Are labels helpful or unhelpful?

I don’t remember many of the comments in my school reports, but I do remember one. It was my final year in junior school and my form teacher wrote "Sport is not Emma’s forte”. To be fair, at that point in my life he was probably right. Should he have said it?

I guess I had three choices:

  • Ignore it

  • Live down to the label

  • Prove him wrong

Beach lifeguard training - January 2019

Beach lifeguard training - January 2019

I clearly didn’t do the first two. I’ve also never forgotten that comment. The number of times that I have muttered to myself ‘that will show him’ have been countless and have included:

  • Trampolining, diving, football, lacrosse and swimming coaching qualifications

  • Running a trampolining club

  • Competing in Diving, Swimming, Trampolining and Netball

  • Beach lifeguard qualification

  • Swimming the channel (several times)

I do wonder sometimes whether this still contributes to my negative self-talk. It’s definitely time to let it go. Which reminds me of a story I heard recently……..

Long ago, two monks were walking through the forest one morning when they came across a distressed young woman.

Tearfully, she asked them for help crossing the river, which had swollen from recent rains, so she could get home safely.

Although they had both taken strict vows to not communicate with the outside world, the first monk happily agreed, carrying the young woman across on his back.

She thanked him and left, and the two monks continued their journey for many hours in silence.

Finally, when night fell, they set up camp. But before they went to sleep, the second monk could not contain his emotions any more.

"How could you!" he burst out.

"We have taken strict vows of chastity! We vowed to never communicate with outsiders! But you carried that woman on your back!" he railed against his friend.

The first monk looked at his red face and simply said:

"My friend, I carried her for only a few minutes. You, however, have carried her all day!"

Much of the time we speak without stopping to think. Mostly this is fine. Occasionally you may make what is a throwaway comment for you, but it may hit a raw nerve for the recipient. Conversely it may be a comment that is taken so well that it becomes a pivotal change point for that person. So many people have said to me, ‘Do you remember when you said ‘xxxxxx’, generally I don’t remember it, however they do, and these have been extremely positive moments for that person.

Think about the impact you have on others. We’re all just trying to get on with life to the best of our abilities. Let’s build each other up rather than destroy belief.

What label, limiting belief or burden have you been carrying? Wouldn’t it be great to finally get rid of it, once and for all.

If you want some help getting rid of ‘that thing’ get in touch today. ~ 07702 814690