The 2020 Identity Crisis
This week's blog is about something a lot of people have struggled with during 2020 and coming into 2021, for some it has been a blessing and for others it has felt like a curse!
I have to admit that during last year it very much felt like a curse! Having an identity crisis SUCKS! While building my beloved Health and Wellness business online, I lost most of my work in theatre. For those who do not know me, between 2016 and 2020 I ate, slept, breathed theatre…every waking hour was theatre…either running a show, in rehearsals, planning a production, touring, teaching, prepping, making costumes, building set, opening nights going wrong in every dream…you get the point! Of course, theatres closed. Drama classes stopped (we managed a few on line), no more tours, no more opening nights...nothing…
Enter Identity Crisis 2020
Lucky for me, this is not my first identity crisis BUT in the past they tended to result in my accepting and unleashing of the arty theatre self…you see my dilemma this time around?
It has been a journey and it is still ongoing! However, I have put together the habits that I found helped most of all.
While discovering who we are is a lifelong challenge, I have finally found myself in a mindset of abundance and self-worth, I have found that my creativity does not need to be tied to the theatre and that I can serve in so many more ways than before! Although I do miss theatre terribly, I no longer feel a need to hold onto the lack of it in my life or let it define who I am as a person and rather accept that there are other ways to be creative and that one day I will be back in the theatre again in full swing, just not right now.
You do not need to be in an identity crisis for these habits to help…maybe you have decided you want to start a new career, find a new path, become a different version of yourself, turn into a Unicorn…I do not know! Either way, these habits will help along the way.
Identity has been a huge part of my journey over the past few years. Realising you are very much living as the person the worlds wants you to be instead of allowing yourself to show up as yourself…is a pretty big realisation, with or without a pandemic to kickstart it.
It is an even bigger realisation when we THINK we have already been showing up as our true selves and realise that we just fell out of the sky and didn’t even realise!
Let me tell you, there are SO MANY different reasons why we fall into this trap of ‘other self’, it can be due to a relationship, a job, the friends we surround ourselves with but it also often a cascade of self-doubts and mindset challenges that convince us that we should remain as we are, fall back into who we were or actively resist the change we want to achieve.
In 2020, how many of you felt you went through an identity crisis of some sort? Perhaps your career fell flat, perhaps you found yourself disconnected from people who usually define you, maybe you ended up in a life roll you had not anticipated…there are any number of reasons…and somewhere within that you found yourself questioning your values, your time use, your choices, your faith in yourself and abilities, your actual faith (whatever that may be). Perhaps you found that you did not know yourself as well as you thought and have had to relearn who you are and what you want from life.
First of all… if you have felt a connection with any of the above questions…that is AMAZING! Questioning our ethics, morals, belief systems and identity is how we evolve into more loving, accepting and caring humans. Why? Because only when we question something can we challenge, change or accept it. When we question, we can decide whether it serves us and our future or if it is, perhaps, something we want to change, disregard or leave in the past.
Secondly, you are not alone in this journey! When facing crisis’ or trauma in life, this is often when we are thrown into an identity crisis of some sort. This year, it happened on a global scale! The whole world fell into trauma…so, if you are giving yourself a hard time for feeling like your identity fell apart or are ‘a bit all over the place’? Forgive yourself, you are not alone!
Thirdly, growth is painful. Not one single person will come out of a traumatic experience without some sort of growth but growth hurts. A caterpillar does not wake up one day as a butterfly, it must literally dissolve and be reborn as a butterfly! It is a gooey, messy, painful experience, but they get through it because they keep going.
Habits to Help with an Identity Crisis
‘Yes Sonia, I hear you, it is going to suck and I am not alone but that is NOT HELPING me right now!’
I hear you! These are some of the habits that have helped me over the years as who I am has evolved and changed (with or without my wanting to!)
Please leave extra tips in the comments!! We could all use all the help we can get!
1. Breathe… I know, it’s basic, right? Let me tell you WHY it is so powerful. Breathing is the only thing that we do both intentionally and subconsciously meaning that we breathe without thinking about it (otherwise we would die) but we can also breathe with intention and control how much or how little we breathe. So, taking 2 minutes to just breathe with intention, deep belly breathes, every day, actually helps reduce stress and worries…and yes, that includes helping with our identity crisis. It also tells our brain that WE are in control of our own thoughts, it teaches us that we can choose the thoughts we want to have around this subject and offers a clearer mind to work through all the emotions.
2. Ask yourself who you WANT to be! A friend gave me a card one day, with a unicorn pendant inside. In the card he wrote ‘if you want to be a Unicorn, you be a god damn Unicorn, and don’t let anyone stop you.’ That was probably the best piece of advice I have ever been given! I carried those words into my 2020 Identity Crisis…who do I want to be? This does not need to be a long and complicated answer, it can be short and concise or long winded and detailed…everyone is different! But asking the question can help us search for the most aligned answers.
3. Journal regularly…use journal prompts like ‘I like myself because…’ ‘my perfect version of me would be…’ ‘things that make me happy are…’ ‘I feel a low vibe when…’ If you are new to journaling, set a timer for 5 minutes and let your words just flow, don’t think too much. The more you do it, the easier it will become. Read back over your answers and let them be a source of reflection when asking who you want to be!
4. Lean into change. Change is something that many people struggle with, especially when it is change forced upon us. The thing is…change is the only constant in life, nothing stays the same, because energy does not stay still and we are all energy, we are always evolving whether we want to or not, as is the world around us! Resisting change makes life much, much harder. Lean into it as often as you can. Remind yourself that life is happening FOR you, not TO you, lean in and let yourself evolve!
5. Remember that NO ONE has everything figured out. Sometimes we can go on social media or look around at our neighbours and friends and think that they have their Sh** together and then give ourselves a hard time because we feel like we do not. Every single person is evolving, changing and experiencing challenges, no matter WHAT their Instagram says! You are not alone, if you feel like you are, reach out to the people around you (or to me!) and you will quickly realise that you are not alone in this!
6. Last, but not least, forgive yourself. You are allowed to have crazy thoughts, you allowed to want material things, you are allowed to want to have your family nearby, you are allowed to still have dreams, you are allowed to still set goals, you are allowed to have days where it feels like the world is ending, you are allowed to love the person you are becoming, you are allowed to feel terrified, you are allowed to be scared and excited at the same time even thought you can’t always tell the difference! Forgive yourself for how you think you SHOULD be feeling, take that deep breathe we talked about and allow yourself to be you as you are while who are figuring out who you want to be.
We are all feeling different levels of growth, suffocation, fear, expansion, enlightenment, desperation, joy, excitement…all the things.
BE kind to those around you as everyone rediscovers who they are and what is important to them. Allow each other to exist in the world in the way that feels good to them. It can be easy to fall into the trap of feeling bad when we hear ‘let us all appreciate the family in our lives and realise that material things are unimportant’ when all you want is to have the ability to follow your dream and live in that giant house with the boat! It is OK to still want the things you want, it is ok to keep dreaming and it equally ok to take time to value the people in your lives and appreciate the love they bring.
If you have not already picked up the Sonia Loves Happiness Colouring Book & Journal, this is the perfect time to do so! We all need some journal space sometimes and colouring in, or being creative, can help our brain unlock thought processes and help us find solutions while assisting in the processing of all these emotions!
With a journal on one end and a colouring book at the other end, the SLH Book helps with both!
On Mondays, I use the book on Mindful Mondays Livestreams on Facebook and Instagram, holding space with guided breathing, journaling and creative chill time <3 Of course, you do not need to have your book to come along to the Lives, bring a doodle pad and some pens or just listen in while you do your thing.
Please share this with anyone who may need it!
With gratitude, love and sparkles to you all,