Ideas for defining yourself can come easily if you can figure out the things that define you vs. the things that don’t.
Let’s start with listing out some of the aspects of life that we often mistakenly believe define us:
The Things That Do Not Define You
Your Past Mistakes
The failures, disasters and blunders that occurred in your past are not who you are today. Perhaps they have shaped you, but do not allow them to control your destiny.
Learn to re-frame your past mistakes as stepping stones to success and lessons in disguise.
All the greatest individuals that have achieved amazing feats have failed their way to success.
Emotions are incredibly powerful, but their power is a double sword. They can both lift you to the highest heights and pull you into the deepest abyss.
They are so powerful that it is easy to lose yourself in them. Your identity, your state of mind, and even your life can be a slave to your emotions if you don’t know how to handle them.
Realize that emotions are always temporary, and a popular metaphor that is used is to imagine that you are a pond. The real you can be seen in the reflection of the pond when it is still.
Your emotions are the ripples caused by the wind and currents, turning your reflection into something unrecognizable and in a constant state of change.
You are not your ripples, you are the pond. Meditation is a fantastic exercise that increases your awareness of this truth.
Other People’s Opinions
Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” – Les Brown’s teacher
The moment that you allow other people to define who you are is the moment that you are giving them the reins to your life. Nobody, no matter how much more intelligent or insistent has the right to define you.
Your opportunity to define yourself is one of life’s most valuable gifts, don’t let other people steal it.
There is nothing wrong with seeking guidance and structured criticism from others, but do not emotionally attach yourself to their opinions of you and ensure that you set boundaries.
The Things That May Define You
The things in life that churn your mind and spark your heart often seem to come from a sacred place within ourselves. We cannot help what we fall in love with, we can only chase it, and see where it takes us.
I believe that including your passions as a part of your identity is important because your passion is usually what leads to your life purpose.
Once an ideal, purpose, or dream catches hold of your heart, it will become the director of your life. It will drive you forth and reveal your destiny. It will fill a large part of your time, and expend much of your energy.
Your purpose in life is a defining factor of you because it is the path to your legacy.
Your legacy is what you will leave behind once you have passed. What did your passions and purpose enable you to accomplish? To leave behind for the future generations to gain value from?
Perhaps it was raising happy, healthy children that will go on to have more of them. Perhaps it was a painting, a skyscraper, or a wold record. Whatever it may be, it is a timeless piece of yourself that will forever emanate your existence into the future.
Note: I am not saying that the three aspects above are the only things one might use to define themselves, but I feel that they are some of the most noble.
What have you used to define yourself that you have found to be meaningful in your life? Let us know in the comments below.