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3rd May 2021

What To Do If You’re Unsure Of Yourself

Your identity is ever-changing and never clear cut. There are lots of theories as to what makes you ‘you’, as even your body repairs and replaces itself over the years.

Regardless of what you do, people always say – trust your gut, listen to your heart, or follow your instinct.

Instinct is embedded in all of us. However, if you are going through a crisis of identity it can be very difficult to either identify or trust it. Identifying your instinct and having the conviction to follow it is increasingly difficult without trust and conviction in yourself. So if you are at a loss as to who you are and where your instinct has gone, here are some tips to help you find out.

Your identity is ever-changing and never clear cut. There are lots of theories as to what makes you ‘you’, as even your body repairs and replaces itself over the years.

You could say that your identity is self-determined, so you are the only person capable of choosing the appropriate adjectives to truly describe you. However, this isn’t quite true as other people’s perception of you is a massive indicator and influencer of how you see yourself.

Never underestimate the power of self-fulfilling prophecy. This doesn’t mean however that you have to adhere to it! You – and only you – are able to decide how you live your life. Those around you who are so fearful of change that they refuse to recognise it, are not worth your time!

If you have a negative perception of yourself, it is worth thinking about what the people you know do to enhance this. Ask yourself what do your friends, colleagues and family do to support and harness your positive attributes. This brings me nicely to my first suggestion.

Have a social group who make you feel good. 

Find people who make you feel good when you are nourished and sober.

If the culture you have with a group of friends is getting drunk or smoking, this probably isn’t the right tonic for you whilst you are feeling lost and vulnerable.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are bad friends, and there’s an easy way to find out. If you tell them how you are feeling and ask them if you can spend some time together (social distanced of course) without your usual vices, and they say yes… they are good friends!

Do not underestimate the detrimental impact of negative acquaintances, especially those that drag you down. Some people are so unhappy with their own lives that they fear positive change in others.

The best way you can help them, is to show them by example – how they are responsible for choosing their path! They, and only they, can change it.

If most of the people you know are negative, then it’s time to think about making some new friends. Try joining a club or society in which people are brought together via a shared interest. Then embed yourself in a group that makes you feel good about yourself.

Decide who you want to be!

Think of people you admire and what characteristics they have.

Be careful not to admire people for physical things they possess. Rather, look for people with strong, happy, healthy relationships and a good work-life balance.

Think of people who you find inspirational and try to drill down what it is about their character that you want to emulate. Make a list of those characteristics and tick off the ones that you feel you already have.

Now focus on the ones you need to change, and give some time and thought as how you will go about this.

Find things that you are passionate about. 

When I think about who I am, I often go to what it is that I like and start from there.

Remember, anything is possible, so think back to things that you may have enjoyed in school or earlier in your life. Join a local football team, a climbing club or a choir.

It doesn’t matter if these things are geeky or macho, ordinary or unusual! Doing things that make you happy will help you connect with who you truly are. Remember, like attracts like, passion attracts passion, and confidence attracts confidence!

Don’t let your job define you! 

Okay… to clarify, if you are passionate about your job, then it is fine for it to play a part in your identity.

However, if you feel your job is nothing more than a drain on your energy, it might be time to think about if it is really worth it. I find it bizarre that people allow themselves to be defined by their job. My last blog ‘How To Love Your Job’ can help give you insight on how to flip your attitude towards your job.

There seems to be this notion that if your job is boring and your job title is boring – then you are boring.

You are so much more than your job title! So either decide on a job title that you want to define you, e.g. mine is Relationship Manifestor and Creator of Joy, or get your personal definition from somewhere else. Ask yourself what you want to be defined by?

For more on the importance of choosing your own job title and how it can empower you watch our video here.

Make yourself aware of all your options and don’t make excuses! 

Take some time to brainstorm your situation, and remember you are not limited to your current circumstance.

If you are unhappy with your job, your home, or your relationship, own it! Either find a way to be happy with it or change it. By taking control of your life and refusing to be a victim of circumstance, you are taking huge steps towards finding your identity.

This may involve asking yourself some pretty serious questions. However, this has to be done if you want to feel change.

The most important thing to remember is that life is a marathon, not a sprint. So taking a pay cut, or ending a relationship is a bump in the road rather than a failure. If you don’t put yourself in a position where you feel good, good things won’t happen!

Take some time to focus on what you are grateful for.

Honing in on the things and people that you love and value will help you remember your true identity.

Be grateful for everything that you have. Here are some ideas of what you could be grateful for; your health, your body, your home, your friends, your family, food, nature, experiences etc. These are all things that if you have – and lucky to have!

Talk to someone you trust.

Tell someone that you trust how you are feeling.

This will give them the opportunity to help you remember what it is about yourself that is different! Own your differences – they are your best assets and carve your uniqueness!

Sometimes we all need reminding what it is about us that others love and this is most beneficial when we’re not on our game. During low periods in your life, it is vitally important that you learn to take a compliment.

These are the bricks that will rebuild your self-esteem and with it, your identity.

Celebrate your mistakes and your weaknesses!

This is a strange one and is not a ticket to get you out of hard work.

It is my absolute belief that being bad at some things, makes you good at others. Here is an example of how you can make a negative attribute a positive one: I am dyslexic which means that a lot of my written work needs to be checked. This can be seen as a huge negative by lots of people, however the reality is that being dyslexic has meant that I tend to problem-solve in a different way to most people.

It has also resulted in me being a more creative thinker! So whilst I need a team member to check some of my written work, I am the go to person for lots of ideas and problem solving!

Knowing what you are bad at is great when you are equally as confident with what you are good at. Perhaps a better example of this is people with physical disabilities. Yes, they may not have the use of certain parts of their body, however they tend to be far more capable with what they do have that the average person. Take inspiration from this and follow the example.

As with anything, hard work is key. 

Sometimes a lack of confidence in your identity is simply remedied.

Once you have spent time with friends and family and given yourself some much needed TLC, you may feel back to your old self.

On other occasions, this feeling may have been building for years and requires some serious soul searching to become the person you want to be. Remember the harder your work at this, the more time you dedicate to it and the more energy you put into it, the better you will feel!

Making new friends and enforcing changes can be very scary, but it’s totally worth it if it results in long term happiness.

So to summarise, nothing is more important than how you feel!

Life is precious and you owe it to yourself and those around you to find and celebrate your true identity. Without your identity and clarity of instinct you are condemning yourself to a life of self-doubt and confusion.

We live in a world that is constantly changing and it is hard to keep your self stable and out of flux. It’s time to develop an identity that allows you to flourish in your  environment. Choose compassion, choose love, choose happiness!

Philippa Atkins | Inspire Me Team Member
Written by

Philippa Atkins

Relationship Manifestor & Creator of Joy

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