I’ve lost my identity. I just don’t know who I am.
These are just two of the things I have heard from my mum-boss clients recently and it’s not uncommon. How many times have we been chatting with friends and said we wanted something in life, just for us – but we don’t know what. When we are fulfilling multiple roles in life, our identity can be pulled in multiple different ways, along with our time and energy.
When we have a confident identity, a secure knowledge of what we value and where we are going in life, we can go boldly towards our goals while knowing exactly who we are. But how do we get this?
Our identity issues don’t just stop when we get out of the awkward acne teenage phase, it follows us through our life.
- When we have kids
- When we start our business
- When our kids leave home
- When we are juggling multiple hats
- When we become mums of proper adults (you were only changing their nappy 5 minutes ago!)
- When we hit moments of failure
- When we become grandmothers
At each stage of our lives, we need to forge a slightly different identity. If we know who we truly are, what is important to us and what we want from life, navigating these events will be easier.
Here are my three tips for forging an identity which is secure enough to navigate life’s changes:
✓ Work out your values
When we know what is important to us and choose to live our lives according to those values, we will not only be happier but more confident in our life and business decisions.
Do you value family, hard work and authenticity? Or maybe fun, loyalty and open mindedness?
Whatever is important to you, find out and write it down.
✓ Who do you say you are?
That self-critical inner voice speaks to us regularly, have your ever noticed that it usually starts its critical tirade with the words, “I am…” you can fill in the blanks for yourself, failure, not good enough, a pretender, _________.
Who do YOU say you are? Who do you want to be? No-one wants to be a failure or known as a pretender, who do you want to be?
Intentionally rewiring that negative thought, replacing it with a positive “I am…” statement will change your internal world and external life.
✓ Celebrate your successes
We’ve all been there, reached a goal and then without a moment of pause, move the goalposts towards the next thing.
If we pause to celebrate our successes in life, we do two things: we signal to our brain that what we have accomplished is good and we want more of it and we also feed our confidence and self-worth.
Taking a moment to celebrate, even the seemingly little things help confirm who we are and build our internal confidence and resilience for when the life changes come.
So, the next time you find yourself thinking that you have lost your identity and wondering who you are, bring your thoughts back here and realise that just because our external world changes, our internal confidence doesn’t have to.
Melanie McDonald is The Confident Mindset Coach and takes women on a journey of confidence for their everyday. Melanie comes from a background of health care, management and leadership and brings her real-life learnings into her coaching program. She works specifically with limiting beliefs, silencing the self-critical voice and living from a place of your core values. You can find her on Instagram @theconfidentmindsetcoach