How To Tell If You’re Having An Identity Shift
Identity shifts can be disorienting. And when you’re in them, you can feel cast adrift. I’ve put together this list of ways to identify if you’re in an identity shift to help you better understand what’s going on and how to manage it. You may not have all of these symptoms, but if you have more than a couple, you might be going through an identity shift.
Symptom #1 — Nothing in your life — or perhaps in just one aspect of your life — feels right. You used to be aligned with it, but now you’ve lost interest.
Symptom #2 — Established things and people in your life suddenly start to look different or you react differently towards them. This is especially true if you are irritated by things that never bothered you before. (FYI — this is also a sign of burnout, so this one would need more clarification.)
Symptom #3 — You’ve recently stepped onto a new spiritual path or you’ve gone back into one you had left fallow before.
Symptom #4 — You’re feeling anxious and/or antsy. For some people this will result in a desire to travel or move to a new place. For others, it will be discomfort in the body — feeling like you want to crawl out of your skin, or an inability to stop moving because when you do, your body cries out to keep moving. Business owners may suddenly want to launch a new program, or start a new business, or shift the direction the company is going in. This desire to move/shift, etc. is you trying to mitigate the energy of your identity shift. Try to avoid doing this. It dissipates the energy and therefore slows, or even stops, forward motion on the identity shift.
Symptom #5 — Questioning who you think you are. You may look in the mirror one morning and realize that you don’t fully know who the person is looking back at you. Mid-life crises are identity shifts.
Symptom #6 — Trying on new identities. When you are unsure of who you are, you may find yourself becoming a chameleon — behaving differently in different environments. This is the experimentation phase of your shift.
Symptom #7 — Not being able to answer questions about yourself. When you are shifting your inner world, it may become hard to answer questions about who you are — since you’re not sure yourself.
Identity shifts are common at the following times:
- Ages 28 and 56 — during your Saturn Return (where Saturn returns to where it was when you were born — your first identity creation of this life).
- Major life changes/upheavals — marriage, divorce, births, deaths, graduations, moving, job loss, new jobs, pandemics, major financial shifts, etc.
- Periodically in personal growth processes — if you’re on a personal growth path, you’ll hit these somewhat regularly
Many people call this process an identity crisis. I hate that word because it implies being out of control. Control is a fear-based model. Yes, in identity shifts we are often not consciously in control, but an identity shift is, by definition, the act of moving closer to the highest version of your authentic self. So, by definition then, you are entirely in control of the process by the nature of who you are. You’re just becoming more you.
Now as for how to deal with it, I’ve got you. Here’s a post I did recently where I shared a video of me walking a client through an identity shift process on a group coaching call (clients have been redacted for their privacy). https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7028017913131368449/
And if you’re going through an identity shift and need some help navigating it, reach out for a Discovery Call to talk to me about my Shaman-On-Call program where you get access to two shamans in a customized process designed around you and your needs.