YOU are good the way you are!
Identity... What is identity? Identity is your unique self, something that will remain yours for the rest of your life. Who you are and how you think. Your identity consists of many things, like your experiences and what you have learned from them. The things in life that matter to you and how you deal with them. Think of a flower, such as a rose. No two roses are the same, every rose develops from bud to flower in a unique way. The petals are the same for all phases of the rose, but they can look and smell different.
Maybe you're afraid that you're just like your father. But this is not the case. Each person has their own identity and this consists of more than the characteristics you inherit from your parents. You are also shaped by important people around you, the things you experience, and your health.
Make a poster called ‘Me in My World’. Look for pictures, photos and statements you like in old magazines, on the internet, or take your own photos.
It could be about your favourite sport, your favourite TV series or things you'd like to do someday. Cut them out, or print out the pictures, in the library or with the help from someone you know. Arrange and glue them on a large sheet of paper. You can also add writing and drawings. The poster clearly shows who you are and what you want!
If you're having trouble with printing and paper, you can also create a poster on your computer or create a photo collage on your phone.
Adopted children have told us how important it is for them to know where they come from. Many children want to know who their biological parents are, what culture they belong to and why they were adopted. The answer to these important questions can help you form your own identity. Perhaps you would also like to know: where did my father come from, what happened and why? It must be difficult to never to get an answer or only half an answer. Remember that your identity is mainly formed by the part of your history that you do know and not so much by the part you don't know.
Prominent families used to have their own ‘family coat of arms’: a symbol for their family. They passed it on from generation to generation. For example, if it was a fishing family, the coat of arms would contain the image of a fish. If you were making a family coat of arms based on the history that you do know, what symbols would be in your coat of arms?
Well-known brands have their own logo. Just think of the Nike logo. Everybody is familiar with it. If you could create a logo for yourself, what would it look like?
Belonging to someone is also important for the formation of an identity. Every person wants to feel connected to one or a few people. The bond with your mother begins when you're still in her belly. You not only have a connection with your mother, but also with other people, such as family members or close friends. The bond you have with others makes you strong in your life. You belong together, but you are still an individual. You can make your own decisions, consider your choices and (learn to) take responsibility.
Check out the following videos to learn more about life in the womb and its impact on the rest of your life.
Video: Gyllenhaal, KM (Director). (2015). In Utero.
Think about it: who could you talk to about something very personal? If you're feeling scared, who do you turn to? What if you're happy? Who understands you? Chances are this person is someone you feel connected to!
Take a sheet of paper and write your own name in the middle. Draw three circles around it: your name is in the smallest circle. Now write one or two names of people you trust the most next to your name. In the circle around it, write the names of people you trust and who you can turn to if there is no one in the inner circle who can be there for you. And in the outer circle, write the names of people who are okay and who you could call on.
Standing on your own two feet
Autonomy means ‘standing on you own two feet’. When you are autonomous, you rely on your own thinking and actions. While doing so, you take into account the ideas and wishes of others.
Standing on your own two feet is something you learn over time. When you start doing things more independently, you learn to rely on yourself and your own abilities. And you learn that being connected to others always remains important. This also increases your uniqueness, who you are!
By focusing on your options, you will experience that you can stand firmly on your own two feet. In the coming weeks, deliberately stop and think about the things that are going well. For example, if you score a goal, if you get the hang of the dance move you have been practicing, if you manage to get home on time or when you make time for a friend. Hold that thought for a moment. What compliments would a friend give you for this? Do you dare give yourself that compliment?