Everyone is unique – which is awesome. But sometimes that makes it hard to figure out exactly what you are all about. There are just so many different things that make you who you are.
- The way you look – skin colour, sex, body shape, eye shape and colour, hair
- Your ethnicity – family, homeland, history, accent
- Your beliefs – religion, customs, morals, what we like and what we hate
- What you do – sport, art, work, entertainment
- Events in your life – birth, war, celebrations, good fortune
- Challenges you faced – accidents, disabilities, losing someone close
- Your sexual/gender identity – and who you want to be with
- Your dreams – what you want to be
What you think about yourself (your identity) has a big effect on the way you feel about life. So, when you lose sight of your identity, things seem to start going wrong. Sometimes that’s because your identity is constantly changing throughout your life. Even little things, like a new haircut, can change the way you feel about yourself. And big things, like a serious accident, can have a big impact. You will face a lot of changes when you are a teenager. That’s because your body and brain is still growing and changing fast. On top of that you’re also learning how to take more control of your life.
It might even be other people’s expectations that affect how you see yourself. Other times people might treat you unfairly just because of one thing about you (like your ethnicity or religion). That’s called discrimination and it can affect your identity by making you feel like you don’t fit in.
Everyone has faced times when they wondered who they are (even if they look like they have it all together). So it helps to talk to someone you trust to see what they did to get through it.