Sunday, 26 June 2016 08:11

The role of curiosity in establishing identity

Identity has always interested me, especially the role which curiosity and exploration play in establishing a sense of who you are in the world. At times this can really feel like a journey of discovery, one where you can learn more about the experiences you identify with, the values you embrace and what defines who you really are.

Working with this process I came to understand how differently each person builds a sense of who they are in the world, and how important this is in building the kind of life you create for yourself. A firm sense of identity also retains a certain fluidity, which allows you to embrace change, growth and adapt to a world that is simply too complex for one single perspective to hold.


So is counselling useful in understanding identity and who you are being in the world?


It depends. Sometimes life’s circumstances may have allowed you to develop a clear understanding of who you are in the path you have chosen to follow. Other times, life’s gotten in the way a bit. You may have been pushed in a direction that hasn’t felt entirely right for you, events around you jarred a little, preventing you from coming to understand yourself fully. “Rules and should” may feel restrictive or may not always seem to fit, talents may have got denied, values, tastes and preferences discounted before you had even had a chance to connect with who you feel you are. When this happens, a solid sense of identity feels a little more elusive and counselling can be big support in understanding yourself more, what feels like you and creating a life that truly fits.


In considering the subject of identity, here are some questions you may want to explore:


1. What's important to you in your life?
2. How would you define your essence?
3. What experiences have shaped how you’re being in the world?
4. What is your “contract” with life?
5. What are the “rules” you’re living by? Do they work for you?
6. Are any aspects of yourself getting in the way of how you want to be living?


There are many more, but these questions are pretty central. And the most critical of all is, are you being congruent with all aspects of yourself? Because when you are, and you align your most natural self with your life path, opportunities become easier to identify, you open a door to more positive living and can create more of the experiences you want to be living.


Article by Jenny Roberts