Finding our Identities

Finding our Identities

Elena Sledge, M. Ed

It is not possible for a small child to say “no” to the pressure to adopt an identity. Growing up, other people tell us who we are and who we need to be. We get older and start to grapple with the identities given to us. We find we are not in tune with ourselves because we were always who our family needed us to be. 

This process happens to varying degrees from person to person. But for a lot of us, this is the underlying struggle. There’s a space between who we’ve grown up as and our real selves. We must come to our own understanding of who we are. Because those identities are the true ones.

It’s a huge question, “Who am I?” How do you even begin to answer that? Who you are can feel different on any given day and depending on what role you’re occupying at the time. Our roles help shape our identity, but it isn’t all of it. The true self transcends being a teacher, parent, therapist, student, soccer player or friend.

At the heart of it, I believe we are all worthy and noble beings. Connecting to that truth can be done in many ways.


So important! Developing self-care practices help us learn about our true needs and desires. What REALLY makes us feel relaxed, renewed and connected? Self-care practices also strengthen the mind-body connection and our ability to listen to what is going on with our bodies.


Writing out your emotions, experiences, highs and lows can be a great way to learn about yourself. By taking time to express thoughts about your day, you’re tuning in to what is actually going on within you. This can bring clarity and be a way to process emotions. You can even be more structured by creating lists or including a daily gratitude practice.


As a therapist, I naturally am a huge advocate for therapy! We create a safe space where growth and discovery can flourish. Part of creating that space is listening without judgement and providing genuine care for a client. Being truly heard is incredibly powerful. We often don’t experience that growing up or even as adults. In the therapeutic process it is our hope that you will become more in tune with your most true self.

            However you begin the search for Who You Are, remember to trust the process. It will likely feel painful, exhilarating, uncomfortable, peaceful and everything in between. Be gentle with yourself and through it all, never forget you are good enough, just as you are. Call our office today for a free phone consultation to help you get started on your search to who you are. 407-355-7378