Being a Wellness Counsellor and Master Life Coach, I learned many textbook skills to help people move from hopelessness to being hopeful.
However, the most important lesson I learned is that every person is unique. And therefore, every person’s journey is unique. What works for one person will not work for the next.
But, we seem to forget that we are unique in every way. And the danger is that we do not even realize that in the process, we lose our identity.
WAYS WE LOSE OUR IDENTITY
One of the main reasons we fall into hopelessness is that we compare ourselves with the person next to us.
Society and especially the media holds comparison at the forefront of every conversation, marketing strategy and life in general. We get brainwashed to a state of believing that comparing ourselves is the only way to go.
And therefore this is what we do. We compare ourselves with the person next to us, and if we fail to get the same results, we feel like a failure.
What they have becomes more important than what we want.
We want what they have, and we want to be who they are, and in the process, we lose our identity.
Trying to live up to expectations is the quickest way for us to fall into hopelessness. And the sad thing is that most of the time, we will never be able to live up to the expectations of those around us. We will try and try and try until nothing is left and we lose a part of ourselves.
They set our standards, our visions, our dreams and direct our focus. And before we know, our lives passed us by, and we gave up on our aspirations.
As soon as we give up on our dreams and aspirations, we die a slow death. We forget the very reason that keeps us going, and in the process, we lose our identity.
HOW TO GET OUR IDENTITY BACK
Realize that you are unique
The first step in getting our identity back is to realize that we are unique in every way.
The way we think and feel, our temperament and personalities, our dreams and aspirations, our talents and skills, our whole being are different than the person next to us.
So why on earth do we compare ourselves with the person next to us?
Which brings us to the second thing we need to do to get our identity back; stop comparing ourselves with the world around us.
Stop comparing ourselves
We need to embrace the fact that we are unique and stop comparing ourselves with the people next to us.
Each one of us has so much to offer the world, and if we keep striving to be like the person next to us, the world will never get to appreciate the unique gift we have to give.
Stop wanting to be like the next person. Learn to look within yourself to find that uniqueness and start to appreciate it for yourself.
Once you appreciate who you are, and become comfortable with it, the world will also learn to value your uniqueness.
And if they don’t, they do not deserve to be part of your life.
Set your expectations
Without us knowing, we allow parents, peers, society and the media to set expectations we must live up too.
But what happens to what you want out of life? What happens to how you want to dress like, where you want to live and how you see your future?
Most of us do not even know what we want out of life. We do not take the time to evaluate our lives and determine what it is that we want for ourselves.
Therefore, take the time to reflect on your life and be brutally honest with yourself. Only then will you be able to distinguish between what the world expects from you and what you want for yourself.
Be true to who you are
For us to be true to who we are, we must know who we are. And to know who we are, we must realize our uniqueness. We can only do this if we take the time to reflect on our lives and be brutally honest about the extent we lost our identity through comparison and living up to expectations.
Discovering who I am was a difficult journey I ever took. Yet the most rewarding journey ever.
For 22 years, I falsely humbled myself to accommodate my ex-husband and his family. Not coming from the same background financially, I allowed them to set the expectations on how to dress, what to say and when to say it.
I remember one day, we were painting our flat and needed some brushes to finish the job. We quickly jumped into the car and went to my mother-in-law to pick up the paintbrushes. It never crossed my mind to clean up and get dressed for whatever occasion. I made an impression with my clothes dotted with paint, but not one that helped the relationship or my self-image.
From that day on, I started putting the expectation of other people before who I am. And in the process, I lost my identity.
The thing is, you can only live a lie for a set period. Who you are will always surface on the way. Later on in life, when this finally happened, it caused issues and conflict. And I tried harder, only to lose more of myself.
After my divorce, it took me 7years to finally be at ease with myself again.
Why did it take so long? Because I first had to re-discover who I am. Not allowing the world or those around me to tell me who I am, but figuring it out for myself.
Finally, after 7years, I can say what I like, what I want and how I see my future.
It was a difficult and long road, but a road that I am so thankful to have travelled. A road that led me to FREEDOM, confidence and now, following my dreams and aspirations.
That is why I am so passionate to help people become self-aware and confident in who they are. I know the difference it brought into my life, and I know that it will change your life forever.
If I can leave one thing with you today, it is the following
Take the time to get to know yourself for who you are and then live a life true to yourself. No one will ever be able to live up to your uniqueness, and it is only by embracing who we are that we will bring hope to a hopeless world.
Photo by @stefanopollio. Thank you.