Narrative Therapy

You Define Who You Are

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Wrong perceptions have the power to influence the way you define yourself if you let them. The dominant narratives and labels foisted upon us are often biased and never tell the whole story because they reduce us to a narrow definition based on just a few data points. Yet many conform their thoughts and actions to how other people see them, and before long they view themselves the same way.

You can protect yourself from this trap by recognizing that people are always only partly right about you, whether they see your good qualities or your bad qualities. We are all of us a mix of both. Being consciously aware of wrong perceptions can help you quickly come back to nurturing your good qualities and inhabiting them most of the time instead of dwelling on the bad, giving those seeds fertile soil for further growth.

If you can live with the fact that a label is a wrong perception and spend the majority of your time cultivating the personality traits you want and admire in yourself, then you can’t be as bothered by how others perceive you. It’s only when you start to deeply believe you are those negative traits that you’re in trouble, because your thoughts become your words and actions, which in turn influence your thoughts.

The negative qualities embedded in the narratives told about you probably do exist, but they do not come close to representing all of who you are, and you have the choice on whether you are going to define yourself based on these traits or work around them by spending your time developing your good qualities.

If you are sure of who you are from the inside out then those around you will come to see these qualities at some point too, plus you are in a much better position to decide who you want to surround yourself with. You will be aware of the difference between those who want to create the conditions for you to nurture your good qualities and those who want to pigeonhole you and tear you down by focusing on your bad qualities. You know yourself more intimately than anyone else, you are the one who spends every moment around you, and ultimately you are the only one who has the power to decide who you are and who you want to become.