough, not worthy, or failure for simply going through the human experience. Change is inevitable and identities change with it.
Battling our said identities can be challenging. It is hard to move out of a place that has become a “habit” and conditioned through years of repetition. The emotions that come along with any change too, can cause great distress in your situation leaving you feeling lost, rejected, and forgotten about. Loneliness is a big sign that your identity is struggling with your ego.
In divorce or times of great transition in career especially the idea of “failed” is often felt by most people in this situation. The fact is you have not failed, you have reached a place where you can no longer grow in that relationship or situation whether you decided this or not. Your soul and true identity are telling you it is time to move forward and dig deeper into who you are and what you are capable of, heal the trauma from the past and create a time for healing and growth.
It is not easy to understand when you are in the moment, but it is an opportunity to look at what your true values are and move towards that direction when navigating your life ahead. Most times these transitions occur because we have decided to “do” instead of “be” and the ego has taken full authority. When we are faced with this it is important to recognize, acknowledge and be ok with where you are. Self-compassion is key in this process, so be gentle with yourself and have faith in your ability to overcome and thrive.
Undoubtedly, we have to be willing to be open and curious about our life. Things happen, sometimes without us really wanting them on the surface, and identities change. The key is not get to attached to one path in life. As children, we dream and imagine this fairy tale life set forth by our families, our culture, and let’s be honest Disney...the prince comes saves you and takes care of you forever. This is not reality and conditioning is a huge culprit of the identity we choose for ourselves.
Remember though, everything in life is happening for us, not to us, which is hard to understand especially when our heart is involved. You lost your job, this is the opportunity for you to start that business you always dreamed of or go after that job you have been thinking about for years, get that certification you always wanted to get, the sky is the limit and it is possible.
Creating new habits to get where you want to be is key. You are not going to move forward if you sit around and feel sorry for yourself, you have to put forth the effort day in and day out, be willing to fail, and keep going no matter what. Soon these new habits will create a new identity for you that could potentially make you happier and more authentically you.
Divorce and career are just a few examples, you can apply this concept to anything in life that creates an “identity crisis”. I have had this happen several times in my life and each time it opens me up to so much I could not have imagined if I had stayed in that identity.
Remember it is ok to change...we are supposed to and although we can mourn the loss of parts of ourselves, we can also be grateful for all the new experiences our new identity will bring us. Think of a butterfly...it was once a caterpillar. A simple reminder that change can create beautiful things in your life.
Keep moving in the direction of your life...you got this.