Who Am I?
While life follows a safe routine day-to-day, and I know what I’m doing and what’s likely to happen, I have a certain degree of security and an idea of who I am.
However, life is currently changing, and we are not quite sure where it can end up or indeed, how it is going to look. This brings with it a great deal of uncertainty.
When we strike uncertainty, we are left with having to navigate through the unknown. We become acutely aware of our strengths and weaknesses. Usually, it’s the weaknesses that scream the loudest at these times. Without the regular reinforcing events around me that tell me who I am, I am left trying to work it out based on my own beliefs and feelings.
As soon as I start to question who I am, I begin to get a sense of the extent of my loss of identity, loss of self-worth, loss of confidence and loss of self- esteem. The pressure is now on me to perform in circumstances that I don’t understand. Hence, the question that gets asked is, “Who Am I and am I good enough?”
So far several different terms have been used concerning how we feel about ourselves
Loss of Identity can follow a significant change. Examples of significant change can be found in the loss of job or profession. Loss of a role which once defined who we are as a child, a parent or even a spouse can contribute to a loss of our former identity.
When we lose our identity and sense of self, we are likely to seek our sense of self-worth from others. In uncertain times the people that we try to get our sense of self-worth from may already be struggling with their own.
Loss of Self-Worth is seen in theopinion you have about yourself and the value you place on yourself. A feeling that you are a good person who deserves to be treated with respect indicates a good level of self-worth. A key question to ask yourself is, do you think that you have value?
Loss of Self Confidence is shown in your attitude about your skills and abilities. Good self-confidence means you accept and trust yourself and have a sense of control in your life. You know your strengths and weakness well, and have a positive view of yourself. You set realistic expectations and goals, communicate assertively, and can handle criticism.
Being in any form of uncertainty about the present and the future will challenge your attitude regarding your skills and abilities and whether you can adequately deal with your changing circumstances. A key question here is “Do I have the ability that I need to deal with these changes, or do I have access to resources that I can use to deal with these changes?”
Loss of Self Esteemis clearly seen in a lack of confidence and feeling bad about yourself. People with low self–esteem often feel unlovable, awkward, or incompetent. Often, individuals lacking self–esteem see rejection and disapproval even when there isn’t any. A key question to ask here is “Am I still an okay person even though I am currently facing massive changes in my life?”
It is time to ask yourself the questions “Who Am I?” and “what can I do for myself to get through this unprecedented time that is challenging my thought process, beliefs, emotions and feelings?”
Here are some helpful tips:
Find a peaceful place to sit with a piece of paper and pen and write down who you feel you are as a person and what qualities and values you have. If you have someone close by ask them what they see, in you as a person.
Often when we take the time to do this, we realize that there are more to us than we initially thought.Go through these qualities and ask yourself how has this come about for me?
What led me to become this person?
Do I like this quality? Yes/No
How can I go about changing this quality in myself that I do not like?
How can I improve the qualities I do like?
Finding yourself may sound like a self-centred goal, but it is an unselfish process from which the power to do for our family and others springs forth. To be the most valuable person to the place around us, the best partner, parent etc., we have first to know who we are, what we value and, in effect, what we have to offer. Knowing this is the beginning of a powerful presence in the situation.
If you need help with this, the counsellors at StartPoint Counselling can work with you on a practical level to find the unique qualities that you have and show you how to use those qualities to have a useful influence in your life and the lives of those around you.
Vanessa Heal – StartPoint Counselling 2020