Understanding your own personal identity is a broad concept that seems abstract at best and daunting at worst. But when intentionally explored, finding one’s true identity – who they are at the core as an individual – is not only a tangible reality but also a transformational experience.
The challenge with today’s society as it relates to personal identity is that often times, we define ourselves based on what we do; that is, what roles we hold. When it comes to identity, however, we must understand that it’s not about what we do, but rather who we are, from the inside out.
There is a difference between these two statements: “I am a soccer player,” and “I am a competitor.” The former can end rather abruptly for a variety of reasons, but the latter can be applied to anything from schoolwork, to relationships, to fighting illness.
Identity is a broad topic indeed. But if we would pause to intentionally explore it, a sense of self-confidence and fulfillment could be derived in nearly everything we do. When we know who we are we are better able to make decisions, to connect with others, to engage intimately with life and with people.
It is helpful to consider identity first from a very broad perspective and then work down to a very narrow, individualized perspective. This allows individuals to get a more global understanding of the world, a more complete picture of themselves, and then work back up into how they uniquely fit in the broader vision. To begin your self-identity process, consider these questions from the following perspectives:
- Globally – How have people impacted this world throughout history? What historical figure do you most admire, and why? What is one some universal values that exist across cultures?
- Family, Team, & Group Background – What is your family heritage? How has your team dynamic developed? Who are the key influencers in each of the groups of which I am a part? What is the communication pattern like?
- Self – What fires you up? What drains you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How do you do about making decisions? What are your top three core values?
Knowing who you are as individual will impact every aspect of your life. Imagine a job interview or a first date that is deep, compelling, and seemingly endless in content! From a global to a group to a personal perspective, you can explore every facet of who you are and how your unique self can contribute to the overall impact in this world.
Explore your identity. It’s not just what you do, it’s who you are.