Each of us are complex beings who are constantly evolving and growing. Here are 10 things that don’t define you as we each work toward better versions of ourselves.

  1. Your mistakes. Each of us is allowed to make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes! We are human and mistakes are part of life. What defines us is how we pick ourselves up after making a mistake and admitting when we’ve made one. Every day is a new opportunity.
  2. Your bank account. How much money you have in the bank does not define your worth as a person. There are plenty of awful rich people in the world as well as wonderful poor people. Also, money doesn’t bring happiness to your life as some people might wish it did.
  3. Your Meyers Briggs test results. Your results will likely change over time. While these personality tests can help to give you insights about yourself, they are not perfect. Try not to define yourself by them or rationalize everything you do based on them. They have a finite amount of outcomes. Humans are much more complex beings than 16 permutations!
  4. Your educational background: Where you went to school and the grades you received doesn’t define who you are today. Whether you were a straight A student at an Ivy League school or a C student at a state school – we all have different learning styles and strengths. Your GPA doesn’t define your worth or your future potential to be successful. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.
  5. Your relationship status: Whether you are single, attached, divorced, never been married – your current relationship status does not define your worth. Period.
  6. Your job title. It doesn’t matter if you are a CEO, the mail clerk or a janitor. Treat everyone with respect. We are all human.
  7. Your zodiac sign. So, there’s nothing wrong in reading your horoscope (although I used to write the horoscopes for Redbook magazine as part of my first job out of college so take some of them with a grain of salt) but think about how much you base your definition of yourself on them. We are shaped by so much more than the time of the year we were born and what a vague horoscope blurb says.
  8. Getting fired. Most of us have been or will be fired at one point in our careers. This just happens. It does not mean that you will not be wildly successful down the line. It just means that things did not work out for you in that particular job. Don’t get all doomsday – put it into perspective and move on. Things will get better and you will look back on it as a learning experience – I promise as someone who has been there myself.
  9. Being bullied or the victim of mean girls. Unfortunately this kind of behavior happens at all stages of our lives and both personally and professionally. Here’s the thing – when people dislike you for no reason, know that it’s not always your energy – it’s theirs. It’s their insecurity and inferiority rearing its ugly head. Once you understand how much of it is projection, you’ll stop taking it as rejection and feel bad for the person who is attacking you. Depersonalize it and ignore it.

I hope these tips are helpful to you -life sure isn’t easy sometimes and there are many lessons we have to learn the hard way, but things often have a funny way of working out for the better. There’s even an important lesson learned in the bad things that happen to us.