What Defines You?

Have you ever become “defined” by a hardship?

We become the hardship when we are constantly talking or worrying about our woes or sitting in self-pity that consumes us and becomes our identity. I certainly have defined myself by a hardship before!

Klyn Elsbury, born with cystic fibrosis, was told to make end-of-life arrangements at 25 years old.

Yet despite her significant daily challenges just to breathe, Klyn is now 30 years old.  She is  thriving and loving her life.

Kyln’s illness isn’t cured. She regularly spends between 3 and 6 months a year in the hospital. She isn’t defined by her illness. She doesn’t complain or identify as a victim. She runs a company and is an inspirational speaker.

Klyn isn’t defined by her hardship.

Likewise, my neighbor who recently died wasn’t defined by his devastating diagnosis and prognosis. He lived fully and remained a positive force until the day he died. At his funeral, his wife said she was not going to be defined by his death.


Hardships, deaths, illnesses or tragedies affect, or will affect, us all. It is the not-so-great part of being human.

And grieving about a hardship is different than being defined by one.

Grieving is an important process of acceptance and getting through tough times.

But allowing the hardship to become our identity is a choice.

There is always a choice as to how we respond to anything in our lives.

Do you know of someone who is not being defined by a hardship? I’d love to hear about them!

And if you don’t tell me, please tell them how they inspire YOU!


Kathy McCabe
Life Coach

P.S.–If you want to choose to no longer be defined by a challenge in your life but you are not sure how to do it, schedule a free mini-session with me to get some help!  As L. said, “The mini session was so helpful and completely shifted my mindset!” Email me if you are interested in scheduling one!

P.S.S.–Local Moms! Please join me for a free & fun Mom’s Night Out, on 11/28/18 at Valley Lodge Tavern in Wilmette. Watch your email for more details!