I watched a video of a young woman by the name of Lizzie Velasquez this past weekend.  She was talking about her gratitude and her challenges growing up with an unusual syndrome.  It just so happened the video ended up in my “in-box” the same weekend I was staying with my teenage nieces and nephew.  If you are the parent of adolescent or teenage children, if you are close to any children in this age range, or if YOU were ever this age yourself…I encourage you to watch this video.


Lizzie very clearly describes the process of how she decided who she has come here to be and what she chooses to believe about herself.  So often when we are young we get messages (sometimes subtle and sometimes not so subtle) from those around us stating who they think we are or who they think we should be.  We generally use these messages from others to form our own beliefs about ourselves.  We then take on whatever is happening around us to make it fit our story or our beliefs.

What if instead….We get to decide “who we have come here to be?”  Rather than taking on the words and judgements of others…we get to choose what to focus on and how we want to show up each and every moment.  In doing this, we get to write our own story, create our own life rather than letting someone else define that for us.

At the end of the video Lizzie asks…”What defines you?”  I see this as a multi- part question.

First, you get to decide, do you let others define you or do you take charge of that yourself?  Then you get to decide, do you let external factors define you?  Does your family, your partner, your job, your house, your bank account, or your religion define you?  Or do you get to define yourself by how you choose to show up each day, each hour, each moment, by what you choose to focus on and by how you spend your time?

If you are not clear right now about what defines you, then I encourage you to take some time today to decide what defines you and who you have come here to be.  If you don’t decide for yourself what defines you, I’ll bet someone you know will be willing to do that for you.  Do you really want to give them that power?

Click here to see Lizzie’s inspiring video.