Unhelpful 'labels' that propogate negativity and block creativity
“The inner speech, your thoughts, can cause you to be rich or poor, loved or unloved, happy or unhappy, attractive or unattractive, powerful or weak.” – Ralph Charell
Labels are forms of identification. They are the names you mentally call yourself in your head. They are the tags that you believe describe who you are. Labels can be positive or negative or somewhere in between but generally used in negative thinking they can restrict you from being your fullest potential. They do not honor the person you can be, they block your potential.
Labeling yourself negatively stems from thinking that you are defective, flawed and un-worthy. You simply believe that you are “not good enough”. No-one is perfect and I mean there isn't a single person walking on this earth that doesn't have a flaw. Each time you attach a negative label on yourself, you feel down and lose energy.
It does not matter even if others may have used the label on you once. The most important thing is how you have viewed yourself because of the name-calling. You may mistakenly even blame others for making you to feel awful. However, it is really you who have inflicted more misery inwards.
Where others have pronounced you a “pig”, you are likely to have called yourself “a pig” over and over again in your self-talk whilst stewing over in anger. You are not able to sleep well at night because of the constant replay in your mind. Hence, your greatest enemy is not your friend who has called you a “pig” but yourself.
More examples of these negative labels in our thinking …
1. I am such a “failure” or “loser”
You probably view life as a game whereby you either “lose” or “win”. So you are attached to the results. Having labels such as “failure” or “loser” lowers you confidence and prevents you from attaining the success that you deserve.
2. I am a “freak”
There is something about you that makes you different. And so you do not quite conform to being what is considered normal in society. Feeling like an “alien”, you often wonder what you are doing here on Planet Earth.
3. I am born “unlucky”
You believe that you are doomed for life because of your birth circumstances. Perhaps you have been born in dismal conditions such as poverty, a serious handicap or have lost both your parents. Whatever it is, you believe that you are at a greater disadvantage than others, with no head start.
4. I am “ugly”, “fat”, “flat” or “short” and so on
When you look in the mirror, you experience a sense of dejection. You find it hard to practice self-acceptance. You feel imperfect because of a certain body part. It would be awesome if you can look like a god or goddess, with features that are flawless. Unfortunately, you do not. You may also have realized that at best, you look rather ordinary.
5. I am “stupid”
With a label like “stupid”, you prevent yourself from being able learn things effectively. You believe that you are not born intelligent enough. And so you hamper yourself because you say that you are not able to think critically, analyze or learn fast.
25 Negative Labels That Stifle Your Progress
I have shared about many labels that are commonly used by people today:
pig, imperfect, failure, loser, freak, alien, unlucky, slow, stupid, ugly, fat, flat, short, and useless.
Then, there are also others like
– emo or emotional
and so on. There are so many more.
How to Turn the Situation Around
Here are some ways that you can turn the situation around if you are using the following negative labels on yourself:
1. “Failure”, “Loser”. It will help if you can alter your perception of things. Life is a journey, with a series of adventures. In some of these adventures, you do better than others and in others, you do not do as well. You have not actually failed or lost if you have not given up. You also need to learn how to enjoy the journey in the meantime, instead of being too quick to condemn yourself.
2. “Freak”. Others may have called you names, which boil down to labeling you as a freak. You are the least popular person in school or in the neighborhood. Luckily for you, there is now Lady Gaga to the rescue through bringing attention to the subject on bullying with her”“Born this Way” foundation.
3. Born “unlucky”. Well, you need to learn to make good. Many of us are born imperfect or not in the best circumstances. Instead of feeling like a victim, you need to develop courage and overcome your challenges. You become a force of inspiration like Nick Vujicic, who has no limbs but who is leading a life without limits.
4. Body Imperfection such as “fat”, “ugly” and so on. Getting plastic surgery done to improve your looks may help to enhance your confidence but it may not sufficiently address the root cause of your problem: low self-love and esteem. You have to get to know your innate value by accessing your core deeply.
5. “Stupid”. Let us learn from Thomas Edison, famous American inventor and businessman with a record of 1,093 patents. He once said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”. With determination and diligence, you would be able to gain mastery over a subject. So never give up!
The whole labeling process is often a painful one. It usually never ends well, but I understand how necessary it is to use labels...but think carefully which ones you do use...they have the power of make you miserable or change your life!
JOHN | THINKING HR
(Adapted from an article by Evelyn March)