Exploring labels and their impact
on personal growth.
Sickly, Smart, Beautiful, Confident, Fat, Strong, Student, Weak, Self-Absorbed, Scared, Entrepreneur, Ugly, Independent, Peaceful, Loving, Tall, Slim.
If you allow them, labels can control how you dress, act, eat and live; many times without you even realizing how strongly they are affecting you, until you are free from them. Labels can limit you, not allowing you to reach your full potential or they can strengthen you, helping you to reach your full potential. Labels can get inside your head and you can become the label rather than the individual you are. You can become so identified with a certain set of labels that it is difficult to break away from that view of yourself. Labels have the power to warp and distort your perception of reality, or to strengthen, expand, and create a healthy persona. I have been labeled many things in my 20 years.
I had an on-going illness all through my high school career. Peers, teachers, and even doctors labeled me as sickly because they did not understand my illness or my inability to attend school on a regular basis. The label sickly stuck with me long after my illness was under control. It did not matter how many times my family told me it wasn’t sickly, because I had accepted it as truth. I wasn’t able to shed the label, sickly, until I changed my beliefs about it. It is important to understand the power of labels on the individual’s self-esteem and in the shaping of identity. Use labels as a tool in your self-growth instead of accepting other people’s perception of you.
Labels can be “positive” or “negative”. Every label has the potential to be either depending on you perspective. I am grateful to have been labeled sickly because without the high school experience I would not be who I am today. My illness and recovery led me to a career in art therapy and holistic psychology. Exploring what the label means to you personally empowers you to make the label work for you.
Each time I do a performance for The Label Project I wear my labels for the world to see. I am simultaneously vulnerable and empowered. After visibly wearing my labels I am able to take back another piece of myself, acknowledging, accepting, and transforming each label for my personal growth.
Wear your labels with pride and confidence.
To get you started thinking about your own labels here are some questions.
Remember, it is how you interpret and utilize the label that is important.
What label are you most proud of?
What is your least favorite label about yourself?
Visit The Label Project on Facebook!
Thank you Cacky for all of the inspirational work you do! We are so happy to feature The Label Project on Guiltless! Continue to shine your inner and outer beauty!