I hate labels. People will accept labels put upon them by others and will become the things others believe. If we are called a bully, we become one. If we are called a tramp, we sleep around. If we are labeled with PTSD we begin to act in a certain way that further defines us as BEING the label.
I love breaking labels. People who believe in themselves and KNOW who they are, are less likely to become the negative labels others would put on them, or believe the negative words they tell themselves.
Some time ago, one woman came to see me. She was distraught and felt like giving up. Suicidal thoughts loomed in her mind as she contemplated her life and the failure she believed herself to be. She spoke of broken relationships with the family she was born into, damaged relationships with her children, she was facing her third failed marriage, and she had untold numbers of failed relationships in-between. She had no problem reporting on all the negative things she has suffered at the hands of others and even recognized the damaging contributions she had made. She was highly educated, physically attractive, has been successful professionally, and is well known in the industry where she works. She had been in and out of therapy, had been "labeled" by professionals and was prescribed medications that didn't work. On the outside this woman was someone others would aspire to become, but inside she felt broken and self-identified as, "Damaged goods no one would want."
After a few short weeks of working with this woman she came in one day with a smile and a bounce in her step, "I feel amazingly wonderful!" She was able to see the truth of who she was, "I am a child of God," and challenged the negative titles of others, and finding no evidence to support their claims, she was able to remove the labels placed upon her by others, and which she perpetuated though her own negative thoughts. This woman did not deny the terrible things that happened to her, but she now truly believed the labels were no longer who she was. She rejected the labels and the lies that came with them.
What changed for this woman, and how can you get that healing as well? The short and easy answer is to believe differently. Tom Anderson, author of, "Your Journey of Being: The Step By Step Guide To Designing A Life You Love" says, "Nothing is unachievable in life, whatever you believe, you can achieve." I explain to my clients that this is pretty accurate in that we will manifest whatever we believe, it's called, "Creating a Self-fulfilling prophecy."
The Bible talks about this transformative process of moving from one way of thinking (negative) to another (positive):
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
If you want to see what others have written on the subject of changing your thoughts in order to get a different outcome in life, there are a multitude of self-help books on the subject. But there is something to remember; you didn't get where you are alone, and you won't be able to escape who you think you are alone either. It's a process of discovery, a journey of baby-stepping through life, and having a guide to walk with you as you trip, fall, and fearfully determine which road to go on. The road to success is paved with failure, and repeated failures can drive you further and further into the depths of despair. Walk with someone who has been where you are and only follow them if they are letting you lead. Don't follow someone blindly unless you know they are taking you where you want to go. If you need help on your journey, call Encouragers Counseling & Training today.