Photography by Brianne Lee

Photography by Brianne Lee

Letting Go of Labels

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The way you label yourself can be a vicious, self-destructive game.

If someone once called you a people pleaser or a terrible cook, you hold onto that. Tightly. You remember that label years later and mull over it, convinced that it's true, until, lo and behold, you've actually gone ahead and made it true. 

You especially pay attention to the ones that meant the most at the time, for better or for worse. Someone told you that you were a great drawer in the second grade? What do you know... you're convinced that you're an artist from then on, the best of the best. 

Whether the label is good, "You're an exceptional photographer!", or not so good, "You know, you can be too reserved sometimes…", you become convinced that the labels are right on, that you really are those things. And the more you tell yourself that you are a certain way, the more you actually become that way. 

This habit is flawed, unhealthy, and you end up hurting no one but yourself.

Because the thing is, you're never all one thing... you can be a wonderful cook one day and then stir up the world's worst recipe the next. Back in the day you may have been a star math student (gold star stickers and all) but maybe, later on, calculus stumps you. And that's fine. That's normal. That's expected. Because we are ever-changing and adaptable.

We talk a whole lot about change in certain areas of our lives - in work, in relationships, in our latest style. But for whatever reason, we tend to forget that we may have changed in other ways, too. 

Maybe you're not the submissive people pleaser you once were, maybe you've learned to be more self-confident, more independent. Maybe you're not so passive anymore, because you've long, long stick up for yourself. 

You have to let go of those little labels you've gotten so wrapped up in, those haunting words that bounce around in your brain. Because the important thing is to know yourself as you are. Not as you've been or as you will be, but as you are right now, today, as is. 


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