What Is Self Identity Essay

In life, you experience obstacles before you can identify yourself and find out who you belong to or what you belong to. You will never know right away who you are. All of these things take time considering you will always be trying to figure out who you are, and what you like or dislike. People are different so they will never figure out things at the same time. However, society gets in the way of how people identify themselves. Society gets in the way when they allow people to think or believe there is only one way to live and one place to belong to.

People a part of the society are the ones who remove others of what they identify as and change their perspectives towards themselves. Since society has an ideal set on what different people of different races and genders should do or think people don’t self-identify. They allow others to identify them and let other people take control. Stereotypes play a big role in how society influences identity in our community and world. Men should wear pant suits and sneakers while women should wear dress, heels or skirts. Stereotypes like those change people’s perspectives of themselves and would cause them to question their own identity. In an article called Society shapes identity, Jessica Fussell claims “Through our gender, society dictates what jobs would be suitable for us, what we should wear, how we should look, who we are to socialize with and what is acceptable or not.”  Jessica is showing and presenting how people get identified and stereotyped based on of everything even things like gender. The article also argues that “Although each person has their own individual personality, ideas and thoughts, we are shaped by the society and culture which surrounds us every day.” What this quote dictates is that people base their personality and ideas based off what is expected of their society or culture instead of basing things off of their personal opinions or points.

It takes some people longer to figure these things out considering they are not willing to accept themselves, so they won’t be able to understand who they belong to. Rather it's a religion, race, gender or anything everyone belongs to something different and has the right to belong to something different. However, sometimes society doesn’t accept who people belong to when they rename people's identity. Heidi Durrow’s Identity, Race or Otherwise, Is Your Lived Experience claims “I spoke Danish at home. I ate Danish food. At Christmas, we danced around the Christmas tree singing Danish carols. But when I went outside my home, I was black.” In this quote you see how even though she was one thing at home, when she stepped outside she allowed the society and other people to classify her and identify her as something different. This shows how people in the society deprive people of what they are and make them be what they were perceived of observed as. Although they perceived her and observed her as something different she should still speak up but instead she won’t considering the people of the society said it.

Society identity will always have an ideal set and expectations of how each gender, race and social class should act, do or believe in. No matter how someone identifies themselves the people of the society will always deprive and remove them of what they self-identify as.  However, a self-identity is always better and you can be whatever you want when you're the only person in charge of your identity.

In today’s world, there are many people who may be financially struggling. They are oblivious to the fact that their identity is the one that may actually be bringing them down. Siimon Reynolds, who is a business mentor and author, has written about this challenge in his article called “How Your Self Image Determines Your Self Worth.” He speaks about the steps that people should be taken to reform their identity and make more money, “First, they have no idea that their identity is affecting how much they earn. Second, even if they do know, they don’t know what they can do to change their identity.” Siimon is emphasizing that people who are not completely aware of themselves don’t realize that they are the one’s bringing themselves down. Even those who already had this realization, they have no clue what to do to make their life better. Their ideas, mindset, and self-awareness may need to be altered so they can achieve this success that many other people have. Their identities are halting them from achieving a good amount of money, and progressing further in their career.

Everybody has an ideal lifestyle, however, it may take a great amount of hard work to achieve that. If people are willing to take these steps that Siimon has presented, they can reach the lifestyle that they so badly need. Some of this mentality has to do with “fake it till you make it” - even if people aren’t confident about something, they have to tell themselves that they are, and soon enough they actually do become more confident. People have to be able to see themselves doing well at work, and completing all of their tasks efficiently and correctly. In addition to that, they have to imagine themselves being very happy and healthy. Optimism works as a therapy technique to combat depression and anxiety, which can be caused by the lack of money, and can instead make people's self esteem increase. Self awareness is needed to push people forward if they want to “fake it”. There are other factors that come into play when people are trying to be successful and make more money, such as the current job they have, their IQ, and the resources they are able to obtain and use. This article isn’t speaking about aspects of people’s identities, such as their culture and tradition, but mostly focuses on mindset. I can definitely relate to this because at one point in the school year I was extremely unmotivated to do work, and procrastinated a lot. However, once I kept thinking about my future and getting good grades, I got a huge motivation to do work. This is a common situation that students go through, however, positivity is what gets them out of this stubborn pit.

On the other hand, people who live more comfortably, may be the same people who aren’t very self aware of different identities and the struggles of others because they are so blinded by their own happiness and success. An example of this is shown clearly on social media, when someone passes away. Some people who follow the person’s account may comment and share the post, however, many do not do these things. These posts just become one out of the millions that were posted on that website or app. An article called “Ghosts in the Machine” written in the New York Times by an author named Jenna Wortham, comments, “Is it possible that social media somehow warps our notion of time, too? By design, our feeds are largely ephemeral, and we treat them that way, parceling out seemingly insignificant moments — until, all of a sudden, we stop. That collection of moments, once thought to be of infinite supply, will now outlive your physical form, freezing in time the flow of your whole existence.” In this quote Jenna is stating that social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all distort our perception of time and confuse us. There’s so many posts that show up on our feeds, that they become really insignificant.

Once in awhile, a post regarding a death shows up, and that’s when people stop to think for a minute. For a split second people are struck by it, but then they just continue on with their day and scroll to other posts. Sometimes even forgetting about the death. These posts that were once created by the person who has passed away, will live longer than the actual person itself. Social media doesn’t have much of a filter - one day it will show something cheerful, other days it will show things that are very intense and sad and extreme. There is no difference between a regular post and a post about death besides the image or words written. However because of this, everyone knows about the tragedy and it gets the word around to people that they are connected to online, especially if they have a large following on that social media account. This is largely true for celebrities because they have this huge following, and a lot of the time their family members also have access to their accounts, so when they die, the family members are the ones to update those followers and announce their death. People’s feeds are frozen in time once they die, and when there’s no announcement of your death, it’s really like you are still alive and may post again the next day. Along with this, the deaths of people can affect their family members, which may make them also absent in their accounts. People should learn to be more self-aware of their reactions, and also be more cautious and alert of what other’s post. Mournings of others can be easily forgotten because some people are too focused on their lives and their well being.


There are currently five primary generations which make up our society. First there is, the Traditionalists or Silent Generation, which are people born 1945 or earlier. Then there are Baby Boomers which are people born from 1946 to 1964. After that, there’s Generation X, which are people born from 1965 to 1976. Then, there’s Millennials, born from 1977 to 1995. Last, there is iGen which are people born from 1996 and later. The Millennials generation in specific has a lot of discussion surrounding it. This generation has a huge self awareness in the sense that they know what they want, and what they deserve. They are known for being very confident compared to the generations before them, such as Generation X. The Millennial generation is looked down upon because a lot of the time, the confidence they have is connected to arrogance. Ever since birth, Millennials were not exposed to failures, but were hidden away from hardships by their parents, and this is mostly why they have this certain kind of mindset. They are told all of their life that they are special, and that they are right, which boosts their self-esteem a whole lot, and sometimes to the point where they become very conceited and narcissistic. They are taught to believe that they are correct in every aspect of life.

Sara K, a well known Youtuber, created a video on the topic of Millennials, and what makes them them. She stated that it does have to do with what kind of environment they grew up in when they were young, and their parents have a lot to do with it. A reliance and dependance on their parents grows with them as they themself mature into adulthood. In the video she gave an explanation to underage drinking, and what may happen in some cases. When parents leave to go out of town they have a whole cabinet of liquor easily accessible to their underage child, and that is a huge problem and  red flag. It is allowing these kids to do whatever they want because the parents aren’t doing any means to stop the child from getting into liquor cabinet. These kids start to think it’s okay for them to do this, so they begin to do it constantly. In her video, she said, “Instead of turning to people we turn to things that give us a quick shot of dopamine.” An issue that is so common is anxiety and depression. Millennials do not know how to cope with situations like this because, even though assistance for these situations are spreading, so many of them struggle with it in secret.

Things like alcohol and drugs are there to make you go on a high, and what Millennials tend to do is not turn to people to seek help, but turn to these “dopamine shots”. In addition to this, technology plays a very big role in the lives of Millennials. Technology has become such a huge thing and it’s growing every single day. For many, going to the screen is like human instinct. It truly does make people forget about things that were initially on their mind, and puts them in another world for however long they're on it. This is why procrastination is such a big thing for Millennials - they get an assignment that they know will take a long time to do, but ironically, they use the time they have to do other things to stop thinking about the assignment that was stressing them out. Millennials needs to understand themselves more to realize that even though these things may give them short-term happiness, they need solutions which will help them in the long run and in order to make this happen, self-awareness is needed.

In conclusion, in order to be successful and happy in life, self-awareness has to be recognized. Everyone has flaws, and weaknesses - it’s what we do with them that makes a difference in our lives, and other people’s lives. When people realize these weaknesses, they can better themselves many different ways. They can make more money, they can be more open-minded and alert of others lives and emotions, and they can think of themselves and the world differently. You may be taught the difference between right and wrong, things like why you shouldn’t steal, and why you should say please and thank you. However, self-awareness isn’t something that is taught in school, by families, or just by society in general. It should be something that is talked about, and something that is taught because it can make everyone better people. If we make changes early on in the dynamic, it makes our lives a lot easier, and these modifications also become simpler once we possess self-awareness.

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