BREAKING OLD LABELS... YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINKA label maker is good for one thing and that is to order chaos through clearly marked identification labels. We put labels on our school books, kitchen items, moving boxes, study desk, storage items, office cupboard etc. This form of categorizing is how we keep control and maintain order in our physical external world making our internal world calmer.
We also put labels on people, places, ideas and ourselves. Some labels are helpful by aiding in identification and status. Other labels can hinder us as people, limiting our innate potential.
Your innate potential is like your own personal bright light and limiting labels are like pieces of mess covering the brilliance of who you really are. When you have too many limiting labels your own personal light becomes covered with little or no light able to shine through. This affects your self worth, confidence and personal performance ability.
“If you think you can or think you can’t you are right” Henry Ford
How do we identify labels that limit us?
How can we change the way we think?
Labels can be true or false, accurate or inaccurate. Some examples of inaccurate labels are “She hurt my feelings so she is bad” or “my teacher didn’t acknowledge me so they don’t like me”.
Statements that blame others for you not feeling good within yourself are limiting labels. No one is ever responsible for how you feel. When we perceive situations in certain ways that bring out emotion in us and we don’t know how to resolve that emotion, we categorize it by labeling it “good” or “bad”. We then store that labeled baggage in our memory until we are ready to bring it out of storage and change the label.
Here is an example:
Teacher tells student that their technique is messy
Student then assumes that they have “bad” technique and works hard on improving. Instead of focusing on the improvement student continues to focus on the perceived “bad” technique labeling themselves as a dancer with “bad” technique. A more beneficial label would be to label themselves as a student who is diligently mastering dance technique.
Identifying a label you have given yourself that is limiting and negating yourself worth is important. As we grow our labels also need to change. Just as we grow out of our clothes, our personal identity is also undergoing constant change and evolving.
How to Identify a Limiting Label?
1) Become aware of yourself talk and the emotions that arise.
2) Notice when you are feeling disheartened, sad or disempowered then look at what you were thinking when the negative emotion emerged.
How to Transform a Limiting Label
1) Eliminate absolute terms such as “always” “never” “good” and “bad” as these words are limiting. If you find yourself labeling as “always” being a certain way or statements like “I can never do that step” you have the CHOICE to believe that or CHALLENGE that thought.
2) After you have identified the limiting label (original thought that created the negative emotion) challenge it through quality questions such as;
● Is this really true?
● Where do I demonstrate the opposite trait? (e.g. if you label yourself as not successful – see where you are already successful)
● Do I always do that?
You are responsible for the way you think! You have a choice to choose thought patterns that aid in your evolution as a performer or hinder your progress.
The choice is yours!
Yours in Dance
Kate x
© Copyright Kate Histon 2010 on behalf of Dance Life Australia. To copy or distribute any part of this article you must first seek permission by the author Kate Histon