Life labels can be dangerous…
As a professional life coach, I am always interested in people’s stories. Our stories are important. Our stories define how we see ourselves and how we do life. If the story you tell yourself about you is a negative one, then your life is going to be limited.
What concerns me about today’s world is the stories we assign to others by the labels we give them. How many times have you heard things like… “Well you know that Mary is a right-wing conspiracy type person.” Or, “I don’t like my kids hanging out with that family because they are way too liberal.” Or, “Susan is divorced.” “Sally is a widow.” “Poor Tom is an addict.”
Now I am not saying we close our eyes to things, or deny truth in any way. However, what happens when we assign the sum totality of a person to a label or a description? After all, isn’t there more to that person than the label we may assign them? Isn’t there more to you and I as unique individuals than the labels others may give to us. They don’t know us or our stories.
What about the labels or stories that we even assign to ourselves? “I’m not very smart.” “Things never work out for me.” If we are not careful, our own labels can confine our lives, box us in, and limit our possibilities. More importantly, the labels we assign others can keep us separated from them and cause division and strife.
In a world where labeling seems to have gotten out of hand, it has most definitely become a problem. Even though technology is great and helpful in so many ways, cyber-bullying is real and has caused people to experience rejection even great pain from complete strangers.
If we ever want to reach our potential in life, we have to be careful how we define ourselves. What is the story that we keep telling ourselves? Look, it is easy for all of us to get caught up in labels and comparisons. It is far too easy to get preoccupied with what other people think or compare our lives with them. However, I have to tell you that if you define your life with a limiting label or someone’s else’s story about you, you have just put a lid on your life and your true potential.
I have decided that, if there is going to be any kind of label that I wear, it has to be the label that God has given me as His child. In His Word, His descriptions regarding me are powerful. As His child, He declares that I am loved, accepted, forgiven, chosen, beloved, daughter, and fearfully and wonderfully made. I can choose to believe that or believe something different. In life, we have choices. We can choose to allow other people to define our life or story or we can allow God’s Word and its truth to define us.
My challenge to you is to recognize the label or story that you are using to define your life. I believe, if you will allow God’s Word to define your life, your story will become empowering and your life will have limitless possibilities.