You are what you tell yourself

September 11, 2013

I hate it when people put themselves down, because it becomes self-fulfilling. “I can’t do this, I can’t do that”… Of course you can’t, you’ve already convinced yourself it’s impossible! How can you even begin if you’ve cut yourself off at the legs?

This may seem obvious, but take it a step further – it extends to attributes that aren’t necessarily bad. Labels matter, especially the ones we give ourselves. They determine who we are.

For instance, I used to call myself an introvert. Now being an introvert isn’t bad, but I wanted to be more outgoing, to be able to talk freely in crowds and walk up to people and introduce myself. The first step? Stop pigeonholing myself as an introvert, and start saying that I’m both. I can be introverted, and I can also be extroverted. This is true as well.

The result was that I’m more extroverted than I used to be. Go listen to one of the RandomC podcasts – anyone listening to those without reading this post wouldn’t believe for a second that I’m anything but super outgoing. There’s your proof.

If you don’t like something about yourself, stop giving yourself an excuse to not even try to change. “That’s just the way I am,” you say. Bullshit. There are some limits, yes – I will never be as extroverted as my super outgoing older brother – but you can change a lot more than you think.

Stop telling yourself you’re one way when you can just as easily be another. Choose who you want to be, and then be that person. It all starts in your mind.

As always, thank you for using my Amazon Affiliate link (info).

By Stephen W. Gee

Author of Wage Slave Rebellion, Freelance Heroics, and about two good blog posts out of a hundred.

4 Comments

  1. Reply

    Julien

    You can also see the good thing of what you tell yourself.
    For example if you see being an introvert as “bad”, yes that’s self-defeating.
    However, if you look at this video you can see the positive of it ! http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

    1. Reply

      Stilts

      Let me direct your attention to the post…

      Now being an introvert isn’t bad, but I wanted to be more outgoing, to be able to…

      That said, I’ve already had another person tell me they didn’t like how I was insinuating that being an introvert is bad (I really don’t think that, honestly), so this post was probably ill-stated. I should have used another example to get my point across.

      But for the record, I love introverts and I love that I am an introvert. I would never try to write fiction if I weren’t introverted, because believe me, that takes a lot of fiddling around in my own head to (hopefully) get it right. I just like to be able to act the extrovert when I want to, so I don’t miss out on opportunities I might shy from otherwise.

      Apologies for the misleading tone. I’ll do better next time.

  2. Reply

    thenightsshadow

    See, this is an interesting thing to point out. One of the characters in my novel struggles with character identity, aka, learning what he wants out of himself versus what others want out of him, and I cover this topic deeply there.

    Part of what I believe is that the labels of Extrovert and Introvert are just that: labels, designed to pigeonhole a person into a rigid set of guidelines in order to insinuate some sort of order in not only society but medical terminology. People are complex though, and you can’t just say that a person is that person all the time, which is why I like your approach of being both an extrovert and an introvert. But it goes beyond that, in my opinion.

    I guess, it all depends on how this question is answered:
    – If a person is fine with being secluded in their room, not making much, if any, human contact, does that mean that he or she should be punished because they don’t “take care of themselves”?

    1. Reply

      Stilts

      Introversion/extroversion is a continuum – almost everyone is some of both, or a lesser degree of one than others. In others words, “pure” introverts or extroverts are very rare – we’re all a mix of the two. We can just choose where we sit on that continuum (to a degree) if we allow ourselves to.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *