As I have mentioned in a previous blog of mine, The Healing Power of Yours, from the moment you were born you are affected hugely by your environment. You are new to this World, and everything, literally everything is unfamiliar to you. You have never come across with another human being let alone food, plate, plants, or animals. Each day you are going on a discovery to explore new things or to familiarise yourself even more with the people or things that you have touched or put in your mouth a couple of times. Your parents and other members of the family start to talk to you and let you know the name of all the things that are coming to your way. Basically, they are making you aware of how humans labelled the World and their environment in order to make life more acceptable, comfortable, and less unfamiliar, scary.
Because let’s face it, it is us, humans, who are naming and labelling things. A tree was not created knowing that it is a tree, a dolphin is not aware that it is called dolphin, a mug is just ceramic materials shaped in that particular form. They are just existing. None of them is aware of how they are labelled, none of them has any name, feature, or qualities until we add them to them. That is what you and I are doing. Labelling things. Labelling the days if it is good or bad, labelling the other person if one is nice or not, labelling the food if it tastes amazing or not. You and I are labelling things, that is the norm, that is known and that is what we used to. And, unfortunately, that is what we are doing to children, to other humans, as well.
Norm You See
As I have mentioned above, as you are growing up, you are relying on your surroundings to make you understand the World and to make you learn. As you are getting older and older, you are experiencing life for yourself, you are going through certain events that are shaping you. You start to understand what heart break means, or disappointment, you start to see that your actions are having consequences and so on. How you interpret any particular experience, what qualities and labels you are putting on them and on yourself from a very early age, are all affected by the people who are around you. Because you are learning form them, they are teaching you, you are modelling them. You have no other example around you and because those people are the grown - ups, they have more experience in life than you have, they know better than you, they are respected, and you think that they are right because that is what has been told by all the other grown – ups and traditions itself, you listen to them. You start to embody the same beliefs, mindset, way of behaviours, way of living as them. And as the same way you were taught to label things in your life, you start labelling yourself, they start labelling you.
Self - Labelling
Labelling is one of the most important yet most dangerous thing that you can do to you and to others. It affects your whole personality, your whole mindset, your mental health, and your perspective on you and on life itself. You label every single day everything consciously or unconsciously. Including yourself. What words you are using when you put an adjective on you, originates, once again from what you have learnt from a very young age, what you were told you should believe, what you were told you are.
When you did well at school, you were the smart one, the clever one, the shining start of the family, you were the capable one, the good student, and the always behaving well. If you were the type of student who did not go home straight after school, who did not get the best grades, who was exchanging her / his clothing or school equipment with other school mates, if you were the “rebellious one” than you got labelled as stupid, slow learner, average, always having tantrum, bad, and uncapable. And if you keep hearing these things over and over again, of course, you believe them. And that is the mindset, that is the belief that you are going to grow up with. And as you get ahead in life, you are labelling yourself the same way more and more often. You will tell yourself that it will be harder or maybe impossible for you to get into any university because you are not smart enough. Or you will tell yourself that you need more time to understand and to memorise things because you are a slow learner. And if you get to have friends and colleagues around you who are repeating you the same things, who are reinforcing these things within you and because you are listening to them than the quality of your life is already done and decided for you by others.
Oh, and the best part is that your subconscious mind will do everything with the help of the ego to prove you right. Yes, your ego. Ego is not just about being the better one, the smarter one, the fancier one or whatever. Your ego’s main job is to be right; it is there to be right. It does not matter if it is being the best or being the worst at something. The ego is working on to prove you right so it can exist even longer, so it can say at the end, “See, I told you so.”
Your family, friends or colleagues are doing the labelling for different reasons. They either do it to hurt you, to get back to you, to put you down, to make sure that you do not get ahead of them, to make their ego feel better, to make you feel bad and sorry, to belittle you. These are the worst - case scenarios, yet I think the most frequent ones. There are other, better experiences, when you are told all the beautiful things that you are like loving, caring, compassionate, smart, intelligent, beautiful, capable, strong, powerful, unique, special, and so on. These are qualities you most likely to hear from supportive people, whose friendship is worth to keep. They want the best for you, they want you to thrive, they are supporting you even if they do not understand you.
It is simple but not easy to change, to overcome on the very deeply imprinted beliefs and thoughts you have about yourself. They have been sitting there, you are feeding them since you were born and since the first time you heard them. But I want you to know that these are just thoughts that you are giving energy to, you are putting effort into. The more you are dealing with them, the more you are proving them right, the stronger they get. So, stop believing them, stop giving yourself qualities that are untrue. You are not those things; you are not those qualities that you were made believed. You are the opposite of them. You are what you make yourself believe. It is true! Trust me. You can change those words to different ones at any time in your life. At any moment. Even from right now. Because if you believed those things that you were hearing as a child so easily, you could believe other things as easily, as well. Whatever you put in your head about yourself, it does not matter what it is, as long as you start acting, speaking and behaving like that, as long as you believe them and the more you repeat those things, they become your reality. So, if you say you are smart, you are unique and beautiful than start repeating these adjectives in your head, forget about the unhealthy and untrue ones and see how your life turns out.
It is no one’s fault that you were grown up having those negative, unhelpful thoughts about yourself, it is not your parents, your schoolteacher, your classmates’ fault because they were doing the best they could with all the knowledge they had. They did not know any better themselves, they were passing on what they had been told and learnt, they probably did not know what a huge impact they were having on you, how and in what ways they were affecting you. But to be honest, it does not even matter. It is not about the why, the how or the who. It is not about blaming anyone, it is not about the past, it is gone, nothing you can do about it. Only to learn from it. So, do that. Learn to understand the power of words that you are saying to yourself and to others, see and understand how one little adjective shape and affect you and others. Start becoming more and more conscious about the words you are speaking, the beliefs you are creating about yourself. Because you can be anything and have any qualities you would like, all you have to do is believe them. Just like you believed when you were a child.