Last Updated on February 16, 2023 by the thought method co.
People are going to try to define you your entire life. Some use it to connect. Stuck in an “us vs them” mentality, they search for similarities or differences to catalogue you. Others may define you in ways that are beneficial for them. They might need you to be the bad guy so they don’t feel guilty. Or they might need you to be “lucky” so they can ignore the fact they aren’t putting in effort.
Whatever the case, it doesn’t matter how or why people try to define you. If you want to be happy, your primary focus needs to be how you want to define yourself. Because when you take control and define who you are on your terms you make the solid foundation for a fulfilling life.
On the surface, a unique combination of aspects like your name, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, interests, and values make up your individual identity. On a deeper level, you can have as many identities as you would like.
There are typical identities, like with family and at work. When you are at work, you are an employee, individual contributor, or manager. If you are a manager, you are someone’s boss and someone else’s employee. If you have kids and their school calls, then you identify as mommy or daddy. To your siblings’ kids, you are Auntie or Uncle. And if you go to a family party with your kids and your parents, then you are both child and parent.
Then there are other identities that depend on your interests and needs. Each identity can be unique, allowing you to express yourself in a variety of ways. For instance, if you have a passion for magic outside of your day-to-day job, you might be a magician. And if you make it TikTok famous, you might leave your day-to-day and focus more on the magician identity.
Like identity, personal meaning is unique to each individual and is derived from different parts of life. People find meaning in life in many ways. And whatever brings a sense of purpose and fulfillment to a person’s life is likely to give them a sense of meaning.
It can come from relationships with family and friends, through work or hobbies, or through spiritual beliefs. Meaning is subjective, and what works for one person may not work for another. And when you have clarity about what gives your life meaning, you create understanding and purpose in your life. It is a way to find fulfillment.
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Importance of Focusing on Identity and Meaning
Investing in yourself is one of the best investments you can make. And at the foundation of that investment is having a solid understanding of your identity and meaning. Because focusing on your identity and meaning is a long-term, lifelong investment that is going to give you great returns in every area of your life.
Benefits of having a clear understanding of your identity and meaning include (but are not limited to):
- Putting you in the best place to find what makes you happiest in life
- Reducing your susceptibility to be manipulated
- Finding your purpose and fulfillment
- Giving you the confidence to pursue your goals and dreams
- Helping you attract and build solid connections with like-minded people
- Reducing depression, anxiety and stress
- Increasing the connection to your power and intuition
- Building resiliency and emotional intelligence
- Increasing you earning potential
- Creating a sense of connection and finding your place in the world
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Everyone should take the time to explore what brings them joy and fulfillment in life and find their own unique identity and source of meaning. And investing in your identity and meaning will create a positive looping. Meaning, all of the benefits listed above will positively effect every other area of your life.