10 More Identity Elements

Identity Elements that Add to the Core Elements

Along with the elements that you define for yourself as you grow –  significance, purpose, personal qualities and values – there is a set of other elements that can play a large or small role for you in defining your identity.  These are elements of which you are a natural part.  Everyone differs in how important these elements are, but they will be in play.

The question is, “Which of these elements helps to define who I am – how I see myself and how others see me?”

The Big Five

  • Gender & Sexual Orientation
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Activities & affiliations (sports, the arts, community service…)
  • Physical appearance
  • Capabilities

Five More Key Elements

  • Culture
  • Religion
  • Socio-economic status
  • Nation/Region
  • Politics

Beyond the core elements that we just covered – the ones where you are clearly the author – are ten more factors that can further define the picture you have of yourself and the person that you project to the world around you.  It should be obvious at this point that our identities are a pretty complex mix of factors.

Different people will find different importance in each of these elements.  For some people race or religion or sexual orientation will be highly important.  For other people their activities, capabilities or physical appearance might be most important.  For others, the ones that make the biggest difference might be politics, socio-economic status or culture.  There is no single right answer.