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Clarifying Your Labels

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Better understand why you do things

Create a more conscious way of being

We give ourselves labels every single day. It’s how we relate to each other, how we define our place in the world. We may not even realize we’re doing it. When you’re talking to someone, and you say, “That’s just the way I am.” Or, maybe you’re introducing yourself. How many labels do you put into an introduction? Your personal introductions will vary based on the situation you’re in. For instance, at a job interview, you’re likely to give yourself different labels than you would if you’re meeting someone for a first date. Do you explain who you are by listing what you do for a living? Do you talk about the titles you have in your life, like mother / father / spouse / child / sibling? If you’re meeting new people whom you’d like to connect with in a certain area of your life, you’re likely to tell them things about yourself that you think will help make that connection. Maybe you’d tell them you’re an artist / creative, or that you enjoy hiking / hunting / skydiving or whatever you’re into. Some of your labels support who you are and how you truly want to be in this world. Some of your labels hinder you and stand in the way of what you’d like to be and do. By looking at each of these labels consciously and in depth, you can start to make the decision to choose your labels wisely so they all support you. You can also choose which labels need to be replaced by something that supports you.

Pay attention as you go throughout your day and make a note of the labels you give yourself, then come back and fill out the form to look at each title more deeply. If you’d like even more insight, ask your close friend how they would describe you and dissect their answers as well.

Most of our labels will have pros and cons associated with them. There will be things that come to mind about how a specific label helps you as well as how it hinders you. It’s ok to have mixed emotions about a label. It’s perfectly fine to not know how you feel about it. That’s the point to doing this exercise, to bring your awareness about how you feel to the forefront of your mind rather than just automatically accepting a label is who you are.

1 – I am:

Outgoing, quiet, shy, introverted, extroverted, intense, complex, competent

Office worker, boss, student

Husband, wife, mother, father, caregiver

2 – What this label means to me:

How do those few words define who you are as a person? What makes them describe you?

3 – This label is helpful to me because:

List all the reasons this label supports who you are in the world and helps you to be your true self.

4 – This label holds me back or hurts me because:

List the things that aren’t so great able this label and how it distracts from who you are or who you want to be.

5 – I believe this about myself because:

Where does this label come from? Is there a person or people in your life who gave you this label and you’ve taken it on as your own?

6 – Do I want to keep this label?

Does this label fit who you desire to be? If so, what are the ways you can reinforce the behaviors that go along with the label. If not, what behaviors would you rather be doing that could replace this label?

                Yes – I can reinforce this by:

                No – I can replace this with:

*Can I redefine this label in a way that it is beneficial?

* Suggestions on replacing behaviors: *Activities to reinforce the labels you want to keep.

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