How to Stop Letting Your Labels Define You

How to Stop Letting Your Labels Define You

‘I am not creative at all.’
 
‘I’m a very shy person.’
 
‘I’m rubbish with computers.’
 
Are you telling yourself and those around you something similar to the above?
 
If so, please stop. Stop labeling yourself. Stop letting others stereotype you.
 
It’s not that these answers are not describing a reality—they may do—, it’s just that they are limiting you massively by making definitive judgements about who you ARE, i.e. you as a person.
 
And the worst part about it is that a couple of things will start happening:
 
  • You’ll start to believe that these labels are who you are and the limitations that come with them are what you can do—you may even start to use them to cover your fears;
  • You’ll start to get comfortable with the label, especially if it’s protecting you from ‘harm’ (imagined harm, that is, like being laughed at by others), so any attempt to lose the label will be extremely difficult, as you feel it’s part of who you are.
 
The brain is a weird place, I tell you.
 
But, the brain is also your best ally in this fight against labels.
 
How?
 
Well, it can’t tell the difference between reality and imagination. 
 
Yes, you read that right. It can’t. Numerous scientific experiments have proved this over the years.
 
Which is both a huuuge issue, and a huuuge advantage.
 
How?
 
Simple.
 
Anything you can imagine (so long as it’s in the realm of the possible) the brain will take at face value; unless you sabotage it by rationalising the thought.
 
But why should you tell yourself things that are not true?
 
Because, if they are carefully selected (i.e. you’ve thought things through before feeding your brain random thoughts), these thoughts can transform your reality.
 
They can act as props for you, supporting you until you get to where you are heading in your journey of self-development.
 
But how do you do it?
 
Simple.
 
Notice I wrote simple, not easy.
 
You need to keep at it for a while before you see any changes.
 
So, pick a label and change it to something more positive/empowering/inspiring/better sounding. 
 
Let’s say you believe that you are a shy person. Take this label (I’m a shy person.) and change it to something more positive, less absolute, less assuming of your abilities, like;
 
I talk less than my friends,
 
I take longer to initiate a conversation,
 
I like to observe for a little while before reaching out to someone.
 
The key here is to make the new statement credible.
 
Another MAJOR thing you want to do when reframing your labels, is to change being labels (that tend to be seen as defining you as a person) to doing/having labels (that are describing a behaviour you’re doing).
 
This reframing is important because if you describe a behaviour you do, when you decide to change that behaviour, there will be very little if no emotional resistance from your brain, as opposed to trying to change something that seems like it defines you as a person.
 
Go on, give it a go.
 
 
 
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