We can choose who we become.
Who we are, what we value, what we like, what we do…it doesn’t have to be left at the mercy of the things that have happened to us.
It doesn’t need to be left at the mercy of our genetics.
We can consciously, intentionally choose not only what our life is going to look like and include, but literally who we are.
And what’s more: if we’re going to have high, healthy self-esteem, it’s vitally important that we do choose who we are.
Consciously. Purposefully. Intentionally.
Why is this so important?
Because high, healthy self-esteem necessitates, above anything else, a sense of autonomy.
In order to have and maintain healthy self-esteem, we need to proactively create our lives, rather than reactively live our lives.
To just sit back and live our lives— to accept who we are and what we like and what we ARE like— is to accept a passive identity that, ultimately, can make us feel very vulnerable.
If the very basics of who we are is left up to forces outside of our control…why should we believe that we can meaningfully control anything at all?
Don’t get me wrong: the world will do its very best to convince you that you cannot choose who you are.
The world will work VERY hard to make you believe that who you are and what you like is entirely out of your control— that you cannot fundamentally choose or change who you are.
The reason the world will work so hard to help you think and believe these things is because it emphatically does NOT want you choosing who you are and how you behave.
The world wants you to THINK you are at the mercy of powerful, mysterious forces outside of your control…because if you truly think and believe this, YOU are easier to control.
Being passive makes you easier to sell stuff to.
Being passive makes you easier to bully into voting for who they tell you to.
Being passive makes you more predictable and controllable.
Don’t make any of that easier for “them.”
Why do we resist the idea that we can— and, indeed, must— choose who we are?
Often, we resist it because it’s a tall order. It’s intimidating to face the prospect of choosing who we are, what we value, what we want, what our goals are.
What if we get it wrong?
What if we can’t live up to our own expectations?
Fear keeps a lot of people from actively, aggressively pursuing and exploring who they are and what they want.
Then there’s all that conditioning we got growing up.
If you haven’t noticed there is a strong undercurrent of fatalism in our culture.
Many, many people think that things like personality characteristics, character traits, and even the size and shape of our physical bodies are mostly, if not wholly, created by the interplay of genetics we didn’t choose and early life environments we didn’t choose.
We’re saturated in this worldview as we grow up.
Why wouldn’t we believe it?
I’m here to tell you: you are not at the mercy of forces outside of yourself.
I’m here to tell you: it’s not too late— never too late— to choose and create who you are.
I’m here to tell you: you can choose who you are…and you must.