We define ourselves by the standards we create. Those standards are a checklist of our behaviour, ethics and morality.
Each of our also stories contain a set of standards, which initially our parents set for us, which we continue to define ourselves by. The problem is that most of us don’t think about the standards we’re subconsciously living by, even though we still define ourselves and that can be dangerous.
It’s a checklist we adopt, through our beliefs, our friends, our environment, through our culture and our beliefs. When it comes to Western culture we are also defined by how we are compared to others, how we look and through material gain.
We are defined by our careers, by exams, how many rungs of the corporate ladder we’ve climbed. We are defined by our self-worth, based on monetary gain.
We must learn to ignore others defining us, or us defining ourselves. It’s not healthy. We are not our attachments, because who we are will change through each passing day, through our emotional and spiritual growth. So that we don’t define ourselves, we must consciously be aware of the things that influence us and understand how those influences work.
But influences will and do affect how we behave and feel about ourselves, and how we will define ourselves, and will if we continue set ourselves up for failure. When we choose to define ourselves by the things that are outside of our control we will fail. It is important we have satisfaction in our lives.
All of these paths I mention will lead us to being dissatisfied with ourselves and is the reason why we mustn’t define ourselves.