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How Do You Define Yourself?

How Do You Define Yourself?

In this information age, we have so many messages coming at us at any one time that it’s hard to filter it all. In an attempt to be efficient, we organize, categorize, and label. It only makes sense and yet, these labels give only a tiny snapshot of a much bigger picture.

We use these labels to define ourselves and the world around us, often through social networking platforms. It’s so easy to take a quick glance at someone’s profile page and sum up their personality based on broad labels such as job title, age, hometown, and relationship status. And once we start to define people based on these few criteria, it’s only natural to consider ourselves through that same lens.

It’s at this point that some of us start wondering how we measure up to our peers. Questions like “What does it mean that I’m single while all my friends are married?” or “Is my worth measured by the job title I put on my profile?” pop up in our minds.

It’s easy to be intimidated by social networking, especially if you have low self-esteem. It can feel like a never-ending list in all the ways you are not as “successful” as your peers.

This feeling of inadequacy can be overcome, however, once you realize that there’s no satisfaction in comparing yourself to other people. As people, we are more than our job titles, more than our political beliefs, and more than our marital status. Using an arbitrary pool of information to define ourselves and the people around us means that we neglect the complexities and experiences that make up our personalities.

Keep in mind that we are not inadequate simply because we perceive others as more adequate. Similarly, other people’s success does not mean our failure. We all have things to teach and we all have things to learn. Rather than striving to keep up with others, strive to be content with going at your own pace. You’ll find your stride eventually and with it, a greater sense of peace.


Image Credit: Dave Fayram / Flickr

Read more: Life, Mental Wellness, Peace, Self-Help, Spirit, , , ,

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Erika Oglesby

Erika Oglesby is a freelance writer and wandering nomad currently located in Grand Rapids, MI. She is dedicated to helping people better their lives through self-knowledge and alternative therapies -- especially women of color and women diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. Visit her website at


+ add your own
10:35PM PDT on Mar 18, 2012


6:25AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Personally, when I was in high school, I defined myself as 'a lone wolf' to sometime afterwards--> me. I am me.

1:03AM PST on Feb 26, 2012

I just joined and my profile asked me to describe myself. I wasn't sure what to put. I don't tend to label myself. I'm me, and I know who I am. I tend to prefer to let people get to know me by talking to me and spending time with me than by me giving them a bunch of labels.

12:27AM PST on Feb 26, 2012

I think if one is stuck about describing oneself, it's not a bad idea to read the description of one's astrological sign.

Ask friends/family how they think that you fit some of those characteristics.

This will at least give you a start and provide a base from which to work. Good luck !

3:10AM PST on Feb 25, 2012


7:14PM PST on Feb 24, 2012


5:57PM PST on Feb 24, 2012


9:25AM PST on Feb 24, 2012

thats nice ,thanks

5:10AM PST on Feb 24, 2012

true true

10:50PM PST on Feb 23, 2012

I don't think this is limited to social networking. It's been going on for much longer than that!!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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