Most people today define themselves by work-related labels and qualifications, some by associate positions and some by skills and hobbies. Many more define themselves by their upbringing, geographical location, houses, cars, experiences and things. The common thread between most people’s perception of their own identity is that the labels they place on themselves are all influenced by the external world. It’s in this constant reaffirming of external gratification where these labels keep many lost and wandering in the world detached from their true self.
How Do You See Yourself?
Many people see a distorted view of themselves. Maybe this is you. Maybe not. But one thing for sure is the journey to discovering who we are is a continuous process and is never truly complete. Many of us have lived our lives according to the ideals, expectations, realities, preferences, desires, choices, and mindsets of others. This causes us to fall into deep patterns of a new external reality and identity formed by the inconsistent world around us. As the flow of life changes, we change and adapt, but not all adaptations are good. The fast pace of life has you working and moving and busy in this whirlwind but everything suddenly stops when I ask you: Who are you? It’s ok right now if you cannot answer this question in full confidence and surety. Again, when you take away all of the titles, job labels, parental, relational obligations and life responsibilities:
Who are you?
Many of us define ourselves by our skills, abilities or lack of. For example, we have all met someone who says ‘I’m bad at names’. Statements like this seem harmless on the surface, but as our negative self talk accumulates, we begin to define our whole lives by these tiny affirmations and limit ourselves from attempting tasks and challenges that could propel us. The disaster of our generation is the missed opportunities that we inherently avoid. What we think about ourselves becomes what we speak about ourselves, and then becomes what we believe about ourselves.
Your identity has that much power. It affects both your perspective and your performance, but so many little things contribute to us falling out of line with who we truly are, and shame is a common one we all deal with. When you’re covered in shame you cannot be who you’re supposed to be. You cannot actually be your true self. You put on a self that looks good and gets accepted, but you’re not really true to yourself. Too many people today are wearing masks to cover up, to hide and to fit in. Too many are trying to be something they’re not, and it is counterproductive. There’s only one of you; why should you be someone else? You’ll have many experiences of being rejected and you cannot understand why it always seems to be the same no matter where you are. It’s because of what you believe in your heart. The way we see ourselves will affect how we run our life. Think about that. The way you see yourself will affect how you run your life. Perspective. Your heart beliefs and expectations will determine your life. The problem is, we often carry a lot of mental and emotional baggage with us. We’re still thinking the way we used to think, weighed down by who we used to be.
It’s time to let go of who you were and pay attention to who you are today. It’s time to let go of the Alternative Facts and step into your best you.
This is not how your story ends;
Written By Steve Whyte
Originally published at medium.com