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Hey, you! I got some news for you. Good news, I think. Depends on how you look at it.
The news is this: Who you are is entirely up to you. You decide who you are, and you decide it each and every day.
This is great news, in my opinion! Because it means that if you don’t like yourself, you can change at any point!
Sure, you will always have certain traits and aspects to yourself that are sorta just built-in. We all have some predispositions to be, say, more introverted or extraverted.
I’m talking less about the way you’re influenced to be from sources beyond your control, and more about who you decide to be in your day to day actions.
You create yourself.
But what exactly does it mean to create yourself?
In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the beautiful and vital creation of the self.
What Does “Creating Yourself” Mean?
Creating yourself means putting the power back into your hands.
No one gets to tell you who you are, or who you’re meant to be.
You get to decide that for yourself, on an ongoing basis.
Life Isn’t About Finding Yourself…
Though the quote has been often misattributed and doesn’t have a clear origin, you’ve probably heard it said that:
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
There is no pre-determined You waiting to be discovered.
YOU decide who you are, YOU decide who you want to be, each and every day.
Life is creating yourself.
So… how do you create yourself?
How to Create Yourself
Think of your Self as a work of art.
You could be a painting, a sculpture, a song, a story.
Whatever type of art you are, it’s important to remember (and ensure) that you’re not being crafted by someone else.
You are the painter, the sculptor, the composer, the author.
As we already covered, there are certain traits that may have come built into you.
To follow the artwork analogy, maybe that means that you were born a tree trunk, waiting to be carved into something.
Maybe you were a slab of marble. Or a blank canvas. Or empty sheet music. A bound novel with the pages unwritten.
You may have certain parts of you that are innate – like being a piece of wood, or marble, or paper. That’s what you have to start out with.
But only you have the right to decide what to do with that foundation.
You decide whether that tree trunk becomes a table, or a birdhouse, or an intricate carving of a mythical creature.
Whether you think of yourself as an inherently “creative” person, you are undeniably a creator. Self-creation is perhaps the most important form of art any of us will ever work on. And we do it every single day, ’til the day we die.
In order to discover the person you want to be, it’s good to have some points of reference to build from.
Who inspires you? What values, traits, or life goals feel right to you?
You can assess your values on your own, which is always a good idea.
But sometimes it helps to have people to look up to.
They don’t even have to be real people – sometimes fictional characters are good role models!
The point is to observe behaviors of others, and take note of what makes you go, “Gee, I wish I were more like that.”
Look at animals and other aspects of nature, too. Think of the traits we associate with them.
Do you want to be courageous, like a lion? Silly like a monkey? Loyal like a dog?
I look up to trees as a sort of role model. They remind me that I want to keep growing, to stand strong, and to be a home to others.
When I’m consciously working on creating myself and deciding who I want to be, I keep in mind the trees, the rivers, and the fictional characters that resonate with me.
Self-Creation is an Ongoing Process
Life is a journey, as you’ve probably heard it said many times.
But to be specific, life is a journey of creation.
We create experiences for ourselves and others.
We create art and ideas that add color to the world.
And, most importantly, we create ourselves.
Take It One Day at a Time
Looking at any journey, the road ahead can seem pretty daunting. What’s around that corner? Are there any blocks in the road? Is the road gonna end sooner than we think?
As with any other journey, the journey of self-creation can only be dealt with one day at a time.
Sure, it’s important to have a general idea of where you’re headed, and what you might need in order to get there.
But there’s no rush to arrive at the Best Version of You.
Hell, the further you travel through life, the more your idea of your “Best Self” might shift and grow.
Don’t pressure yourself to have it all figured out by a certain time.
You don’t have to know exactly who you are at 20, 30, or even 100!
In fact, I would argue it’s better to stay open to who you might become.
Re-Create Yourself as Needed
Don’t like who you are today? Decide who you want to be tomorrow!
As we grow and evolve, our values might shift. The traits we once strived to embody might not feel as important, and we may feel pulled in another direction.
If you think of your self-creation as a canvas, remember that, as a painter, you are never locked in to one painting.
You can scrape some of that old paint away, and add new bold strokes of different colors.
It’s never too late to change your painting.
And all the work you’ve done up to now? It’s not for nothing; the more paint you put on the canvas of your Self, the better you become at painting in general. You find your style. You learn from your mistakes.
There’s no need to be ashamed of the paint you’ve had to scrape off – that was a stepping stool to get you where you are now. How awesome is that?!
Sharing Your Creation
What’s the point of crafting your beautiful, unique You… if you never share it?
In one of my absolutely favorite videos on the internet, Hank Green talks about the beauty and horror that comes with creation of any kind.
The creation of the Self, he says, is particularly vital, and particularly terrifying.
Or, moreover, the sharing of that creation. Because once you put your creation into the world, for others to see and hear and judge… you open yourself up to rejection, and even conflict.
But how sad would it be to hide ourselves away?
As an artist and writer, myself, I often don’t want to show my work to anyone until it’s completely finished and I’ve made it “presentable”. (Perfectionism? Me? Why, I never!)
But the Self is a constant work in progress! We’re never done!
It would be so sad if we never let our truest selves shine because we weren’t fully secure in who we were yet.
We’ve got to keep creating, keep molding our Selves, and be brave enough to let people see that beautifully unfinished, ever-evolving work.
Be You, Boldly
“Make you the you that you feel best inside of.”
– Hank Green
Today, tomorrow, and always, I hope you mindfully consider the person you want to be in every moment.
And I wish you the strength to share that beautiful being with the world. ❤️
To master the art of creating yourself and the life you want, you’ve got to ask the right questions. Here are 101 of them!
You get to decide who you are every day. So, a good morning routine is essential to set yourself off on the right path!
What kind of artwork do you think you are? A bright painting? A reflective poem? An intricate sculpture? Share your metaphorical You in the comments below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️