Probably one of the biggest obstacles that you will face anytime that you want to make a change in your life is………. Your Label. You have been branded and labelled from infancy and the extent to which you have bought into this labelling, is the extent to which you’ll find it difficult to discard. As much as I cringe to say it, but for many of us, we are who we have been told we are. We’re wearing our own brand and it can be quite restrictive. Your labels, positive or negative, have boxed you in quite nicely!
A label/branding/story- call it what you will, that really seemed to stick to myself and my sister Lyn was that, at some point in our childhood, someone said ‘Lynda got the looks and Paula got the brains’ or something along the lines of that! That statement stuck to us like glue! It was a label that defined both of us for years. Lyn assumed that she wasn’t academic or smart and gave herself a really hard time about that; I just didn’t bother with my appearance and had really low self-esteem about how I looked!
Some people say that your culture and environment determines your personality and character. Others believe that you are born with your character intact and your destiny is already sewn up. What do you think- does biology or the stars decide your fate? Are we purely the products of what we have been raised to be? What I believe anyway is that we always have free will. Who you are right now is of importance but what is paramount is who you will become.
Who you are is who you have been up until this moment. It is our choices and how we respond to our environment that ultimately shapes our lives. Once the deck has been cut, you’re the one dealing the hand. It sounds easy doesn’t it? That we can just choose to respond to our environment in a different way than we have done for the past 20 years! I agree that it sounds easy but putting it into practice can be quite difficult. Now remember, I said difficult; not impossible.
How to Create Yourself
Step 1: Start Picking!
First you must free yourself! Awareness is power! Lyn and I both knew that this statement had been made and we both knew that it had defined us. But when we talked about it, it began to lose its power. You know the way if you buy a new item of clothing, the label might be stuck on but as soon as you see it, you start to pick it off. That’s exactly the same here, as soon as you see it, start picking off the old, untrue and outdated labels! So, who predicted your future? What label might be boxing you in?
Step 2: What’s stuck on you?
Make a list of the labels that have been stuck on you that do absolutely nothing for you. For example, have you been told that:
- You’re always late
- You’re easily distracted
- You’re lazy
- You’re brutal at sports
- You’re argumentative
- You’re too soft
- You’re really shy
Now, I want you to see these as they are – someone else’s perspective. In fact, they’re more than likely meaningless, throwaway comments that got stuck on you and have been stuck ever since! These are the easiest labels to pick off, when you can see them for what they are- a throwaway comment on a report card from 6th class or something like that- they tend to just drop off
Step 3: Re-Brand!
If you’re someone who has been labelled as ‘always late’ and it’s something that you no longer want to be true; then drop it now. This actually is one of mine! I was always late for school, probably because I wasn’t bothered about it but I was always told my friends, by teachers, by the person in charge of detention ‘Paula, you’re always late.’ That was a label which stuck with me for years; I was always late because that’s who I was. I was someone who was always late. I definitely wanted to re-brand that aspect because I hated being late, it made me anxious and tense! So I picked off the label and rebranded as someone who is on time. I developed new habits by modelling people who were on time. I actually plan to rebrand myself again and someone who is always early!
What’s your new story?
You are the author of your own life. Only you can take the credit. Only you can take the blame. You are writing your story every day based on how you choose to respond to your environment! The question is not ‘Who Am I?’ but ‘Who do I want to be?’ This question takes you out of the box that you’ve been hiding in, forces you to look at the labels and decide if you want to rebrand because the truth is that your story could be amazing!
I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! I’d love to hear what labels you’ve decided to pick off and how your story will change as a result! Drop me a line and let me know!
Also, I was just wondering how are you going to change your life this year? What are you going to do differently?
I’m running the Fairy Godmother Programme for the last time in 2016 next week! It will be a whole month focused on YOU! You will walk away with focus, clarity, confidence and determination to make it happen. It’s an amazing way to spend a month! Check it out here!
Until next time,
Choose your story!