We can never be what others want us to be, no matter how hard we try. There will always be those in life who attempt to define us, and put us in the boxes that they want to keep us in. There are people who like to think that they know us better than they know ourselves. Deep inside, we know who we are, even if it is hidden.
If we change according to how those around us see us, then we are allowing them to define us. Obviously we react differently in different environments, and we are more relaxed and comfortable with some people than with others, but we should not be defined by the group. It is your life, so it must be your story, or as Oprah Winfrey put it,
You define your own life; don’t let other people write your script.
There are people who don’t want you to be successful and people who want to control you and keep you in your place. The judgments that people make about us can stay with us. This is especially true of those negative things spoken over us as children. We may have been told that we are lazy, or depressed, or stupid, or that we will never make anything of our lives, or any number of negative things, but we need to let go of those judgements.
Spend time with supportive people, not the negative ones. They will encourage you to be the best that you can be. You will never know who you really are, and what you can achieve until you try. Don’t let those past judgments stay with you. I’ve done that in the past, listened to what others said about me, and it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I don’t spend time with those people now.
If family members speak negatively of us we either need to confront them or spend less time with them. Listening to them will reinforce those judgements that they have made about us.
Don’t let your job define you either. You may enjoy your job, but that is not all that there is to you and your life. We may well do the job that we do because of some characteristic that is a part of who we are, but our job does not define us.
Don’t be afraid to spend time alone. Oscar Wilde once said,
I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.