The first step to getting unstuck is to identify your labels or negative thinking. We are all labeled by other people throughout our life. At some point in your life, someone determined something about you and told you that is who you are. Sometimes it’s accurate, or it’s a projection onto you from another person. You might be, “the funny one” or “the smart one”, for example. Or, you may have labeled yourself. Maybe, you think you are “a player” or “the marrying kind”. Whatever label you wear, it can either be an accurate determination of your character or a driver of your character.
We all live in a society that thrives on labels. You have race, class, weight, sexual preferences and cultural distinctions that are meant to divide us into groups. These groups can either positively align you with like-minded people or negatively divide you from recognizing that all people are basically the same. Our world is filled with the potential for positive or negative. So, how do these labels affect you? It’s all in what you choose to believe.
The labels that have been placed on you have the potential to drive your life, if you allow it. For example, maybe, you showed potential in school and received A’s in first grade. Your parents labeled you, “the smart one.” Your younger brother was a bit more unfocused and preferred to play around. He received C’s and barely made it through first grade. Your parent’s labeled him, “the lazy one.” You receive a positive reaction when you get good grades. Your brother receives a negative reaction as he struggles. You both learn something about yourself that drives your future success and failures. This scenario could go more than one way, depending on the child and what they accept as a belief. The “smart one” could excel or crumble under the pressure of the title. The “lazy one” could believe that he is lazy and live that way or push himself to overcome that distinction. It is the choice of the person to determine if the label fits.
We place labels on ourselves and that is the story we develop about our lives. If we wear negative labels, bad situations fit into that story that we create about who we are in this world. When you say things like, “see this always happens to me” or “this is just my Lot in life.” Those are statements of your acceptance of your labels. If you label yourself as someone that “can’t keep a job,” you will unconsciously create situations that cause you to lose a job. If you label yourself as someone that “can’t keep a man”, you will unconsciously push that man away. Subsequently, if positive labels have the ability to open your eyes to opportunities and propel you to where you desire to be. If you label yourself, “the marrying kind” (and you believe it), you will most likely date men that want to be married. It doesn’t mean that they will be the man you want to marry, but you will attract people with like-minded beliefs.
Take a moment to think about the labels that you place on yourself. We all have a tape that is playing in the background of our conscious. It may be positive, but it can often have some very negative things running through our mind. You are probably so used to it that you don’t realize that it’s playing. To tune into it, you have to have silence, close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. You will tune into the words that are bouncing around in your head. You’ll hear things like, “you can’t do that or we don’t do that.” The negative voice is your mind trying to protect you, but it can also be irrational fear. Irrational fear uses our labels to justify why we can’t change.
If you want to change, examine your labels. Are they true? Are they really you or are they holding you back from your true self? Are you using them as a way to limit yourself? For a clear picture of how labels are limiting, look to movie of The Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy and friends had labels that sent them on a journey to find a powerless wizard to give them what they already possessed. The lion showed courage and the Tin Man showed that he had a heart. I think you understand what I mean.
When you are facing a difficulty in life, figure out if you attracted it because it’s what you believe about your life. In that moment, you can decide to be different.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” – Benjamin Franklin
Getting unstuck is about recognizing what is keeping you where you don’t want to be. Start there.