Your inner voice may occasionally speak to you and inquire of your current self. “How am I doing? Is this a wise decision I can make? Am I truly having happiness doing this? These psychological conflicting, confusing, and self-doubting questions can cause Identity Crises. For Instance, a student opts for a subject for an undergraduate program, and in the middle of the semester, he starts questioning whether he is doing well in life if he is enjoying the subject, whether he is going to succeed in his life or if he is pursuing it to meet others’ expectations might be going through an identity crisis.
What are Identity Crises?
A psychological conflict or confusion in a person’s life is when they question their core values, beliefs, and sense of self. Identity Crises can usually occur when there’s a change in a person’s life, but it can occur anytime. This was first introduced by developmental psychologist Erik Erikson. In his theory, he found there are developmental stages of identity in adolescence, but it can also occur at other stages of life. It can be a trying and unpleasant experience and is majorly seen in adolescent groups of people as their lives change suddenly with age, but it can also be a chance for development and self-discovery.
Identity Crises among Adolescence
Adolescence is a phase of life where major transitions and changes occur drastically, which can be physically, emotionally, and socially overwhelming and exciting. This is the time when an individual starts questioning their beliefs, and values and tries to figure out who they are and what to do with their life ahead. These drastic changes can lead one to face identity crises because their thoughts, beliefs, and values start collapsing with one another which might be tiresome for anyone in their teenage.
Characteristics of Identity Crises
- Questioning Identity: Individuals may have self-doubting questions about who they are, what they believe in, and what they want out of life.
- Self-exploration: To resolve the crises, the individual may start exploring different things and start experimenting by indulging themselves in different roles and lifestyles.
- Decision Making: Individual in identity crises may be involved in major life decisions that align with their sense of self. These decisions may change their life, values, beliefs, and relationships.
- Resolution: When the individual understands and works on their identity crises, they develop a clearer sense of self. This resolution leads to greater self-confidence and a stronger sense of self.
Symptoms of Identity Crises
Symptoms of identity crises might vary from person to person, but the common one includes:
- Feeling Lost in Mind: Individual may feel lost in their thoughts, questions their values and beliefs, and starts overthinking too much which is emotionally distressing. Confused about self Individuals may start doubting their previous choices and start questioning their abilities and feeling insecure about the future and with that, they lose Self-confidence and motivation.
- Disconnected with peers: They start feeling a sense of disconnection with their friends, family and surroundings and a feeling of isolation is adapted by the sufferer.
- Feeling depressed and stressed: Depression and anxiety are very common in identity crises. They may feel stressed about the work or task they are doing.
- Difficulty in decision-making: Individuals may feel challenged in making decisions. They hesitate and get zoned out when faced with choices related to careers, relationships, or personal values.
- Feeling Alone: Feeling of loneliness is very common. Individuals may feel alone during tasks and also do not like to be involved in social gatherings.
Tips for coping with an Identity Crisis
- Talk to someone you trust: Friends, family members, and mentors can be your trusted person and by talking to them you will able to see your paths more clearly. Talking about your feelings will also help you to understand yourself better.
- Explore new things: Try new things and explore and see what you are passionate about. It helps you to discover new parts of yourself and you will able to build a strong sense of self.
- Set goals and work towards them: You can start your day by making a to-do list and start working on it with time you will able to achieve the goal and your day will be productive which will give you a sense of accomplishment. This will help you feel more purposeful and boost your self-esteem.
- Be Patient: It takes time to find the real yourself. Don’t give up on yourself early. Everyone goes through this at some point in their lives.
- Avoid negative self-talking: It negatively affects you when you overthink too much. It is very important to remember that you are not alone and that failure is part of your life.
- Don’t make decisions right away: When you are confused or in conflict with yourself, do not make life decisions. It is very likely that you might choose wrong for yourself and will regret it later.