How to Proudly Wear The Labels Others Give You
We live in a society of labels. There’s always someone trying to slap a descriptor on us … telling us how we’re supposed to act, feel, talk, dress, look. How we’re supposed to BE.
We get these messages from family, friends, our communities, the culture.
And we’re all guilty of it. Not just of putting those labels on others—but of taking the labels others give us and accepting them, internalizing them, and allowing them to dictate our behavior.
As someone who’s fought against how others would try to label her, judge her, tell her how she should live, I just have to say that way lies madness!
Here’s what you need to do: Drop the “shoulds.” Embrace your wants and the real you. Embrace the things about yourself that others might deem “too much” (or “not enough”).
Embrace the labels others try to give you, and wear them as badges of honor!
A Lifetime of Being ‘Too Much’
Perhaps because I’m extroverted by nature and freely put myself out there, people have felt they have the right to criticize me for being “too much.”
It’s happened my whole life. And I’d be lying if I said I never let the haters get to me. … that I haven’t let their words worm their way into my heart and head.
But over the years, I’ve learned that when people behave this way, they’re saying a lot more about themselves than they’re saying about me!
And I’ve learned that the supposedly negative things they’re saying about me are actually the things that make me ME: strong, empowered, joyful, successful.
The Labels I Won’t Apologize For
If I’ve done something to wrong you, to offend or upset you, I am quick to apologize … most of the time. (Just keepin’ it real!)
But living my life, being myself? That is NOT something I apologize for. If you think I’m too [fill in the blank] … well, that’s on you and has nothing to do with me!
- I’m too loud. No, I’m passionate, and I freely express my feelings about the things and people I love most. I have a zest for life!
- I ask too many questions. No, I’m inquisitive. I want to know more about the topics that interest me. I’m curious about others and the world around me. I’m a teacher, but I’m also a learner.
- I’m too confident and intimidating. No. Just, NO! Women, especially, need all the confidence we can get. And I’m not intimidating … YOU are just intimidated!
- I’m too open. No, I’m a super-connector. I want to know people on a deep level. And in return, I owe them transparency and realness.
- I’m too high maintenance. No, I have high standards. I’m a striver. I know what I want, and I know how to take action to make my dreams happen.
- I’m too hyper. No, I’m energetic. You’ll never find me sitting on the sidelines because real life happens on the field. (This one really used to get me down. I hated hearing that word, “hyper.” But guess what? That’s my special magic! It helps me be the person that gets hired as a keynote speaker for audiences of thousands!)
- I’m too emotional. No, I have a big heart. I don’t hide my feelings, and I don’t expect others to either. And it allows me to empathize and help women work through their struggles.
My ‘Muchness’ Is My Magic
For a lot of years, the labels I carried brought me down. They prevented me from showing up in my life as the real me. They made me afraid to live authentically … because what if others didn’t like me or thought I was too much?
I tried for a long time to do as people wished, but it sent me into darkness and depression because my soul couldn’t shine the way it was supposed to.
Finally, I realized: My muchness is my magic!
I’ve embraced that. And the people in my circle—family, friends, colleagues, clients—appreciate it. They know there’s much to be gained from my muchness.
And the people who don’t appreciate my muchness? Well, they’re welcome to find their own circle!
Let’s embrace our labels together! In my private Facebook group, Women Rising, you’ll find a sisterhood that’s all about supporting each other and shining brighter. If you’ve ever felt like you’re “too much” (or “not enough”), this is the circle for you!