KAMPALA — Worldwide young people from different backgrounds aspire to succeed and make it in life. Most of them look at others that have succeeded.
Some see them as role models, others as images of what they want themselves to be. The result is that some young people get derailed as they want to lose their identity and take on the identity of other people. Identity formation has been studied from a number of perspectives.
From the explorer of identity and the life cycle Erik H Erikson, identity is both personal and society construction. There is a strong interplay between the physic self and the social self. But it is also said that every human being is different and the biometrics confirm this.
No two people are alike. Probably if we knew this, we would be working towards our own identity rather than getting trapped into trying to be other people. It is true that every country can have one leader at a time and organizations too can have only one leader at a time. The rest of the citizens and employees can learn from the leader but can not be that leader. What should happen is that people should pick lessons from that leader especially if he or she is the type that creates change and success.
The relevancy of identity in career planning and especially for young people in institutions is to urge them to build their own unique identity and not get lost into an identity crisis trap. As young people come to universities, some have already started getting lost in seeking identities that are not theirs.
At universities, they discover new other personalities who they now wish to be like. It is good to know the stories of successful people and how they made it and then learn from them however, it is important to build your own identity, your own brand by which you will be identified. It is not easy. The easy thing appears to be the decision to those other people who you are not and unfortunately will never be.
Many young people come from humble backgrounds but want to abandon them and become other people rather than build on these backgrounds. It is very common for young people to see a famous personality; an artist, musician, sports personality, a model and they quickly pick their dressing habits. For women it is easy to see extended nails, eye lashes, hair because a model x wears them.
The dress code among young people is one they see trending among successful artists. All children of the well to do people know what a Lamborghini is and they would wish to own one despite the fact that they will never own one. People want to escape their identities and get into identities of the other people. This is the tragedy that has befallen so many young people “millennials “ as they prefer to be called. This has resulted into many young people getting a feeling of worthlessness, hopelessness, irritability, depression, family disintegration and dramatic shifts in individual productivity levels. Everybody has potential to be happy and succeed but that success is in different areas of life.
My recommendation is to inspire you to excel in your professions and to appreciate the environment there in. Seek opportunities in that environment and you will succeed. It is possible that in that search for success, you may one day be the person that everybody wishes to emulate. Who knew the song Jerusalema would be a world success it is? The song is not new. Unfortunately for the artist, nobody remembers her name but what she did has brought her fame.
Always remember that your true power is in your most authentic self, find it and use to create your legacy.
This writer, Maureen Tweyongyere , is the Director, Career and Skills Development Centre MUBS