Who am I? A seemingly innocuous question that carries significant weight. How you define yourself, in turn, leads to how you define your reality. These definitions directly affect how others see you and how you see the world. They factor in to how you feel, think and react to your environment. We tend to create a life that originates from our most basic definitions of our self and others. If you see yourself as a single mother struggling with money issues, because that is just what happens to single mothers, you have created a definition without room for alternatives. There is an upside. You can change whatever limiting definition you are living your life through.
The first thing to consider is how you currently define yourself. Is your definition positive with a level of acceptance of your past life lessons learned? Do you define yourself exclusively as a parent, your chosen profession, who your family is or neighborhood you came from? Do you acknowledge your talents and attributes as readily as you do your faults?
Is your definition of who you are true? Is it real? Does it apply to all areas of your life? Or is it narrow? Do you see yourself as a victim or as one with negative absolutes? Do you think thoughts like:
- I will always be a screw up
- Nobody likes me
- I will never get this
- I never get what I want
Absolutes are rarely correct, but often times we limit ourselves with the negative images of who we are. It is a difficult process to change as we continuously find flawed logic to justify these beliefs. As long as we allow them to define who we are, they will continue to be correct.
Over the next several weeks, I will post ways to work on improving and refining how to define yourself in a way that is truthful, accepting, and most of all helpful to creating the life you want to live. The best place to start in any such endeavor is the beginning. In this case, the beginning is evaluating where you are now. Take some paper and draw a line down the middle of the page. On one side write “Strengths” and the other “Weaknesses.” Write 10 items for each list. For many people, they will find the list of strengths more difficult to complete than the weaknesses.
Ask friends and family to help out if you get stuck and then look at what you wrote. Be aware of any absolutes and temper them with what you actually believe is the true negative. For example, if you “always” screw up, look to find what it was that made you come to that conclusion. Was it a single event? Several events that aren’t tied together? If you wrote “selfish”under weaknesses ask yourself if that is always true or are their situations where this seems to occur.
Next week we will delve into a list of examples from both sides and discuss how to determine if they are truly your weaknesses and strengths. All human beings have flaws and attributes so there is no need to sugar coat or play down these traits. The work you do for you and with you has enormous possibilities. It will assist you in creating the life you really want to be living.