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  • Writer's pictureDr Shungu Hilda M’gadzah

The Six Stages Framework Identity Jigsaw/ Rubik Cube

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Identities-which parts are you able to let shine through and which parts are you forced to hide?

What makes up your identity and what makes you YOU?

When we have a positive identity then we thrive and we have positive self-esteem, self acceptance and self-worth.

Consider your individual characteristics and traits:

Ethnicity, race, religion, gender, job, parent, mother, father, sexuality, physical ability, cognitive ability

Consider the oppression you experience and the struggles you face because of who you are are.

Think of the 16-year-old mixed race girl who told me that, “Other Black girls don’t want to play with me because I’m not Black enough and Asian girls think I’m too Black.”

Or the transgender girl starting at University and introducing herself and explaining that she was transitioning to being a boy and saying “You may know me as Simon but my parents still call me Lauren. I have not told them yet.”

Families and those around us can often refuse to accept who we are even if its something as small as changing your name and they still call you by your old name and not your preferred name. Or whether it’s about changing your gender.

How you see yourself and how others see you can sometimes be at odds. It can sometimes feel like the battle for you identity rests in their hands.

This can cause you to hide parts of yourself from those who don’t accept you as your true/authentic self. Fear of judgement and non-acceptance are key factors which cause us to continue to hide.

Who are your mentors and role models? Who is there to support you. Who do you turn to? Who did you turn to?

Consider you Rubik cube of identity. Which parts of yourself are you being forced to hide?

Visualise the different squares with different parts of your identity. However some of them are red with crosses on them indicating the parts you hide from others. Similar to those TV games where participants select a square and then a Red cross comes up to saying “No.” Imagine trying to force together this Rubik cube or jigsaw where the pieces will not fit. The result is a distorted image where you are forced to exist as contortion version of yourself.

There needs to be full trust in one’s sense of belonging for people to truly show up as themselves socially and at work.

If we are constantly fearful of how we will be viewed and judged we feel unsafe in emerging from our caves of safety.

How are you showing up in life? How can you be supported to be your authentic self by those around you?

How are you showing up in life? How can you be supported to be your authentic self by those around you?

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