Don’t Let Labels Define You


“When you deny people and yourself the privilege to change and move in a different direction, you’re denying a sense of what makes us human”.

Bryan Kramer

When I was a kid I used to wear a t-shirt that said I am not an introvert. I blissfully wore it around thinking I was pretty cool. Looking back I have to laugh cause the telltale signs of being an introvert were written all over me. I liked books, and art, and my own company. These days I’m neither.

We love the extremes of a personality style. Happily slotting people into their boxes. We’re even guilty of throwing ourselves into them sometimes. Now I’m not saying having a ballpark idea of where people are at isn’t logical. Just don’t lock the door and throw away the key. They probably have a totally different take on the world.

I have been reading an article by social media strategist Bryan Kramer. His article in Forbes magazine sheds more light on why labelling people is a bit shortsighted.

Why it’s time to stop labelling ourselves and those around us – Bryan Kramer

These are my takeaways from this great read.

  • Labelling limits our curiosity of others.
  • Labels convey an absolute.
  • Labelling doesn’t allow people (including yourself) to change.
  • Don’t let labels define you. Don’t get obsessed by a label that someone who doesn’t know you might have. You know you.
  • Be flexible with your perceptions of others.
  • Even if you make a mistake doesn’t mean you are a mistake.
  • Focus on strengths and weaknesses instead.

Bryan then moves on to how you can work through your strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Write down all the labels you or others have labelled you with over the years.
  2. Once you’ve made the list reflect on the circumstances that relate to each label.
  3. Place them into themes
    • Behaviour
    • Characteristics
    • Skills
  4. Create “buckets of strength”
    • What did you learn
    • What skills did you gain
    • Who did you meet

That first one brings back memories from when I was 16. My teacher telling me I would never amount to anything! I didn’t give a toss at the time. I must have bought the label at some level though. I was surprised to get into university. You can read a previous post I wrote on this as part of Bloganuary Completing University

I’ll leave it there. I hope some of my takeaways gel with you.

Until next time.

Dezzie 2022

Photo by imustbedead on

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