Definition of Self: Do you define it, or does it define you?

Mar 21, 2017

Your definition of self gives you your identity but can also limit your future. To change your future, you need to break free from that definition of self.


What is a definition of self?


Is a definition of self, who a person is? Or is it past? What perhaps they do for a living? Conventionally speaking, I would say any of these could be said to be a definition of self. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with allowing any of these things to be your definition of self.


The problem comes when your definition of self, starts to limit you. When you let your definition of self, limit you, you are allowing your past to define your future.


My definition of self


My definition of self, used to be pretty clear. I used to be a lawyer and saw myself as such. It formed part of my identity, and when people met me, I would introduce myself as a lawyer. In that sense, my definition of self, came from what I did for a living. And it was a strong definition.


In fact, for many years I honestly believed that being a corporate lawyer was not one of the best jobs in the world – but THE best job in the world. It paid well, and you just need to ‘do your thing’ and advise on the law, without getting too caught up in work politics, because after all, the law is the law. Any chance I got to give career advice, my advice would invariably veer towards being a lawyer and particularly being a corporate one. Little wonder that my elder daughter is fixated on being a lawyer!


My definition of self as a lawyer also came from my past, before I was even a lawyer. I come from a family of lawyers, my dad, sister, brother in law, uncles, cousins, are lawyers. So, I grew up thinking that becoming a lawyer was no less than a coming of age.


You could say that ALL of the definition of self I listed above, who I was, my past, and what I did for a living – all applied to me!


My definition of self, limited my future


And for 20 years, I lived that definition of self. Which was fine, until I allowed that to limit me. I had gotten to a point where, while I thought the job was great in many respects, there was starting to be too much of a personal cost to be paid to continue being in that job.


It was only at that point that I realized that my definition of self, was limiting my future. That is fine, IF I wanted to keep paying that personal price to keep on being a corporate lawyer. In other words, If you are happy with what you are doing, then there is no problem at all letting your definition of self, define your future as well.


But because I wanted a future with more family time, etc, I started to get frustrated. My definition of self, for my future, if nothing changed, was that of a corporate lawyer – and corporate lawyers, by definition, do not have much family time!


How I started living the life of my dreams – and how you can too!


The first change I needed to make was to stop allowing that definition of self to define my future. The moment I did that, I gave myself permission to stop looking for other coporate lawyer jobs and start considering other options.


And that was possibly the single change that made the biggest impact on my life.


I reinvented myself as online entrepreneur, marketer, mentor and coach. Within 6 months of redefining myself, I had more than replaced my lawyer’s income which took 20 years to build, not to mention all the additional free time I have. I now work with people all around the world, helping them to do the same thing – reinvent themselves as online entrepreneurs to find work that fulfills them and allows them time to do the important things in life.


So, do yourself a favor – do not allow yourself to be limited by your definition of self, be they derived from past or present definitions.


If you would like to break free from your past, and work with me to create your dream future, click here to sign up for a free trial.


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