This guide is meant to help build self-esteem and assist you in defining yourself as a person. It was initially thought out for my sister, whom suffers from deep depression and severe anxiety, and as a result booth her self-esteem and self-confident are, bare to non-existent. She has always suffered from this to some degree, but since a while back she has started to doubt everything about herself and who she is. Both her self-esteem and self-confidence has totally vanished, and her ability to speak with conviction and making decisions are long gone. Since most of the decisions we take, subconsciously or consciously, to a great extent are based on who we are, what we believe in, what we like, basically all the things that makes up our identity; if all that are gone, what will then our decisions be based on? Not only is it time consuming not being able to make decisions in an efficient way, but it is also drains us of our valuable willpower – a limited resource that should be used for the important decisions in life, not the small mundane everyday choices like picking the colour of your socks.
My sister need do define herself to give her a sense of who she is again. So, I put together a “define yourself” template to paint that faded portrait once more. Painting this picture means we have the possibility to create the ideal person we want to be; influenced by the person we are and what we have done, If the old us have parts we want to keep that is, and use it as a blueprint, a compass and a reminder when in doubt. Because this is not only for the broken ones, by defining the ideal person we want to be, and simply decide to be that person, we can reach that state, if so only for a split second.
There are not so many of us that truly can say that they know who they are, but how does one actually reach that state o being certain in who you are, what you believe in and stand for – is it even possible? We are going to adopt the mind set of “do it and you’ll be it.”, adapted from the famous expression “fake it til you make it”, which I don’t like because that actually tells ourselves that it isn’t the kind of person we really are, that we are being incongruent with ourselves. The word “fake” doesn’t send any good vibes, it tells us we are fake, but we are simply going do our best to be the person we define ourselves as – our ideal selves.
We need to get over the focus on WHAT we actually like or believe in; it just isn’t that important, at least not for the sake of building your self-esteem (the actual moral issue of some question is a different topic, and not the star of this story). But what rather is of importance is that you in fact believe in something and stand for that. This enables you to be confident when talking to people, to actually have an opinion and a belief, something that defines you – not knowing anything just makes you come off as blunt and undeceive. Whether you actually like the colour blue or pink more doesn’t really matter. As long as it is written in the definition of you, it is the truth you live by, as it will make you more deceive, and feel a sense of knowing of who you are.
I know some people will probably argue that it’s a bad thing painting oneself in to a corner, taking a stand point of being in a particular way, and I can agree that to some extend that may be true. I’m not saying that just because one has picked his or her favourite colour it is written in stone for all eternal future. But we need a solid foundation to build ourselves up from, a starting point and base to lean back at when in doubt. And we can do that by defining ourselves, our beliefs, our likings, who we are, what we believe in, our values and moral, but most importantly, how we act. Because it is actually the actions we take that defines us.
If you actually change your mind after some convincing arguments, it should be changed in the definition first so you don’t give yourself the possibility of jumping opinions too much, as it will render the point of the definition worthless. Just taking an initial standpoint for the sake of feeling belongingness having a definition of ourselves will serve our self-esteem well. Because that means we can act and make decisions based on what we are standing for – and that makes us be true to ourselves, because we are just following the blueprint; our game plan of life. Less wasted energy on decision making. Of course situations may occur where we might derail from our definition, but since we then have the right answers we know we should have followed, we will hence feel guilt and make an effort to improve until next time we are faced with a similar situation.
We as human beings are in a constant transformational state, as I’m writing these words, it changes me as a person, it affirms a belief I have and what I do. Hence is a static timeless definition of a person not even possible for more than a split second. Defining ourselves in this static way is like interpolation, if you are familiar with math, we’ll use a previous and a future ideal state as a data points to approximate our current state, see figure 1. Therefore, are we also working with a changing definition that are meant to lead and guide our way of being, acting and taking decisions; a definition of our ideal self-image that is dependent on what we’d like that person to be like. The “define yourself” template will give you a simple framework to support you in that process of becoming your ideal self. And if you already know who you are – great, then it’s an easy process for you to just fill in the blanks, and you have a solid definition you can look back at if you ever start to doubt yourself or begin to fall down a dark path. Because we all have our dark moments.
Figure 1, our different points in time between who we were, and who we want to be, we always want to move in the direction towards our ideal self.
Full disclaimer; this isn’t scientifically grounded. This is my own experience and thoughts influenced by thousands of hours of personal development content. I know this isn’t perfect, but it’s a start, I’m playing around with this, and sharing my thoughts on it; trying to build my sister up, and I believe this is something that could work for her. I have been defining myself in a similar way for many years know, and have found it to serve me well, even though this is a more detailed template than i previously have been using. If you have comments or constructive input, by all means, do share. Good Luck!
Link to the Template:
WORD – Defining yourself
PDF – Defining yourself