You get to choose who you are.
You get to choose what you value.
You get to choose what gives your life meaning.
Don’t get me wrong: a LOT of people will try, successfully or not, to SHAPE who you are.
Certain events WILL shape your belief system about yourself.
We may have been blank slates once upon a time, but we’re not anymore. Everyone reading this has been shaped— and scarred, many of us— by past experience.
We STILL get to decide who we are.
We get to decide what to base our personality on.
We get to decide who to model.
No one gets to tell us “you don’t like X; you actually like Y.”
No one gets to tell us what makes us laugh— or cry.
No one gets to tell us what kind of career will make us happy or not.
No one gets to tell us whether parenthood is or isn’t right for us.
All that is up to us. Up to you.
Why is it important to affirm all of this? Isn’t all this self-evident?
Unfortunately, a lot of us need to be reminded of this.
We live in a world in which MANY of us feel constantly judged.
We live in a world in which MANY of us are VERY afraid of rejection and abandonment.
There are lots of reasons why some of us become so sensitive to possibly being rejected and abandoned, but the fact is that it takes a toll. Many of us are walking around both exhausted— and feeling like we’re tiptoeing on eggshells.
Some of us have spent so long worried sick about the expectations and reactions of others, that we can’t really remember WHO we are.
If that’s you, it’s okay. You’re not alone— and you’re not weird or broken.
Maybe you don’t remember who you are.
Maybe it’s time to start from scratch.
You get to decide if, when, and why to reinvent yourself.
Make no mistake: people reinvent their entire lives ALL THE TIME.
It’s amazing to learn how many people, within the span of one lifetime, actually live what feels like MULTIPLE lifetimes.
People who are CONVINCED they’ve found their ONE career or calling wind up in TOTALLY DIFFERENT circumstances in ten years.
People who are CONVINCED they’ve found their ONE SOULMATE wind up with someone they didn’t even KNOW at the time in ten years.
It’s not always easy to reinvent or overhaul our lives. There are often situational factors and forces working against us. Most of us can’t just abandon the identity we’ve established, and pick up a brand new one.
(Ask anyone who identifies as transgender, especially later in life.)
But we have a lot more flexibility with who we are and what our life is all about than we might think.
Remember that your life is yours.
Its boundaries, its goals, its meaning: that’s ALL up to you.
Don’t let ANYONE try to steal YOUR right to define and be YOU.
One thought on “Your life is 100% yours. Not theirs.”
Thank you for this, Doc. So good to hear, and aspire to fully. All these writings help so much. It helps me feel less weird and understand how I got so highly sensitive, shy, and unconfident. It’s getting better, as the light shines on some of these dark, scary places….