I think sometimes with life we make things more complicated than it needs to be, and hey! I’m speaking to myself here as well.
As you get older, defining yourself gets more complicated with the amount of pressure and responsibilities that come your way. As soon as we meet people, one of the first questions we get asked is “What do we do?” or when I was in university it was “What do you study?” which served as the opportunity to explain who we are to get the conversation started. We immediately jump to explaining what we do as a career or what we study and it becomes our identity. And the further we go through life it becomes who we’re with, where we’re from, where do we live, what we own, what we practice etc. And all of these things become a part of our identity.
We get constrained in these definitions of ourselves having to do with all of these external things. Which is insane because we get so locked into feeling like we have to fit these moulds because it’s who we are when in fact they have all served as influences on our lives but we can choose how we define ourselves. It doesn’t have to be this complicated process or we don’t have to give power to external things to tell us who we are.
When we were kids, we would get asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and there was this endless realm of possibilities that allowed us to dream and have the pen in our hands to fully draw our lives to be anything that we wished. There was this infinite playground where you could colour, shape and choose to be whoever you wanted to be and there were no rules. Life was your creation.
Lately in life I’ve been questioning when did that all end? When was the cut off point that said “Time’s up! You now have to be everything that what you have experienced or done so far in life because you’ve reached the point of full definition” When the truth is…. you’re still growing. And you always will be growing. You will go through various different eras of your life which will be caused by getting older and embarking on new experiences where you will be constantly evolving into a new version of yourself.
There’s still this endless realm of possibilities and what is even better now, is as an adult you get to decide what you give power to when it comes to defining yourself. What you give energy to and focus on is what will define you. For example, someone can say ‘I ended up getting divorced and now have a failed relationship” they will always see themselves as the divorcee with a failed relationship. Then they will start carrying that energy to their new relationships or into their interactions with people because of the burden of feeling like they’re a ‘failure’ due to this unfortunate experience.
However, if they focused on “I love to paint and when I’m with my friends, I bring joy and positivity” then they would see themselves as the painter who has a positive presence people gravitate to. Then the way they interacted with people would be more positive and they way they viewed themselves would be ‘talented’ and not a ‘failure’. As you can see, the two narratives are facts but they carry completely different energy and will dictate two completely different perspectives and paths this person will live out in their day to day life. Is there a way that you are doing in this in your life today and what steps will you take to make the change to defining yourself as who you want to be?
What narrative of yourself are you living out and how is that influencing your life today?
What definition of yourself are you living out that is allowing you to live your best life?
Let me know in the comments the definitions in your life that you’ve felt stuck in or the positive changes you’re going to make to be who you want to be.