Identity is a big word that can mean different things to different people. It might be about who you hang out with, what music you listen to, where you live or what ethnicity you are. Simply put – your identity is ‘who you are’.
However, sometimes you can feel confused about your identity and this can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness. It is important to know you are not alone. Take your time to figure out what is right for you and stick with it.
Why is personal identity important?
Having an identity can give you a sense of belonging, which is important to your well-being and confidence. You might make friends with others who have similar interests to you. This will make you both more optimistic and also more open to people from different backgrounds.
Sometimes you may struggle with your identity. This can feel confusing. You might be finding it hard to find your place in the world.
As a young person you have a lot to face in terms of identity and who you are. It is especially difficult these days because we live in a digital world where fashions and trends are ever changing.
If you have been in foster or adoptive care, identity is particularly important. Your past is a big part of your identity. Therefore you may feel like some of your story has been lost. This might make you view yourself differently or make you feel low. But we want you to know it doesn't have to.
Tips to help you find your identity
If you are feeling confused about your identity, don't worry. You are not alone. We have put together some top tips to help you figure it all out.
- Talk to someone: It is important to speak to someone you trust about how you are feeling as bottling up your feelings can sometimes make things worse.
- Join an activity/society that you like: Sometimes being part of a group can decrease isolation and create a sense of belonging, while doing an activity can give you a sense of achievement. Always research the activity and group first, making sure a trusted adult has confirmed its safety before attending.
- ‘Fake it till you make it’: Sometimes you may not feel confident in new situations, so at times like this if you act like you are confident you may start to find that you feel more confident in yourself.
- Talk to a professional: Sometimes it is easier to speak to someone who is not in your social circle as their advice can be impartial and unbiased, helping you to find a better solution.
- Life story work: You can request support from your social worker or adoption services in order to gain more information and support around this.