Our identity is more complex than we might perceive it. It has to do with our cultural capital – where we are coming from culturally, our family and upbringing – and also with how we and other people perceive us. How others perceive us influences how we think and feel about ourselves. If someone tells us ‘You are always so brave’ or ‘You should try harder’ will have a deep influence on how we think about ourselves, particularly if we trust that person.
This leads to how relationships keep us in check in terms of who we are. Our life trajectory can be studying law and working in counter-fraud. We would have built a great part of the relationships as part of our professional identity. This might not go hand in hand with playing a leading part in a musical theatre and dropping everything for a different avenue.
We sometimes build arguments whenever we tell people that our interests are not limited to what the outside world knew about ourselves ‘on paper’ or when our decisions might not be approved in the eyes of the plenty. It’s time to acknowledge that we are the ones that have to be at ease with the decisions we made before going to sleep at night and that relationships go both ways: limiting our beliefs and empowering us. Try to find the right people to keep in your life, rather than the right thing to say to people who happen to be part of your journey.