The Hidden Power of Labels

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

When my daughter was just 5 years old, she asked me one afternoon while we were driving what we were having for dinner that night.

"Burgers", I told her.

Noooooooooooo, I DON'T want burgers!  She immediately whined.

After thinking for a minute, I said to her, "I changed my mind, we're having flat meatballs instead."

"Yaaaaaaaaaaaay, I LOVE flat meatballs!" was the reply I heard from the backseat.

I could barely contain my laughter.

I was planning the exact same thing for dinner but calling it something different, and it totally worked.

I had a happy kid in the backseat singing to herself about flat meatballs the whole way home.

This funny conversation with my daughter has stuck with me forever.

You see, HOW we label experiences can make such a difference in how we perceive them - even when we know we are consciously re-labeling them.

For example if we look at a challenge at work and label it "ugh not this again" then it's completely disempowering and zaps our energy.

If instead, we come from a mindset of believing that the universe is serving you in some way, it helps us to remember to look for the lessons in our challenges instead.

What are the hidden gems there?  What can we learn that will help us to grow into the people we want to become?

every experience you go through

I coach on this in depth during my free 5 Day Challenge.

Sometimes we go through chapters in our lives when we struggle with believing the world is out to get us, or we say things like "it figures".  Or when good things happen, we're secretly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

This is normal, and can come as a result of a difficult time, a time you've been legit wronged.  And I hear you!  I've been there at times too.

However, in these times, it's pivotal that we check ourselves and check our mindset, otherwise this 'season' can turn into years and years of expecting the worst.

Here are 3 quick steps to changing your 'label' to make it serve you better.

1.  Catch yourself when you slap a label on an experience, a challenge or a conversation.

2.  Look for what you could learn there.

If it's testing your patience, this is an opportunity for you to develop your patience. If it's downright hard, this is your chance to grow your resiliance and determination.

3.  Intentionally change your 'label' to include the opportunity for growth that you recognized in step 2.

Even if you say it through gritted teeth initially, in time the new label will stick with you and help retrain your mind to look for growth opportunities in the midst of challenges.

If you've realized you sometimes struggle with a disempowering mindset and you'd like to grow past that, I invite you to join so many others who are currently doing the the FREE 5 Day Challenge to End Your Limiting Self Talk.

About the author, Leila Ansart: I help female leaders + entrepreneurs to work through the challenges that come with leadership, while finding fulfillment, freedom and support as they grow.

Curious about what coaching would be like? Read the FAQ’s here.