Identity is achieved by exploring your interests, taking risks and working hard. Through this process, you select the parts of yourself you’d like to develop, and intentionally focus on those aspects. When you take on the task of authoring your own identity in this way, you are naturally resilient because you actually know, and respect, who you become.
How stable is your identity?
What are your core values?
What skills are you proud of?
Can you list 3 words to describe yourself?
What gives your life meaning?
Can you list your short term and longer term goals?
If these questions are difficult, or you generally feel confused about what you want, how you feel, or the direction of your life, you may be experiencing an underdeveloped identity.
Ironically, lack of identity is prevalent among highly successful individuals. Dr. Agree frequently meets with people who enjoy tremendous success, but who cannot answer the above questions or describe themselves in meaningful ways.
Why is this so difficult?
A solid sense of who you are is not automatic. It is a developmental achievement that requires considerable freedom, and can be unconsciously arrested.
Many childhood experiences can contribute to an incomplete identity, or what is sometimes termed a “false self,” including:
- Extraordinary talent in a specific area
- Demanding family situation
- Strong identification with a parent
You may currently experience depression or anxiety, but the fundamental problem may be your identity: It is depressing and frightening to not know who you are, and to be aware on some level that you are following a path that is not your own.
Dr. Agree recognizes the signs of an underdeveloped identity, and will guide you towards retrieving the relinquished parts of yourself.