Whenever we are asked to tell about ourselves we usually start with telling about from where we belong, what we are studying, what kind of career we wanted, the religion we profess or some hobbies and likes –dislikes. So, we often confuse between the physical – social identity and our true self which is our core identity. To make a clear explanation, consider yourself when you were a teenager, you were a school –student, good in sports and an average student who is very humble and kind and now, when you are a working professional doing great in your career or might struggling to make it better, have great communication skills and humble and soft spoken, so over this time your social identity changes from school student to working professional but your inner qualities like humbleness and kindness tends to be the same which constitute your core identity.
What is Core Identity
Core identity of a person is a set of beliefs and values that are adopted from the childhood experiences which tends to influence our choices and actions, determine our priorities and control decision making.
Values And Beliefs
Values are the principles that guide our actions. Everyone has his own set of values which determine their personality, behavior and attitudes. For example: unbiased or fair to everyone, honesty, courage, respect etc.
Belief on the other hand, is a state of mind that accepts certain ideas or opinions as true or real and also beliefs affect values. Beliefs are influenced greatly by the world we see, hear and experience. Some of them are learned through experiences and others are taught to us. For example: we should never lie, hard work pays off, this world is created by God, etc.
The Importance of Core Idetity
If we are aware of who we are and what are our core values that makes us unique then it helps in making decisions. When we know what things matters most to us and how they can impact us then we make decision firmly and are ready to face the consequences as well.
Core identity helps in understanding self worth, understanding your self -worth helps you to reflect more on your strengths and capabilities and working on your weakness. Core identity prevents from negative beliefs like useless, weak, not deserving, alone etc and instead works as a motivator to work for the things that are of a great importance to us.
As Kain Ramsay said- “Most people spend their lives attempting to be somebody they aren’t, but the real power comes from accepting the truth of who you are and running with it to the very best of your ability”
How To Determine Core Identity
Every now and then, we come across certain situations where we have to choose one and make a decision, but sometimes things get hard and it’s not that easy to choose one among other options, so at this point, our core values and inner self take a forward step and helps in making the decision.
Given below are few steps to identify your core values:
- We are always surrounded by a number of people around us and knowingly and unknowingly we adopt some of their thoughts, opinions and behaviors. So, to know who you are as person from your core, it is very important you let go off all these preconceived behaviors and notions and start with a free mind that has nothing embedded in it.
- The next step is to make a list of at least 20 core values which are important to you and for this you have to go back into the past experiences and reflect on some of the events that are important to you.
- Start with considering all those events in which you were happy, why you were happy, what was happening at that time and why you still remember that experience and what values you were enjoying.
- Now, take all those events which makes you tensed and have a self doubt , think why you got impacted so much, what made you sad, what makes you to doubt on yourself and a constant fear of failing.
- Lastly, consider all those things that are important to you apart from basic life needs, like what success mean to you, how you see your life, what satisfy you, what is most important when you meet new people or start a new venture.
- Once you complete your own list of core values, the next step is to group them under related themes and label them accordingly. Like, kind, humble, soft- spoken comes under one category and you can label it as kind, growth oriented, risk taking, development comes under one category and you can label it as growth- oriented or growth mind-set.
- Now you have your list of core values, it might vary from 8 to 10 in number. Now, rank them in the order of importance varying from most important to less important. For ranking, you might need to introspect yourself and think about what values make your inner self and why they are on your top list and in any situation they can be replaced or can be let go off.
- Once you finish ranking them, the next step is to highlight your core values through meaningful phrases and sentences so that these could remain in your conscious mind for a longer time.
- The final step is, to revisit the list of your core values after 24 hours and analysis each value and see if the ranking order or the values are still primary to you or they are indifferent to you. Feel free to make the necessary changes.
Each one of us has some shared interests, opinions and behaviors and often faces similar situations in life, but the way we react to them makes us different to others. Our reaction towards situations depend on the core identity we possess, the values we have been professing, there might be chances some people have negative values and have self- doubt like, I am useless, I am not capable etc., and these negative core values harm you and makes you under confident. So it is very important to identify those values as well and if needed take professional help to overcome them so that you can reach to your maximum capabilities and enjoy life to the fullest and cherish the person you are.