Others cannot define you.
They can only delineate the limits of how they perceive you.
Any flaws or failings in their judgments of you are nothing more than self-imposed constraints inhibiting their access to all the wonderful possibilities of who you truly are.
Their definitions do not create trouble for you. It only creates trouble for them. You are only inconvenienced by misunderstanding when you hitch your happiness to the outcome of games whose rules do not serve you. And why should you persist in playing those kinds of games?
Constructive criticism serves you well, but invalidation and verbal abuse are nothing more than petty games that you are free to abandon at any time.
Last year I wrote the following words in a post called “The Truth is your friend.” I think those words bear repeating here:
If anyone ever assumes the role of telling you the ‘truth about yourself’ without ending on an empowering and encouraging note, I suggest you find another source for obtaining information about who you really are. Because if their so-called ‘truth’ doesn’t point you toward a greater measure of freedom, then it’s not the whole story. A true friend will always remind you that the truth is your friend.
Always, ALWAYS get the whole story about who you are. To do that, you have to go far beyond other people’s definitions, labels, categories, expectations, generalizations, and stereotypes.
Being creative isn’t just about inventing things; it’s also about inventing yourself.
You too are a work of art and the masterpiece that is you begins with the definitions you create for yourself.