Today, I want to talk about the encouraging words that “your circumstances do not define you.” Sometimes, we want to determine our circumstances as part of our identity, but we are incorrect in this assumption. I say this because some events that happen outside ourselves are just fact and an opportunity to learn and grow. We must learn to stop letting our circumstances define who we determine ourselves to be in life. 

Circumstances are Fact Not Who We Are

We do have events happen in our life because of some form of action or decision that we make or made in the past. For example, our appliances may break or our vehicle does not start which may be due to the appliance or vehicle we choose. Instead of determining that the reason we are late to work, or have to spend extra in the budget to do our laundry at the laundry mat is due to our not being responsible or saying we are just an unlucky person; we just call it for what it is. We define the circumstances based on fact. My washing machine is broken or my car needs repair is the fact, but saying we are not smart shoppers or not handy with repairs is something extra we are adding to the fact which ultimately causes us to pin a definition on how we think of ourselves. Even an appliance repairman/woman or a car mechanic has problems with their machines from time to time, but they still are handy at repairs. Do you see what I am saying about our circumstances are simply facts and not definitions of who we are?

Circumstances Are Opportunities Not Hinderances

Instead of thinking of our circumstances as defining who we are, we could look at our circumstances as an opportunity to improve some area of our life. Sure, what we may be going through at the moment hinders us in some way, but circumstances really cannot stop us from growing and learning in life. For example, an appliance that breaks down may be an opportunity to learn about homeowner warranty or appliance warranties. I remember when we first bought our washer and dryer we were tempted to turn down the offer for warranty, but the salesman informed us that most washer and dryers will develop issues after five years on average and we are doing ourselves a favor getting the warranty. We did take out the warranty, and low and behold around five years later the washer broke down and could not be repaired since they did not make parts for that particular washer so the company replaced the entire machine with a new one!

So every circumstance you are facing in life right now, whether it is financial, relationship, or career is not representing a definition of who you are but an opportunity to grow mentally and physically. We bought a new home a few years back and this Summer one of the air conditioner units broke down and needs replacing. We called our homeowners insurance only to find out the unit is not covered. The estimate to repair or replace the unit costs over 2K which we definitely cannot afford. The insurance agent informed us we need to call our homeowners warranty company. We did not know we should have homeowners warranty, so the unit is still broken. Instead of calling ourselves stupid home buyers, we learned every home owner needs homeowner warranty which is different than homeowner insurance.

Regardless of who we think of ourselves, our circumstances are only facts and an opportunity to grow and learn. We should not allow our circumstances to keep us down and cause us to think negatively of ourselves. If you find this article helpful share it with others who might benefit from the information.


Amy Thompson

Amy is a psychology graduate, founder of Feng Shui Enthusiast, and Life Coach. In her spare time, she enjoys front-end development, content writing, her new puppy Max, photography, and organizing.

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