Lately I’ve been thinking about the tendency we have, as humans, to label ourselves (and others).
I was reading a post by a fellow coach and noticing that I could identify with everything she was writing about.
She is a coach for people with ADHD.
All of a sudden my brain was like, “Woah, what?! Am I ADHD?!”
And, similarly, when I was doing research on OCD and discovered perfectionism is a form of OCD, my brain was like, “Say what?! Am I OCD?!”
To both questions, I had remind my brain “Nope, for sure not.”
Cause here’s the thing…doesn’t matter if someone else thinks I am ADHD or OCD or if I actually am or not…doesn’t matter if it could be argued that it is true that I am.
What matters is what I believe about myself and whether or not that is serving me.
I see absolutely no upside to believing I am ADHD or OCD. There is no sense of relief or freedom for me – only limitation – so I won’t be taking on either of these labels as beliefs about myself.
Now, this doesn’t mean that these labels have this same affect on others. This is simply my experience of these labels. And my experience of them is what matters for me.
In a similar manner, I’ve been looking at labels I have taken on in my life.
I used to label myself as a perfectionist. It was a label I even wore proudly for a LOOOOONG time. Ha!
Then, earlier this year, I realized in a big way how many problems identifying as a perfectionist was causing for me. 🤯
I realized that perfectionism includes a lot of beating myself up that I didn’t even realize I was doing.
I realized that perfectionism involves a lot of unnecessary fear.
I realized that identifying as a perfectionist was holding me back. It wasn’t serving me.
And so, after a bit of an identity crisis (the good kind, ha!), I decided that I’m no longer going to label myself as a perfectionist.
Yes. Just like that. I decided.
Because I get to think whatever I want to think about myself. No one can stop me. And whether it’s true or not doesn’t actually matter.
What matters is that what I choose to think is true ultimately lays the blueprint for my future.
I used to see myself as a perfectionist. Now, I see myself as a high achiever.
It’s a subtle difference, but it is EVERYTHING.
High achievers are more forgiving and kind to themselves than perfectionists.
High achievers live a life less paralyzed by fear.
High achievers find more joy in the journey.
I’m not a recovering perfectionist. I’m not overcoming perfectionism.
I’m a high achiever. And every day, I become more and more of a high achiever.
Same thing you think?
The difference is subtle, but it is everything.
The former focuses on the past; the latter focuses on the future.
What we focus on expands.
And how we feel about what we are focused on matters most.
Telling myself I’m a recovering perfectionist leaves me feeling like I’m lacking. Like something is wrong with me. I feel inadequate and “less than.” I feel limited. For me, those feelings drive inaction and spinning in my head.
Telling myself I’m becoming a high achiever fuels me with possibility. With excitement.
And that? THAT is everything my friends.
How do you label yourself?
Is it serving you?
How do you feel when you think about yourself that way?
What actions (or inactions) do those feelings drive?
Are those behaviors creating the type of future you desire for yourself?
If not, I have great news for you.
You get to believe whatever you want to believe about yourself.
And, when you change what you believe, that will change how you feel, what you do, and what kind of life you create for yourself.
What do you want to believe about you?
You can choose anything my friend!
And then you can look for evidence that supports those beliefs while also going about creating more evidence to support them. 😉