Updated: May 17
We spend so much of our lives living by the labels that other people give us. Sometimes it can begin right from childhood. When I was in middle school there was a bully that called me "Shamu". Most people know that to be the gorgeous Orca from Free Willy... obviously he was calling me a whale.
I don't remember ever feeling "fat" before that point. When I look back at pictures of me from around that time, although I may have had some baby pudge, I was most definitely not significantly overweight. If I knew then what I know now, I would have just let that roll off and not define me, but I carried that with me for a long time.
Due to allowing that label to penetrate me to my very core, my actions started to match that label. My feelings of being a whale... started to put me down the path of eating like one, and always seeing myself as such. It's a hard downward spiral to release yourself from.
Acknowledging Your Labels
It seems counterproductive because we're supposed to be increasing our good feelings, but I think it's important to acknowledge the labels we've allowed to sneak into our consciousness. We are not accepting them, but only acknowledging them so that we are able to address the negative thoughts connected to them when they come up.
Write a list of your negative labels that you or other people have put on you. Some examples could be:
You get the point. You need to look at that list and really think about how it would make you feel to call someone else one of those words. Not good right? So why do you allow yourself to define yourself by those words? They're just ugly words, and they don't represent you. Those are NOT your labels. Now scratch them out, really go to town on scribbling all over them, or blacking them out with a sharpie. Free yourself from them. They are not you, and you are not them.
Now It's Time to Re-Label Yourself
This part may be hard at first, but the more you practice it, the easier it will get. I want you to stand in front of a mirror and really look at yourself. Really observe all the beauty that is you, and all the potential that you have.
Next to every scratched out word, you will write something positive about yourself. Really dig deep and find all of your inner and outer traits that define you.
Cute Button nose
If you have a hard time seeing things, ask your family and friends! They probably have a whole list of reasons why you're amazing, probably many things that you don't even see.
Whatever it is that makes you amazing and uniquely you, these are your new labels. Those old labels are gone, they aren't you. You need to take these new labels and remind yourself daily, if not multiple times a day, of these amazing things that make you you. Read them over and over until they start to be all you see.
If possible leave sticky notes for yourself in random places that remind you of your new labels. Repeat them until you believe them. It may feel silly or unnatural at first, but these labels are who you are, you just need to acknowledge them more.
Girl you're gorgeous, fabulous, and amazing, and have so much to offer the world, you just need to start to believe it, and feel it to your core, and everything else will get a heck of a lot easier. I promise!