7 warning signs you’re slowly drifting away from who you really are

Are you in a position where you feel like you’ve lost your sense of direction in life? Do you find yourself questioning your purpose or feel like you make all the sacrifices in a relationship? Perhaps it’s creating an ongoing uneasiness that you just can’t shake.

You could be experiencing an identity crisis.

An identity crisis has implications for your current and long-term health. The disconnect that you struggle to overcome can lead to feeling worthless, irritable, and lost or stuck in life. It creates stress and difficulty coping with the smallest obstacles that cross your path. 

I can relate to feeling like you’ve lost part of yourself, especially when life gets in the way and becomes incredibly overwhelming. But the best way to determine whether you are losing a sense of yourself is to look at the 7 warning signs you’re slowly drifting away from who you really are. 

Once you’re aware of them, you can start the process to get your identity back. 

1) You’ve lost pleasure in things you used to enjoy. 

When you feel worthless and hopeless, finding joy and value in the things you previously loved is nearly impossible. 

You can’t understand why you no longer enjoy being outdoors or preparing meals with your family. It’s as if your confidence is shaken, and you aren’t sure how to get it back. 

The more you struggle to find pleasure or activities that bring meaning, the more you tend to withdraw, and it affects your confidence. Frequently spending time on your own without a sense of fulfillment can lead to depression. 

Feeling lost and unhappy makes it impossible to maintain your identity. If I’m speaking to you, it’s time to reach out for support to help you overcome feelings of hopelessness and persistent sadness. 

2) You put yourself down. 

It’s not easy when you feel like you’re losing a sense of who you are. You feel stuck in a lot of situations, and when you make a mistake, or things don’t go as planned, it becomes the end of the world. 

How do you cope? 

You end up punishing yourself by constantly putting yourself down. “I’m not good enough, nobody understands me, and I can’t do anything right” are all problematic phrases that affect your self-esteem. 

It was only a few years ago when a close friend of mine was facing divorce. His family was his world, and when his marriage failed, he believed that he had failed in life. He suffered in his job and couldn’t handle any form of criticism. 

Negative thoughts are intrusive and gradually chip away at your self-esteem. You believe the negativity, and it takes over your ability to see your strengths and achievements. 

This constant internal battle creates a sense of helplessness, and you find it challenging to identify any positive areas in your life. 

3) You seek validation from others. 

Feeling lost or without a purpose negatively affects your confidence. Over time, you find it harder to make yourself feel good, and it becomes easier to depend on someone else to fill that void for you. 

As soon as someone validates you, you feel great. Whether your manager tells you that you’ve done an excellent job or your significant other showers you with compliments, the only time you feel worthy is when someone else is singing your praises. 

Such insecurity places you at risk in a relationship. 

A person who doesn’t have your best interests at heart and who picks up on your vulnerability will take advantage of you. 

In a relationship with someone who is manipulative or lacks empathy, constantly relying on their care and approval can put you in an emotionally abusive situation. These individuals lie, deceive, and confuse you to suit their own agenda, regardless of your feelings. 

Even if you are working through an identity crisis, it’s important to recognize when you’re being taken advantage of and to break free from the cycle. 

4) You change your personality to fit in. 

pic1435 7 warning signs you’re slowly drifting away from who you really are

You used to have your own interests and preferences, but lately, you’ve become more agreeable, and you tend to follow the crowd. 

While there’s nothing wrong with being on the more agreeable side, it’s when you notice that you’re constantly molding yourself to appease others that it becomes a problem. 

Losing a sense of who you are means that you’re unsure of your identity. So, while engaging with friends, family, or a significant other, you find yourself liking what they like or agreeing with their views rather than standing firm on your own. 

It gets complicated. 

Let’s say that you’re dating. The problem with changing who you are every time you meet someone is an inability to form authentic connections. You can’t be truthful about who you are, which prevents you from being vulnerable, and they’ll see right through it. 

If you cannot accept and love yourself, how can someone else? 

5) You let self-care fall by the wayside. 

A major sign that you’re drifting away from your authentic self is neglecting your needs. There’s nothing wrong with prioritizing yourself because it gives you the chance to take care of your physical and mental health. 

Doing what you love or spending some alone time are simple ways to get back on track, but when you pay less attention to what you need to stay healthy, it significantly weighs you down. 

If you’re neglecting self-care, pay attention. 

The loss of a relationship, family conflicts, or a traumatic experience can all affect the way we see ourselves. When we lose a sense of our identities, we feel stressed and overwhelmed. One of the first things to change when we’re under immense stress is prioritizing our well-being. 

Taking care of yourself instills a sense of pride and confidence. Failing to put yourself first (even if it’s once or twice a week) by doing things that bring relaxation is a sure sign that you’re losing a sense of yourself. 

6) You only talk about “we” and “us.” 

Let’s talk about losing a sense of yourself in an intimate relationship. 

When you describe your interests and hobbies, do you refer to “I” and “me” or “we” and “us?” 

As a couple, it’s perfectly normal to refer to “we” when you’re meeting up with friends or describing a holiday together. 

The shift happens when you start mentioning you and your partner as one unit rather than refer to yourself as an independent person in most situations. Along with failing to talk about yourself as “I” or “me,” you adopt their attitudes, passions, and views. 

You might not realize it. 

By merging yourself with the preferences of your partner, you’re slowly moving away from who you really are. 

7) You do things for others and not yourself. 

This comes back to prioritizing your needs and not allowing them to be overshadowed by someone else. 

Remember that you can be a naturally giving and thoughtful person without sacrificing yourself. The problem is when you are always the one to sacrifice how you feel or what you like to make someone else happy. You also tend to place a lot of weight on others’ opinions of you. 

Think about it. 

Do you always agree to do the activities they like doing? Whether you’re planning a vacation, dinner, or picking a movie, do you constantly sacrifice your preferences and needs to satisfy theirs? 

What are you doing for yourself? 

This is a tough question to answer when you already feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself. It’s even harder to answer when you’re in a relationship and everything you feel and do is for your partner. 

Failing to think about your interests and what you want to do apart from others can lead to frustration. It can create resentment in a relationship because your continuous sacrifices make you feel like you’re giving up who you really are. 

If you feel like you’re losing a sense of who you are, it’s time to self-reflect and introspect. Take a moment to really think about what you believe in and what your likes and dislikes are. 

Ask yourself… 

How much have I moved away from what I find valuable and enjoyable in life? Think about what you would say if your younger self were looking at your current life and situation. Would they be impressed or disappointed that you’ve lost direction along the way? 

It’s not easy to acknowledge the signs that you’re drifting away from who you really are. The good news is that once you’re aware of them, you can take steps to restore your confidence and purpose and feel truly happy again. 

Picture of Marcel Deer

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

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