How Do You Let Your Labels Limit You?

What are the labels you use to describe yourself? Here are some of mine.

I’m middle aged. A woman. An accountant. A coach. A writer. A Creator. An optimist. A cat-lover. Single. I am fearful of physical challenges, e.g. ski-ing because I might break something. I’m a starter, not a completer-finisher.

Generally – but not exlusively – the things I am prepared to call myself liberate me to be and do more. That’s the optimist speaking. But it does work both ways. A label can be both empowering and disempowering to the extent that we give power to the words we use to describe ourselves.

It’s the things I tell myself I’m not which disable me. For years I told myself I wasn’t creative. What a waste! So inherent in my list are the things I tell myself I’m not. I’m not young any more. I’m not visual. And even as the words come out of my mouth I can hear not only the exceptions but the limitations.

How many opportunities have I talked myself out of because of my age, my sex, my fears, my friends, my family background. People like me don’t do things like that. Oh, for goodness sake, woman, GET A GRIP!

Labels can all too easily limit us. It is helpful to know who we are and what operating systems we incline towards as a shorthand, but that’s all. Then we know where we can coast and where we need simply decide to put in a bit of effort.

My Wealth Dynamics Profile tells me I am a Creator and I know this to be true. I start things, the business has to be my idea and all ideas flow from me. But does that mean I cannot do other things which other profiles excel at? Like standing on a stage (Star) or leveraging my contacts (Supporter)? No it doesn’t. Only I do that. Only I choose my own limitations.

Far too many of us have found a place to limit ourselves within our labels. How liberating would it be to release ourselves from those tried and tested habitual confines and reinvent ourselves?   A label should be a clue, not a straightjacket. And certainly not a place to hide.

Today I’d like to offer you a challenge. Pick one of your own labels and prove yourself wrong.

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