How do you define yourself?

A few days ago I cut my hair shorter than I think most women would ever  consider cutting their hair.  I have done this often in my life, I am not afraid of having short hair.   But the reason I write this today is because it got me thinking about how much we let things define us.  I have heard throughout my life “I would never cut that short”, “how could you”, “I don’t think women look good with short hair”, etc. etc. etc.   This time I cut my hair because frankly I was tired of having it up in a bun for days and undoing it to find so much hair broken.  I have thinning and fine hair so losing any is a big deal.  Now with short hair, I can take better care of it continuing my scalp oil treatments and hair masks.

I journaled, with the question in mind, who am I?   I don’t let my hair define me but what other things might I be allowing to define me?  My glasses… for instance.  So I wrote a list of questions to guide me in my explorations of defining who I am.   In this train of thought that led to this post I also got thinking about how 2018 taught me so much about myself.  I am so much wiser on my own rhythms and flow and so much strength comes from knowing it.  If we just lived in a place of knowing ourselves more, we wouldn’t be in a state of resistance that sometimes leads to stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, etc.   This year I also came to really appreciate “adulting” because “adulting” truly is just having a better  sense of self.  “I’m going to pack my lunch and get to bed early because I know myself and don’t want to rush in the morning”  “I’m going to pack the diaper bag today so that tomorrow I’m not frustrated trying to get out of the door”  So many times when we are “adulting” we are just being better informed of ourselves and all too often “adulting” is seen as a bad thing.

Who am I? 

Journal prompts for exploring how I define myself.

  1. How do I define myself?  Write an “elevator pitch” for myself.
  2. What words describe me without using labels?
  3. What labels would I use to describe myself?
  4. How do my actions/thoughts affirm the way I define myself? 
  5. How do my actions/thoughts go against the way I define myself? 
  6. What traits do I love about myself?  What traits do I not love? 
  7. How do I think/feel people perceive me?  How tightly do I hold onto their notions? 
  8. What expectations do I have for myself?  
  9. What do I need to love more about myself? 
  10. What external influences do I feel affect how I define myself?  Think culture, parents, career, education etc. 

I’m using this journaling  exercise for myself to really reflect on the past year  so that I may use the knowledge I’ve gained about myself to live with my strengths in mind and have a successful year in 2019.

What are your thoughts on this?  Share in the comments below.

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