We have been labeled ever since we were born. You are either a boy or a girl, a popular kid or the nerd, a good employee, a husband or wife, a mother, a designer, a writer… Labels follow us everywhere we go and we tend to cling to them because we feel like it’s our identity. Sometimes these labels make us feel awful about ourselves and other times they are something you are proud of. Either way I think it’s time to ditch your labels!
As a multi-passionate creative, I know the struggle of labels all too well. I often get advice or read articles about having to narrow your niche in order to be successful. Basically, you are told to slap on a big ass label that says “I’m a designer” (or whatever your profession is) and call it a day. But here’s the thing… I’m not just a designer and I don’t only want to design. I’m also a blogger, a Disney connoisseur, a travel addict, a wellness junkie and so on and so forth. All of that which makes me… me! So why is it that we tend to be forced into a certain label or category? And what is that doing for our personal growth?
You Are More Than Your Labels
When you think about labels they are nothing more than a way for people to define you in a way. You are a mother, a doctor, a writer, an entrepreneur a designer… But there are millions of mothers, thousands of doctors, hundreds of entrepreneurs and designers. But they aren’t you. No matter how many labels you may have, they are not your true Self or identity. In reality all labels do is keep you in a box for others to define you and sometimes hold you hostage from venturing out into the unknown due to fear.
Why I’m Ditching My Labels
For a while I had been struggling with my identity. I kept flip flopping between “I’m a designer” and “I wanna be a full time lifestyle blogger”. According to the Internet, these two things didn’t go together. I kept seeing other designers blogging about branding tips and entrepreneurship and the best fonts to use for web. So I let go of all of my creative projects and started blogging solely on entrepreneur and branding tips. I gave into fear for a while and it just left me feeling miserable because I was letting go of all the projects that made me happy. I had stopped being me. And then, it hit me… In an attempt to label myself only on “entrepreneurship for designers”, I started living a life of stress. All because I felt like I needed to label myself. Because others did.
Labels Are Just Another Comfort Zone
The other thing about labels is that they tend to put you in a box… a comfort box. It’s what you know after all, so going in a different direction or exploring a certain part of yourself is scary. Let’s say, for example, that you’re a photographer but you have always been curious about baking. You have no idea how to bake and you’ve never tried it but the curiosity hasn’t gone away. Fear probably steps in and tells you not to do that because your business, industry and community are in the photography world. You are after all a photographer, not a baker! But ask yourself this: What if you could be both? What if you could combine these two forces into a new magical dream? Simply put, when you ditch your labels you allow yourself to venture outside your comfort zone.
Your Magic Lies on The Other Side of Labels
When you fully embrace yourself, you tap into your own brand of magic that will help you live that magical life that you dream of. It will also set you apart from the rest of the world. Labels will only get you so far and when you strip yourself from them, you will find your magic along a new sense of freedom. I mean, I’m not just a designer giving you some branding tips. I’m also showing up everyday and talking about the magical journey to happiness! Because that’s just me, a designer that loves to share a wellness journey and maybe some Disney stuff in between.
So next time you find yourself trying to put a label on what you do. Stop. Labels only put you in boxes. And boxes will not let your beautiful magic shine through. Ditch your labels and set yourself free 🙂
What labels have been keeping you from exploring other parts of yourself?