Most of the elements of my identity are not bad, I just don't connect with them because I spend most of my life in fantasy or life avoidance activities.
I think I disconnected from myself as a child due to feeling like I couldn't fit into the world. I was a very shy/anxious child and my mind was the only place I could be myself and be "connected". Even as things got better I continued to shy away from life and hide in my mind.
First steps: Connecting with my life/career as a researcher (research degree)
1. Talk to to people about what I do.
I feel that opening up about what I do will help me connect with this part of my identity. Last year I would procrastinate for weeks at a time. The literature review process took forever because some weeks I would literally do nothing. I mean nothing, not one paper read, not one word written. And then I would feel terrible. I feel like I am wasting a grad student spot. Wasting funds and so on. Last year I achieved very little, so this year has to be different.
2. I mostly work from home and only go in to tutor or for meetings. I have a home office which means a lot of procrastination. I procrastinate so much I even forget I am student until I get an email from my supervisor about a meeting to discuss my progress. Yea...then it's a mad rush to come up with something to justify what I've been doing for three to four weeks. Which for most of last year was not much. The rule is to spend the first half an hour on work as soon as I get up. This helps me remember that I actually have work to do. Then I can go eat, get dressed and do other stuff.
3. Hang up my degrees! Not sure how this will help, but maybe seeing that I actually managed to graduate despite my problems may boost my confidence when I feel disconnected. Of course I know I graduated, but maybe having it up there will serve as a reminder as actors and musicians display their awards. I don't know. I framed them but I am for some reason resisting putting them up.
4. Avoid youtube/pop music/articles related to pop music altogether. I've done this before and it's worked. Basically avoid the stuff of my old fantasy life. Especially the music. I actually also don't watch tv or movies anymore.
5. Write about my daily activities. Maybe every few hours, account for what I've done in a journal (for a little while, doubt I could keep this up for too long). It will hopefully help avoid one word answers when I chat with people. "How have you been doing?" My brains just jumps to "good". "What have you been up to?" "Not much". If I could replace "not much" with what I have been doing, maybe I would connect with myself and life better.
Maybe this sounds silly but in general I am connected to my fantasy self/life/events/career more than the real. I barely think about the real aspects. Actually I usually don't think about them until I am forced to. In undergrad I had no natural passion for my studies. I could actually forget I was a student for weeks (even as I was attending classes) until the day/two days before a test/exam then I would get connected with the work and usually actually enjoyed that study for those hours. But after the test I was back to life in my head.
I will need to connect with other parts of my identity over time as well. So fixed attributes like my family history, personality traits (even the ones I don't like), national identity, etc and some choice based such as health, spiritual, hobbies, passionate beliefs, just what I stand for I'm a general sense. I don't want to do this all at once but I think it will help me to be a real person existing in the real world.