Identity Series Part One
Identity: Who are you?
Join me in this 3 part series where we explore our identity. Part one will focus on what is identity, part two is about where our identity comes from and part three will go over how your identity impacts your life.
We often do not talk about identity, we are so busy living and fulfilling our roles that we don’t sit down to think about who we are or how we have changed. This is such a huge topic, yet there is no class on identity and no map to figuring it out. It’s this really important part of ourselves, it’s who we are. I have run numerous groups and had so many sessions with clients and when I ask them, how do you identify yourself or is this part of your identity. They take a step back and they usually tell me “I haven’t really thought about it” Knowing who you are is important.
Our identities change over time and it happens sometimes without even knowing that it changed. Maybe you have been feeling sad recently and you don’t know why, this might be a good time to look at who you are and what’s different. You might notice a shift in your identity that is impacting the change in how you feel. Identity changes over time impact our mental health and well being. Think back 10 years, 5 years are you the same person you were then? What’s different?
How you identify yourself shapes who you are in the world. If you are depressed or anxious, is that included in how you see yourself? If you are a mom or wife (husband or father) are you still holding on to any part of your identity before you were married and had kids? If you identify as an addict, is this view of yourself help you move forward, stay the same, or make you stronger?
What makes you, you? How do you identify yourself? This can be thought of in so many ways including gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, career choice, socioeconomic status, education level, role in your family as parents, siblings or even as kids, your DNA, religion, what plays into our identity is limitless. Numerous situations in our lives help identify who we are and what we stand for then they combine to make us who we are.
I encourage you to think about who you are so that next time, we can talk about how you came to be that way. Pro-tip: Spend some time writing all the things that are a part of your identity. Look at it over the next two weeks, adding to it as things come up! You can even think about how some of these things have changed over time.
About the Author
Fariha Newaz, LCPC, CADC is a therapist at our Edison Park location. Fariha works with adolescents, young adults, adults, and couples. Fariha’s specialties include depression, anxiety, substance use, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, multicultural concerns, and South Asians specific concerns. If you are interested in working with Fariha, send an email today!