The struggle for millennials around identity and self-discovery has become apparent. Being a millennial myself, there has definitely been confusion and some second-guessing around who I am and what I want. Reality sets in and the question comes up: “what am I doing with my life?” and “who am I, anyway?”
Millennials (and many others), are struggling with finding their true identity and feeling good about who they are and what they’re doing even if they’ve “checked the boxes” and accomplished what is typically expected – graduate high school, get a degree, land a great job, meet their partner, get married, have kids, buy a house, and so on.
In fact, that might just be the reason WHY so many millennials eventually hit the identity crisis wall. And some millennials are really not sure if they’ve figured it out yet. They think they know their soul’s desires, but question why they keep feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. Honestly, it’s likely because your stuck in a life that doesn’t really align with who you are at your core.
If someone walked up to you right now, and said “who is [insert name here]”, what would you say? What would you respond with if you couldn’t say I am a mother, daughter, brother, cousin, christian, doctor, artist, bartender.. ?
You see, you are not your relationship with others. You are not your job/career. You are not simply a multi-titled human. You’re deeper than that. There is more to your soul than that.
We cling to titles because that is all we know, and we choose to compartmentalize ourselves because it’s easier. We grow up wanting to be something that gives us purpose, and that is understandable. The larger issue with this is that we think we are NOTHING without it. That’s just another reason why some people feel empty or alone when they retire, or when their kids move out of the house. Because they never took the time to build a true relationship with themselves (the most important relationship we have).
Whenever my clients feel lost, disarrayed, frustrated or “out of sorts”, it’s usually because they are not in alignment with their higher selves and their truest beliefs and values.
When you look outside of yourself for answers, reassurance, validation, this steers you further and further away from who you really are at your core.
Every millennial is guilty of this – we grew up in an era where cell phones and social media were a part of life. It felt like second nature to compare, strive for better, and to want to show up in a way that is acceptable and sought after, without even paying attention to the real desires and needs that are unique to you.
Millennials are feeling stuck and overwhelmed because there isn’t enough emphasis on creating time and space for introspection time; not enough emphasis on finding alignment and asking questions like:
→ Does this hold true to me as a unique individual?
→ Is this really what I hold value in?
→ Are these the things I believe and stand beside at my core?
If you really want to reconnect to your higher self, you have to let go of the expectations and rules that are around you, and turn inwards.
Reconnecting to yourself and learning who you are is just half the battle. The other really important part (after you figure out who you are and what you want), is leaning into that.
It’s all about taking hell bent action to finally create and embody who you were meant to be, and to also tell the world about it.
Let’s talk about some ways to actually tap into this:
Ask yourself what YOU really believe in (not what someone else has taught you to believe in). What lights you up, and what doesn’t? Remember that there really are NO rules around what you should believe/shouldn’t believe. We are only taught that there is, and not to question it.
Now, it’s time to change that perspective. Be brave enough to question everything, even if it’s scary and feels wrong at first. This is how you learn what’s true to you and what’s not.
A belief is simply a habit of thought. What you’re trained and wired to believe is a habit, and therefore it can easily be associated with who you are as a person, if you’re not careful.
First, think about some beliefs you have.. They can be general beliefs (ex: I believe that everyone should have a college education), or more specific to you personally (ex: I believe that I’m capable of what I put my mind to, and that I’m a hard worker).
Ask yourself if those beliefs are serving you and your identity or not – do they allow you to be your highest self? Were you taught that this is true, or do you really believe in your heart that it is?
It’s important to find clarity when rebuilding your relationship with yourself and finding your identity.
In order to do this, you have to block out the noise of society and turn inwards. You have to get really curious and really passionate about YOU. When you give yourself the time and space to figure this out and better understand who you are, things will start making sense and start clicking.
If you’ve hit a point where something doesn’t quite feel aligned for you in your life, don’t be afraid to rock the boat. If you feel an intuitive pull away from something you think you “should” do, start to get curious about that. Remember that if something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not. Trust your body over your over-analytical and logical mind. Here’s how to tap into that:
A great way to uncover your identity is to tune into what brings you joy, peace, contentment and satisfaction. How often do you really make time for your own creative juices to flow and for you to find play in your life? That spark you had when you were a kid is still in there, it just has to be brought back to the surface. When you tune into the inner child in you, that’s where your true identity is.
You can tap into this creativity in multiple different ways – by doing something crafts-y, writing a book, taking pictures, or even building something virtual.
As for play, think of what you enjoyed doing as a kid or something you’d enjoy doing now. Jumping on trampolines, sticking your feet in the sandbox, riding around at the park, or maybe a certain sport you love to play.
The kid in us is where our truth lies. It gets covered up when we go through life and feel forced to adhere to certain expectations and standards. We show up how we are supposed to, not how we were born to. When you tap into that inner child in you, it opens up a world of answers.
One of the best ways to get really clear on your identity is to meditate. My clients know good and well that meditation is something I hammer in big time. It’s quite literally the secret sauce and magical pathway to anything you’ve ever wanted to know about yourself. Answers come through to you when you ALLOW them to, not when you look for them and force them.
As you may know, meditation is all about turning inwards and focusing on your breath. You allow whatever is happening, and whatever you are feeling, to simply be, without judgment.
Meditation also increases your intuition and enhances your inner knowing. This can be super helpful and insightful when you are trying to lean into your truth.
If you want to learn more about meditation, I’m happy to jump on a call with you so we can talk about it! You can book one right here.
This may sound cliché, but self love and showing yourself compassion during a time of growth is beyond important. If you are harsh on yourself, feed yourself negative thoughts, or don’t believe in yourself or your capabilities, it’s really hard to lean into your true identity and rebuild your relationship with yourself.
If you’re struggling with self-discovery and self love, start with practicing affirmations and journaling. Some of my favorite affirmations are:
I do enough, I have enough, I am enough.
I show up as my best, most authentic self everyday.
I don’t worry about the judgment of others; I only worry about what’s best for me.
And my favorite journal prompts:
If you take away your “labels” (like job titles and relationship titles), who are you?
What strengths do you have, and how can you use them?
What would make you really happy/what lights you up and brings you joy? How can you bring more of that into your life now?
When you realize it’s time to step into your full potential and power, that can come with feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and lack of direction. Self discovery can take A LOT of work. Having someone who sees you from an outside perspective and can lead you in the direction of growth is paramount if you’re serious about leaning into your true identity.
Remember that stepping out of your comfort zone is never going to be easy, but it is ALWAYS worth it. Everything you’ve ever wanted and ever dreamed of is just right outside of your comfort zone. It’s your responsibility to take that leap and trust yourself.
If this resonates with you, or you need additional help in any way, I’m here for you!