Who are we? Do you use your career title as a way to define who you are? It happens to many of us. This act only gets us into trouble when we solely define ourselves by our achievements.
It's simple and accessible to identify based on our career roles. It's something that we can use in passing, to answer the question "What do you do?" when we are meeting someone for the first time. But answering that question does not begin to describe all the hats we wear in this world. Perhaps you are a parent or a sibling. Or some other descriptor related to one of your hobbies. Sometimes these automatic responses become engraved into our sense of being. It's easy when we are connected to communities with others that share this similar identity.
Maybe the path to our identity is just that. It's a process. It's a way of encompassing all that we do and who we are as people. Think back to your childhood. How have your beliefs changed over the years? How did your identity shift from each life stage.
What Does Our Self-Esteem Have To Do With It All?
Our self-esteem is based on how we see ourselves and how we may judge ourselves against others. Do you compare yourself with others?
When we compare ourselves with others, we often see a sliver of this person's life on the outside. It's merely a snapshot among many. Unless we know that person intimately, we do not know what other struggles that that person encounters on a daily basis.
When we are sure about ourselves, others' appearances matter less to us. We are less impacted when we feel comfortable with who we are.
Self-image & Loving Ourselves
Positive self-image takes place when our realities align with who we want to be.
Let's go back to that childhood or college self. Who did we want to be? How did we see ourselves? Now, fast-forward--how does your current self align with your dreams from the past and present? Does this mean that you'd want to bring in some unconditional love for yourself?
But is there more? How do we identify ourselves beyond our roles? We can reframe our roles beyond ourselves. Perhaps it means using our skills to serve under-privileged communities twenty minutes away from our homes. How would you want to share your interests with others? What would bring you immense joy?