Home » Who am I? How to define your own identity

Who am I? How to define your own identity

Most people find themselves in front of a mirror asking ‘who am I?’ or may even ask others ‘tell me who you think I am.’ If you have ever found yourself in this situation, you understand how confusing and irritating it is not to define yourself efficiently.

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The process of identifying and embracing your feelings, interests, and relationships is the best way to find your sense of identity. Most students use writing who am I essay examples as a chance to express their feelings. These essay examples usually communicate who they feel as individuals and as part of a group.

If we lose the connection with our identity, we aimlessly go along with others’ values because we don’t know what we want. This means we are not living our best lives.

Who am I = What is My Identity?

Simply put, defining your identity is the answer to the dreaded question ‘who am I?’

Your identity comprises the naturally occurring qualities you have as an individual. It represents your values, culture, interests, relationships, etc. Society, including your university, always presents us with images of the life we should live, such as what clothes to wear, what to eat, how you should look, or what type of a parent you are expected to be.

These images can be confusing and even contradictory, and the expectations of what we should do or how we should turn out may not be what we want. It, therefore, takes tremendous strength and self-awareness to say no to these expectations, including ones from family and friends. This self-awareness might be lacking if you don’t find yourself.

Our Need for Identity

Knowing who you are and embracing your identity is important, but sometimes you can run wildly without being in touch with your identity. Moreover, you may understand so little about yourself that you shy away or refrain from thinking about who you are.

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free,” Ralph Ellison.

According to psychologist Abraham Maslow, the higher needs in the hierarchy are deeply driven by an individual’s sense of identity. Your identity is what defines who you are and how others define you. As an individual, you may, to a lesser or greater degree, define yourself internally without or with limited reference to others. Some people also value group identity, where their sense of identity is based on taking a part of those with who they associate and adding it to their individual sense of self.

Generally, how we define ourselves often represents our interests, culture, and relationships. We are the center of our world, where we place great value on our sense of individual self.

The Need to Reclaim Your Power

We use our inner qualities to create our identity. Therefore, knowing and embracing your sense of identity is crucial to reclaiming your power.

Firstly, reclaiming your power through a self-identity strengthens your character. That is, when you know who you are, have confidence in yourself and can identify your strengths, you emerge as a stronger person.

Secondly, your personal power keeps you unique and distinguishes you from everyone else.

Thirdly, your self-identity makes you comfortable with your flaws and all.

Finally, your power allows you to become more aware of your immediate environment and your place in it, your purpose.

A man sits cross legged on a sofa with a notepad, asking who am i about his identity

The Roles we Play

We all have roles to play in developing our sense of identity. It takes deeper soul searching and time, which can be both painful and liberating. Ways to find your true self include meditating, writing essays, reading books that broaden your mind and help you question who you are, as well as defining your goals and values.

If you feel overwhelmed and stuck, you can consider talking to a professional such as a therapist who can offer guidance to exploring and embracing who you are and who you want to be.

How Can I Figure Out “Who I Am?”

A detachment from your sense of self can result in feelings of being flat and unfulfilled, but it’s possible to figure out who you are and develop a clearer image of yourself. Try these strategies to identify and establish your identity. ·

  • Define your values- These can help you set clear boundaries in your life. For instance, if you value honesty, you will make it clear that you can’t have a relationship based on lies.
  • Spend quality time alone to get to know yourself better.
  • Make your own choices, including career, college, place of residence, type of education, etc.
  • Try to align your goals with your actual life to avoid feelings of dissatisfaction and worthlessness.


Losing or not knowing who you are can lead to misery and taking jobs or staying in relationships that don’t suit you. It means that you can’t find yourself and don’t understand your values enough to let them guide you. Not being in touch with your identity can also mean that you are not functioning to the fullness of your strengths and potential, so you don’t fulfil your purpose in life. Therefore, if you feel out of sorts or keep asking others ‘tell me who I am,’ it might be time to re-evaluate the decisions in your life and ensure you are doing the things you love and enjoy.

How did I do?

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