What are You?
Posted on 4th October 2018 at 12:21
So, what are you? A snowflake; a millennial; a baby boomer; a generation X? These are the labels that society gives us dependent on when we were born. We also get labelled according to our size, height, colour, intelligence, job and financial status. The list is endless. Labelling is so common that it has become a ‘shorthand’ for how we view ourselves and other people.
The trouble with labels is that they are rarely positive. When was the last time you described yourself by way of a positive label? Labels tend to be negative and this creates a problem for us as individuals, particularly at times in our life when things are tough, when we struggle and when we feel anxious or low.
We start believing the labels that we give ourselves and this eats away at our self-confidence and self-esteem. No longer are you ‘the person working hard to provide for your family despite feeling anxious every day’. Instead you become (and I’m paraphrasing here!) ‘the fat, lazy, middle-aged, skint, idiot’. That inner-critic, that we all have, just loves directing unkind words and labels our way. When said often enough, we start believing that the words we say to ourselves are true. When this happens, we are in trouble.
During therapy we try to understand the life experiences that have impacted on the labels we give ourselves, for instance, if we grow up being told we are idiots we will start believing that from a very early age. Belief in our unhelpful labels will make us feel anxious, scared, angry, lonely; and these emotions? Well, they will confirm the beliefs we have in the label eg I must be an idiot otherwise I wouldn’t feel like this!
Therapy fosters building alternatives to some of those beliefs by:
• noticing when our inner critic is at work undermining us
• developing a more compassionate dialogue with ourselves
• working out how to support ourselves when we feel sad, scared, upset and angry
• trying to talk to ourselves as we often do to others when they are struggling
Doing so enables us to consider how we might respond differently to the words we say to ourselves. Therapy can help find the words that will enable us to nourish ourselves and help us flourish as best we can.
Is this an easy thing to do? Not always.
Is it possible to do? Absolutely, yes!
I’m Tracey. I’m 55. I’m a human being. I’m not perfect (because I’m a human being!) and that’s ok. I wish both you and me a very good day.
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