Clarity Of Identity, what does it mean? Stop for a moment and think about who you are. How would you describe yourself?
Defining Clarity of Identity
We all have ways of clarifying our identities. The way you responded to that initial instruction came from your internal idea of who you are. It’s a sense you begin to develop at a young age, but as you evolve so does it. You will constantly adjust and evaluate it as you change through life. This is known in psychological terms as self-concept, but it’s also clarity of identity.
Clarity of identity is the overarching idea you have about who you are. All the parts of you that make up you, it’s physical, social, spiritual, and emotional. You form your identity and regulate it based on your knowledge of self. Your idea of who you are physically could be wildly different from who you are spiritually.
Think of it as the totality of your feelings and thoughts about who you are. It wraps up self-esteem, self-awareness, self-image, and self-efficacy.
It is not the same as self-esteem, but self-esteem plays a role. If the clarity of identity is your perception of self, then your self-esteem helps shape your answer. Do you know your thoughts, hobbies, tendencies, skills, habits, weaknesses, strengths, and preferences? Having an awareness of all those shapes clarity of identity. Low self-esteem will shade your view of those.
There is a link between self-image and clarity of identity, but perhaps not as broad as self-esteem. Self-image isn’t about reality, it’s simply about how you view yourself. Your self-image is a surface-level view of self, while the clarity of identity is profound. The former is more hopeful, while the latter is more realistic.
Self-efficacy is about your judgment of your abilities. So, while it has a role to play in clarity of identity, it isn’t anywhere near as all-encompassing.
Self-awareness influences clarity of identity. The better your self-awareness, the clearer you will be on your true identity. Self-awareness helps you get to grips with your feelings, traits, thoughts, and behaviors which helps fuel clarity of identity.
Clarity of Identity
There are all kinds of theories about what clarity of identity or self-concept is and how it can be developed. However, there are a few points that most people agree with.
Ultimately, with the broadest strokes, it’s the idea we hold about who and what we are as people. It is a learned thing, which means it changes and grows with you. It draws from every facet of your life. The biggest factor in clarity of identity is social interaction rather than environmental or biological factors. Likewise, it starts in childhood, develops, and shifts into adulthood.
Early adulthood is when it is easiest to update, upgrade, or change. You can change it later in life, but because you have had so long to instill the wrong one it is harder to change those ideas. While clarity of identity is more about reality than self-image, it doesn’t always line up. When clarity of identity aligns with reality it’s congruent, and it’s incongruent if it doesn’t.
It’s your perspective of who you are. We all have a unique clarity of identity. It’s different from your partner’s clarity of identity. It’s different from your parents, siblings, next-door neighbor, and even your best friend. However, there are a few characteristics we all share in common.
- Varies from incredibly positive to profoundly negative.
- Encompasses functional, emotional, and intellectual aspects of self.
- It will change over time and with context.
- Each person displays theirs uniquely.
- It is influenced by your life and experiences, which are unique to you.