We feel proud of the characteristics that make us stand out as a person, and this usually leads us to give ourselves labels that distinguish these characteristics more. For instance, when you believe that you're the most creative person in your squad, you label yourself as the "artistic one."
But labels are not only about positive adjectives, it also exists when you see yourself in a negative way such as the "crybaby" or the "sensitive one." This is self-labeling, and when you start doing this, you unconsciously let other people see you like that, too.
Self-labeling is associated with the concepts of self-fulfilling and stereotyping. Once you accept these labels as reality, you often act like these labels cannot be changed. Whether it's a positive or a negative adjective, the words you describe yourself will slowly but surely undermine your confidence. As simple and innocent these labels might be, most of them are disguised as a form of judgment and can be harmful to your mental well-being. Listed down below are the reasons why you should be more careful about self-labeling.
1. You live up to the label's expectations.
Up to this day, people try to live to the expectations society gives them. It's the same with self-labeling; as much as you try to live on your terms, the label you put on yourself will hold you back in many ways. You will try to retain the reputation you gave yourself which, in return, will push you farther from an improved version of you.
2. You unconsciously conceal your other qualities.
Once you start labeling yourself positively or negatively, you'll eventually become self-conscious whenever you're doing something that's not related to the label you are being identified as. This will lead you to conceal your other qualities. Just like when you label yourself as a punctual person, you'll feel pressured to always be on time everywhere you go. Once you fail to do so, you punish yourself even if the reason you arrived late is understandable. When you get used to being known as a singular adjective, the other qualities you have will soon feel like they don't exist anymore.
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3. You become self-reliant to the label.
When you achieve something or make a mistake, you don't think about it that much before because you were unaware that you possess such characteristics. But when you start to see these characteristics, you label yourself and do your best to uphold this adjective. For example, you define yourself as an attention-seeker; you rely on this label and show other people that you are this kind of person even though there are moments that you feel bad for being like this. It becomes an excuse to keep those bad habits whether you admit it or not.
4. The label will define you.
When you label yourself with adjectives that you believe define you, then the labels will become you. The more you label yourself, the more your mind will pick up this opinion of you. And even if you label yourself with a positive adjective, it can also lead to a tragedy of pressure and pretentiousness that weren't there in the first place. That's why you should always be careful with the words you describe yourself with because they might limit you in the long run.
We're all victims of stereotyping, that's why we don't want to make this issue worse. This is to point out how harmful self-labeling can be to your mental well-being and identity. Quit the mindset that the label you've been known for is who you are, and that it's something that you can't change. Believe us when we say that once you start focusing more on just living your life without following a label, you're en route to a better place.
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