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Centerpointe Research

Defining Your Identity

English: High school students from the United ...

English: High school students from the United States learn about prerequisites for veterinary school and the veterinary school admissions process at a career fair in March 2005 in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The process of defining one’s identity can be an arduous task.  It can be a never ending process lasting throughout your entire life.  No wonder some people take the “easy” way out and join a cult.  Scientology is an example of this.  In return for doing what appears to be getting your life in order you give up your freedom to live your own life.  The more unambiguous an organization is the more attractive it is to some people, especially those who can’t deal with ambiguity.

“Foreclosure” is the psychological word for accepting as your identity something that society, your family, your culture has set up for your future without much consideration of what that would mean for you.  Freedom of choice was often not a factor here.  Large catholic families, for example, in the past often had at least one child that they planned to have devote her or his life to the church by becoming a nun, sister, priest, or monk.  If it is a good fit, the person can have a successful life.  Often, especially in the past, this decision was made when the child was very young and while attending Catholic school.

Often one still chooses their identity at an early age even if his or her family did not choose it for them because the process involved in achieving that career takes a lot of preparation and it needs to be done early.  This is often clear when a person decides to make a career change later in life.  Now that people are living longer, it is happening more and more often.  Often it is a part of mid-life crisis.  Often people who do not “jump” into something early in their lives often are afraid that they will “miss the boat.”  Yet those who do so later often have more experience and make better choices.  This is very clear in careers that peak early and bring with them fame and fortune but allow little time for those who are successful that way to develop their talents and their characters.

More to come later on finding your spiritual identity and when, if, and how doing so relates to finding a career.  Also how your initial identity is created by your environment (including your family), by your heredity (abilities, deficiencies, and talents), by the place where you were born, the time when you were born, and by the political and religious issues at that time.

Career path

Career path (Photo credit: highwind012)

 

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