A new perspective in self identify for you in 2022

When we introduce ourselves, we often identify ourselves as our occupation, family roles, or our sexuality. For me, I am a female married clinical psychologist. We tend to define ourselves with what we do for earning a living or what we contribute to the society. Sometimes, it is quite easy for us to restrict ourselves to the expected presentation of the roles we identified with. For instance, a middle aged female may identify herself as a housewife who should always keep her home tidy and clean and be excellent at cooking. She may also think the academic achievement of her children reflects whether she has satisfied her role expectations. In fact, it is common that a childless middle aged female focusing on one’s career being judged be other females who had stick with their gender role identify.

The childless middle aged career woman, who is being judged by others negatively, may generate negative emotions or thinking inside her. There is a possibility that she may also identify with these negative feelings or thoughts. She may feel stressed or sad about being treated unfairly by others. She may also think she is defective in consideration of the societal norm. It is easy for her to identify with her negative feelings and thoughts. As a result, she may think I am a depressed defective person. This may contribute a negative self concept about herself and she may withdraw from her social network if most of the females in the group are housewives or mothers.

Our tendency to define ourselves through our emotions or thoughts make us taking a narrow perspective in our self identify. For example, the childless middle aged woman above may define herself negatively due to identifying herself with her negative emotions or thinking. This leads her to have a negative sense of self. As a result, she may not act according to her values and aspirations and could not excel further in her career. As she also worries how others perceive her, she restricted her advancement in her career.

It is important to note that we are not defined by our thoughts or emotions. Our identity is also not restricted to the societal or cultural norms. For instance, a female’s path should not be restricted to giving birth and being a housewife. A childless career woman is not valued less that a woman who stay home to take care of their children. If we want to have the freedom to express our true self and define ourselves freely, we need to take a new perspective in self identify. 

If we define ourselves with our occupation, family roles or sexuality, we may find these identities may change or be unstable. The only way to ground ourselves with a stable identity is to take an observer or experiencer role. That is, our “self” is the one who observe or experience the present moment. If we are hiking, we are the one who experiencing the scenery. If we are having a meal, we are the one who are tasting the food and enjoying the company of our friends. In this sense, our sense of self is actually the “context” of our experience.

Through learning to step out of the box and not defining ourselves with roles or our internal emotions or thinking, there are more unexpected possibilities of our actions. As a result, it is more likely we can act according to our values and have more freedom to express our true self.

Share with Friends!