Journal logo

5 Signs of People with Self-Identity Crisis

Experience shows these are the actions to be mindful of.

By Ian FanPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
5 Signs of People with Self-Identity Crisis
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

Growing up, for many years, I struggled to find my place and worth in this world. I was an introverted nerd and am still one. People constantly “encouraged” me to come out of the shell of introversion and to become what they expect of me.

I always felt the push to appeal to others. I envied people who seemed to not only know it all but also have it all. It felt like they had their whole life set before them. I tried my best to mirror them and fit in but failed miserably with them.

I had a hard time giving an answer to the questions, “Who am I? What am I?”

Therefore, these are the eight traits of people lacking in self-identity.

1. They feel inferior to people with “big” purposes.

The other day, I was sitting down with a relative over coffee. Everyone knows her obsession with Japan. She makes it her life’s purpose to move to Japan. She picked up Japanese and did her Masters in Japanese studies. She even became our family tour guide and walking translator when our families were on holiday in Japan.

The extent to which she chases her purpose in life is an inspiration. I too wished I had such a purpose that I can identify with.

People lacking in self-identity tend to stay in the side-lines and avoid it. They feel overwhelmed and it's too much to ask for a “big” purpose. They feel their own life goals seem insignificant and incomparable to the ones with (big) purposes.

Not everyone may have life-defining purposes. Some find meaning in the small things in life, while others chase bigger things. Each to his or her own.

Take your time to find your purpose in wherever you’re placed currently with whoever that is around you. It doesn’t have to be one, big purpose, and life-defining. It can be several, small purposeful events throughout a lifetime.

2. They follow other people’s opinions.

Everybody is entitled to their opinions.

A person lacking in self-identity tends to follow other people’s opinions. Their opinion may seem more attractive than your own opinion (of yourself and others).

For example, someone comments on our mannerisms and advises us to change “for the better.” It is for their betterment but not so much better for us. We ourselves know it can be changed in an even better way.

Outwardly, we agree with the person’s opinion, yet inwardly, we silently disagree with it. We felt our own opinion held no weight and our identity hinged on their opinions. We secretly want to be validated by them.

People with self-identity take delight in their own opinions of themselves and of others. They know the value of what they have to offer. Do not be afraid to voice out your opinions and not compromise. You’ll be surprised to know that people actually want to know you for who you are and what you’ve to say.

3. They dwell on past mistakes.

We are all human. We make mistakes. Mistakes are part and parcel of life.

However, the mistakes are ingrained in our memories. Time and time again an event triggers memories of mistakes, intentionally or by mistake? Some of us just pass over our mistakes as another fleeting moment in life. Others replay the mistakes and live with their mistakes, literally.

Do not limit your identity to your past mistakes. “If only I did it better. If only I did it the other way. If only I did not do it,” you say. When you live according to your mistakes, your language and your identity become a reflection of your mistakes.

People who dwell on past mistakes tend not to be honest with themselves. They put up a front to justify their past failures. They wallow about their mistakes and replay them in their minds, conversations, and actions. Instead of soaring like eagles, they wander around aimlessly like headless chickens and wallowing their heads in the sand like ostriches.

People with self-identity do not leave room for past mistakes to dictate their lives. One way is that they find humor in their mistakes.

Four friends in a car were drifting along a hill-side road — Initial-D style. The car came to a corner and it over-steered. This is the moment they knew they messed up big time. The car drove over a drain and crashed into the wall of a house.

The friend sitting at the back was holding onto dear life to the grab handle. The force of the crash was so great that not only the front of the car was heavily damaged but a small clump of his hair stuck to the top of the roof!

4. They can’t make up their minds.

People with a lack of self-identity tend to be inconsistent. First, it’s A, the next second it's B, and the next minute it is C. Of course, it seems the grass is always greener on the other side.

If you can’t stick to a decision, people will question your decision-making process and wonder if they can entrust you with a decision. They might be better off making the decisions for you or worse, without you.

Consistency is key to self-identity. Learning to stick with an answer and firmly saying “Yes” to it, shows you have a stand. You don’t have to be highly confident about your choice but be comfortable about it. Your instincts will guide you. The more sure you are, the more you’ll know what you want.

People can identify with you because you are consistent and unwavering. Unlike the sand that shifts with the waves, you are the rock that people can rely on.

5. They don’t make decisions.

Have you ever had friends who could not and would not decide what to do when in a (crucial) situation? Despite even being given the options? Of course, they didn’t want to decide as they feel it’s out of consideration for others.

People lacking in self-identity tend to run from decision-making. They not only cannot but would not bring themselves to make decisions. They ask themselves, “Who am I to be making the decisions?” Hence, allowing other people to call the shots.

It takes courage to say “No” to indecisiveness. You don’t have to be fully confident about the decisions. But be comfortable and start somewhere. As you make more decisions in life, you’ll discover what decisions you can identify with.

Only you yourself know what you can identify with. Your self-identity hinges on who you are and what you want to become. There is only one you and so many others in the whole universe.

Of course, no one is perfect. Yet at times, we find ourselves stunted in our growth and face identity crisis.

You find yourself feeling inferior to people with “big” purposes, following other people’s opinions, dwelling on your past mistakes, can’t make up your mind, and would not make decisions.

Self-identity is a life-long journey. Time plays a role in identifying these areas and working on building your identity.


About the Creator

Ian Fan

Going by the handles @foodyfans and @ipropfans, Ian shares about real estate, investing, finance, travel, food, and personal growth.

Follow Ian Fan on YouTube, Instagram (food), Instagram (property), X, Facebook, Blog, and Medium.

Enjoyed the story?
Support the Creator.

Subscribe for free to receive all their stories in your feed. You could also pledge your support or give them a one-off tip, letting them know you appreciate their work.

Subscribe For Free

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

    Ian FanWritten by Ian Fan

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.