Many people are under the misconception of what defines you to yourself and to others – and it is time to learn what really defines you!
7 things we think define who we are – but don’t!
- Clothing – We all have heard the expression the clothing makes the man. I am sure we all can remember the peer pressure we endured in high school to wear the right clothing to fit in? Both falsehoods have left many to believe that the type of clothing they wear defines what type of person they are and if they are successful or not. Do not get caught get up in this trap – your clothing does not define you.
- Possessions – We all know how much pressure we feel to “keep up with the Jones.” That pressure has increased ten-fold with the explosion of social media. We all seem to need to have the newest model of the iPhone, or the latest car with all the features, or the largest house in the community – just to impress others and to convince ourselves we are successful. Well this kind of thinking is a great way to define yourself as in credit card debt or worse. Do not fall for this falsehood – possessions do not define who you are.
- Family – Some people believe that their relationship statues (single, in a relationship engaged, married, separated or divorced) define who they are. Others believe that having a child or children define who they are. There are even some people who believe that how their family acts in public, or interact with others, define who they are. Your relationship status, if you have children or not or if your family is dysfunctional or not does not define who you are.
- Friends – I believe it is less common, but there are some people who feel their success is defined by their circle of friends. These people often more noticeable in high school, will befriend someone who can help their social status, then quickly defriend friend when that friend no longer serves their needs. Some may even go to the extreme of trying to control their friends hoping it will define who they are to themselves and others. This is not only a false perception of how a person can define who they are, it can be very detrimental to their current and future friendships/relationships. Avoid falling for this misconception at all costs.
- Hobbies and interests – People also mistaking believe that their hobbies and interests define who they are. Some feel if they go to church that defines them a Christian. Some believe if they trash talk a player or an opposing team then defines them as a superfan. There are even some who believe that if they volunteer and/or serve on a lot of committees that defines them as a compassionate person. These assumptions are just that – assumptions. These people foolishly assume and you know what happens when you assume?
- Job – There are people who feel that their job title, position and responsibilities define who they are to themselves and to the world. This is more common with men than women. I recall being at a men’s retreat and one of the rules was that when we introduced ourselves to each other, we could not state what line of work we were in as this is often how men defines themselves as being successful to others. Truthfully, a job, a position or your responsibilities does not define who you are to others and it should not define who you are to yourself.
- What others say – We often believe what others say about us. If it is good, we believe it. If it is bad, we also believe it. We do both without doing a few very important things including considering the source. What others way about us can used as feedback and can help guide us to becoming better friends and human being, but it should never be allowed to seven as a definition of who we are.
The only thing that defines you is you!
Your character, your integrity and your personality define who you are. You can define who you are by attitude towards life – especially during the challenging times, how you reach to situations both when others are watching and when no one is watching and how you treat others
You have complete control over how you and others define who you are. Do not use the wrong things to define who you are, be sure to use what is important and your how you see yourself and other see you will last a lifetime.