The intention of this article is to empower you. So often we label ourselves. We tell ourselves that we’re “not good with time” or “we’re messy.” We also label others, such as our spouse, who is “terrible at doing things around the house.”
Imagine what your life would look like if you removed the labels and judgments. How would your life change if you had the freedom to decide how you want to interpret things?
Below is the podcast version of this article. The podcast explains things so much better than a blog post. I invite you to listen and also hear some examples and enjoy some laughs! You can subscribe to the Podcast by opening your favorite podcast app and typing “Balanced Working Moms” into the search or click here for a link to the podcast on iTunes.
Believing the Labels
I used to believe that I was ABSOLUTELY HORRENDOUS at time management. I was constantly starting new projects and I felt frazzled since it didn’t feel like I had enough time to finish all of them.
I attracted projects like a fly to a sticky trap.
But you know what?
I’m not not bad at time management. I often get a lot more done than I give myself credit for.
You Can Change Your Labels
Whatever interpretation or labels you’ve made, you can change them. You can mold your labels like clay, till there’s an interpretation you LOVE and that SERVES you.
I’m guessing you have a ton of labels for yourself and others in your life. We all do. Everyone’s interpretations are different. You may label yourself as “Bad at Time Management” (like I did) or a “Bad Mom.”
You may even tell others your interpretation. And the more you do this, the more it FEELS like a fact.
I know these labels don’t seem optional. I’m sure you have a lot of “proof” to justify the label.
But the labels that you created which don’t serve you can be changed.
All the things that you think are facts, my friend, they aren’t. They’re just how you’ve been interpreting them.
How to Challenge Your Labels
I’m going to share some of the most powerful work I know. It’s by Byron Katie.
When you come across something that you’ve always believed as fact, ask yourself these four questions:
- Is it true?
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
- How do you react when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without the thought?
Using the Questions to Challenging the Labels & Beliefs
When you use the questions, it helps you challenge your beliefs.
Usually, the first question can help you realize that things you THINK are true aren’t actually true. For example, is it true that I’m bad at time management? No. It’s not necessarily true. I always get my assignments done on time. I always pay my bills on time. Anything important always gets done.
But if you responded yes, it’s true, the next question takes you deeper. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? Usually, you can’t.
Next, how do you react when you believe the thought, for example, that you’re bad at time management? Usually, you feel bad about yourself and it makes you hyper-aware when you don’t get things done timely.
Lastly, without the thought, who would you be? This last question is so powerful. Without those negative labels and beliefs, who would you be? What kind of person would you step into if you knew the beliefs weren’t true?
Freeing Yourself From Labels
Isn’t this way of thinking so freeing? YOU get to decide if you want to keep all the labels and judgments you’ve had for yourself.
Personally, I’ve decided I’m incredible at time management! And every day I see things that prove it.
My proof is when I wake up at 5am to do yoga and meditate.
When I build time into my calendar to make a healthy dinner.
I’ve decided that I can interpret all the facts that I see as signs that I’m AMAZING at time management.
And it’s true. Both interpretations are true.
But I choose to pick the one that makes me happiest. And when I do, it makes me even better at whatever I’m working towards.
So whatever your label, decide if it serves you. Ask the 4 questions. And if doesn’t, throw it in the trash and pick an interpretation that gives you joy.
Because after all, you’re the one who gets to decide.