Happy Tuesday! Do you think that you are labeled a certain way by others? Do you think that you label yourself in a certain way? Let’s unpack that! Our identity often stays the same by how we label ourselves and how we let others label us. It is a habit to keep doing what we’ve always done and to keep letting other people define us how they always have. We get used to having certain identities and we limit ourselves by often staying stuck in those labels. Labels have existed since we were born. We often just accept them. Labels come in all shapes and sizes: “I am a rule follower”, “I am helpful”, “I am a giver”, “I am not good enough”, “I am fat”, and “I am not deserving”, to give a few common examples. So, why do we stay comfortable and accept them as our true blueprint? People with a growth mindset will peel off their labels and will try to be something else. Those with a closed mindset prefer to be comfortable and to stay stuck, even in the discontent of life.
For example, I have a client who labels herself as a lifetime dieter. She has dieted all her life and has failed all along the way. She tells herself that she is never going to lose weight because she has never been able to before. She has limited herself to never being able to be thinner and she is still stuck in this mindset after so many years. Once she finally decides to change her story and to change her label to reflect her healthy goals, she will lose weight. Right now, she is standing in her own way. She is limiting herself. The question for her is “Is your motivating factor, your “why”, stronger than how you currently see yourself?” It has to be stronger in order for you to make change.
On the flip side, let’s say that you’ve always eaten healthy, whole food and your friends know it, in fact, they expect it. You are labeled as “the healthy one” in your group. This label might put you on a proud pedestal when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, almost like a badge of honor. On the other hand, it may set you up for never feeling like you could eat “imperfectly”, which wells up perfectionism. This sets you up for not taking risks, not wanting to be human, and not likely to try something new.
Ask yourself 2 questions: Who are you? What are you? Take a while to think deeply about this and then list the labels that others have placed on you and those that you have placed on yourself! Which ones are you okay with? Which ones are you ready to shed? It will take a while for people to get used to your label dropping, so expect a little push back. Just remember, that you get to decide who you are and what you are! People treat you how you let them, so stand up for who you are and maybe you’ll want to drop a few old labels that no longer serve you! YOU BE YOU!
You’ve got this!