Five Pillars of Identity Recap

Dr. Elias Gebre facilitating AWiB's Five Pillars of Identity Saturdxay Session

By Dr. Elias Gebre, Founder and CEO of Aremimo Training Center

To get acquainted with each other, Dr. Elias started with an introduction of his professional expertise and asked members to do the same.  He started the 5 Pillars of Identity session by describing what identity is and how we acquire it. He stated that “Identity is not Identification” with a series of examples. As humans, it is common to take the identification set for us from our society as our identity, but that is not how identity works; identity is within us.

Identity is partly heritage, partly upbringing, but mostly choices we make in life. Our nature has an equivalent effect on our identity as our nurture, and they are both responsible for our identity. He asked, “What makes a human human?”. The definition of a human comes from the mind and idea. A human is different from any other animal because a human can have ideas and thoughts.

Dr. Elias then proceeded to the five pillars of identity. These are:

  1. Personal Identity
  2. Professional Identity
  3. Social, Cultural, and National Identity
  4. Material Securities
  5. Values

In order for us to find our identity, we need to have self-awareness. We need to be aware of internal (who and what we are to ourselves) and external (how people around us identify us). There are four stages of self-awareness:

  1. Oblivion: Most people are at this stage and have no idea about their selves
  2. Dawning: People on this level are starting to think about their actions, thoughts, and emotions.
  3. Learning: People in this stage are making progress and are continuously learning about their selves.
  4. Heightened: People in this stage have a maximum amount of self-awareness.
Dr. Elias Gebre facilitating AWiB's Five Pillars of Identity Saturdxay Session

Dr. Elias then explained the difference between DNA, Clan, and Ethnicity.  DNA is what we are made up of, and we cannot use it as our ethnicity unless we have a proper DNA test to understand exactly where we are from. A clan is a group of people that speak the same language. Ethnicity is an ideology in which we classify ourselves into ethnic groups we feel most connected to.

  • Identification is not Identity. Identity is developed inside of us and factored by our nature, nurture, choices, experiences, and emotions.
  • The brain is the physical organ that is located in our skull. Mind is the sack of thoughts. Thought is responsible for the beginning of positive and negative things that are present inside of us.
  • Thought, action, and emotion are interconnected in a triangular relationship. Each of them defines our identity.
  • Self-awareness is crucial for finding our identity; we must undertake it internally and externally.
  • Performing a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) will help us in our journey of self-awareness.

Read more recaps: Weekend Recap Archives – AWiB Ethiopia

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