How do you label yourself? Are you too fat or too skinny? Are you the workaholic or the one that skates by with little effort? When you label yourself, it has a powerful effect on how you see yourself and the decisions you make.
How do you label yourself?
In the article, How Do You Label Yourself on drphil.com, Dr. Phil said, “Believe it or not, labels are incredibly powerful influences in your life. You may not be consciously aware of even a fraction of the names assigned to you, whether they come from the outside world or from within.”
In leadership, many people will label you. Some will label you as “the great leader.” And others will label you as a bad leader. There are also many other labels people will give you; too confident, smart, arrogant, etc.
Dr. Phil continued by saying, “Regardless of whether your hubby calls you a ‘hot mom,’ or your boss says you’re an ‘alpha geek,’ […] you must acknowledge the existence of labels, challenge the ‘fit,’ and confront the impact they have on your concept of self.”
How do labels effect you?
When you label yourself, it can have a strong effect on how you act. Good labels can buoy you up, and bad labels can tear you down. In the blog post How Do You Label Yourself? by Mike Scott at The Diet Guy, Mike said, “My point is that people accept labels very easily and then tend to live to the expectation of that label.”
Mike went on to say, “Some of the old labels I used to call myself such as failure, useless, fat, chunky, chubby and big Mike did very little for my self-esteem and by constantly putting myself down to others, excusing my weight by calling myself big boned and generally focussing on just how useless I was at weight management, I didn’t get anywhere fast!”
Whether you label yourself or hear others label you as smart, dumb, introvert, extrovert, etc. the labels can have a profound effect on you. Lollipop Goldstein of Stirrup Queens wrote in her article titled Can You Label Yourself Original? that, “Once we start getting that conscious and thinking that hard about originality [or the labels you have been given], we [you] start moving into either conformity or rebelling against conformity.”
Labels can cause you to conform your actions to the labels or you can ignore them altogether. You can also use positive and negative labels as motivation for improvement or continued hard work.
How can labels change you?
In fashion, product marketing, and/or branding, companies/labels change frequently. To give an example, Old Navy has changed their clothing lines many times. They marketed only to the teenage crowd in the beginning; whereas, now they focus on anyone who wants to be hip. Just as labels change in product marketing, you can change how you label yourself and/or the labels others give you.
Labels CAN effect you for good if you let them. They can be used for motivation to change or push you to excellence. Mike Scott was very overweight, and he took on many of his labels. He owned them. There came a point when he no longer wanted the labels. The labels motivated him to lose weight and change who he was.
In my post, Whether You Like It Or Not, You Earned It, I explained that you earned your labels by a choice you made. That doesn’t make it permanent though. If you are labeled in a way you don’t like, reverse the label by making choices that don’t reflect it. Almost all choices can be reversed.
How do you label yourself? What effect do the labels have on your self image? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!