Make Sure You’re Not In A Box

Make Sure You’re Not In A Box

We all have imaginary cages that we put ourselves into. Some of them are tiny, and some of them have a little more room in them, but they’re all made up of our self-definitions. We put ourselves in boxes based on who we think we are. And if you’re not careful, your box can become a prison that prevents you from living your best life.


We define ourselves by the groups we belong to, the things we’re told we’re good at, the things we’re told we’ll never succeed in, how we think we look like compared to others, what we call our “jobs” and many other criteria that we ourselves make up. For instance, you may be the one defining yourself as a black, not good in school, unattractive and other such near-sighted definitions. But what you may not be aware of is that subconsciously, you will try to live up to whoever you think you are, you will try to cut and chisel yourself until you can fit into the tiny box of a definition that you’ve given yourself.


So for instance if you were told as a child, that you were not that bright and that you would do better in sports, you would try to live your life so that this definition becomes who you are even if you were much more than that in the beginning. You would not put much attention into academics, maybe skip studying for exams and fail to pay attention in class, until what people made you think you are,  becomes who you are. You would cut out your possible smarts and brain power so you can fit into the box you created.


The same would happen when you define yourself as “belonging to a minority group that usually does not succeed in much”. You begin to lower your ambitions and to shrink your dreams so that they can match those predicted for your group. You begin to not work as hard for happiness and success because you believe it will never be yours so you shouldn’t even bother. And before you know it, you end up living a substandard life struggling to keep your head above the pool of bills and to put food on your family’s table.


Your imaginary self-definitions become who you are. Even if you have the potential for much more.


You’re too big to be placed in a box. What makes up who you are, is much more complex than what any single word can describe. Remember that those definitions you have given yourself are only imaginary and you don’t have to restrict yourself to them. You can be more than just the good athlete or the girl from the ghetto. You can step outside your boxes, try new things, have fresh dreams, be bigger than your definitions, and live the best life you can.


Don’t put yourself in a box. Don’t put yourself in a prison.


As always, cheers to life!

Cheers to life!

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24 thoughts on “Make Sure You’re Not In A Box”

  • This is so true. The words “I am” are some of the most powerful words we can utter. We live entirely up to our own expectations of ourselves, good or bad.

  • Maybe we feel safer in these boxes. Many people are afraid to be considered outsiders, maybe society pushes into these boxes, from childhood, school and beyond. We need to feel part of the pack. Over time we build up an image of who we think we are and our limitations. You are right we should try to combat these boxes and break out.

  • It’s good to be aware of the box. This way if we are doing something unique, we have a point of comparison for if it truly is in the box or out. Then we can compare to others and we may be out of our box but still in somebody else’s box.

  • Sometime we are in a box, sometimes we are trapped in our own body and feel insecure. Life is short and we need some lessons to be grateful and live free. Great post !

  • This is very true. And a great reminder that you should not diminish yourself for any reason.

  • I love this post! It happens many times in our lives that we caged ourselves in the box. Your post is enlighten my path. And the words of Imaginary self-definitions is spot on!

  • great topic! You’re right! Life is about getting out there and experiencing many things (getting out of the box!) people should expand themselves to open up and learn and grow. Never confine yourself in a box, the world has no walls!

  • Well said. I used to label myself as weird a lot, and it became true in many ways. I started feeling strange and acting it out, when that wasn’t really my true expression of self.

  • So true! We create our own limitations daily. I love how you stated we put ourselves in a box. I am working really hard to not limit my kiddos and build them up so that they know they can do anything they want.

  • Once upon a time I did do this but when I finally tore that box open a whole world was waiting for me. Now nothing stops me from achieving my goals and living my dreams.

  • Well said! The first step is to ‘realize’ your box, and the second, struggle out of it, which is the best gift a person can give oneself but it’s very difficult. You’re right about the cages, they’re so powerful, almost physical.

  • This is such a great post! As someone dealing with anxiety, I can really relate to ”being in my own box”. My imaginary self definitions are destroying me. You should read ”You are a badass”, I think you would love the book!

  • This was a good evening read and it is true but sometimes individuals have to stay in the box while there are some who are independent and make their own decisions.

  • This post makes a nice read. I totally agree with you that our imaginary self-definitions become who we are! Therefore, we need to challenge ourselves continuously to move out of our comfort zone and expand our horizon.

  • I found it that as more inactive and comfortable you are, as more chances you will be in a box because there are no ways of gaining experience and challenge your mind. I always encourage an active life full of different experiences, this is how you open your mind and get out of the box.

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