Who we are is often shaped by our lifes journey and experiences, both good and bad.
Our lifes journey can take many different paths, and each one helps to define us a little more. We learn and grow from every experience, and each new adventure helps us to become more of who we truly are.
But what exactly is this thing called identity? And how does it change over time?
These are questions that psychologists and philosophers have been pondering for centuries, and there are still no easy answers. But that doesn’t mean we can’t explore and try to understand the topic better. So let’s take a journey (pun intended) into the complex world of an identity!
What is identity?
The dictionary definition of identity is “The identity of a person or place is the characteristics they have that distinguish them from others.”
But of course, there’s much more to it than that. Our identity comprises all the different aspects of ourselves that we present to the world. It’s how we see ourselves and how others see us.
We can say it is our personal brand, the image we project to the world. But it’s also so much more than that.
How does our lifes journey shape our identities?
It is often said that we are a product of our lifes journey and the experiences we have along the way. Indeed, every experience and decision contributes to our identity’s complex tapestry. That is why each person is unique and complex in their own way.
As we journey through life, we constantly encounter new people and experiences that shape our identity.
It’s fascinating to see how many factors shape our identities.
Our upbringing, relationships, the love (or lack thereof) we receive from others, the friends and teachers who influence us, past experiences and events, and even the media we consume can all impact our thoughts and actions.
As a result, our beliefs and values are constantly evolving. That is why our identity is not static; it is ever-changing and dynamic.
Just as no two people are exactly alike, no two journeys are exactly alike either.
Life is an ongoing journey of discovery, and our identity is the map that charts the course.
5 steps to understand better why you are who you are.
Why am I the way I am?
That is a question we all ask ourselves at some point in our lives. And it’s not an easy question to answer. The truth is that we are all products of our upbringing, encounters, experiences, and our environment.
One of the fascinating things about humans is our minds and how complex they are. As a result, we can never fully understand it, but we can start by learning more about ourselves through self-discovery.
As we mentioned, our life experiences shape our thinking, feelings, and behavior. However, if you’re curious about your motivations and behaviors, there are some steps you can take to start understanding yourself better:
#1. Reflect on your lifes journey: Make sense of your past
You can start by looking at your past experiences. Your past, both good and bad, has helped to shape who you are today. So, by reflecting on your lifes journey, you can start to understand why you think and act the way you do.
First, think about your childhood and early social interactions. Often, our early life experiences leave us bent out of shape, influencing our behavior in ways we are unaware of. So, to begin understanding, it is essential to ask yourself some tough questions about your past:
- What kind of environment did you grow up in?
- How did your parents/guardians treat you?
- What were some of the most painful experiences you have had?
- What did you learn from them?
- How have they influenced your behavior?
These factors can play a significant role in shaping who you are as an adult.
Once you better understand your past, you can begin to work on making peace with it. That will help you move forward in your life and make positive changes in the present.
One can do this in many ways, and you don’t have to stick with just one method! Journaling is one way to begin diving into your past.
One study showed a “statistically significant relationship between life story coherence and psychological well-being.” That means you can improve your mental health when you make sense of your past. So, if you have things in your past that you’re struggling to make sense of, take some time to reflect and process them.
It can be difficult and emotional to face your past, so give yourself plenty of time and space to do so.
#2. Challenge your beliefs
Another factor that shapes us into the person we are is our beliefs. Whether it’s political, religious, scientific, or personal, challenging your beliefs can be a gratifying process.
- Are there things you believe about yourself and the world around you that you’ve never questioned?
- Why do you believe them?
- Are they based on facts or feelings?
We all have certain assumptions and beliefs about people, situations, and the world around us. These assumptions and beliefs are often based on our past experiences or what others have told us. But, more often than not, when we question our beliefs, we discover that they are not as accurate as we thought.
It can be difficult and even uncomfortable when you first begin challenging a belief you have held for years.
You might feel like your whole worldview is being shaken or that you’re somehow betraying your beliefs. But by pushing yourself to examine why you believe what you do and how those beliefs came to be, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and what’s important to you.
To really challenge your beliefs, it’s essential to approach the process with an open mind. Be willing to consider that you might be wrong, and be prepared to revise your beliefs if new evidence arises.
It can also be helpful to talk to people with different beliefs than you to understand their perspectives better.
Ultimately, the goal of challenging your beliefs is not to necessarily change them but to learn more about the reasons why you hold them. Doing so can give you a deeper understanding of yourself and what’s important to you.#
#3. Challenge your self-limiting beliefs
In addition to challenging your beliefs, it’s also essential to challenge your self-limiting beliefs. We all have self-limiting beliefs.
Often, self-limiting beliefs are based on our past experiences or what others have told us.
- I’m not good enough.
- I’ll never be successful.
- Other people are always out to get me.
These self-limiting beliefs can often be harmful and can hold us back in life.
If you believe you’re not good enough, you might not even try to achieve your goals. Or, if you think that other people are always out to get you, you might not bother trying to build relationships with others.
That is why it’s important to question these self-limiting beliefs and to see them for what they really are: just thoughts in your head.
Just because you’ve always been told that you’re not good enough doesn’t mean it’s true. And just because you’ve had some bad experiences doesn’t mean that all people are out to get you.
By challenging your self-limiting beliefs, you can start to see things more clearly and make better decisions in your life.
If you’ve been all your life stuck because of your self-limiting beliefs, now it’s time to do something about it.
Start seeing what’s possible for your life! By using the power of future self visualization, you can envision your ideal future and your higher self and begin to take steps toward making it a reality.
>>Read more: How To Visualize Your Highest Self and Create The Life You Want
#4. Look for patterns in your behavior.
Next, consider your current situation.
Are there any patterns in your life that seem to contribute to negative behaviors or emotions?
One place to start looking for clues is in your behavior. After all, we’re all creatures of habit, and our behavior patterns can say a lot about us.
So, take a close look at the things you do daily.
- Are you always running late?
- Do you have a hard time saying no?
- Do you tend to procrastinate?
- Why do you keep being drawn to unavailable people?
Really understand where these patterns came from and what they mean for you. What are these patterns trying to tell you about yourself?
It could mean that, in the past, you’ve had trouble setting boundaries because you didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings. It could also signify that you tend to put others before yourself.
Maybe you’re attracted to unavailable people because you grew up feeling like you were never good enough. Because your parents or siblings always made you feel like you were never good enough. As a result, you might have developed a pattern of chasing after emotionally unavailable people.
Or maybe your friends in high school always made fun of you, so you created a habit of self-sabotage.
These are just some examples, but the point is that you can learn a lot about yourself by understanding the patterns in your behavior. You can also begin to see how these patterns might negatively impact your life.
Understanding the origins of our patterns can help change them. And it will be easier to change if you know why you’re behaving a certain way.
#5. Understand your triggers.
A critical part of understanding your identity is understanding your triggers.
- What are the things that set you off?
- What makes you react in specific ways?
For example, maybe you get angry when someone criticizes you. Why do you feel that way? Perhaps it’s because when you were young, your parents were always critical of you, making you feel bad about yourself.
Or maybe you feel shy and uncomfortable when you’re around new people. Perhaps it’s because you had a bad experience in the past, like being made fun of by other kids at school.
These are your triggers, and it’s essential to be aware of them. Once you know what sets you off, you can start to work on managing your reactions and triggers more constructively.
Take some time to think about who you are and why you are the way you are. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. The better you understand yourself, the more you can grow and change in the ways you want to.
Accept and embrace your lifes journey.
Life is a journey and we all have a unique story that makes us who we are. Some of us are born into privilege, while others have to fight for everything we have. Some of us are naturally gifted, while others have to work harder than anyone else to get by. But each of us has something special that makes us who we are.
The important thing is to accept our story and use it as a source of strength rather than weakness.
So embrace the journey, whatever it may be. Embrace the ups and downs, the twists and turns. Embrace the good times and the bad because it’s all part of what makes us special and unique.
However, if you feel stuck, seek out help. A therapist can provide guidance and support as you work to develop a greater understanding of yourself. You can also try to work through it on your own with the help and support of your loved ones. Whichever route you choose, ensure that you take care of yourself during this process.
Final thoughts – Lifes journey
Our life is a continuous journey. It is a never-ending process of personal growth, learning, and self-discovery.
Looking back at my life, I can now see and truly understand that everything happens for a reason.
If it weren’t for all the hardships I’ve faced, every job I’ve had, and every person I’ve met, I wouldn’t be the strong, independent person I am today. Thus, I’m grateful for all my challenges because they’ve made me who I am. Without them, I would be a completely different person.
The truth is that we all want to be someone better than who we are today. But in order to do that, we need to first understand ourselves. Only then can we begin making the necessary changes to become the person we want to be. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s definitely worth it.
The key is to accept and enjoy your lifes journey, no matter how challenging it may be. Remember, you have the power to change who you are. And that is definitely something worth celebrating.
Every day, we are faced with new challenges and opportunities. It’s up to us what we do with them. So don’t give up on yourself. Take the first step today.
I hope this article was helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. I would love to hear from you. 🙂
Thank you for reading!