Have you let other people define you?
They tell you who you are and what you are supposed to do.
By the time I was in my twenties I had let other people define me for years.
I accepted their words as my own truth.
- Not like other women (yes my old boss said that one to me).
I hated those stories.
They were total shame triggers because this is not at all how I wanted to be perceived.
Unfortunately, I didn’t even check in with myself to see what I thought.
I accepted these words from supposed “other people” as my truth.
I figured, if this is what other people thought, it must be true.
There was something wrong with me.
I was bad.
Therefore, I betrayed myself as I wasn’t supportive to myself and hated me.
I wasn’t my own friend as I certainly didn’t have my back.
I sided with the opinion of others.
Some of these others I didn’t even know, you know those people who tell you things without identifying who said it.
To deal with the pain, I hid + numbed myself.
I hated myself.
I let others define me.
It took me years to understand that other people’s words do not define me, but my own words do.
So, I checked in with the words of others and evaluated them to my words…to my beliefs 🤯
Is it true, was I confrontational?
That was ONE way to look at it.
I was also brave, willing to have the difficult conversations and speak my truth.
The people who viewed me as confrontational didn’t want me to speak and have a difference of opinion.
Is it true, was I difficult?
When I was focused on a goal, I was committed. I wasn’t going to let things get in my way. I would figure it out and be persistent. This could be difficult if you didn’t want me to have access. I was fierce and committed.
Is it true, am I scary?
Hmm, I had to think about this one for a while. I realized I am fierce. I am direct. I am focused. I don’t want people to be afraid of me, and I am not mean. I care deeply while also being willing to say the hard things. I realized those who were afraid of me, had a story about me that may or may not be true. I am loyal and I care deeply. I am not a female who is nice and tries to make you feel better by bringing you cupcakes. I am a female who is fierce and shows up.
So only if you believe a woman should not be fierce, show up and speak her mind would I be scary. But I find those who don’t tell me the truth are the scary ones because I don’t really know what they want.
Is it true, was I not like the other women?
Not really sure what that even means, except that it triggered in me the old story of “Koren you don’t belong here.”
I later learned this was a power-over move by my boss to isolate me from relationships with the other women in my department.
I felt pain because I believed other people’s words and views of me.
I noticed I created stories from their words that “I was broken and bad.”
Instead of using other people’s words to define me, I needed to use my words to define me.
I needed to check in with what I believed about me.
It was my turn to find out what my truth was.
MY TRUTH…WHAT I BELIEVE
I am loyal, fierce, passionate, persistent, committed and care deeply about my people and things I am involved with. I am willing to have difficult conversations. I am willing to overcome obstacles. And I know that in all great things in life, there are messes during the journey.
That is my truth. And it is all TRUE.
That is what I believe. Being able to own it is much less painful.
From there I checked in with people in my life, whose opinion does matter to me.
What did they see?
They too see my truth. They know the real me + not who society says I am supposed to be, especially as a woman.
I realized the people who wanted me to be a certain way was to make me fit into their mold so they could be more comfortable.
I realized I had a choice to make.
I could let others define me and live with self-hatred.
Or I could define myself, own my entire messy self…my beauty…my flaws and finally love all of
I choose me.
Who do you choose?
P.S. Need help sharing what you believe? Let’s start with the Mindset Journal.