The Problem With Labels
According to Google, labels are defined as; A classifying phrase or name applied to a person or thing, especially one that is inaccurate or restrictive.
Our brains love labels.
Because brains take in so much information daily, they must simplify and categorize to conserve energy.
It’s one of the reasons why we tend to be so judgmental.
The brain judges something or someone as right or wrong, gives them a label, and moves on.
There are many options between right and wrong, but it takes mental energy to sort them out.
It’s way easier to judge.
If you’re like me and tend to judge yourself, others, or circumstances quickly and confidently, you might just have a highly efficient brain.
But efficient is not always beneficial.
Here’s the problem with labels.
When you tell your brain things like:
I’m a procrastinator
I’m not a morning person
I’m not good with technology
I’m a perfectionist
I’m not good with money
It believes you.
Not only does it believe you, but it will begin to gather evidence to confirm and strengthen this belief.
You are programming your brain.
The truth is, sometimes I procrastinate, and lots of times I don’t.
This is true of all of us.
Is there ever a time when you aren’t lazy?
Is there an area of your life where you are organized?
We are complex human beings.
I’m not a procrastinator.
I’m someone who sometimes procrastinates.
It’s part of being human.
When we can accept our whole, complex selves with love and understanding, we can more readily accept others as whole, complex people.
Acceptance is important not only for our well-being but also for the well-being of society.
So be careful with your labels.
They are past-focused and will keep you stuck, creating the past over and over again.
Your brain will always want to label; that's what it does.
But with awareness, you can learn to do it intentionally.
You can choose labels that keep you in motion, moving forward, and creating a life you love.
Take some time and think about your labels for yourself or someone else and ask, Is it true? Is it useful? Is it kind? Will it move you forward or keep you stuck?
You get to decide who you want to be.