The things that define you should be the most important parts of your life. They should not be what others think about you, but rather they should be how you see yourself and who you choose to be. Your job, looks, body, or material possessions do not define who you are- your past mistakes or triumphs or future hopes and fears do not define who you are either. What does define a person is love, resilience, self-worth, how they support and encourage other people around them, their wisdom and presence as well as faith in themselves.
In this article, we will explore these ideas to help everyone understand their true selves and what is most important in life.
Why is it important to think about what defines you?
Thinking about what defines you is crucial in understanding who you are, what is important to you and how you should act in your everyday life. Your past, present, and future do not define who you are or your character and neither do other people's perceptions of you. You should always focus on the things that truly matter in your life, rather than worrying about what others think of you.
What mistakes and choices have led to where you are now?
Everyone makes mistakes throughout their life- some people may feel like these choices led them down paths that eventually defined who they became as an adult. Although it might seem like this is true, if you did something bad at one point in time, or you made a mistake that you regret to this day, it does not mean that you have to let those choices impact your life forever.
Everyone has made decisions that they thought were right, but which ended up being mistakes due to unforeseen circumstances or even just because of bad luck. You can choose to learn from these mistakes, but you should never let regret define who you are. This is a sign that you are living in the past rather than being present in the here and now.
What do your future hopes and fears say about you?
If allowing your regrets to define you is a sign of living in the past, then being ruled by your hopes and fears means that you are living in the future. For many people, this manifests as anxiety, sometimes acute anxiety, and sometimes in the background of everything they do. This anxiety about the future can become overwhelming and if you allow it to define you, it can cause you to worry about everything from your job prospects to global affairs.
This does not mean you can't have future goals, it just means you should not put all your energy or your idea of who you are into the realization of those goals. Having dreams or aspirations can be a positive thing. It can help to motivate you and make your job, education, and relationships feel more meaningful. But if those dreams become everything to you, it can lead to unhappiness when the realization is not what you expected or hoped for. You will have nothing left to aim for and will realize that what you previously allowed to define you has not made you happy.
Do you allow your job, looks, body or material possessions to define you?
Nothing that is temporary can ever define who you are. Your job, your looks, or your material possessions do not define who you are on the inside as they can all be taken away from you in an instant. This means that as you go through life and those things disappear, (you retire, your looks fade with age, you lose your material possessions), you will have nothing left to hold onto. This is the problem with investing in external physical objects rather than looking within for meaning and purpose.
What does it mean to be rich? To have a great job? A beautiful face or a youthful body? What do those things really mean? Money can make everyday life more comfortable, good looks can help you get ahead in life or draw admiration from others. But can these things really make you happy? You only need to follow celebrity news to see how unhappy many rich, beautiful people truly are. Search for a deeper meaning.
What things can define you?
So if not your memories or your wishes, your riches or your beauty, what things can define you? What things are permanent and worthwhile? What can bring a positive light into the world?
Here are some things that you can look to as you try to live meaningfully:
The way you love
Other people, your family, and your friends are what matter the most. They will always be there for you when others have abandoned you or if things don't go well in life. The way that you show love to those who truly mean something to you is a testament to who you are as a person. If this isn't enough, then think about how much good has come into other people's lives because of your love? What could possibly define someone better than knowing they made another human being happier by loving them completely?
Every day, think about how you can show love to all of the important people in your life. Consider each person's own individual needs. One may need a reassuring text in the morning, another may need you to listen without judgment, while another may just want your presence. No matter what they need from you, be there for them unconditionally, not expecting anything in return.
What does it mean to have resilience? Resilience is being able to recover quickly from challenges or difficulties and bounce back stronger than before. But this doesn't only apply when something bad happens; every small thing that goes well should give you a reason for optimism as you face obstacles ahead with renewed strength and confidence.
Resilience also means being able to look at your own mistakes and not let them define you. If something goes wrong, don't beat yourself up over it, just learn from it so that in the future you can act differently when faced with a similar problem or challenge. Being resilient means being unapologetically who you are without letting fear of judgment stop you from standing by what is important to you.
Every day, try to put things into perspective by focusing on how lucky you are for having this life full of experiences and opportunities; even if nothing seems perfect right now, accept that you are exactly where you need to be. When someone asks "how are you?" instead of replying with complaints about everything bad going on in your life, try to express gratitude for what is going right.
Your own self-worth
It is easy to forget about how amazing you are because of all the negative thoughts that run through your mind. You may not be perfect, but who or what is? The only person in this world whose opinion truly matters when it comes to yourself is you so stop worrying so much about pleasing others and focus on loving yourself for exactly who you are.
Your self-worth should define every decision that you make; if someone else tries to bring down your confidence then they aren't worth giving any time even thinking about, let alone wasting energy trying to impress them. Be proud of everything that makes up you including your positive traits as well as any flaws that you believe you have.
Having self-worth isn't about vanity or believing that you are perfect. It means knowing that you are enough no matter what happens. If someone is unhappy with who they are, they can't love others fully because they will always compare themselves to that other person. When you recognize your own self-worth, you will never be jealous or resentful about other people's success or happiness which will make you a better friend.
Your ability to support and encourage others
You don't need to be a professional psychiatrist or always know how to fix everyone's problems for people to look to you for guidance or reassurance when times get tough. Just knowing that there's always a shoulder available for your loved ones to lean on can make all the difference in difficult moments.
Supporting and encouraging others is all about being there for your loved ones, but also being non-judgemental and not always trying to solve their problems for them. While you may have great ideas or insights about how your friends or family members can better approach a situation, it is often better to let people make their own decisions without pressure from you.
This doesn't mean that you can't talk to someone when you think they are making a big mistake. But first, you need to listen with an open mind to what your loved one is saying rather than giving your advice or opinion straight away. Sometimes all someone needs is another human being's ear so that the burden doesn't feel quite as heavy on their shoulders.
Your wisdom in difficult moments
We often learn more by making mistakes than we do when everything goes according to plan, even if it isn't always easy to understand the lesson during the difficult moments. Wisdom means knowing which battles need fighting and which ones should be left alone because no matter what anyone says or does, life will always find a way to move forward.
Your wisdom comes from the experiences you have gone through and realizing that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to making difficult decisions. Wisdom means knowing yourself and what you are capable of handling, but also being humble enough to accept help when it is offered. This can be incredibly difficult for some people, especially those who define themselves as leaders or independent people. Humility is a huge part of wisdom and being able to reach out for help without any embarrassment is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Wisdom also means knowing when to speak and when to stay silent. Sometimes the best thing you can do for a loved one is to not give them advice or try to comfort them but to just be there as support so that they know someone else understands what they are going through even if it isn't easy for others to comprehend their situation.
Everybody has their own spiritual beliefs, whether they are followers of a particular religion, a spiritual teacher, or connect with the world through meditation. Faith is very important because it highlights both the importance of something greater than ourselves as well as the relative insignificance of things that many of us place value upon.
Faith can help you through difficult moments as well as give you a sense of purpose and belonging. When times get tough, it can be easy to lose your way but having faith means knowing that there is always a reason for everything despite how unpleasant or painful the situation might seem at the time. Faith can also show you what really matters in life because even if you have material wealth or success on your side, these things mean nothing without faith that there is some reason for it all.
This doesn't mean that you need to accept that everything happens for a reason so you should never be sad or angry during difficult moments. It means not letting failures define you but rather having the belief that every challenge is an opportunity to grow.
Knowing what is important in life and not letting unimportant things be things that define you is vital for a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. There are sadly so many people who allow themselves to be defined by things that really mean nothing. Whether this is a job, a body image, a relationship, or a bank balance, placing importance on these things can only lead to a false sense of self. Define yourself by the light you bring into the world. Be compassionate, loving, and kind, and you will soon begin to understand that nothing else really matters.
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