When it comes to inner growth, identity plays a major role. It’s fundamental because if you don’t have a clear idea of your identity how can you really pursue inner growth? Identity helps you to identify the growth you’ve made or the growth you’d like to achieve, or even the growth you don’t want to make.
Inner growth and identity are something very personal. As such, there is no one right way or one correct definition. Even though our societal structure has sets of defined identities, we even talk about identity with specific characteristics and meanings, each individual can apply more than one aspect of specific identities, as well as feel that they are not any of the identities defined.
The choice to agree or disagree with the notion that identity is or isn’t something defined by others is yours. Based on your thought process and belief you will choose what is true or not true. And no matter what data can back up an argument in favor of fixed identities, there will always be someone or something else that will say otherwise. More importantly, until your findings don’t sit well with you, your search for identity will continue on.
Inner growth involves being aware of who you are, the external factors at play in your day to day life, and being objective about yourself without confusing external factors as a part of you, as well as being able to extract yourself from a situation and not take something personally or for it not to imply something more than a mere situation that happened and is now gone, done with. The same goes for identity.
People want to pin point who they are and usually they start from the framework that has been provided to them by those around them. Take as an example those online quizzes and tests people are so eager to take so they can give a title to their identity. And let’s also keep in mind the results following the test; a good percentage of that description may fit, but there’s always that something that gets added or taken away from the identity they got.
For both inner growth and identity, it is important for you to be able remove yourself from the framework, as if you are looking down upon it from afar. To be able and look at those societal opinions and definitions as something that exist, but that don’t necessarily have to be a part of you. This is not to say other’s definitions are not to be taken into account; but it is to say that your opinion matters just as much if not more when it comes to your identity. The only way you are going to avoid confusion as to who you are is by deciding who’s going to make that decision.
Is your identity going to be based on your definition, your opinion, your heart; or is it going to be based on somebody else’s?
As long as your choice feels right, then it is right for you. You know your identity already; if you feel you don’t, it’s probably because you’re trying to make it fit in a framework that isn’t unique to you. It doesn’t have to be this way; avoid confusion and find your identity by being aware of you and the framework. You are separate, yet coexist together (because without the framework, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation).
You know who you are if you listen closely to your heart, the rest will come and transform through time, as all things do.
What do you think about identity? What challenges did you face or are you facing in knowing who you are?