5 Reasons Your Identity Will Affect Your Success in Life

What You Need to Know to Avoid the Trap of Becoming Someone That’s Not Who You Really Are

Neel Raman
6 min readOct 11, 2022

There are reasons your identity will affect your success in life and when you know what they are, you can change what you need to.

Your identity matters. How you operate and correspond with the world depends on your identity and how you see yourself.

To develop an identity that gives you the levels of life satisfaction you desire, you must first understand who you are.

1-Minute Summary Video

What Affects Your Identity?

The factors that affect your identity include:

  • The thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself.
  • Your childhood programming.
  • Your relationships.
  • The environment for success you’ve created.
  • What you value in life.
  • Your dreams, aspirations, and goals.
  • The motivations you have in life.
  • Your support network.
  • The differences in life experiences.
  • Your level of self-confidence and self-esteem.

Knowing the reasons your identity will affect your success and future reality can prevent you from making poor choices throughout your entire life.

reasons your identity will affect your success

what affects your identity

The Dangers of Letting Your Success Define Your Identity

If you let your success define your identity, the costs include:

  • You can lose sight of what matters most in life.
  • You can pursue success that’s not aligned with who you are or what’s true for you.
  • You may not appreciate what you already have.
  • You could end up feeling empty even when you achieve greater levels of success.
  • You could make your current life be only about achievements or success.
  • You may not feel good about your life or who you’ve become, which can lead to a painful identity crisis.
  • You may miss or not see opportunities.
  • You may feel guilty for having the level of success you’ve achieved.

While wanting to have success and live the life you want is important, it should never be at the expense of becoming someone you’re not.

5 Reasons Your Identity Will Affect Your Success

Here are five reasons your identity will affect your success and why you should not attach what you achieve in life to who you become.

1. Your identity affects how you think and feel about yourself

What you think and feel about yourself will affect your motivation. If you’re driven to pursue things because of unresolved wounds, you will head down the wrong path.

If you’re chasing success to prove others wrong or to impress others, it will affect your identity over time, which can lead to misery and disappointment.

2. Your identity will influence the values you live by

Who you are and how you express yourself reflect your values. How you act shows who you really are. It also tells others who you are and what matters to you.

When you act in alignment with your values, you will reveal your true self. Others will respect you for the person you are when you’re true to yourself.

3. Your identity may cause you to pursue things you don’t really care about

When you have unclear motivations or the wrong intentions, it can cause you to go on a path that’s not for your highest good.

A common example is when people pursue career success, even though they’re not interested in what they’re doing simply because that’s what they believe they’re meant to do.

While you may achieve professional success, it will not feel meaningful if it isn’t something you truly care about.

4. Your identity may prevent you from appreciating what you have

If you don’t know who you are, success may feel hollow because you’re out of alignment. Pursuing success that doesn’t mean anything to you will keep you in a cycle of “not enough.”

If you’re constantly pursuing success just to feel good about yourself, anything you achieve won’t be enough, which can also prevent you from appreciating what you already have.

5. Your identity may cause you to focus on lack or what’s missing

If you’re a high achiever, you’re always chasing more because what you have isn’t enough. There is value in going for your dreams and pursuing big, scary goals.

However, that can never be at the expense of your well-being or cause you to compare yourself to what others are achieving.

Focusing on what’s missing and using that as motivation is a sign you have unresolved wounds, which you need to work through.

How to Develop an Identity Aligned to Your True Self

Steps you can take to upgrade your identity or develop one aligned to your true self include:

  • Get to know who you are, the real you.
  • Make self-reflection a regular practice.
  • Work through wounds that need healing.
  • Know what you want and how you want to live your life.
  • Learn from those who have had similar experiences.
  • Have a daily gratitude practice.
  • Develop healthy and supportive relationships.
  • Reconnect to your life purpose.
  • Define the identity you want to have.
  • Always have clear intentions.

Final Thoughts

Your identity defines who you are. You can develop an identity that’s aligned to your true self and pursue success that’s meaningful.

When you do, you will avoid becoming someone that’s not really you and experience more life satisfaction.

Action Step: Reflect on the last major success you’ve had. Identify whether your motivation was genuine and what that success meant to you. If it was, use that experience and the life lessons you learned to pursue other successes you want. If it wasn’t, identify what you need to change to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

Question: What are other reasons your identity will affect your success in life?

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Neel Raman

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