Narrative Therapy

Do Not Let Others Decide Your Identity For You

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Most of us end up defining ourselves by the stories told about us. The controlling environment is just too powerful. We end up inhabiting certain identities even when we know on some level that they don’t fit us. But after a shorter or longer struggle we finally surrender to the current.

You can’t hope to control the rich tapestry of stories told and retold about you, some true and some false. You can’t stop people from having their personal opinions, and you can’t change every wrong perception.

But what you can do is decide upon and live your own identity, regardless of how it syncs up with how others perceive you. Do not let others decide your identity for you. It’s infinitely richer than the narrow labels foisted upon you, labels that can only represent a tiny fraction of who you are.

As long as you are certain of your own path to self-actualization you won’t feel as hurt and frustrated by the narratives out there that you don’ feel fit you. Where the real psychological pain lies is in surrendering to these narratives, becoming a person others tell you that you are instead of the person you know you are. You can’t fully control your outer narrative but you can control your inner narrative. You’re the one who has the power to decide at any moment who you are going to be, and if you consciously make that decision and behave in a way that mirrors it others will probably eventually see who you are too. But even if they don’t you’ll know that you’re living your truth and that internal knowledge is more powerful than any story.