In Others’ Words: No, You’re Not

know who you are quote Cloud 2014

I do not like name tags.

You know those sticky little squares that with the printed pronouncement, “Hello, my name is . . . ”

Yeah. I don’t like them at all.

I don’t even like name tags when you dress ’em up and put them in plastic protective covers. They annoy me.

Besides a person’s first and last name, name tags don’t tell me anything at all about another person.

So often when we give information about overselves, we go with the “Who am I” details:

  • name
  • age
  • occupation

I’ve found that, in recent years,  I’m spending more time on who I am not.

  • I am not who they said I was.
  • I am not defined by that one heartbreaking moment in my life.
  • I am not wrong . . . even if I am making a choice that someone else says is wrong.
  • I am not unforgiving just because I have relationships that aren’t working in my life right now.
  • I am not a quitter.

And as I declutter the definiton of me — removing the “nots” — I see more clearly who I am.

In Others’ Words: So, if I asked you who you are not, how would you answer that question today?  And what helps you avoid the pressure to conform to other people’s expectations of who you should (or shouldn’t) be?

[Tweet “Need To Know: Who You Are Not #lifequotes”] [Tweet “Knowing & No, You’re Not #lifequotes “]


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  1. July 18, 2014, 1:07 am   /  Reply

    I am not defined by my past.

    I am defined by my future.

    The expectations of others are a moving finish line, and racing to cross it will never succeed – and one isn’t even intended to succeed. When others place expectations, they’re using you as a fixture that can be altered in adjusting their own world to a more acceptable countenance.

    The problem is that their attempts at adjustment are all external, and they don’t touch on the changes needed for the inner person. Makes it a goal that can’t be reached.

    It’s kind of like painting rusted steel without scaling off the rust – and then blaming the paint when the rust comes back.

    • July 18, 2014, 3:18 am   /  Reply

      A bit of completion…

      I’m not defined by my past, I’m defined by my future.

      And my future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.

      • July 18, 2014, 8:41 am   /  Reply

        In that photo, you are wearing shades!

    • July 18, 2014, 8:40 am   /  Reply

      The expectations of others are a moving finish line, and racing to cross it will never succeed –

      This is an absolutely brilliant truth — life-giving!!

  2. July 18, 2014, 6:21 am   /  Reply

    Another good post. You clearly never do mundane or mediocre. Brava.

    • July 18, 2014, 8:41 am   /  Reply

      Thanks, Dee.
      You make me smile.

  3. Connie Brown
    July 18, 2014, 8:08 am   /  Reply

    Interesting post. I hate the name tags too. I always try to remove them as soon as I leave whatever I used it for. It’s a security risk for one thing and I dislike being labeled. I am not a smarty pants or know it all. I know a little about a lot but not all. I am assertive not bossy. lol I like to think out of the box but have been told to conform so much I may have lost the ability. I am not a thumper but I do believe strongly in my Bible and God. I am a sinner but I am forgiven. I look forward to the future and not let my past pester me. I hope I have learned from that past and will leave it behind. I am a searcher for knowledge and have an inquisitive mind.

    • July 18, 2014, 8:43 am   /  Reply

      I’m with you Connie — I wear the name tags because I know it helps the group leader. I’ve been a group leader enough times to know that.
      But yeah, the minute I leave, the name tag is off and in the trash!
      I like the way you said that you don’t let your past pester you.

  4. July 18, 2014, 8:41 am   /  Reply

    I love this post. As a project at work, we were recently told to come up with a six word memoir of our life. I definitely had to think about who I was and was NOT in order to complete it. Great things to think about.

  5. July 18, 2014, 8:54 am   /  Reply

    I am not who I was 20 years ago. This is a great post…made me stop and think about who I am not. 🙂

  6. July 18, 2014, 9:45 am   /  Reply

    Beth, it’s so important to figure out who we are not, so we can see who we are.

    I am not a master of writing.
    I am not a quitter.

    Therefore, I am persevering and learning as much as I can about writing and trying to apply it to my stories. Sure, I fail at times. My writing stinks sometimes. But those moments are learning curves. They’re opportunities to gain more knowledge. They’re chances to grow.

    I won’t always be right or perfect or good at stuff. But I will try to always be willing to learn from those moments and let God create a better me each day.


  7. July 18, 2014, 8:59 pm   /  Reply

    Oh my gosh, Beth, I was writing about this today. Wonderful post full of confirmation. Thanks and sharing.

    • July 21, 2014, 6:18 am   /  Reply

      I look forward to reading your blog, my friend!

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