(714) 879-5868, ext. 5
Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

Audio/Video Column Archives

Older Posts
Blog Column
Time to Re-Define

September 2003


As we grow up, we create different definition of ourselves. The first one is probably “I am a child”. Depending on the family that we grow up in and the experiences that we have, that definition can be modified to include words of love and positive attributes about us, or it may begin to incorporate negative messages.


As we get older, our definition changes to “I am a teenager” and then to “I am an adult”, although that switch can be very difficult for some of us! However, those additions to our definition may not change. Perhaps the definition has begun to include “I am incompetent” or “I am unlovable”. These ways of defining ourselves were instilled, usually, as children. We now take it as the gospel truth. However, as we continue to grow and change, it is important to take out these definitions of ourselves and see if they are the truth for us now.


For instance, the statement of not being lovable may not fit if we find ourselves surrounded by loving people. Why would loving people want to be around us if we are not lovable? This definition no longer fits. (In fact, it might not have really ever fitted), so it is time to redefine how we see ourselves. Perhaps we need to change our definition to “I am lovable”.


We all have a variety of definitions that we carry along with us. They may be irrational or just old. (Yes, we used to be incompetent, but now that we have gotten training, we are no longer able to be defined as such.) Our definitions need to looked at and evaluated to see what is still true and what needs to be replaced with a statement that is currently true.


This is not an easy task. However, as you proceed through it, you may find yourself feeling lighter and better able to cope with life. So I invite you to re-define yourself and get to know the real you!


© Copyright 2000 - 2018 Michelle Gottlieb