As a young adult, I became fixated on my “bad behavior” and that led to a variety of unintended ways of dealing with my discomfort, which included not taking myself seriously, sabotaging others, making embarrassing faces, and not reacting. These missteps from the past complicated matters in the present and reduced my social experience to just the verbal bravado that I was afraid of appearing.

I knew I could pull these behaviors out of my bag of tricks, but then one day I noticed that I was opening texts on my phone with the intentions of returning them. My preoccupation was intense, and I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen, staring at it with my whole body. Was I “flipping through the channels,” or was there some sort of plan I was trying to disguise by “flipping through the channels”? This was about self perception.

Today, I stop thinking about my previous fumbling from when I was in my 20s. It seems easy to fall into old habits, but once we are no longer conscious of the past, we come to realize that we have flaws that we do not want to be the focus of attention.

These are five ways to fight an “identity crisis” and revive your sense of self worth:

1. Recognize You Are Not Who You Think You Are

Everyone has moments where we feel defeated. Have you been a failure at something you have desired to do or accomplish? Have you continually avoided a relationship because you are afraid you might hurt the feelings of the other person? Maybe you think you can’t achieve certain goals or help others. We often see ourselves in negative ways. We judge ourselves by how others treat us and the ways we spend our time. But, this internal focus blocks our ability to achieve a better self awareness.

People who come out of this phase have been through an identity crisis and live fully each day regardless of what we’ve been though, feel, or see.

Having a sense of self worth isn’t just about who you think you are; it’s who you are in the moment and how you express that self-worth.

2. Overcome Your Fear of Being Wrong

We don’t always know who we are because we’re afraid we’ll be wrong. It’s one of the hardest changes we can make to our outlook. Having an honest assessment of who we are helps us move forward and free ourselves of our fear of being wrong. Letting ourselves make mistakes, being wrong, and owning our mistakes is a simple and powerful antidote for the fear of being wrong. At any time, we can look back at what we’ve done and say, “Who knows, perhaps that mistake will come back to haunt me.”

3. Understand You Can Overcome Your Fear of Judgment

Studies have shown that we all have a bias and if we are asked to make judgment on the actions of another person, we are more likely to pick out things that aren’t true about the person. There are a myriad of places to find this bias and it can creep up under the guise of kindness. The conscious perception of our truth doesn’t move away; rather it finds new areas to be overlooked by or use in an effort to make someone else comfortable.

4. Connect With Others in Ways That Make You Feel Attractive and Flattering