Defining Yourself on your Own Terms
Have you ever found yourself doing something, feeling a certain way, or behaving Pavlovian-style in a prescribed way, almost unconsciously?
Just because you learned something in a certain way does not mean that it has to be that way for the rest of your life.
Things like fear of ghosts, spiders, needles, or the dark might have begun in childhood and were never really outgrown.
Actions like talking back in a mean way, instantly dismissing someone else's opinion, feeling insecure, or being adamant about your position might have started from how you were trained by parents, teachers, or role models.
- Being mean, or being passive-aggressive, or being shy, may have worked for you at one time, but maybe you can let some of that go as you gain years of experience and a better sense of who you are now.
Do something a little different.
Shake it up.
Consider where your initial biases, dislikes, preferences, and habits come from -- and think about what you can do to change them if they don't fit the you of today.
What may have served you as a child, teen, or young adult may not be fitting for you in middle age or in your older years. Hurts that you've nursed, grudges that you're holding, or attitudes that you've acquired -- all of these and more can be dusted off, examined in the clear light, reviewed against your existing situation, and discarded if they're no longer valid.
You may even be telling yourself your own categories, without stopping to re-think if you even wanted those stereotypes. Are you a "successful business owner"? A "shy person" or an "introvert"? A "sporty" kind of gal? Are you "good with money" or "bad with money"? Are you a "New Yorker" or an "LA girl"? Are you a "stay-at-home-mom"?
All of those are just words that other people can use to help define you. What about you? Who are you? Who do you believe yourself to be? What do you stand for? How will people remember you?
Think of this as inventorying. If you were to come up with the best sense of yourself, with you living your Highest Purpose at your Highest Level of Ability, who does that person look like? How does the you of right now stack up against that? Are you currently playing by your own rules or are you still abiding by someone else's perception of who you are supposed to be? Are you still trying to fit someone else's requirements? It's you, after all. Your peers, your parents, your extended family, your friends -- they are all dealing with their own lives. You get to deal with your own, and not have to be impacted (if you choose not to) but what other people think you should do.
You can decide so many things, including:
1) Your attitude - how you choose to face the world and all its situations
2) Your daily routine - what your morning, noon, and night feels like
3) Your choice of work or profession - what you do with your time
4) Your place you live - the city, neighborhood, and if it's a house, condo, apartment, farm, yurt, tent, and if it's rented/owned/shared/co-op style
5) Your diet and nutrition - what you use to fuel your body
6) Your exercise and health habits - your physical health
7) Your relationships with others - how you choose to interact with others
8) Your way of transportation - car, bike, walk, run, bus, train, and more?
9) Your spiritual nature - how you meditate or communicate with God or your Higher Power
10) Your political beliefs - which party you choose to identify with
11) Your level of civic involvement - how much you get involved in your community, and how
12) Your volunteerism and philanthropy - whether you give time, talent, or treasure to those who need your participation
and much more.
How do you choose to define your life? You don't need to be chained to the past if you choose not to. You can forge your new future based on your own assessment of what's important to you now. You have the ability to re-create your life anew -- this gift is given to you, freely, every day you wake up.
Choose wisely! And make your own definition for your life. You are not a cookie-cutter, mass-produced hunk of meat. You are a unique, special, talented, and amazing individual. Go out there and shine!
Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/psycho-pics/3464670492/sizes/m/in/photostream/