Are You in an Identity Crisis?
The term, “identity crisis” was coined by psychologists who believed that living from your true identity is critically important to your life. Of course, the importance of identity security is nothing new. God has always wanted us to understand our full identity as he intended.
Everything God does in our life flows through the identity that He gave us. Yet for most, identity is not a secure issue. Most were not equipped in knowing who they really are, by parents, school experiences, and even church experiences. (Sometimes those were the worst.)
So if you recognize the call to get solid in who you are, take heart. Because learning who you are is an incredible adventure, if you will allow it open up.
So Simple You Might Skip Past It
Accepting and learning your God given identity is actually so simple, but it can be so easy to skip right past it without ever experiencing it. We talk much about Temperament as a first step in understanding who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, why you think and do things the way you do,etc.
Your identity is not being a business person, father, mother, friend, pastor, leader, teacher, boss, worker, husband or wife. Those are roles you may have. But they are not your identity.
Want to know what your supernatural, divine identity is?
Wait for it . . .
Your most powerful identity thumbprint is being a loved child created by God with purpose… being uniquely YOU.
It’s so powerful…yet so simple…that you could overlook this so easily.
Many people, believers in God or not, spend much of their days pursuing “trying to discover who they are”, by doing things, not simply being. They then easily become lost in another identity.
Identity Crisis and Emotional Health
Living from your true identity, not your false self, is everything when it comes to emotional health.
When you struggle to know who you are and live out of that authentically, all sorts of problems will manifest in the long term.
For most of us, our trials and struggles reveal the need to revisit the subject of identity, asking, “Who am I really?”
An identity crisis occurs when the truth arises that you don’t know who you really are and you don’t really live out of that. The reality is that a large percentage of people are not powerfully connected to who they are in their identity.
We live in a world where identity issues are a chronic problem. Many are manifesting symptoms that they are actually going through an identity “crisis.”
Here are some signs you might be going through an identity crisis.
1. You find yourself emotionally “all over the place.”
Whatever mental or emotional battles you find yourself facing, could it actually be an invitation to truly discover your identity?
Maybe you find when it comes to making decisions you are so double minded and all over the place emotionally. You feel a lack of stability day to day and find your emotions get the best of you and even overtake you.
Do you find that when you are communicating matters of the heart that you don’t make sense? It is a sign that identity may need nurturing.
If confusion and instability in your emotions is on the rise, it may be a sign that your identity needs to be discovered in a deeper and more personal way.
2. You’ve wrapped yourself around a role and you’re still empty.
This is the greatest problem facing our identity crisis. The modern world builds identities off of “what you do” and “what you accomplish.” It is the trap of performance based living.
In a society that develops its worth over how well we achieve and “succeed,” it can become so easy to wrap yourself around a role that gets affirmation.
This is a problem in two directions.
a.) The first problem is when the affirmation and validation in the role wears off or it disappoints you. Your work doesn’t pan out. The venture doesn’t get off the ground. Your parenting role is in upheaval because your child is manifesting rebellion.
This is a call to revisit and get back to your core identity.
b.) The second problem that can occur is when you actually become “successful” in your role.
Yes, you heard me right. I said successful.
Both traps can be challenging. When someone is so wrapped around a role in life, they cannot see they are actually disconnected from their identity.
3. You are Uncomfortable Outside a Role You Play
Place you in a particular type of meeting and you can fill the role of a leader. Put you in a business meeting and you know how to cast vision, motivate and run numbers. Place you in your parenting role and you know exactly what’s on the calendar and what events are coming up.
But what happens if you are taken outside of that role? Would you be able to function or would you feel lost? Do you only know how to connect to people who connect to your roles?
Most people shine when they are in the role they fulfill. But it does not nurture the core identity .You are not love you more because you performed well. God loves you. But you can only connect to that unconditional love by connecting to your identity to him without any connection to your performance.
When you’ve been trained to find love, validation and worth in what you do, this can take some time to learn.
4. Experiencing a Role Change Collapses You
What happens to your core identity when that “successful” or fulfilling sweet spot role you were in is no longer? Do you get lost and wander, wondering not only what you are going to do, but “who am I anyway? I thought this was going to be forever…”
So this season of pain can actually be a gift for you. This may well be your chance to really get to know your identity in a way you never could, if you kept doing the same thing.
5. Your Recent Life Transition is Bringing It Out
Transitions move us from one season to another. They also force us to let go and enter into new things we are often not ready for. This new territory often involves a new level of growth in how you see yourself.
When our identity is wrapped into the comforts of the current season, any transition or change can rock the boat.
Are you in the midst of a transition in life? Marriage? Children? Work? Are your children moving out of the house? Did you have to move? Find out a loved-love passed away?
These transitions need to be processed in a healthy and fruitful way. But they are also times to revisit how you see yourself and allow God to ground you further into who you are as His loved child.
6. You’ve jumped into passions that are not true to how you are wired.
When you know who you are in your identity, you are content with flowing in that identity without striving, forcing it or being what you are not.
This also means being aware of your strengths and weaknesses, which will help you navigate stages of life with greater clarity. Many times we wind up functioning in “our passions” without knowing our identity. I call this, “putting the cart before the horse.” This happens a lot with passionate people. They are self starters and motivated and that leads them forward, but still haven’t discovered who they are without attaching it to what they are passionately doing.
7. You have no idea what you’re “passionate” about.
This can be a gift in disguise. It can keep you from chasing passions instead of identity first. When you really get to know your identity, your heart comes alive and you are able to connect to the passions that truly move you, not the other way around.
Awakening to who you are allows for flow to step into the journey that makes way for who you are. If you lack passions and have no idea what moves your heart, it may be time to revisit your identity with greater intention.
8. You find yourself suddenly, highly vulnerable to addictions, vices or excessive pleasures.
This symptom is actually top of the list. is actually one of the biggest signs of an identity crisis.
What you need is love. But you cannot be loved by “trying to be better.” You also cannot be loved by performing for it. You must learn to receive unconditional love by connecting to your sonship and receiving the unconditional love of God.
This is what your heart was made for.
This is going to sound crazy to some, but if you feel yourself going through an identity crisis, consider it a gift. This can actually be a good warning signal for you to revisit the foundational aspects of your life that can be easily overlooked.
So What Do I Do?
Although there are a number of steps we can focus to regain connection to our identity, the first is really important. You’re going to need to admit that is where you are. Until you see there is a problem, you will continue to live in broken patterns.
But when you are ready, an invitation awaits for you to learn what it means to be unconditionally loved by God. Only He can affirm and validate who you are to bring the fulfillment your heart needs. But are you ready?
BH/ Article adapted:Mark DeJesus