You Might Not Be Who You Think You Are
You’re in control of your destiny. It might not always seem that way. Although life might deal you a “bad” hand every so often, it’s still your life, and you’re in charge.
Famous psychologist William James put it this way: “You’re not what you think you are, but what you think, you are!”
Your thoughts are a reflection of who you are. That’s why this article is about getting to know yourself because you might not be who you think you are.
The Powerful Mind
Your mind controls (or can control) everything about you and your life. It’s that powerful. It affects your mood, emotions, health, and how you view and interpret life.
Your mind is so powerful that it can make you sick even when there’s nothing wrong with you…and it can make you well even when you’re ill if it believes something to be true (placebo effect).
When you’re worried or stressed about something like a relationship, money, job interview, or career, those negative emotions can trigger anxiety, manifesting in mental or physical illness. Some people can’t eat or might have digestive issues, or their blood pressure rises. They might feel sick to their stomach, have heart palpitations, or feel shaky.
The mental picture you imagine about yourself and the situation creates who you are and how you’ll experience the journey and feel along the way. That’s the power of your thoughts.
Your beliefs and generalizations about yourself create your self-image – what you believe to be true about yourself.
We form these beliefs and generalizations from our experiences and the feedback we get from people. And unless we take charge of our mind, they shape who we are and our destiny.
Unfortunately, most of the time, we don’t even realize that we’re forming these beliefs and generalizations because they typically happen at a very young age when we’re open and receptive and lack the ability to question things critically.
However, we reach an age when we have the ability to intentionally question what we’ve been told and taught and how we were treated. Because of free will and the power of choice, we can choose our truth – we get to decide who and what we want to be, regardless of what we’ve been told or experienced.
At the end of the day, whatever you believe to be true becomes your truth. You can either take charge of it, or let someone decide for you.
You can choose to believe that you’re an awesome person with amazing talents who is kind, friendly, and socially connected, for example.
Or you can choose to believe that you’re a failure who is undeserving of success or that you’re lazy, unattractive, and weak. Those beliefs can make you feel hopeless, helpless, and worthless.
See Your Whole Life – the Big Picture
If you’ve experienced any type of trauma or anxiety, you know that it’s pretty easy to form a negative sense of self, triggering low self-esteem and negative self-talk. You can easily feel defeated and vulnerable, leading to despair that takes you to a very dark place.
When that happens, remind yourself that it’s just a distorted image of who you are – it’s not who you are at your core. Everyone struggles with this occasionally – even people who are strong, determined, and resilient.
You are more than what you’re going through right now. See the bigger picture. Don’t allow yourself to be defined by something happening during one of life’s darkest moments.
Here are some things you can do to support yourself, stay focused on your truth, and to remind yourself of your self-worth.
Question Your Self-Perceptions
Don’t let someone else dictate how you see yourself; don’t let anyone create your truth. You get to decide who you are. You have the power to disagree with them and to reject what they say about you.
If you don’t want to be defined by what others say or think about you, ask yourself: “How accurate is what they’re saying? Does it really reflect who I am?”
It’s hard for anyone to be 100% inaccurate about who we are. No one knows who you are and what you’re capable of except you.
Be the Boss of Your Thoughts
People’s perceptions of you aren’t always correct or accurate. So stop relating to yourself as if they’re right! Be kind to yourself; don’t beat yourself up. You deserve better. You might not get better treatment from them, but you can certainly treat yourself better!
Be your own best friend instead of your own worst enemy. You matter. Cherish who you are and take care of yourself. Don’t fall into self-sabotage just because someone says you’re not worthy; that’s their issue, not yours.
Focus on your positive qualities. Remind yourself that you are a person of value and quality. List some affirmations on a piece of paper and keep them with you, such as:
- I am brave.
- I am worthy.
- I am more than enough.
- I am loving and lovable.
- I always find a way.
You’re not missing any pieces; you are complete – no one completes you!
Success doesn’t complete you. And failure doesn’t incomplete you in some way. You are whole. You are a combination of your strengths and weaknesses, failures, and achievements. Appreciate yourself, what you’ve become, what you stand for, and what you’re becoming. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you’ll feel empowered and truly loved.