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Who Am I? Thinking About Identity…

From our earliest days on this planet, we are continually influenced by our surroundings. Although each of us comes into this world with an inherent personality and body type, for the most part (I believe) we are molded by our environment and surroundings.

I often work with clients to step back, and think about who they are. It’s important to break this question down into several smaller, more understandable and approachable parts.  And remember, the question of “Who Am I” is not written in stone…as we are constantly evolving and changing.

First, it’s important to look at all of the people and events in your life thus far that have had an impact on you. I know that seems quite overwhelming…but it can be done!

To Be or Not To Be…Like Our Parents

When we are in the process of formulating our identity, we tend to look to role models (like our parents) for clues about how to behave and who to be. Many of us would cite our mothers as primary role models and/or main sources of influence. There is little doubt that our mothers – our relationship with them, their life choices, behaviors and our feelings about all of these things – have made impressions on us and will continue to affect our identity as time progresses. If your mother was not a part of your life, try and think about the person you consider to be a main parental role model as you continue to read.

In this blog post, I would like you to think about your mother (or significant role model’s) characteristics that you might consciously fight OR unconsciously adopt.

The following questions are designed to help you begin to think about how your identity has been shaped:

1. What did you admire about yothis individual?

2. What did you not like about this individual?

3. Have you followed in the footsteps of this individual? In what ways are you similar or different?

4. Did this individual have any behavioral patterns or actions that you have made it a point to never repeat?

5. Has this individual said (or continue to say) certain things to you (or about you) that affect your self-esteem?

6. How do you think that this individual’s relationships with others has impacted how you behave in relationships?

Many of us often become so focused on the things we do OR have, that we rarely stop to step back and examine who we really are…and how we came to be this way. With so much emphasis placed on what we do and what we have it can be very easy to lose sight of (or never discover!) our true selves.

Taking time to think about who we are from what we do and have is powerful exercise and step in clarifying our identity.

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