Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Defining Ourselves

What is it that makes us want to define ourselves so much? 

Some definitions are good.  Example: if we are spouses or parents then we are bound by certain virtues. 

There are times when I think defining ourselves, hinders us.  Example someone saying, “I’ve always been overweight, nothing works...”  Defining ourselves into a negative space almost makes it’s easier to stay there. 

Do you believe by eliminating some definitions perhaps we are more capable to change into what we want to be?  Are you big into definitions?

29 comments:

  1. I wrote an article a few years ago about this...it's especially difficult for mother's (or stay at home parents) to define themselves in what is a meaningful way for them. It's terrible that our society defines us by occupation...we need to get away from that. We are all so much more than whatever job we do.

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  2. Great insight! I think I am a little too much into defining who I am. I always cringe when people ask - Describe yourself. EEK!

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  3. oh yes, I am the queen of defining myself and other people..not necessarily in negative terms but, I think it's the psychologist in me that naturally wants to categorize things and classify if that makes sense. No, it is not always a good thing as I too make negative definitions about myself and they hold me back! I love your posts. How do you come up with such great things to munch on everyday?? ;0.

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  4. I'm not a big fan of labels or definitions and pigeon holeing people, especially kids. But, it happens all the time and sometimes completely on accident. It's almost human nature to label just like it is to make judgements, doesn't make it right, just makes it difficult to stop.

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  5. I would like to say that I don't put myself into a certain category, but deep down, I know I do. It's a safety thing, no? It's safe saying you are "an attachment mom" or a "stay-at-home mom" or a "working mom."

    I wonder why we moms have to define ourselves in terms of our children? How about us as individuals?

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  6. I love this! As you know I hate labels or definitions. They absolutely box us in and then we remain that ONE thing forever! Why????? No one is just one thing, ever! I can be funny and sad at the same time! I don't want to be defined as anything but human and allowed to make mistakes (and learn from them.) Great post!!! : )

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  7. I think it is dangerous to label yourself a certain way. Who you are is so much more than any one label.

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  8. I don't need to define myself, everyone else seems to do it just fine without me.

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  9. I try not to define myself, but it's human nature. Instead of looking at it as a box that we close ourselves into, I just like to think of it as some of the many hats that I can wear. For example, I'm a wife, a mother, a Chris Farley movie buff, a reader. But those aren't the only parts about me, just some of the awesome hats that I can put on.

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  10. great issue! I try to NOT define myself...that way I'm always open for change :)

    But one way I am proud to define myself is wife, daughter, mother and SOOOO much more!

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  11. If we back ourselves into a corner, by defining who we are, it certainly hinders us for growing as a person!

    Thanks for visiting and following my blog! I'm returning the favor!

    :)
    Marcy @ Life's Gristle Be sure to come back and enter my giveaway fro a CUSTOM bracelet!

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  12. I think I can honestly say I'm moving away from the definitions. This is a great reminder to keep it up!!

    And the weekend was great. I missed them a little too much. :)

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  13. Thank you for coming by my blog!! KLV is darling!! This post is thought provoking. I will say that I think when you start defining yourself one way, as human we tend to gravitate or cling to it. For example, if growing up we are told we are a good artist - many times we cling to that compliment continuously even if that isn't the case anymore. When you drop making a label or definition for yourself you have less boundaries and maybe things become more limitless and we are no longer bound to our expectations anymore. Definitions seem to box us in when we cling to them.

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  14. I think a big reason why I moved far from home after college graduation(which feels like a million years ago) is b/c I was so tired of the labels everyone put on me. Not that they were really bad, but it was like they couldn't see who I really was. I had to get away from them.

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  15. This is so, so true. I definitely agree that defining ourselves can hinder our growth. Your blog has so many inspirational musings! following :)

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  16. I am big into definitions. I like that you can grow into them with all that self-fulfilling prophecy stuff.

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  17. I would love to eliminate some of the negative definitions! We can be so hard on ourselves sometimes!!!

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  18. Great reminder! I totally agree with you.
    The last line said all!

    Thanks for this thought-provoking post!

    Thanks so much for the follow, following right back.

    Betty

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  19. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment!! I'm enjoying this blog party! I really like this post of yours. I personally think people get too wrapped up in defining themselves. I personally would like to keep myself from defining or labeling myself negatively. It can be tricky to do however!

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  20. This is an excellent topic! And so true. Our thought patterns can help us or hurt us. I don't like labels but sometimes it helps to know for example, that I'm an introvert, and find the positives about that and not fall into a comfortable box either.

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  21. Btw, I LOVE your new header and font!

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  22. I try not to label myself or others for the very same reason you mention. I especially dislike occupation labels, like oh, you're just a SAHM or you're just a cashier. We all know there is so much more to our lives than what we do for a living--how come it seems that's the first thing people want to know about you? (And why do certain occupations have stigmas anyways? Anyone knows that a SAHM is one of the hardest working people on this planet.) I'm enjoying reading the answers to this post--great question!

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  23. I totally agree in creating a positive outlook with anything! Sometimes it's easier said than done- we life in a world where it's totally acceptable (and sometimes preferred) to be self-depricating! I'm on such an awesome journey right now- spiritually and physically - it's incredible. Thanks for visitng my blog the other day. I love yours! I'm your newest follower!

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  24. I agree with Jinnia, your blog looks fantastic! This is a great post. I think we all spend so much time trying to "figure it all out" and most of all trying to figure out about ourselves. We can easily hide behind the definitions of ourselves. Like "I am too fat, so I can't swimm at the beach or at the pool party" etc. I remeber when I was younger my teachers were not the most encouraging in the earlier years. This defined me for a long time, because I believed what they said. It took years to overcome that definition, and it made me into a really empathetic teacher. However, every now and again those words creeo back up in my mind and I feel that definition taking over again. It is hard to "change", but if we really have the want to do so then we can. Have a great day my friend!

    Mama Hen

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  25. Great Blog! It's nice to meet you on the UBP!

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  26. Great post! I have the same issue now that I am a SAHM on seeing what box I fit in. I guess I don't need to worry about it and just be me! :)

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  27. I don't feel that you should limit people by putting them in a category, yet I feel I must "define" myself in order to explain my actions. I'm always analyzing the motive behind the act, as a teacher with a special education and counseling background. (see, there I go again...) It's difficult for me to separate myself from what I do, because I've spend so much of my life dedicated to my career and training. A thought-provoking post.

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  28. Yes, I am HUGE on definitions. Blame it on my background in Sociology, lol! However I do agree that definitions can hinder us to our detriment sometimes. Labels are good sometimes because they define parameters, define roles, responsibilities, expectations, rights, etc. In some cases though, we can get fixated on those boundaries that we forget what else is possible beyond those lines that have been drawn by the labels/definitions. It's good to let go sometimes and just see where life takes us. Good questions, good insights.

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  29. I like the definitions that I have acquired thus far. But ad for stereotypically defining others...not cool if it is in a negative way. I'm all about the positive!

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