What Do You See When You Look In The Mirror?
By: Karen Pattock
Have you ever noticed how much we rely on labels to make decisions? We use labels to dictate our interest in a product. Is it low calorie, high in antioxidants or maybe what’s the number of thread count for the sheets you want to purchase? Labels are everywhere and they are our guiding force when it comes to what we do and don’t do. We also harbor feelings and emotions about the labels others give us or we give ourselves. Are the labels you believe about yourself holding you back?
Recently I asked my husband to go to the store for a certain tea that we needed. He had been gone awhile when my phone rang. He said he couldn’t find the tea I wanted so the store must be out of it. He asked me what I wanted instead. Rather than making a second choice I decided to text him a picture of the box of tea that I had in the cupboard to see if he would be able to find it by looking comparing labels.
Faster than the amount of time I would think it would take for him to receive the picture he was calling me back to tell me he had found the tea I wanted. He was relieved and so was I. I knew at that moment that it wasn’t just about the name of the tea that made the label unique, it was the colors, font and picture that made it easily identifiable.
In our own lives we have many labels. We have our biological label – male or female. We have family labels – son, daughter, mother, father, wife or husband. We have our career labels – entrepreneur, accountant, attorney or virtual assistant. But then we also have the labels that are the heart of this article – “Emotional Labels”.
Emotional labels are subjective to interpretation. They can raise you up or tear you down depending on your circumstances. There are so many people that want to be entrepreneurs, especially in the health and wellness industry, that find the hurdle of getting over their own labels destructive to their business success.
Let’s dig a little deeper. I have a friend that tried to build her own business several years ago and it didn’t work out. She had many circumstances at the time that compromised her success – a failing marriage, stress-induced illness due to her failing relationship and a geographical location that limited her potential.
Since that time she has left the marriage, restored her health and moved to a big city. Her labels have changed. For example:
Label #1: Woman in a failing marriage Happy divorced & independent woman
Label #2: Chronically ill from stress Vibrant, healthy and extremely fit
Label #3: Lives in rural area challenging Lives in a highly populated area comprised
for small business owners of many small business owners
Do you see how her labels have changed? Each of the labels she had earlier has changed to a new label that shows accomplishment and determination. It makes you want to give her a great big cheer of support doesn’t it? I know I feel that way each time I think of where she was and where she is now.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Each time we discuss her going into business for herself with her current circumstances she immediately throws up her hands and says she can’t do it. She is a born leader and entrepreneur yet because the labels of her past are still with her she is denying herself the opportunity of fulfilling her lifes dream and purpose.
I know it can be hard to overcome labels from your past. Maybe you came from a home where you had more people telling you that you “can’t” rather than telling you that you “can”. Maybe you’re in a relationship with someone now that constantly makes you feel fear and doubt about your ability to design the life of your dreams that includes owning your own business. Whatever your situation is, past or present, you can break free from the labels you’ve given yourself or others have given you in an effort to create a new reality.
Here are three strategies that you can use to break free from the labels that are holding you back from your most successful and fulfilling life.
- Clearly identify and make a list of your current labels. Be specific and real. If someone once told you that you’re a slow reader but later found out that you were having trouble because you needed glasses then don’t list “slow reader” as one of your labels. Get as realistic as possible.
- Only give yourself labels that are verifiably true. If a negative label that you’ve been given is someone else’s opinion of you then write it on a separate piece of paper. Once it’s written, look at it and decide why it isn’t true or why it’s unverifiable. Once you’ve done that crumble that paper up and throw it away like yesterday’s news. Make your mind up in that moment that you will never EVER own that label again.
- Keep a journal of the labels that you believe are true about yourself. Are there some of them that you want to change? Give yourself permission to change things in your life that will allow that label to transform. Once you’ve done something about it throw the old label out, never to refer to yourself that way again. From then on you only refer to yourself by the new updated and transformed label.
If this post does nothing else I hope it empowers you to only receive the positive things that others say about you. I want you to stay honest with yourself about how negative labels in your life can hold you back. You have the power to refuse to accept anything anyone says about you at any time. You also have the power to change labels about yourself that you don’t like. You have the power to make your life anything you want it to be.
Give yourself permission to take the journey that is stirring in your soul. No more second-guessing or ignoring it. You’ve got this one life to live… Go make the most of it!
With love and support,
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