Finding your own identity: 3 steps to your calling (+ practical tips)

Betül K. Kaya
12 min readJun 24, 2021


Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Small note: this article is very detailed and intensive. It is best to take the time to read it carefully and to do the exercises, then you can get the most out of it. .. ready? Then let’s get started.

We used to be hunters and gatherers, today we can eat our stomach with an all-you-can-eat buffet in every restaurant around the corner.

The result? Bellyache because we overeat.

In the past you would watch DVDs and think about which film you would like to watch, today you go to AmazonPrime or Netflix and get 1000 films with one click.

In the past you still knew where the journey of life was going, today … so what does it look like today? Where is our journey going? How do we find or develop our own identity in this all-you-can-eat buffet of life?

What is your own identity?

Life nowadays offers you all the luxury you could wish for — food and drink in abundance, security, infrastructure, studies for everyone, work, work-life balance, home office, company car, and and and.

The possibilities are endless.

But between all the many questions that pound us every day, some of them are moving more and more into the background:

Who am I actually? Who am I without all of the consumer goods I own? How do I find my identity? Where is my place in the world

Who am I actually? What makes me

Until the end of school and maybe even until the end of your studies, you are often given your path. A well-trodden path that one only needs to follow.

As soon as you are on your own, you don’t know what to do next, you feel overwhelmed and helpless. You are looking for your own identity, your place in the world.

I know this feeling very well.

I think everyone knows … you probably do too.

And this is exactly where the chance lies to seize this opportunity and to shape your own life proactively.

Shaping life means developing one’s identity.

Find your own identity vs. develop it

Are you also of the opinion that his vocation and identity find needs, his sense find must be in the world?

This thinking is at least often given by society and it is often presented as the only way to become happy.

In my opinion, this is an assumption that leads to greater frustration than it is of any use to us.

Your calling is not something you just find on the street.

You don’t FIND your calling, you DEVELOP it.

You use your potential to develop your calling, as well as your purpose in the world. Only through this step do you stop chasing the holy grail that is supposed to make you happy, but finally begin to turn to the book of your life.

How you develop your identity, we will now find out.

Between finding meaning and the purpose of existence

To deal with your own identity, with the question of who you are, is something very old-fashioned.

Everyone strives in a certain way to find their place in the world.

There are always new trends that want to express their own identity — through fashion, diets, hip sports or spiritual experiences.

Most of the time only one copy is tracked here. An ideal that you like and you try to imitate — even if this ideal is just an idea.

However, your own identity is not just about personal expression. Rather, it is the certainty that you have found a place in the world where you can use and express your talents and abilities — not only for the sake of personal satisfaction, but also to serve other people and thus make the world one better place to make.

One could also describe one’s own identity as the purpose of existence (as the author John Strelecky puts it, for example ) or as a personal meaning in life that we fulfill every day.

The problem that arises here?

We often don’t know what we want. We only know that we don’t want to make a decision, so that all options remain open and we don’t commit ourselves.

And so we face the problem that we have no idea how to actively shape our lives and throw ourselves into all sorts of distractions — television, alcohol, drugs, sex, quick relationships … the pursuit of happiness knows no bounds.

How do you develop your identity between all the fast paced worlds?

How do you find out your strengths and talents? How do you find out what you really want from life?

I would like to introduce you to 3 essential steps that have helped me to find out where my strengths and talents lie and how I develop my own life plan.

You could say that these steps helped me find my identity.

But don’t forget: your own identity, your personal meaning in life is not a rigid structure that you can find once and then lie on your lazy skin.

Your own identity changes. We are changing. Our personal meaning in life changes. Our strengths change. Our desires change.

The whole thing is not a route with a fixed goal, but a lifelong hike. It is important to enjoy the hiking trail, even if it involves exertion and arduous stretches of the route.

In 3 steps to your own identity

Step # 1: Set your own values ​​- set your inner compass for your life

Our personal values ​​determine the course of our life. We base all decisions on our values.

Without these values ​​of our own, we are like a flag in the wind and too often become the plaything of the opinion of others.

People who live in harmony with their values ​​will find happiness and fulfillment in the long term.

It was not for nothing that there were people like Franz Jägerstätter , for example , who refused to pick up a weapon and shoot other people during the war. For this he was executed as a conscientious objector.

For him, someone else’s human life was worth more than his own, and for that it was not a shame to go to his death.

On the other hand, there are many people who do not live in accordance with their values. Those who drink alcohol in excess, take drugs, overeat, smoke, …

This behavior tries to fill in gaps because you don’t live your life in accordance with your personal values.

“Such behaviors are actually the result of frustration, anger and emptiness that arise because these people feel that they have not found fulfillment in their life.”

I invite you to reconsider your personal values ​​and to set them down in writing.

Examples of your personal list of values ​​can be:

· Passion

· love

· freedom

· peace

· Personal growth

· luck

· health

· creativity

· honesty

· loyalty

· energy

· enjoyment of life

· success

· security

· Makes

· adventure

· Friendship

Make a conscious decision to choose 5 values ​​according to which you are aligning your life at the moment and write them down in a sequence, starting with the most important value.

My personal list of values ​​is as follows:

# 1 love

(Family, partner, partner, God, friends, fellow human beings — for me, love forms the basis for everything I do, for everything that makes sense, for everything that is worth fighting. In the Bible, the apostle Paul writes that everyone Insights, words and great deeds without love are nothing but roaring ore and bare stone — I can only agree with that. Without love everything is nothing)

# 2 belief

(God, something bigger than myself, meaning of my life)

# 3 zest for life

(deep fulfillment, joy, long-term happiness — this includes work, self-development, volunteering, commitment to one’s own life)

# 4 health

(how do I live healthy, how can I be there for others, how can I take care of my body)

# 5 Personal growth

(How can I learn new things, develop and grow? How can I discover more of the world and educate myself?)

Your values ​​determine the direction of your life — so think carefully about which values ​​you want to align YOUR life with.

Step # 2: Develop your calling and find the perfect place in the world

A personal vocation is part of one’s own identity. Because practicing a profession is one thing — living your personal calling is another.

There are two essential questions that you should ask yourself for your life in order to find your calling.

1. What do you want anyway? What are your wishes from life?

2. What are you good at What are your strengths?

You will find your personal calling and your place in the world where your ability and your will overlap.

Where your talents intersect with the needs of the world, that is where your calling lies.

- Aristotle

Number 1: Get clear about your desires — what do you want out of life

If you are just about to decide which degree or which profession you should choose, it is very helpful to consciously imagine what you want from life later.

Be as specific as possible. Even if you already have a job, it is an advantage to be aware of your own desires.

A few mixed examples of this would be:

· Do you want to work on the computer or do you prefer to work directly with people?

· Do you prefer routine or a lot of variety?

· Do you want to work in a team or alone?

· Do you want to work from home or in the office?

· Do you want to take a leadership role?

· Do you want to make a career? Do you want to have a family-friendly job?

· Etc.

Number 2: figure out what you DO NOT want

It works as follows:

1. Take another pen and draw a table with 2 columns. Now write in one column what you do NOT want from your work.

For example:

· I don’t want to get up early

· I don’t want to have a boss who doesn’t give me any freedom of choice

· I don’t want to work in sales

· Etc.

2. When you have finished your NOT list, you take the 2nd column. Here you are now writing exactly the opposite of what you wrote on the NOT list.

What you do NOT want:

What you want:

I don’t want to get up early

I want to have a job where I can get up later

I don’t want to sit in front of the computer all day

I want to work with people


As soon as you have finished your list, you will have more clarity about where your wishes are and what you want from life. But that alone is not enough, so the third step is of great importance.

Number 3: what are you good at? The other way to find out your strengths

Just wanting things is one thing. Many might want to become an astronaut, but for very few this wish will come true.

Now we bring the wishes to a realistic level and think about what we CAN even do to make our wishes a reality.

However, I find it very difficult to find out where your personal strengths are based on the question “Where are your strengths?” , So I would like to introduce you to a different approach.

The 4 scale model according to Myers-Briggs

We humans are highly individual, but some strengths of our personality can be easily assigned to certain groups.

1. Extrovert or Introvert?

Are you more of someone who likes to be around people and thus get your energy? Then you belong more to the extroverted people and have your strength in it. You feel comfortable in large crowds, approach new people easily and enjoy working in groups. This is where your strengths lie.

Do you get your energy when you just comfortably read a book or do sports alone? Then you fall more into the introverted category. It is more difficult for them to be among large crowds and they often need rest breaks. Their strengths lie primarily in discussions with individuals and small groups; they are good at reflecting and analyzing. Sometimes it is difficult for them to overcome their shyness, but they are very good and emphatic listeners.

2. Sensory or intuition

Are you more of the pragmatic type who likes to learn from examples? Then you belong to the category of people who like to gain practical experience and first get an overview of certain things before they start to act. You like to develop plans and strategies, that’s where your strengths lie.

If you are more of the intuition type, you listen to your gut feeling and act according to your emotions. You are flexible and can tackle things quickly without worrying about it for long. That is where your strengths lie.

3. Thinking or feeling

Do you use your logic to make decisions? Are you someone who bases your decisions on facts? Then you are more of the thinking type.

When you rely on your feelings more than your mind, you are more of the feeling type. Your strengths are that you like to help other people, that you can inspire others with your ideas and that you are quickly enthusiastic about something yourself.

4. Judgment or perception

Assessors love structures, plans and rules. They feel comfortable in it when they can follow a plan and everything goes according to the rules. They are neat and structured, that is their strengths.

Perceiving people are more relaxed and more open to change. They welcome new ideas and are flexible in their decisions. Her strengths lie in accepting change quickly and adapting to new circumstances.

Think about which of the 4 categories you would fall into and why. Think about where exactly your strengths lie and how these align with what you want.

By the way, this is where you can find the Myers-Briggs personality test , which goes even deeper into the subject.

Once you’ve figured out exactly where your strengths lie, take your list of what you want and look for any overlap. Think about where you can use your strengths and how they match your wishes.

You probably don’t have to overturn your entire job in order to stay true to your calling and identity, but simply take a new direction and accept new challenges that match your wishes and strengths.

Step # 3: Implementation — the most important step in developing your identity

Let’s recap what you’ve found out about yourself and your identity.

When you’ve done all of the exercises, you should be roughly aware of them

· According to which values ​​you want to align your life, i.e. where the general direction of your life should go and where your absolute priorities are. These should in any case coincide with your life plan, otherwise you will never be satisfied and happy with your life.

· What you want from life and what you don’t want.

· Where are your personal strengths, what you are particularly good at.

· Where your desires and your skills overlap.

And what now? How are you going now?

So grab your pen and paper one last time and take a look at your status quo:

• What’s your current state? Where is your current place in the world? In which areas of your life are you happy? Where are you still unhappy?

• Where do you want to change something in your life? Where are you dissatisfied? Where do your wishes not come into their own and where can you make better use of your strengths? Where do you still have potential to improve? Where do you maybe not live according to your values? Where did your priorities get mixed up?

Write down where you have the potential to change something in your life and where you would like to change something? You don’t have to turn everything in your life upside down. But where you have the power to change something and set it in motion, think about concrete steps to do this.

Wanting is one thing. The other’s ability. And the implementation is the most important.

How the journey continues….

Finding / developing your own identity takes time. You won’t know overnight who you are and what you want. You will surely have doubts and uncertainties on your way. But that’s exactly what makes a true everyday hero:

He accepts his call to adventure, even if he does not yet know exactly what will develop from it and how the path will continue. Finding your own identity does not mean that you suddenly see every step clearly in front of you and tackle your life without fear or worry.

To find your own identity means to dare to take this first step of a lifelong hike, to take the first step of your personal hero’s journey and, despite fear and worries, have the courage to tackle your life step by step.

I wish you all the best and good luck with it.



Betül K. Kaya

Vocalist, lyricist, co-producer, change-maker | Canadian born