In many Option process dialogue (OPD) sessions I have counselled recently, clients have described themselves in various ways, here are some..”…bad mother, uncaring person, stupid, inadequate wife…the list goes on…”.
So the question begs “why do we use ‘these’ beliefs to label ourselves with? why do we judge ourselves in this way?”. Well I can tell you why I used to do it…yes you read correctly, sometimes I would use combinations just to give my self a really good beating! Many of my clients have also used similar reasons to myself too. By the way I just want to say there is nothing wrong with labelling yourself with those or variations of those phases, most people find it is just not a pleasant experience and want something different, that is why they come to work with me!
I used to label myself as stupid because then it would give me permission to feel ok about making mistakes and work harder at being intelligent. However, the challenge was I realised (whilst doing an OPD), all the time I was calling myself stupid I was both feeling pretty awful about being stupid, so not ok with making mistakes. And limiting my own ability to grow, because if I am not intelligent enough there will be so many things that I would not even attempt for fear of failure. So calling myself stupid really wasn’t serving me in fact it was doing the opposite!
When a child is learning to walk and she falls, do we call her stupid? Most people would say she is learning a new skill and will get there in her own time, so then why not use the same thought for ourselves? Some of us might even celebrate and encourage the child’s attempts at doing something so new, adventurous and daring, we are excited for her and all the possibilities she is creating for herself…give it a go, cheer yourself on in the same way it really works and feels great!
The same story continues for other labels…the ‘bad mother’ is so cross at being a bad mother she screams at her kids and feels so overwhelmed by her children’s behaviour she hits them. The ‘uncaring person’ is so absorbed in how they are not doing enough and aren’t good enough they have no room to listen to anyone else. The ‘inadequate wife’ blames herself for all the challenges that face her marriage, judges this is not fair on her husband and ends the marriage.
Some people say “well it is what I have always thought I don’t know how to change it”, or “it is what my mother, teacher, sibling or spouse said about me” or it was because “I never had any friends as a child or I failed all my school exams”. I say that may have been so, but why do you label yourself that way right now?
…so remove the labels that don’t serve you and sew in new ones that do help support exactly what you want from your life, I am glad I did! If you need help with it because it just feels too challenging or alien contact me firstname.lastname@example.org