Feeling lost and unsure about who you are and what you want in life? You’re not alone.
Many people find themselves in an identity crisis at some point in their lives. The difference is only in the depth of the crisis and the way you deal with it.
Finding yourself in an identity crisis can be a difficult and confusing time, but it’s important to remember that it can be overcome. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for resolving an identity crisis, as each person’s experience is unique and may require a different approach.
However, there are some general steps that you can take if you are experiencing an identity crisis. Come along on a journey of self-discovery. Here are 7 steps to help you (re)discover the person you want to be and get out of your identity crisis:
- Acknowledge Your Feelings
It’s important to recognize that you’re feeling confused and uncertain. Acknowledge your feelings and accept that you’re going through a difficult time.
- Take Time for Yourself
Spend time alone and allow yourself to process your feelings. Take time to reflect, meditate and practice self-care. Starting a journal will help.
- Express Your Feelings
Talk to trusted friends and family about your feelings and allow them to offer support. Talking to people who know you well can help you to get a better understanding of who you are.
- Find Your Purpose
Explore different activities, interests and hobbies that you may enjoy. Narrow down what you like doing and what gets you paid. Discover your purpose in life.
- Develop Your Identity
Build an identity around the things that are important to you. Set goals in a sustainable and identity-oriented way. Having something to work towards can help you to stay motivated and focused.
- Build New Habits
Establish new habits that are an extension of your identity. Organize your processes so that you can perform at your best.
- Change Your Environment
Put yourself in a different environment: Travel to different countries, meet new people, and experience different cultures.
Before You Start…
Now I know that it is tempting to click on Find Your Purpose or Develop Your Identity right away, but wait a minute!
If you are not in the right state of mind and not allowing yourself the time and emotional space, your chances of success are not great. After all, it takes time to rediscover yourself.
I would recommend that you follow the above sequence of steps, and attempt to resolve your identity crisis in a matter of months — rather than one day!
Not sure if you’re in an identity crisis? This identity crisis test will help you decide the severity of your aimlessness.
Think you already know your identity? Here how’s to know if you got out of your identity crisis.
Why people end up in an identity crisis
Identity crises are often triggered by any of the following events or factors:
- Major life transitions or changes, such as starting a new job, moving to a new city, getting married, having a child, or experiencing the loss of a loved one. These events can challenge your sense of self and cause you to question your beliefs, values, and goals.
- External influences or societal pressures, such as the expectations of others, the influence of social media, or the desire to fit into a certain mold or group. These can cause you to lose touch with your authentic self and feel unsure of who you are and what you want.
- Internal conflicts or self-doubt, such as a lack of confidence, fear of failure, or feeling trapped in a certain role or situation. These can cause you to feel stuck and unable to move forward in life.
- Trauma or difficult experiences, such as abuse, neglect, discrimination, or other forms of adversity. These can damage your self-esteem and sense of worth, and make it difficult for you to trust yourself and others.
However, it’s important to understand that these triggers may not always be the root cause of an identity crisis. Oftentimes, there is an underlying cause that may not be immediately apparent. For example, a person may experience an identity crisis after experiencing the loss of a loved one, but the root cause could be feelings of low self-worth or a lack of purpose in life that were present before the loss occurred. The loss may have exacerbated those feelings and caused them to come to the forefront.
Therefore, it’s important to take the time to explore and understand these underlying causes in order to fully resolve your identity crisis and move forward in a healthy and fulfilling way.
The worst way to solve your identity crisis
If you’re actually feeling just fine with your lack of direction and self-pity, look no further. Here’s the absolute worst way to solve your identity crisis. And trust me, you don’t want to follow this advice:
- Keep doing the things that make you unhappy
- Try to fit into a certain mold or fulfill other people’s expectations without considering your own needs and desires
- Make rash or impulsive decisions without fully thinking them through
- Cope with the crisis through unhealthy behaviors. Quieten the thoughts with alcohol, drugs or medication.
- Focus only on the negative aspects of the situation and fail to see the potential for growth and self-discovery
- Ignore the problem and hope it will go away on its own
So my actual advise would be to take the time to approach your identity crisis in a mindful way and come up with a sustainable solution. The seven steps above will help you with a structured approach.
A quarter-life crisis is a specific type of identity crisis, in which you feel anxiety over the direction and quality of your life. It is a period of doubts about your career, relationships, financial situation, and basically all important life choices. This period is commonly experienced somewhere in your twenties or early thirties, hence the name. You could compare it to a mid-life crisis, only to happen 20 years earlier.
This article goes deeper into the causes of a quarter-life crisis, and how it fits in with other identity crises throughout our lives.
After graduation, many struggle with the transition from being a student to working life. All of a sudden your life is changing rapidly, and you find yourself working long hours at a job that you never imagined doing.
It is the perfect breeding ground for your brain to start asking all kinds of existential questions. Did I choose the right studies? What job should I pick? Where should I live?
This article goes over some of the tough aspects of the transition to your first professional job.