You Can Always Redefine Yourself

heather o'neill coaching - photo by designingjoe

It’s interesting to me when sometimes I come across a way that I had been defining myself or my life that I
wasn’t even aware of. We don’t really make it a practice to examine our beliefs about ourselves and thus we don’t really think about or examine where our definitions about ourselves come from. We so often define ourselves by our circumstances without even knowing it. Say for example you work with someone who you feel doesn’t like you. And everyday you go to work you are aware of this person. You try your best not to pay attention to them and really you do pretty well with not letting it effect much for you. But then this person leaves the job. And the first time you go to work without them there, you actually feel differently. And you realize that some of the way you conceptualize or define your work life was including a negative circumstance.

So it leaves me pondering how much of the way we define ourselves comes from negative circumstances. And so by that mechanism, if we are defining who we are by what is happening around us then it means our self description is dependent on our circumstances. And I don’t think our circumstances are the best guideline to use to define who we are. I remember when I was going through my divorce. And finally after a very dark period in my life I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And as I came closer to the light I actually felt untethered, because I had been so tied to my pain that it became part of who I was. And it scared me that I had become so used to it that it had become me. And I realized that is not who I wanted to be. Victimized by my circumstance. I wanted to be something else. And what I realized was that I could redefine at any time.

And although that almost felt scary too, because it meant entering unchartered territories, it was a time ripe for taking a leap of faith.One of my best friends told me the other day about her sister’s tattoo which says “leap and the net will appear.” And I find that to be so true. We just have to trust that and lock into our faith. And in times when we are ready to redefine, no matter how scary it may be, that we leap and know that we will always be supported when we have the faith that we will be. I took that leap of faith when I started my life coaching business. And I am so grateful that I did. Even if we have been in situations that we know are not the best for us and we remained in them because they felt secure, we always have the power to leap and redefine. Again, our circumstances do not define us. It is about what we do with our circumstances and who we choose to be in relation to them.

I posted a wonderful Maya Angelou quote on my Facebook page yesterday that said “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” In other words, you can define who you are in relation to what happens to you, not by the happening itself, and we do always define ourselves. We just don’t examine those definitions very often. And when we don’t examine them we could be constructing who we are through negative circumstances. So my thinking is that we can be more mindful if we try, of who we are and WHY we are who we are. And if something is defining you that you don’t want to give that control to then take your power back and re-configure. It is always up to us to choose who we are, no matter what is happening to us at the time. So take a step back and enjoy some re-defining!

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