To Remember Who You Are

To remember who you are
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“To remember who you are, you need to forget who they told you to be.”

In Erik Erikson’s psychosocial stages, he identified the stages of human development and the corresponding crises that occur in each stage. In the fifth stage, from age 12 to 18, the person undergoes Identity vs. Role Confusion, a crucial phase in one’s life. It is the major stage where the child re-examines his/her identity. If successful, the virtue of fidelity will be acquired.

However, there are plenty of roadblocks that interfere from determining one’s real identity. The fear of rejection from family and friends hinder adolescents from fully knowing themselves that it leads to role confusion. Identity crisis results to experiment with different lifestyles which is shocking for their family for the most part. Unfortunately, only few family members know how to react effectively, thus unintentionally encouraging rebellion and feelings of unhappiness.

In the words of William James: “There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man’s lack of faith in his true self.” The works of researchers Kernis and Goldman revealed that self-reported authenticity is positively related to such important outcomes as self-actualization, self-concept clarity, and self-esteem. Unfortunately, most people only feel comfortable expressing their true selves around close friends. They’d prefer showing their actual selves or public selves rather than their authentic selves. In an amount of time, this may lead to personality disorders.

American singer and writer Jim Morrison was quoted for saying: “The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.”

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