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How to Define Yourself

By: Brian Kim - June 21, 2011

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We all have an innate need to define ourselves. Our identity is something we love to have because without it, we’re obviously unsure of ourselves, but also unsure of life itself. We feel like a broken tree, ready to be snapped by the winds of life.

When we’re not sure about our identity, we look outside ourselves to define ourselves. Advertisers know this and prey on it. They give us identity, give us definition, but only if we purchase their product. If you buy this, you’re cool and sophisticated and if not, you’re a loser. The masses buy into this and thus the identity is bestowed upon the purchase.

But we all know deep down inside that model of identity and definition is flawed. What happens if you lose that product? Are you a loser without it?

Now let’s go a step beyond possessions.

Are you defined by your profession?

That’s a hard model to shake when the very first question you’re asked at a party is:

What do you do for a living?

If your answer involves work deemed on the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder, you can see the judgment in their eyes.

The truth is, nothing outside of you can define you.


You define yourself and you don’t even know it because you give that power over to others and to possessions to define you and when you do that, you weaken yourself.

For those of you who had less than ideal parents, teachers, friends, siblings who put a less than desirable label upon you and you let that define you to this very day – that’s a perfect example of giving away your power to others.

You let that definition influence your decisions and the actions you took which resulted in the life you have today.

For those of you who have to buy all those things to be somebody – that’s the perfect example of giving away your power to others as well.

You always had the power to define yourself but you never realized it.

So how do you define yourself?

Do you sit down and try to do it all in one day? Write down who you are and that’s it?

Defining yourself is something that you do everyday through your actions.

And yes, you do sit down one day and really think not who about you are now, but who you want to become.

That’s your ideal self.

That’s who you strive to be.

Once you got that hammered down, it might evolve over time but you have to start somewhere.

How do you know when you’ve truly defined yourself?

When you live it WHOLE.

When you don’t lead a double life.

When the REAL YOU permeates through all aspects of your life.

You’re not a different person at work, or at home, or at a party, or with your close friend.

You are simply you.

That’s when you know you’ve defined yourself and that’s how others will see it too.

You define yourself as an honest person?

Will you return the wallet you found with all the cash intact when there’s no one around?

Because it’s so easy to do it when others see you find the wallet first.

Your CONSISTENT actions across all areas of your life will determine who you are because that will reinforce your definition of yourself.

We often forget that action reinforces thoughts. We often make the forward link from thought to action, but we forget about the backflow as well. Every action you take that corresponds to a thought that invoked it, reinforces it, and makes it habitual.

Anybody can sit down and define themselves, but it’s those who do the actions that reflect that definition consistently in all areas of their life that truly define themselves.

And once you have that, external things no longer have the power to define you. Sure they may help, but they don’t define you entirely. Things don’t define you. People don’t define you. Jobs don’t define you.

Only you do.

And people will begin to see that and pick up on it and they will respect it because they know it to be true and authentic. They understand intuitively – that this person is solid, formed from within, and congruent outside with their actions.

It’s not the clothes, not the car, not the job, not what other people say who you are – but what you consistently do in all areas of your life that define who you are.

The power is yours and has always been yours whether you realize it or not.

So throw off the limiting defining labels of the past.

Break free of the labels bestowed by advertisers.

And craft a new ideal you – one that you feel is authentic to who you are and who you want to become and get on to solidifying it with congruent actions in all areas of your life.

And when you do that, you become the type of person that grows bigger than what any label a product or job can ever bestow upon you.

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