Happy Haven with Brandi-Ann Uyemura

Happy Haven with Brandi-Ann Uyemura


Not Letting Labels Define You

posted by Brandi-Ann Uyemura

{flickr photo}

“You’re selfish.”

“You’re lazy.”

“You’re a dreamer.”

These labels can define us. Whether they’re given when we’re kids or are carelessly said to us as growing adults, we often carry these words as if they were invisible tags around our necks, showing the world who who we are.

The truth is words can empower or dis-empower us.

If we are conscious of the way words can negatively influence us, we can use the knowledge to become self-empowered. If, on the other hand, we hear those words as our truth, we’ll give them power, allowing others to control our lives.

I’ve seen how words can sabotage possibility and happiness for those who let them. People who think they are a loser, failure or dreamer because someone told them that as a kid, may never reach further in life simply because someone said it wasn’t possible. Another person may unconsciously adopt the traits of someone who is selfish because they believe it is an accurate depiction of who they are. Why? As a child they were told that repeatedly by a parent or an aunt.

It’s heartbreaking to see especially since it usually has more to do with the people who criticize, judge and slam us with negative labels than the ones who receive them. Yet, we take it to heart anyway. Like a seed, it grows inside us as self-hatred and sprouts out as a lie about who we really are.

Getting beyond the limitations imposed to us by false and painful words is possible. The solution? Realizing its hold on your life. Then, break free.

As a wannabe writer in my teens, I was discouraged by a teacher who called me an “airhead” and “a bad writer” to my face. As an adult, I also received a lot of criticism and judgment for wanting to write by friends, co-workers and acquaintances who told me that what I was trying to do (write for a living) was impossible. “If other, better more experienced writers can’t do it, what makes you think you can?”

I can’t say that hearing these things didn’t hurt. But I learned a valuable lesson in the process-that what they were telling me wasn’t necessarily true and that I had a choice about whether to believe them and adopt it as my own truth.

Whether people compliment you or condemn you makes no difference. It’s how you perceive yourself and your worth that matters.

In the end, I won a journalism scholarship for my writing in high school, which I’m sure came as a shock to that high school teacher. And I’m writing for a living, just like those “friends” and acquaintances said I couldn’t do. The thing is you make your own truth. As for me, I decided life is too short to listen to other people’s judgments of me. I had a choice. I could either allow a negative belief dictate and control my life or I could work on defining myself.

Initially it’s a difficult decision. But with awareness, how can we not follow our own path instead of the ones built haphazardly by others?

 



Advertisement


Previous Posts

Are You An Over-Apologizer?
I am. And I'm betting most women are. In fact, a study found that women apologize more than men do. Why? Men have a higher tolerance for what they perceive is worthy of an apology. Women who wa

posted 12:21:37am Sep. 06, 2012 | read full post »

The F-Word That Will Change Your Life
To be human means you ache. You hurt for the things you don't have, the life you never got, the people who betrayed you. Some days seem full of grief, heartbreak and anger. And it's so easy to s

posted 9:30:37am Aug. 13, 2012 | read full post »

Practicing Acceptance
I think one of the greatest obstacles we grapple with is learning how to accept what is instead of moaning and groaning about what we don't have. It's like we're sitting there one hand full

posted 9:00:28am Aug. 07, 2012 | read full post »

The Truth About Comfort
Fear if left alone will only grow bigger. And if confronted can reap so many unexpectedly beautiful things. Such a small choice like deciding to go out with a new friend or trying a new restaurant, a new way home, can be like a car wash for your soul. Sometimes it's small ripples that cause the b

posted 9:00:22am Jul. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Why Life is Unfair
Life is not supposed to be easy. We're not meant to sit in hammocks and twiddle our thumbs. We're grown to be both hard and soft, both strong and vulnerable. We're built to withstand hardship and to

posted 9:00:47am Jul. 12, 2012 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.