There are plenty of distractions and confusions in modern life and it’s easy to feel lost and alone. This disorientation can manifest in various levels of seriousness under the general psychological term “identity crisis”. Without putting you on the shrink’s couch, here are some of the symptoms you should be aware of.
1. Lying about Your Age
Do you find yourself regularly lying to people about your real age? This could be an early sign of an identity crisis. Age, especially in women, is sometimes something about yourself that you find hard to come to terms with. Maybe you are struggling with the fact that you are in the late thirties but don’t feel you have matured since your late twenties.
Regret is often an emotion that can bring on an identity crisis. Regularly dwelling on the past in a negative way, wondering what could have been or what changes you wish had made, will only result in you disliking even more that person that have grown to become.
3. Career Questioning
Perhaps you are in a rut in terms of your current employment. Staying in the same unsatisfying job for an extended period of time can lead to a crisis of confidence and self worth. This can be remedied by even just looking around the job market for inspiration; you may find that your current situation isn’t as bad as you thought.
4. Comparing Yourself to Others
This is a sure fire way to create a crisis of identity within yourself. By constantly comparing your life to the lives of your family or friends, you are ignoring the parts of your unique personality that make you individually special. Spend some more time celebrating your own achievements and less time envying others.
5. Relationship Insecurity
Perhaps you are going through a rocky patch with your partner and it is forcing you to introspectively examine your life and your identity. What you have to remember is that relationship troubles are always a case of ‘it takes two to tango’, searching for and not being able to find answers alone is a sign that the problem may not be a fault on your end. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
6. Unfounded Worrying
Do you find yourself mulling and worrying over situations that even you know, deep down, are completely out of your control? Getting caught up in trying to be all things to all people can often lead to a disconnect in your own identity. Save a little time for yourself and try to accept that you cannot fix everyone else’s problem.
7. Self Isolation
Have you noticed that you are beginning to decline invitations to parties and make excuses not to hang out with your friends? Very often an identity crisis can lead to a person shutting themselves away as a combination of all the previous points mentioned. Next time an invite comes your way, be brave and get back out there - people miss you!
8. Imposter Syndrome
Imposter syndrome is the name given to the feeling that you might get if you find yourself constantly faking or embellishing your achievements. Imposter syndrome is often a sign of identity crisis, as it means that an individual is not satisfied with their own life and feels the need to falsify to impress.
9. Substance Abuse
Have you found that recently you been drinking a little more than usual or indulging in out of character experiences with recreational drugs? This too can be a sign of identity crisis, as these substances for a short time can give you escape from your normal life and awareness, providing a short distraction from the real deeper problems at hand.
If you recognize these potential signs of an identity crisis in yourself to a reasonable degree, it’s time to make some changes, or get help. Do you identify with these issues?