Your Labels Are Your Superpower
I never used to like labels. I mean, I understood their importance in say a supermarket as it gave you the information you needed, but as a human being I felt that labelling myself was restricting. Over the years though I’ve found labels for myself to be quite useful. In fact I discovered that you can make your label a secret (or not so secret) superpower. In this blog I discus this issue.
What Are Your Labels?
Well first of all, probably human. Next what’s the gender with which you identify? Sexuality? Race? What's your name?? There are so many from which to choose and it’s all down to how you identify with yourself. The truth is if we wrote out our labels onto sticky notes, it’d probably cover our entire body several times over; and that’s just the ones we give ourselves. When other people decide to label you as well - that’s a whole different kettle of fish!
A label is your identity but when other people give you a label, that’s their opinion of your identity or what they think of you. Sometimes it will be a lovely positive one, other times it’ll be judgemental and negative. Ultimately though their opinion of you is not any of your business and the only person who knows you is you! Therefore don’t pay any attention to them! But most of the time we need the good and the bad. You can't appreciate the warm without the cold.
Postive or Negative Labelling
Very often a thing is positive or negative…it’s not often that there’s a middle grey area when it comes to labels. However, there may well be positive and negative attributes in the label. But why is it negative? Is it because you don’t like that element of yourself; or because you worry others won’t like it? Of course, there are some negative labels that are because of a medical condition, but with a little bit of work you can change these into a positive…or at least a part of it. That’s not to say that the medical condition isn’t bad - sometimes it is, but don’t focus on that!
If you have a label you don’t like, why give it to yourself? Perhaps one of your labels is “Argumentative” or “Stubborn” or “Defeatist” - I could go on. Whatever you think you are, you can change and modify. Nothing is ever set in stone. No one ever stays the same and we owe it to ourselves to be the best possible version of ourselves that we can be. That can start with addressing our negative labels. Ask yourself what you need to do to become in alignment with who you really are.
Having a superpower is a lot of people’s dream. Some would choose invisibility, others would choose hyper-speed - the list practically endless. But what if I was to tell you that you already have a lot of superpowers? Your labels! Even your negative labels can be a superpower if you choose to acknowledge them and turn them into positive ones. The biggest thing to realise is that just by being true to yourself, and being authentic about who you are is the greatest superpower you can have.
Of course, every superpower can have its kryptonite (or equivalent). One of the biggest ones is paralysis by over-analysis. This often occurs because we think too much about what other people think. The truth is we all want to be liked, but the key to that is another superpower…liking yourself! If you struggle liking yourself it is likely that others will struggle too. Hopefully you’ll have people who will tell you positive things about yourself, but unless you start believing them you may end up stuck in the rut.
Developing Your Superpowers
I’d like to stick to the liking yourself idea for now. If you’ve experienced people lying to you or manipulating you it can be very difficult to trust someone when they tell you something good about yourself. There are many ways to deal with this but the “easiest” way is to start talking to yourself positively - in a mirror. It may well take a while before you start believing it but the more you do it the more you’ll start to. It is actually very easy to do this - the difficulty is maintaining it. As mentioned in an earlier blog, taking little steps forward is best.
Give yourself any labels you choose and take pride in them. If you’ve given yourself something negative, do something about it or look for the positives. If someone gives you a negative label, ignore it - unless you believe there to be some truth in it. If there is truth in it, do something about it if you want to. If you choose not to, don’t moan. To wrap this topic up (for now) I am going to list some of the labels I’ve given to myself and how I see them as positive…or rather how I’ve given them a positive spin.
This gives me a unique outlook on the world. I love the way I see the world. I can often see things others can’t. It can be a struggle sometimes dealing with sensory overload, but that gives me the opportunity to sit quietly with no distractions.
I acknowledge I am gay. It is not my defining characteristic, but it is a small part of who I am. Some people will judge because of my sexuality but that’s their problem not mine. They choose to behave that way and I choose to behave my way.
I have (recently) been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. This has meant a complete lifestyle change. Initially I struggled but I soon realised that by making changes could only be a good thing.
Cutting out sugar, getting more exercise, eating healthier food, drinking less…all these are good things. Doing those things listed will not actually do you any harm. If I can maintain this new lifestyle then there’s every chance the diabetes will go into remission.
I have a lot of energy. I do struggle to focus but I have found that meditation really helps me with this. I have so far managed to meditate for about 780 days in a row. I love having boundless energy as I can get a lot done.
Mental Health (Depression)
I am always totally honest about this and while I’ve managed to find ways of mostly keeping it at bay, there are times it hits me like a sandbag. I used to be ashamed of this but now I accept it’s part of who I am. Living with mental health issues means I can empathise with others.
There are many more I could list but I’ve tried to give a very broad brushstroke in an attempt to demonstrate how nearly everything can be turned into a positive, or at the very least a positive can be found.
I’d like to invite you to write a list of your own labels and after each one state whether it’s positive or negative. If it’s a negative label, write what you’re going to do about it. If it’s a positive one, think of it as a superpower. Remember, you don’t have to share your labels with everyone (or anyone), it’s your identity not theirs.