Our identities are made up of our own opinion of ourselves, how we present ourselves to the world, as well as the narrative and myriad descriptive words we use to communicate who we are. These include our roles, such as mother and friend, as well as our professional identity - or lack thereof. Our identity is the ego's way of defining ourselves so we know how to show up in the world. Identities are complex and are woven intricately from our life's experiences, but deep inside you may know you were born with a divinely gifted set of skills, strengths, and personality traits. We arrive in this world with intuitive ways of being, but, unfortunately, the world often twists or distorts our perception of ourselves.
If you believe you are a generous, kind, and happy person, then research shows that you will make decisions and behave in ways that support those beliefs. Conversely, if you had a critical mother who constantly reminded you how slow, forgetful, lazy, or worthless you are, then those beliefs can seep into your psyche and become a part of who you believe you are.
I know women who were born with strength, grace, confidence, intelligence, and truly creative genius who slowly lose sight of those God-given gifts and become shadows of who they were born to be. I've experienced this myself. The trials that can be a part of anyone's life can slowly chip away at that divinely gifted identity through critical spouses, professional failures, etc. to the point that we are no longer the best and most divinely aligned version of ourselves.
I've also witnessed people's lives become consumed by one role or aspect of their identity, such as mother, which soon minimizes other key elements of their identity to the point that these women lose confidence in those other significant parts of who they are, such as public speaker, artist, or other talent.
Here is the good news. We can realign ourselves and our identities to the original plan. The hard times in our lives are meant to give us powerful experience and to strengthen us, not to kick us down for good. I have created a process to remind myself of who I really am despite the destructive stories and negative subconscious programming.
Firstly, think about how you see yourself now - describe yourself and your roles in great detail. The second step is incredibly fun - and that's detailing exactly the way you see yourself in an ideal world. Are you a playful, stylish, and hip mama? Are you a driven and successful career woman who manages to make time for her friends and family? Are you kind, generous, peaceful, fit, and deeply joyful?
If you feel like you are in the middle of an identity crisis, it might be because you have assumed an identity without really choosing it. It might be one that was assigned to you by your critics or your past failures. Take the time in this new year to examine your character and work on creating an identity that aligns with who you are deep inside and who you really want to be. This, my dear friends, is how you become that woman! Once you fully define this woman in detail, then you have to take the steps to actually become her. This is the fun, but often challenging part! You might struggle and falter at times, but life is all about the experience and the process. There will be moments when those patterns of negative beliefs or old identities creep back in, because they have become habitual. The way to show up as the most authentic version of yourself in this world is a combination of clarity, effort, and regularly checking in with yourself to make sure the way you see yourself is true.
I was inspired to write this because I realized that I had assumed the identity of an overworked, under-resourced, uninspired single mom. I had subconscious beliefs about what single moms experience, and while many of the struggles are real, I am choosing something different this year. I am an indie mom by choice who always puts her family first but rocks her career while continually growing her family's resources and creating abundance. I exercise daily and am fit and healthy and I make time to connect with my friends and strive to keep my priorities in alignment. My home is a place of great comfort and joy where friends and family relax and connect.
Show up the way you want to in this world, have the impact you desire, and create the experiences you dream of. Gain clarity over the identity of the best version of you...and become her. It is all within your reach!