Let Go Of Your Labels: A Mindful Practice

When we become too certain or fixed upon any given label, we restrict our chance to experience life’s vast array of surprises and opportunities. Here’s how we can take the tiny boxes we place ourselves in a little less seriously.

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Growing up, were you labeled the “sensitive genius”? The “rebel”? The “problem child”? The “nice guy”? I’ve especially enjoyed sporting the “smart aleck” persona, which is just one of the many identities I’ve walked around with, or have been dragged around by, over the years. Some were self-imposed, others gifted to me from hither and yon.

Labels come and go, and they are incredibly subjective. For instance, where one person might find me “a good listener,” or “kind,” another might label me “controlling,” “impatient,” or “obsessive.” Whether we recognize them or not, we all move through our lives wearing a hodgepodge of sticky labels. And these labels frame our experience in a powerful—though not always helpful—way.

Whether we recognize them or not, we all move through our lives wearing a hodgepodge of sticky labels. And these labels frame our experience in a powerful—though not always helpful—way

It’s not all bad. Labels can help us bring order to chaos in an instant. The challenge is that each person and situation is more than any one label you might give it. Nothing and no one is only wonderful, or only terrible, or beautiful or ugly or right or wrong. Ignoring this…

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