What labels do you have?
When I was younger I was called a fiery red hair — implying that I had a temper. The more I heard that, the more I played into that persona. As I have gotten to know myself better, I realized I’m not at all fiery. I’m actually a passive, calm person.
My sister was called a “dumb blond” because of her hair color. As an adult, she told me that she felt stupid her whole life — even though she has a university degree and is even smarter than me.
How do we get those labels?
Obviously friends and family have a big influence over your labels, but don’t underestimate the power of media. On television, women loose all their postpartum in a few weeks — it’s really easy to call myself fat because I still have mine a few months after birth. But frankly my weight seems more natural than liposuction, personal trainers and anorexic diets to shed the pounds.
How do we combat labels?
The biggest way to combat labels is self-esteem. As I became more comfortable with myself, I realized I didn’t want to be the fiery redhead. I also didn’t need to be the stick-thin mother 3 weeks after birth. I want to be me, not who others tell me I should be.
Don’t compare yourself. Every person is different and that’s a great thing! No two lives are exactly the same. We are all peppered with different experiences… so why do you think you can compare yourself to others without taking the other person’s entire history from birth into account?
Don’t label others. If you don’t like getting labels, don’t give them to others — or be very careful to only use positive labels. When I heard people calling my younger brother a lazy teenager, I asked them to stop because I didn’t want him to call himself lazy.
Thanks for reading this blog you caring, thoughtful, successful, beautiful, smart reader!