Real Talks

Break Free from Human Label Makers

She’s just a pretty face. He’s an athlete, so he’s probably dumb. She’s a psych major, watch out. He’s in law school; bet he thinks he knows it all. She’s the chunky model. They’re Christians; they must be pretty judgmental. She’s so skinny; she should eat something. He’s fat, so he’s lazy. She’s stupid. He’s a psycho.

Labels create limits.

We walk around with labels all over us, living confined by the limits that others have placed on us. Maybe, we have labeled ourselves. “I failed that test, so I’m stupid.” The stupid label now keeps you from pursuing a career in a challenging field. Maybe someone labeled you when you were in middle school. “He’s such a nerd. Don’t talk to him.” Your self-confidence still lacks even though you are intelligent, charming, and a great catch. These labels have created limits.

Limits create fear.

The limits that come from labels are what hold people back. Sometimes we slap a label on someone to hold them back, and other times, we slap a label on ourselves to give us an excuse to not try harder. Even though labels can be stuck on you and can stick with you for a pretty long time, they are just sticky little labels that you can peel off and throw away. It’s like a label maker for example. You label a box “Winter Clothes,” and then you need the box for something else, so you pull off that label, and create a new label that you like better. You can do the same thing with the labels that have been stuck to you. Peel them off, and replace them with labels that you like better. OR just be totally free of labels and enjoy a non-sticky, labeless life.

Labeless = Limitless

If there is a label that someone has placed on you, I want you to write it on a sticky note, stick it to yourself, and think about what that label means to you. Think about the hurt and pain it has caused you. Think about the opportunities that you have missed because of that label. Then, peel it off, ball it up, and throw it away.

You can be free of labels. You don’t have to let other people’s labels define and confine you. I promise, people will continue to label you for the rest of your life, and it’s important to learn how to become immune to labels. Learn the power of saying, “That’s not true. That’s not who I am.” Learn to believe this, and know that just because someone says you are (fill in the blank), that doesn’t make it true. You know yourself best, and you know what is true about you. Don’t let others label you, and don’t label yourself.

You got this! – L

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