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Your Identity

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is You-er than You.”

Dr. Seuss

We often define ourselves based on our looks, beliefs, abilities, political ​views, sexual orientation, family, financial status, or relationships. While each of these elements is crucial to building your identity and how you relate to the world around you, it is important to remember that any one element does not completely define who you are. Instead, our identities are a collection of all the above, and there is no one in the world who is exactly like you.

No matter how close you are with others, they will never look, think, feel, or act just like you. As a result, they won’t always understand or agree with your point of view. For instance, you may change your appearance to dress more like someone of the opposite gender, express a controversial viewpoint, or choose to practice a new religion. Understand and be prepared for others around you to be reluctant to accept changes that you make. Sometimes we have to be patient, sit back, and allow others time to adjust.

Your personal beliefs will become a road map for your life. And just like a road map, you may start out in one direction and change paths as you move through your life. Don’t feel that you have to make concrete decisions now about your life’s direction, or feel pressure to align your beliefs with someone else or with what is popular in the media. Often these are heavy issues; give yourself time to evaluate your thoughts and feelings before you make decisions. Your viewpoints may stay the same over time--or they may change as you discover new information, are presented with different perspectives, or as you go through various life experiences.

Struggling with these issues can make you feel insecure and anxious. The more you evaluate yourself and your feelings, the more answers you will start to find. Find someone trustworthy that you can talk to; someone who will be supportive but will allow you to come up with conclusions about the choices you will make for your future. ​​​​

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