There are so many factors that define who you are. But there are also so many things that do not define who you are. The first step is taking a moment to recognize the factors that are amplifying your placing limiting beliefs on your self-worth and value. Keep reading to know what are the 7 things that don’t define you but you are most likely allowing to dictate your life.
What Others Think of You
It is safe to say most of us struggle with this one. Our society conditions us to place such a huge importance on acceptance by others. Truth is though, there will always be someone in your life that will judge you and criticize you, and that is ok! You are not going to be liked and accepted by everyone, but that says nothing about you. My life mantra is one by Eleanor Roosevelt and it fits perfectly here.
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”
And isn’t that the truth? Do not define who you are based on other people’s perceptions of you.
We place heavy importance on the occupation of each individual, and many still define their worth as a person based on their job. But this is the wrong approach in life. I went on a date with a guy while I was still doing my Masters and working part-time as a receptionist. When I told him I am a receptionist but also doing my Masters, his response was “Oh good, so you won’t be a receptionist forever”. I was so offended. Not because I was ashamed to be a receptionist, but by his perception of the job itself. As if being a receptionist was degrading. I could be a waitress or I could be a CEO. It should make no difference in knowing who you are and valuing yourself for who you are. Your job is not something to be ashamed of and it is not something that defines you either. Your job is JUST a job. It will always change, it will evolve and your career path may even drastically change. But you are still you!
Your Academic Education
Your academic education should never define who you are. No doubt education is important but it is only one aspect of what makes you who you are. In fact, education has evolved so much over the last decade. When I was in high school, university was so highly looked at and what people aimed for. Nowadays, whether you attend college or university it really makes no difference in how successful you will become in the career path you take. Today you can even be a successful entrepreneur with no professional degree. Whether you have a BA, a Masters degree or a highschool diploma, you are equally valued when you have the right skills regardless.
Age does not define you. I got so caught up this year with my age number to the point where I was getting anxious every time I thought about my birthday. We are conditioned by society to see age as a defining factor of our life process and stages. There is also this societal acceptance that age places limits on our lives but the only limit on us are the ones we place on ourselves. Your age does not define you! If you take care of yourself, your age becomes just a number and nothing more. Let go of the need to identify yourself by your age and construct your whole life around it. We become so fixated on the number when we should be focusing on experiencing and living life. Break the boundaries of I need to accomplish this and that by this age, and the mentality I can’t do this or that because of my age. I have also written a blog post about Being 30 and not married that really portrays the dangers of allowing age and your relationship status to define your self-worth. Best thing you can do for yourself today is to accept that age doesn’t define you.
Your Relationship Status
Even though as a society we hold being in a relationship at such a high pedestal, having a partner doesn’t necessarily make you a better person or guarantees your life will be better for that matter. Single, taken, married, divorced, each relationship status just makes the way you live your life differently. Your relationship status doesn’t define you because it doesn’t change who you are. You can be an amazing person and be single. Or you can be an amazing person that is in a relationship. You bring who you are into each relationship status, so please do not diminish or elevate your self-worth based on your relationship status.
Your Bank Account
“Money will never define you. You define money. Separate who you are from how much money you make.” That’s what my dad said and it stuck with me. I grew up in a household where I was taught that money doesn’t define my self-worth and that it’s not about how much I make, but the life I want to lead with the money I have. And I am so grateful for that because even though money is important, I never allowed my wealth to define how I perceive myself. Unfortunately, our society places so much importance on the correlation between success and wealth, but the truth is your bank account should not define your success, worth, happiness or who you are as a person. Your financial status for sure makes life easier or harder depending on what your life mantra is, but whether you are wealthy, average income, or struggling to make ends meet you have equal potential for being happy.
Your Past & Mistakes You Have Made
Your past and mistakes you may have made are here to guide you not define you. Have you ever felt like your past is dictating your present? Or that sometimes you are weighted down by your past? There is no denying that your present life and who you are today is a product of your past. Your experiences and choices, your family life, where you grew up, your trauma, your challenges, your life story; all these elements come together to mold your identity. But there is a fine line between what makes you who you are today and allowing those factors to define and stigmatize who you are. Instead of labeling yourself based on your past self, look at yourself with fresh eyes every day. Your past and your mistakes don’t define the person you are today, but they do guide and help you evolve into a better you.