I used to let labels get in my way of thinking outside the box, I thought they kept me safe, so I would neatly label others to keep them all in order, but I certainly did not want others to label me and put me in a box. As I’ve mentioned before, I was a walking contradiction of ego run wild and me thinking I always knew better, and thinking of myself as garbage the same time. It was a really fun mix to juggle. Putting labels on others was a way for me to keep things organized, a way to quickly identify who everyone was and what they could do for me. As for me, I would vehemently deny I could be labeled, but behind closed doors would label myself as useless, less than and a horrible person. Labels. Who wants to be labeled? Who wants to be told they are one thing and only that one thing? I think what makes us all so incredible as that we are all multiple things, multiple ideas, energies, we have multiple layers, all of us. There is so much more to all of us than that one thing, or label someone can put on us. So, not wanting others to label us, why do we label others? And, what if we stopped doing that and just excepted people for who they were on any given day? What if we did the same for ourselves? What if we let go of who and what we thought we were supposed to be, and just allowed ourselves to be our best selves each day? Sounds kind of freeing right? So, how do we do this?
1) Don’t Compare. No two people are alike. We are all different. We may share some character traits, or ideas, but we are all multi-faceted people with a lot to offer in a lot of different areas. This goes back for us to self-love and self-worth, we have to find that in ourselves, and when we do, we don’t compare ourselves with people as much because we are happy in our own skin, happy with who we are, or the progress we’re making on the way to becoming who we would like to be. Also, when we have a strong sense of self, we tend not to judge others as much, we are more excepting of them and their journey, as well as our own. There is no comparison between two people, because no two people have the exact same journey, we all are exactly where we are supposed to be and learning things as we are meant to learn them, we can’t compare our journey with another, we’re not playing on the same playing field. Accept where you are, and who are, and, if there are changes you’d like to make, make them. Everyone else’s journey, is their business.
2) Focus On Relationships. When we tend to label we tend to focus on individuals rather than the relationships we have with them. When we shift our focus to our relationships it stops being about you vs. them and becomes about the two of you, and who the people are in our lives, who they are to us. When we’re focusing on our relationships we tend not to label the people in them, we look at them as people we are connected to, partnered with, or share common interests or a part of our lives with. So when thinking about the people in your life, and yourself, start thinking about the relationship you have with them, who they are to you, who you are to them, and what that relationship means to you. When we focus our thinking this way, we tend not to think of labeling that person, or ourselves because we’re thinking of what’s most important, our relationship with them. That also rings true for ourselves, when we focus on the relationship with ourselves, the one we have or working on having, a healthy loving relationship with ourselves, we tend to judge ourselves less.
3) Be Curious. I’ve talked quite a bit about wearing your detective hat, and this is a great time to take it out and be curious about things you don’t know about, or things that make you, or the people in your life, different. Go explore. Ask questions. Maybe even try some new things. The more knowledge we have and the more experiences, the less likely we are to label others and ourselves and start seeing how we are all well-rounded individuals who have many different interests and layers that make up who we are.
4) Try Different Labels. If you’re stuck, feeling like you need to label someone, or yourself, try on different labels, like putting on a different coat, try something new on and see if it fits. As much as we can limit those around us by putting a label on them, we can also do it to ourselves, so why not try something new and see what it feels like . Maybe try some things that are the complete opposite of what you might label yourself and see how it feels. Practice a little contrary action. You may be surprised at what you discover about yourself. Give yourself permission to try different roles, different ideas, different perspectives and see how much you grow.
When we label ourselves, or those around us, we stay stuck. We don’t challenge ourselves to try new things, to meet new people. Try losing the labels we’ve allowed to hold us back. Break free of old ideas and get rid of all the labels that keep you in a place of stagnancy, let go of labels and set yourself free to be who you are, and let others do the same.
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you label yourself? What label or labels do you use? Why do you use them? Do you think those labels let you be your true authentic self? What do you think will happen of you let go of those labels? Do you label others? Why? What if you didn’t label others and just let them be themselves? What if you didn’t label anyone or anything? What if you just lived in the moment, and accepted who you are, what you’re interested in, and what the other people in your life where doing? I challenge you this week SLAYER to do it. Let go of labels and just be, and let those in your life be as well. Focus on the relationships you have formed, and know that is what’s important above what label you would put on it, them, or yourself. Get out there and explore, tearing up your labels, and letting yourself free of the boundaries and fences you have placed in your own way. Let go and be free SLAYER.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you