>>More and more, we live in a world where we are defined by who we say we are rather than who we really are.<<
A couple thoughts here. I’m not sure that this is “more and more” because I wasn’t here a hundred years ago, but I do know that psychologist Karen Horney, Freud’s first female student who became very influential and wrote many books, noted that the root neurosis is the ideal/real split… . In other words, we do see ourselves different from what we are because we have an idealized image of ourselves. Trying to maintain the facade becomes a problem.
C.S. Lewis wrote a book called Till We Have Faces that addresses this in a different way, as we wear masks that conceal the real face.
On the flip side, I think we live in a world where all too often we are defined by what others say we are, much to our detriment. People put other people in boxes, which is convenient but untrue. This happens in the workplace and it happens in our family relationships. It leaves us alienated and frustrated and can even damage careers.