Think of all the labels given to you by society, people, friends, strangers, classmates, teammates, teachers or family.
How have these labels positively or negatively affected you? Were those labels right or wrong? Which ones do you like or don’t like? Do you think little or a lot about the labels?
Ever heard of “you are what you eat?” I believe, you are what you think. Why is it you feel relaxed when you are thinking about nothing while relaxing on the beach? When you think you are relaxed and calm, you will be exactly that.
Take time to think about which labels people have given you, you relate to or are relevant to your life. Make a list. Here are my labels (in no particular order):
Puerto Rican American
Private school girl
Financial aid recipient
Can’t check the latin box
Catholic school girl
Not a square
Responsible for actions of the US military
Soccer player wife
Daughter of a single mom
Öko (German for eco lifestyle lover)
Can’t check the caucasian box
Too school for cool
Too white for the latin girls
Too latin for the white girls
Put a + (positive) or a – (negative) sign next to each label. How many of these labels do you relate with? Which ones are proud of? Which ones are totally false?
Now, what would happen if you let go of the labels set on you? What happens if you focus on your own identities and those you want to grow into? The more you walk around with those labels resting on your shoulders, the more you will start to form your life around those labels.
My challenge for you is to think about where you want to be. What do you want to be remembered for? Imagine a biography about your life – what people would write about you?
Here is the 2nd exercise. Write a new list. A list that describes the best person you want to be. A list that you are proud of telling the world about. Write it down and keep it somewhere you can glance at every day. Soon enough, you will believe those random words on that paper. Unconsciously, you will make your goals and life aligned with the person you want to be.
Self-reflection is a blessing if you do it honestly. Be open and be honest with yourself. The only person that can change you is you.
“Take away labels and you are the infinite being.”