In a real sense, we redefine ourselves at every moment by the way we think and act and feel, what we choose to do and say. But in reality we consciously redefine ourselves only very few times during our lifetime.
Any major change suggests you pause and reevaluate where you are, where you want to be and what you need to get there.
I had to redefine myself when I got divorced and had to enter the workforce, where nothing I had done before, even raising four children, carried any meaning.
And today, I’m still redefining myself, as a relevant, contributing, impactful women – even at 83.
How many times have you redefined yourself already in your life?
There are obvious moments of redefining
Graduating from a level in school, finding a first job, getting married, becoming a parent, getting divorced, being promoted, moving, retiring, experiencing a major physical change….those are big, challenging, redefining moments. But it’s the subtle shifts and changes that are the most powerful.
You change all the time
Life is a constant, changing cycle and that means you should be redefining yourself every day. Sometimes change comes through small choices; sometimes it takes the form of a major shift. You can redefine yourself in any moment. Instantly. And sometimes it’s as easy as saying “I am” instead of “I will.”
The power of “I am”
I can move myself from a feeling of self-doubt by simply saying “I am a person whose work makes a difference.” Or “I am a person who takes conscious care of her body and helps it grow stronger and stay flexible.” The shift comes from within, with how you see yourself.
If you are that person, how do you act?
Once you’ve made an “I am” statement, decide what a person who does that acts like.
A person whose work makes a difference is passionate about what they do, constantly exploring new concepts that deepen their awareness and put their ideas out into the world.
A person who takes conscious care of her body and helps it grow stronger and stay flexible does….. You get the picture.
Examine the subtle places
I may be safely tucked in my home doing work I love, but what’s missing? Philosophical conversations. I love them. However, they’re tricky to come by. I want to be with people who’re actively pursing their dreams. To find these friends, I have to go online.
If I decide I’m lonely, I have to figure out what it would take to not feel lonely. What would that look like? A person who is not lonely does… What are some of the actions I could take? What does being alone but not lonely look like? Look quietly within and see what’s missing. Then take steps to fill that void.
Redefine how you see yourself
I used to be a content development coach. That put me in teacher-leader mode. Now I’m simply the founder of the Deeper Song Community, which is a gathering place for people who want to sing a deeper song – whatever that looks like to them. I can’t lead because I’m still exploring, but I can walk along beside someone and try to shed some light on our common path.
So the main words I use to describe myself now are words like “seeker”, “spiritual philosopher”, “guide”. These words call up a different part of me than the ones I used when I was working.
Watch out for the negative re-definition
“I’m old.” That’s an undeniable fact, and the word “old” can sure get colored with subtext like decaying, diminishing, and losing value.
To me, “old” means time to move more deeply into my calling, to harvest the crops of my knowledge and wisdom. And yes, there’s some stuff going on in my body, but that’s an opportunity for me to define myself as a determined woman working diligently to take care of her physical expression.
Look carefully at the words you use to define yourself and make certain the words you choose have a positive connotation.
Change with the cycles
You can see change coming. You may be experiencing some physical change. Your children may be leaving home. Or you may simply be entering a cycle of great learning and exploration, one where you march to your own drummer and take the road meant especially for you.
Where are you in your cycle of life? Are you at the beginning, middle or end of a major cycle or of a small one?
The end of one cycle means a new beginning. What would you like that to look like? How would you like to be? You can redefine yourself in an instant, anytime you decide to do so.
Who are you now? Who do you want to be? Do what it takes to make that happen.
To Sing a Deeper Song consider:
DEEPER SONG COMMUNITY