What is the first step to finding identity? Well, that would be to first find out what identity is not. Have you ever heard someone say, “His/her identity is all tied up in his/her stuff”? This is a good expression to ponder on when working to find your identity. Your “inner spiritual self” is the person you have become, the person you will become, and the person you were.
Keep in mind this expression while you read the following ideas on finding identity:
- Self-identity is not found through or created by something else.
Your self-identity is not found through or created by objects. You are not you because of the material things you own or have bought. Identity is not found through physical objects. Your identity does not change when you upgrade from “dollar store” clothing to “high-end brands.” You do not turn into another person, and your identity does not change with this change. The only change that occurs is superficial. It is when someone first glances at your clothing and automatically assumes, “This person must be lucky and happy because they wearing wealthy clothing.” This is similar to a superficial mask and does not necessarily represent who you are. Similarly, self-worth and attractiveness is not gained because you suddenly have new clothing. Objects may help shape who you are, but they do not make you who you are.
- Your self-identity is not found through or created by other people.
Your self-identity is not created by or through others without your (conscious or subconscious) consent. You dictate who you are; and to a certain extent, what you will become. Other people may help shape who you are, but they do not make you who you are.
- Your self-identity is not found through or created by education or awards.
Many titles are superficial. Education can shape who you are but does not make who you are.
Your identity is not created through the medium of an object, person, or given status. Identity is fluid and interchangeable. You do not remain static, forever unchanging, for the rest of your world and life. No matter what you do you will evolve, evolute, and change.