I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what the word identity really means and how it affects our behavior.
We all have a certain image of ourselves – beliefs about the kind of person we are. Having a strong sense of identity seems to be desirable, something that brings comfort and security. Many people seem to spend a lot of time trying to figure out who they are, what they want, and what they believe.
And perhaps rightly so: having a strong identity certainly seems to have advantages. A clear sense of “who you are” makes it easier to connect with other similar people and groups.
People with a strong identity often stand out more and are more memorable. I’d guess that the people who are most successful in life – especially people who become famous – all have pretty strong identities (or a super solid team behind them making all the major decisions)
Identity also helps us to make decisions and to know how to behave.
We’re constantly faced with complex decisions and circumstances. With no prior beliefs about what we should do, weighing all the options and making a decision would be near impossible.
Having a sense of what kind of person, you are makes it much easier to decide how you should behave, and to have confidence in your choice between options.
This makes decisions that would otherwise be agonizing virtually effortless.