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August 11, 2014

Motivational Monday: You need to have a clear definition of who you are

Talking to a couple of friends recently, I came to the realisation that many times especially as women, we allow ourselves to be defined either by our circumstances or as others define us. For example as a friend, sister, girlfriend, wife, mother etc. or by our jobs and whether or not we have achieved certain things in life.

I had coffee with a friend the other day, and this friend is an amazing woman who I admire both for her heart, tenacity and just for who she is. She is in her late 30’s and isn’t married or dating anyone, and was having a hard time because she would like to be in a relationship and also because her parents had expressed their extreme disappointment about her not being married

They felt that the fact she wasn’t married was her fault and was bringing a form of (these were their words) “disgrace and shame to their whole family” I sat with this amazing friend of mine and tried to encourage her as she asked me if there was something wrong with her. No there was nothing wrong with her, yes she wasn’t in a relationship but that doesn’t define her, make her less of a person, bring shame on her family or stop her enjoying her life in her current season.

 I then had another conversation with an extremely intelligent and talented friend who hates her job and would like to launch her own business, but doesn’t believe she can, largely because her husband (who does love her) keeps telling her she doesn’t have the skills or experience to do it and she instead should stay in her safe job regardless of how miserable she is feeling. Again I sat there and tried to encourage her to believe in herself and to realise the first step in her changing her career and convincing her husband that she can launch her own business is for her to have the confidence and belief that she can.

I myself then had my own personal conversation with someone who described me as “being a certain way’ I won’t go into it as I have come to a point where I have moved past what they said, but felt I had to mention it as it led to this very post. I went to bed after that conversation with what they had said weighing on my mind, I essentially felt like I had been judged and found wanting!

As I got ready the next morning, I found myself double guessing and questioning myself in the mirror. I thought over my other two conversations with my friends and the many comments I hear women say and found myself wondering why so many talented, beautiful and capable women allow themselves to be defined and judged by the opinions of others.

At that moment I was reminded of one of my favourite verses from Psalm 139 and it completely lifted my spirits

"For you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth"

I came to the conclusion that we need to have a clear and higher definition/belief of who we really are and what we can do, otherwise we will be influenced and impacted by other peoples opinions of who they think we are.

People will always have an opinion and sometimes that opinion of who they think you are is based on their own experiences, circumstances, fears, feelings etc. It is often a reflection of how they feel or what they would do and is not always true of who you are.

Now if that opinion is coming from someone you care about and trust, it’s worth taking a step back to consider if there is any truth to what they are saying. If however you can’t see the truth in it, then you need to be able to go back to your definition of who you are and brush those opinions aside.

Life can throw so many things at us and it doesn’t matter what your situation is, who you are to others, what you do or look like. All those things don’t define who you are. Yes you can be all those things a friend, daughter, sister, mum, wife, entrepreneur, working 9-5 and whilst those things are part of who you are, they don’t define you. Additionally your circumstances don’t make you who you are. I believe that the essence of you when you strip all those things away is simply amazing and you need only believe.

1 comment:

Tanaka said...

So so true!! Really great post & so touching & relevant. Truly if we don't define ourselves, others will - and it won't always be what we want for ourselves.

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