I often have clients telling me that I am this, or that referring to character traits. Very often someone will say “I am not a touchy, feely type” or “I am simply not creative” or “I do not think I have the ability to do this, that or the other…” These are all internal labels we have acquired through our interaction with our primary caregivers and the environment at large in which we developed into the adults we are today.
In fact, by the time we reach puberty, the world has reached us and shaped us to a greater extent than we realize. We have been told how to be and how not to be. Who we think we currently are can be limiting and stifling. However, we discover, cultivate and deploy our potential best when we unravel the labels we carry about ourselves and decide for ourselves how to be.
Through a process of consistent self – reflection and a consistent search for self – knowledge we acquire the ability to separate who we are and who we want to be from what the world thinks we are and want to be. Self – knowledge means self – invention and these are lifetime processes. It means becoming pro’s at exploring our own depths, reflecting on our experiences and testing ourselves. This is the ticket to becoming fully and happily human in the fullest sense. Start by doing the following exercise:
Write down the two most negative labels you carry around about yourself.
If you have difficulty identifying them ask someone you trust to assist you with this.
Write down how you think you acquired these labels. Are the characteristics your parents perhaps imposed upon you or even your circumstances?
Write down one negative result and its consequences each label has led to in your life.
Write two actions you can take for each label to potentially modify it to what you would like it to be.