Whose label are you wearing? We all have them and they have a great deal of influence on our thoughts and our behavior. Throughout the day think about the labels you are wearing and whether they make you feel good about yourself or not-so-good about yourself.
Some years ago I had a friend who cut the labels off her worn out or no-longer-in-fashion designer clothes and sewed them on clothing she bought at discount stores. I thought it was hysterically funny and, at the same time, overwhelmingly sad. “What was so important about that label, ” I wondered. It was the same dress regardless of its label. But on reflection, that wasn’t true. The designer label made her feel good about what she was wearing and about the way she looked.
It made her feel good
We wear labels on ourselves like labels on garments, and these labels tend to reflect our self-image and determine our self-esteem. Where do these labels come from? They may originate from remarks made about or to us and actions toward us by others from childhood until now. But we are always the one who sews them on. We put them on by how often we think of them and/or the emotion we attach to them.
Positive and Negative Labels
You have both positive and negative labels and they both influence your behavior and beliefs about yourself.
Negative Labels such as:
I’m too fat
I’m too thin.
I’m too old
I’m too young
I’m not good enough.
Men/women don’t like me because I’m not attractive.
I’m unloved, unlovable and unloving.
And on and on.
Positive Labels (Designer Labels) such as:
I can accomplish anything I set out to accomplish.
I look good.
People like me.
I establish and maintain lasting relationships.
I am destined for success.
And, again, on and on.
Whose label are you wearing?
What are your labels and what can you do about the negative ones? The answer sounds simplistic and it is: You remove the old, negative labels and replace them with new “designer” labels just like my friend removed labels from her dresses and replaced them with designer labels.
You can do this with:
Positive Affirmations and Positive Self Talk– affirming those characteristics you do want in your life, with meaning and passion on a frequent, regular basis.
Visualize the labels you don’t want, seeing yourself remove them and replace them with new positive labels. See them on you, for example, in banners with big lettering like the contestants in beauty contests. Imagine they are hung on you with velcro. Rip them off and hear the sound of ripping velcro. Put on the positive label that you desire.
Seek out a therapist who can help you remove the labels and replace them with positive labels. It is o.k. to seek out help when you need it. Sometimes all you need is a little boost over the rough spots.
A wonderful little axiom I picked up somewhere is “What other people think of me is none of my business.” It’s their business. I know what I think about me and what I want to think about me. That’s my business.
Excuse me, I have to go sew on some new designer labels.