Identity Crisis? The Labels We Use To Describe Ourselves Can Harm Or Nurture Our Souls.

Identity Crisis? The Labels We Use To Describe Ourselves Can Harm Or Nurture Our Souls.

- in Rebellious Living
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@Jennifer White

Maybe you get a full-on Identity Crisis when someone asks you to describe who you are. Labels and I do not talk about Fashion Labels; can harm or nurture our souls. We need to be careful how we label ourselves. I am a daughter, a son, a partner, a doctor, a secretary or I am anxious or depressed. All these labels have a deeper meaning. You actually can see from the way we introduce ourselves to each other what we believe who we are. We almost do it automatically. When we meet new people or when we go to an interview for a job we use specific labels to highlight who we are. All labels have a benefit, but a lot of them can massively restrict you or even harm you.

Why do we use labels?

It is a shortcut and a snapshot of who we are. Have you gone to a party and people asked who you are and you started to tell them who you belong to and where you are coming from? Or in an interview, you highlight what you are capable of and your achievements in your career? They are always different snapshots; we also use different labels for separate occasions. They are almost like an entrance ticket. Labels still carry a benefit if we use them for ourselves positively and negatively.

The benefits of the labels we use.

When we choose labels for ourselves, we use them for our benefit. In an interview we highlight our best achievements, when we introduce ourselves we might use labels to describe who we are, we are the partner, friend or relative of this and that person. What occupation do we have? Are we single, divorced or married?  These and more labels we use to describe ourselves who we are online and offline. Labels help us to get the job, the partner we desire, being accepted by specific groups or even get into specific groups or events.

The dark psychology behind labels.

Even though labels have a benefit for us, they can massively restrict us. We might use labels like, I am anxious, or I am depressed. I always say to my clients that these are strong labels. I still say to them why not saying that you currently suffer from depression or anxiety. We sometimes use these kinds of labels to gain the benefit of more compassion and peace or maybe to tell people that we cannot handle much at the moment or that they should not expect too much from us. Which is sad, I know some people who carry these labels forever, like they are never able to shift them.

The benefit of these kinds of restrictive labels is that no one expects much from us, so we cannot fail any expectations. However it feeds into a feeling of never moving forward or feeling useless, this in itself feeds more into anxiety and depression.

Over-Identification can lead to an Identity Crisis

We sometimes over-identify with our labels and believe that we are indeed them. We forget that we are far more than our labels, labels only describe what you are currently doing or in what state of mind you are. They can change at any given moment. People sometimes get an Identity Crisis when they have to drop a label; this can be when we lose a loved one or job or if we failed at something.

Labels we get from others.

Yes, others give us label too. Some of them we might take on and feel hurt by others might even be flattering. Understand that the labels others give us are their perception and has nothing to do with the truth. These could be labels like; you are too thin, too fat, too stupid, too loud or you are too kind, very pretty, loving, educated, rich, poor. Any label you can think of. People label us to either recommend us to people or warn people about us.

Be a mindful label changer.

We drop and pick up labels all the time. We add new ones or discard old ones. Sometimes we realize that we changed labels when we bump into someone we have not seen for a while, and they recognize that we have changed dramatically. Be mindful of the labels you use for yourself. What labels are annoying you? What benefit are you gaining out of this label? Ask yourself since how long you are carrying this label with you. What label would you like to wear or do you want to be a Spiritual Rebel and not wear any label at all?

Understand that we always will wear labels, but some of them can harm our souls and others might be flattering and nurturing for us. Always, always, always be open to drop and change your labels. When we embrace change, then we avoid having an Identity Crisis or some would call it Midlife Crisis. Labels also have to do with our rules of living, the way we have been brought up. Remember YOU choose the labels you want to wear, no matter what other people say about you, you do not have to wear the labels they give you.

About the author

Jennifer White Ad. Dip. Psych. is a global human potential thought leader, blogger, Psychological Therapist with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) skills, Life Coach and Public and Motivational Speaker. Jennifer White has experience in counselling and coaching people with substance misuse, anxiety and depression. She is currently working as a self-employed Psychological Therapist and Life Coach in her practice, helping people reaching their real potential. She holds public and motivational speeches and shared her ideas with other speakers on the stage of the Celebrate Your Life event in Arizona 2016. She runs successfully her self-development and self-help groups on- and offline.

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