Inspired by the very brilliant blog by Ruth Penfold on the train home tonight, I want to share with you my thoughts on labels. Not the kind in the back of your pants but the kind that are attached to people.
Ruth said, in her blog entitled:
THAT TIME WHEN I REALISED THAT I WEAR MY LABELS ON THE INSIDE
“Humans have a tendency to identify other humans by a series of labels, and those labels have the potential to limit our perception of other people around us. We categorise and sort people into neat little boxes and try to force them to remain within them.
It got me to thinking about labels more broadly though: we give ourselves labels in much the same way as we do others, and then allow them to limit us. We attempt to slot ourselves into neat little boxes and try to force ourselves to remain within them.”
I agree. I would also add that the labels we attach to ourselves can have a such an impact on our esteem, confidence and belief in one’s abilities, it affects relationships, our mind-set and how we see the world in general. It can define us, if we let it.
I almost got to that point. I very nearly became what I’d been led to believe I was. At times, I still have a little row with myself about it. What was that label? Not worthy.
My background is no secret, so I won’t bore you again (if this is your first visit to my blog, you can read more here), but that had a big part to play in how I saw myself. How I thought other’s saw me, too.
So, here I am sharing the labels that I have attached to myself / been attached to me over the years:
Age 12-15 16-21 22-24 25-37
I am all of these things. Some more so than others. Some, not at all.
I was not able to immediately change some of these labels and, to be honest, there are some I didn’t want to. I quite like the (inaccurate) perception some of them create. It drives me to prove that I am, or not, as people perceive. As I believe.
It’s taken a lot of years, a number of life-affecting events, a whole shit load of convincing by others but, most importantly, an acceptance. They are me.
These labels have not defined me. They have helped to shape the person I am today.