Have you ever been labeled?
Have you ever been given a diagnosis that pins a terminology on you that feels limiting?
Have you ever been “categorized” with others because of the way you look, talk, dance, think, feel, or because of what you like?
I have been labeled in my life. And I can tell you that it wasn’t always a good feeling. And many times it actually felt that it was limiting and it kept me from trying new things, meeting new people, discovering more about myself, and kept me from exploring so many avenues in life.
It started in high school. I was labeled the top female jock. Nicknamed “Brut” by the guys because of my arm wrestling skills. From that moment I felt less feminine, less girly, less attractive.
It’s funny what those labels can do FOR you.
And it’s interesting what those labels do TO you.
The labels continued through my 20s, through my 30s, through my 40s and still continues.
The difference is that now those labels don’t affect my mindset and they don’t hold me back from going after my dreams that I have for my life.
Society put those labels on my life and when I was younger, it had a negative impact on my life. I let people judge me and I bought into it. I let those labels make me feel less of a person. I let those labels control how I thought, how I felt, and impacted the choices I made for my life. Some were not such great choices. Those choices made life really hard for a long time.
As the years passed, I learned more and more about my inner strength, my inner beliefs, and how I viewed the world that I was living in. I discovered that every negative experience in my life was a direct result of the choices I made and the people I chose to hang around. Those choices were usually made out of anger, loneliness, sadness, or frustration. Sometimes it was because I felt so insignificant and I had a “don’t give a rats “attitude.
Regardless of how I felt, those choices were making life tougher, not easier, nor any more positive.
Life was hard and I was making it worse by my choices.
Something in my life had to change and I figured out the change had to be me.
I started thinking differently, making better choices, and started realizing that I wasn’t the only one in this world that was having a hard time. I also realized that God gave me the strength to get up every day and decide how that day was going to turn out.
It started with my personal accountability. I realized that I couldn’t blame my parents anymore, I couldn’t blame my brothers anymore, and I couldn’t blame everyone in my life that had made me feel bad. I realized that I had full control over how every single day of my life turned out. It became clear to me that my choices in life dictated the results of my outcomes. I discovered that how I treated myself, how I took care of myself, and what I fed my mind and who fed my mind made all the difference. I also learned that I was the one holding myself back. I was the one who was scared of being alone, feeling alone, and wondering if I would ever feel significant.
I discovered that I was getting in the way on my own happiness.
Change is a choice.
And when we realize Change through Choices is the key to being happy, we can then work a plan to get there.
And I just don’t mean happy at times. I mean truly happy because you have balance in your life and you have a positive powerful mindset that will help you find more courage and confidence to face anything that life throws at you.
When you can let go of the labels, understand that your choices dictate your results and outcomes, replace the negative people, thoughts, and emotions with positive intentions, and learn to create opportunities through self love, self care, and self confidence, a world of complete happiness unfolds.
Here are the steps to building that courage and confidence in life that will bring inner peace and a life of love, laughter, and learning.
1. Ditch the labels – you are unique…that’s the only label you need
2. Accept that you matter and you have great worth – stop listening to that little voice inside you that has wanted to keep you unhappy all your life (that inner voice doesn’t want you to be happy because that means you will be leaving that little voice behind because it doesn’t fit in the world of courage and confidence)
3. Train yourself for personal awareness – bring awareness to all the negative thoughts, negative feelings, negative people, and negative environments.
4. Be authentic!
5. Eliminate those negative behaviors, thoughts, and feelings one at a time.
6. Replace each one with a positive – a behavior you would like to learn, uplifting positive affirmations, result oriented thoughts, and people that support you and bring value to you.
7. Stop dwelling on past issues and replace with result oriented actions that keep you moving forward, past the limiting behaviors that hold you back. Focus on what you WANT your life to be like than what it was or currently is.
8. Remind yourself every day that the choices I make dictate the results that happen to me.
9. Accept that YOU control your life and how it turns out.
10. Live by Eleanor Roosevelt’s words, “No one can make me feel inferior without my consent”.
11. Learn to build a support system of people that want the best for you and that are always pulling out your best qualities. Build relationships with people that add value and support.
12. Treat failure as feedback so you learn from past mistakes instead of punishing yourself for them. Learn to forgive yourself.
How we think matters. How we live our life is a choice we are given every day, even the days where we mess up. Learning to love yourself, opportunities and all, is key to building a life of love, happiness, supportive relationships, a healthy mindset, and a world of confidence and courage that will take you anywhere you want to go.
So what are you waiting for.
Here We Go.