When used on pantry containers, labels can be very helpful. But they can also hem you in because you subconsciously comply with them!
For example, just because you are sometimes lazy doesn’t mean you can’t choose not to be lazy.
Just because you failed at something, doesn’t mean you’re a failure.
And just because you’ve had a lousy fashion sense doesn’t mean you can’t improve it.
Although changing habitual ways isn’t done overnight, neuroscientists have found that with repeated practice, you can rewire your brain; that is, your innate neural plasticity enables you to replace negative patterns of thought and behavior with positive ones.
Of course, when you slip back into default habits, as you inevitably will, don’t beat yourself up or label yourself as a lost cause. Rather, accept your fallibility and refocus on the positive changes you want to make.
You can kick-start your efforts by asking your favorite three people to call you out each time they hear you use “out of power” language.
It could be the most powerful thing you do to yourself!
- Margie Warrell (modified by Amr Badran)