We love labels.
We hate labels.
label: a descriptive or identifying word or phrase
When I worked as a full time special education teacher, labels were a double-edged sword.
Useful when writing IEPs (Individual Education Plans), developing specific goals and objectives and measuring progress (or lack of). This child has a learning disability; let’s develop strategies and tools so that we can help level the playing field.
Helpful for parents who were at their wits end wanting to know why their child wasn’t learning like other students…”oh she has a learning disability, that explains it”.
Harmful when the label envelopes the person. On the other side of the sword lies judgment, excuses, and preconceived notions. “Oh she has a learning disability; she’ll never finish anything”.
Labels are identifiers…It’s our version of a mental coat hanger; something to hang IT on as it were. It’s an explanation of what “IT” is…something we humans crave.
Labels can be put on us externally (by others) or internally (those we give ourselves).
If you are buying into those labels what is it getting you?
Clients come to me now and we talk about labels as it relates to describing who they are and the work they do.
Magicians, Sages, Jesters…
INFJ, ENFT, ESTJ…
Creatives, Intuitives, Empaths, Healers…
A very good and helpful strategy as we dive deep into constructing a distinctive and resonant brand.
The thing is though labels don’t take into account the “Y” Factor, which is of course, YOU, the Individual.
There are no labels for
your vision for yourself
Labels are merely a tool, whether or not they are the correct tool is up to you.
Labels can be as empowering or disempowering as you make them. Only you can give them energy. Only you decide the amount of power they have over you…and whether or not this serves you or hurts you.
My feeling is that labels are for canned food…I am what I am…and I know what I am~Michael Stipe
We don’t expect greatness in labels…we do expect it in you.