Identity can be a topic of discomfort for quite a few of you out there mainly due to the reason that the only answer for someone who has no idea what their identity is, is to pretend that they do.
You don’t know who you are, now do ya?
Of course I do, I am who I am, I am who I am.
And who would that be?
Haven’t got a clue.
And I’m here let you know that that’s ok.
It can be quite a frustrating problem in today’s world since not knowing who you are means you have to spend another year not becoming a millionaire or solving world hunger.
Alas, those things will have to wait for now.
It’s OK to Not Know Who You Are
You see, not knowing who you are is a little bit of an oxymoron. I know that some of you out there do in fact know who you are, you know what’s right for you, but the problem is that you just aren’t listening to yourself when you make everyday life decisions. For those of you in this category, the answer to your identity crisis is simple: stop doing whatever it is that isn’t working for you.
If you want to learn more about not doing what isn’t working, you can read about it here.
But I haven’t written this article for those of you who know who you are and aren’t living correctly. This article is for those of you who don’t know you are and think that they have to.
If I have this correct, I’m sure most of you would agree that an identity is a very personal, specific thing and is part of what makes you unique. It represents you after all and to have an identity means to have found exactly what you’re looking for and to just know and have it set from now until the end of your existence, right?
What if I told you that while identity is in fact representative of those things, there is a small group of us who experience identity not as a fixed entity but almost like a chameleon.
What this means is that while identity is in fact something that is very unique and different, not all of us were meant to have only one of these.
In fact, if you’re still reading this article, there is a large chance that you might be one of those people who inhabits the chameleon identity, an identity that isn’t fixed.
Now I want you to understand that if you feel like you don’t know who you are and you accept that identity is something that is specific and unique, that feeling like a chameleon doesn’t mean you are without identity.
You have an identity, it’s just that your identity changes all the time.
It’s not about roaming the world behaving in a manner that makes you invisible, it’s about recognizing that who you are is someone who’s identity changes over time. Essentially, you are someone who’s identity is “having no identity” or more specifically, your identity is having “any identity that comes to you intrinsically.”
Now, remember this doesn’t apply to everyone. There is a large percentage of the population who know who they are but they aren’t living correctly and so struggle with similar issues. This knowledge isn’t for those people, although it can help them realize how staying true to themselves is better than believing you have to be something else.
This knowledge is for those of you who have tried every personality test, made decisions like “I will become a programmer or I’m an artist” and then 3 days later get super annoyed at the fact that you have to keep pretending to be what you said you would be but deep down can’t understand why you just don’t feel it anymore.
Ok, Raghav, so I might be a chameleon? How does this help me figure out my identity? How does this help me succeed in the world?
Yes, this is where things start to get interesting. Success isn’t about figuring out who you are. This is important to understand. If you’ve been spending a lot of your life making decisions with the desire to figure out you who are, you must realize how this is really working against your favor if you are a chameleon.
The reason for this is because you’re wasting your time. You already know who you are. Who you are IS someone who doesn’t know who they are.
This is important because you need to start recognizing why you’re choosing that job or that relationship partner or that activity in the first place. Because if you’re doing anything (and I mean anything) thinking to yourself, “If I do this, I might figure out who I am,” then you can imagine how anti-success your decisions really are.
This is because if I tell you that who you are (and you start to tell yourself that) is really someone who doesn’t know who they are, doesn’t it feel kinda relaxing to finally let go of what we’ve been trying to figure out our whole lives? Can you imagine how much energy we could be spending enjoying our lives and making the most of it yet how much is really going towards something we’re choosing to deliberately make a source of misery?
But remember, not knowing who you are doesn’t mean you don’t have an identity, you do, you get to be whoever you want to be and you WILL be someone all of the time. The key here is recognizing that it will never remain there for you, it can’t, because who you are is a chameleon. And a chameleon must allow it’s camouflage to take the shape of where it is in life. That’s the only way that you can be healthy as yourself.
If you can reach a point in which your struggles are no longer about figuring out who you might be and what that means for you, you can finally start to take advantage of who you really are.
When you feel like a programmer, you program. When you feel like an artist, you create. When you feel like a writer, you write. This is the whole point of what it means to be a chameleon. You can do anything and everything that you want. You just have to realize that fighting with yourself in an attempt to pick one just means that you’ll never be able to truly make the most of what you really can be.
Now this doesn’t mean it won’t be frustrating. When you meet people who do know who they are, it might make you feel vulnerable, like they have something you don’t. And while it’s true that people with fixed identities have this reliable sense that just lives with them their entire life, we chameleons also have something that’s reliable. What’s reliable for us is that our identity will never be reliable. It will never remain the same. You can count on this being the case. And while it might seem like you need to have an identity that doesn’t change over time, you’ll start to realize that being able to pick whichever identity works for you at that time can be a lot of fun when you start to accept that being a chameleon means that you can understand more about the truth of what it means to have an identity than those with fixed identities ever could.
And if you start to accept that who you are isn’t really a bad thing but a gift that enhances your life, you might start to realize that being a chameleon is really a strength that only you have the power to wield. A power that if used incorrectly can be a source of a lot of misery for those of us who feel like we have to become something else just to fit in, when clearly you are just a unique being with the desire to be free.