What’s Your Label?
Let’s talk labels – No, not the labels inside your pants, the labels inside your head. The ones like, “I am fat”, “I am the middle child”, “I am a procrastinator”, “I am a shitty mom”. Sound familiar?
Here’s what I’m willing to bet on your label making mind, 95% of your labels are negative. I know mine are. So let’s hit pause for a second here and ask two really important questions:
1.Hey label! Where did you come from anyway?
2.What do you *actually* contribute to my life?
Sit with those questions a while. How does it feel in your body? Here’s what I noticed, my labels felt, well, shitty. Sometimes I felt the weight in my chest and other times I felt churning in my guts. I’ve been learning a lot about the mind-body connection lately and it’s really hitting home just how good our bodies are at registering emotional dis-ease. (Our amazing contributor, Jane Clapp is my favourite authority on that subject).
OK, so now what? Well, now you get to decide, do I want these labels, or not? My spidey-senses are guessing you’re saying, ‘nuh-uh, negative, nope, sayonara’. So, here’s my personal antidote for ripping off shitty labels:
1. Notice. As soon as you decide to say goodbye they are going to pop up wearing disguises. It will go something like this, “you might not be fat, but you could stand to lose a few pounds”.
2. Get hands on. Put your hand on the part of your body that you feel that shitty label. Now try this on, “Hey shitty label! I feel you, I hear you and I thank you for your dedication. But guess what? “YOU’RE FIRED!!!”
3. Re-label. Take that shitty label and rewrite it. But don’t try to quantum leap this step. Meaning, if you’ve always told yourself that you’re fat and try to relabel yourself ‘Fitness Goddess’, you might not believe your new label. So step it up bit by bit, tell yourself something that has a better chance of sticking. For example, “ I might not love everything about my body, but I’m really grateful that my body is healthy and does what I need it to do”.
4. Keep at it. Re-labelling yourself positively is going to take some time. But here’s what I did: I made a conscious effort to improve the label every day. What I found was it’s like going to the gym; you don’t get great muscles from showing up once. You gotta keep going back to see results.
5. Setbacks are part of the process. If you slip because you got triggered by someone, or something and you start slapping yourself with negative labels, NBD. Again, let’s go back to the gym analogy, just because you have one crappy workout doesn’t mean your muscles have disappeared.
6. The pay-off. I learned something extraordinary in my own label-making evolution. The kinder the labels I slapped on myself, the kinder the labels I gave to other people.
I’d really like to know about your own label making experiences if you’re willing to share? The world is a better place when we feel connected, so let’s connect!
Written by: Rachel Matthews Burton, Host of Tabella