Escape the Constraint of Self-Imposed Labels

Mar 20, 2024
hands with red painted fingernails holding the label of a black shirt that says ONE SIZE FITS NONE

We've all experienced labels, those we like and those we don’t.  And just like the labels we get to choose on our food, clothes and shoes; we also get to choose which labels we place on ourselves.  But often we don’t put much thought into those—slapping labels on ourselves and allowing it to dictate our identity. But let's challenge this notion: delaying work on a task doesn't define you as a procrastinator, just as meticulousness in your work doesn't automatically brand you as a perfectionist. So why do we confine ourselves with these limiting labels?

Understanding the Labels We Wear

Consider a scenario where someone has asked you to lower your voice, or perhaps your child has deemed you embarrassing. Does that truly encapsulate who you are? Does that make you obnoxious or an embarrassing person?  No. And falling short of a goal certainly doesn't equate to being a failure. These labels offer a narrow lens through which we view ourselves, ignoring the multifaceted nature of our being.

What Happens When We Wear Them

These labels act as blinders, obstructing our view of our true selves. Our minds eagerly grasp onto them, seeking evidence to reinforce the labels we've adopted. But in doing so, we overlook the richness and depth of our experiences. We become trapped in a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies, unable to break free from the confines of these labels.

Why We Tend to Place These Labels on Ourselves

Our brains crave simplicity and efficiency, making labels an appealing concept. They offer a neat explanation for our behaviors and traits, providing a sense of certainty in an uncertain world. However, this reductionist view fails to capture the complexities of your specific value and inhibits personal growth.

How to Own a More Accurate Representation

Rather than allowing these labels to define us, let's embrace our true selves—the dynamic, ever-evolving individuals with stories far more compelling than any label could encapsulate. Each experience, whether labeled as procrastination, perfectionism, or failure, contributes to our journey of self-discovery and success.

An Invitation to Own Your True Label

So, what will you glean from this reflection? Recognize that the labels we impose upon ourselves are often one-sided and restrictive. Acknowledge the energy expended in reinforcing these labels and the missed opportunities for personal development and forward progress. Embrace the complexity of your being and reject the notion of being confined by labels.

You possess the power to shape your own narrative, free from the constraints of self-imposed labels. Embrace the full spectrum of your identity and continue to evolve, grow, and thrive. After all, the most captivating stories are the ones that defy labels and celebrate the intricacies of the experience on the path to goal success.


Is Self Trust Holding You Back? If you have a vision of the future you want to create.. Goals towards accomplishing that vision.. And yet, you are not moving in that direction. Or for every one step forward, you take 2, 3 or even 5 steps back. Your level of self trust may be holding you back. Sometimes it's super obvious. And sometimes the results are surprising.

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