In her February 2018 issue, Oprah asks: How Do You Define Yourself? I have to admit, that question has always put me off a bit. The word “define” felt limiting to me, as if I was a one-sentence definition in the dictionary. That didn’t sit well when I feel so expansive, changeable and ever-evolving.
As I read the article, though, I realized that she’s actually talking about your authentic self. Hey Oprah, now you’re speaking my language! I’m all about knowing yourself – deeply, truthfully, lovingly – so you can shape your life to match the true you.
So, How DO you define yourself?
It’s natural to get caught up in focusing on your surface qualities such as being tall, wealthy and a doctor, for example. Another trap is to think about yourself as others see you, especially if old messages still creep in.
I’ve hung onto a stack of old report cards where teachers wrote: “Amy’s very shy.” That message was reinforced by other adults, and I grew up believing I was shy. Cut ‘n dried, no chance for escaping that “definition.”
Growing up I always had that message, which I interpreted as being negative, in the back of my mind. It made me feel like there was something wrong with me. At the same time, it gave me an excuse to not try to be braver in social situations. I’m shy, so I’m not supposed to put myself out there.
It also prevented me from experimenting with different facets of myself. I was afraid I’d make a fool of myself as a shy person trying to be more gregarious or expressive.
Today I realize that I was shy as a kid, but it was because I’m naturally an introvert and an observer. There’s nothing inherently wrong with those things. If fact, they’re both good qualities that serve me well. I’ve transformed the outworn message of “shy” and now embrace the underlying essential traits that make me unique and contribute to my evolution.
If you’re interested in answering Oprah’s question:
How Do You Define Yourself? check out the free
I created it to help you tap into your true self so you can thread your you-ness into all areas of your life. This is the first, essential step on the road to empowerment and satisfaction. You deserve nothing less than to take it.
More details here or just enter your info below for the immediate download.
Click on the link sent to your email to download the Workbook. Occasional Inspiration Notes will also land in your inbox (opt out any time if they’re not for you).