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Let go of the labels you've been given

Sometimes we're given labels by others. We didn't ask for them but here they are. These can often be positive, uplifting labels. But sometimes there can be negative and we can form a negative relationship with ourselves based on these labels.

A client recently shared a label she’d been given with me. She didn’t at first recognise it as a label, but she referred to herself using it. “I’m not very good at creative things”. This resonated.

I often hear people describe themselves as “I’m lazy” “I’m selfish” “I’m no good at x” and I wonder where these labels originate.

We’re given labels all the time and we internalise them and use them to describe ourselves.

This client recalled where the label first appeared…way back in childhood at school when friends would tell her she’s not very good at creative things.

Here she was describing herself as an adult. She recognised that this label was preventing her trying new things, doing things she would love and getting outside her comfort zone. It wasn’t a helpful label.

Labels have an impact, without realising it. They impact the way you talk to yourself, what you believe is possible, your behaviour, what you say yes (or no) to. Discussing it further, she realised this label is not even true. She has always been creative and enjoys creative activities. All the evidence demonstrates that she is a creative person.

She destroyed this label as no longer fitting. And shared a new one “I am creative and always have been. Making and creating brings me joy and that is reason enough to try something new.”

What label have you been given that you can let go of and free yourself to move forward?


Gemma Brown is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) accredited with the International Coach Federation (ICF). She works with individuals and teams thrive by helping them to elevate their authenticity, purpose and direction. Her belief is that when we confidently bring our whole selves to all areas of life, anything is possible. Transitions exist in both our personal and business life, and so often, the two fiercely overlap. Coaching with Gemma focuses on you as a whole, enabling you to identify your strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. Gemma works face to face with clients in the Cambridge area as well as via Zoom. For more about Gemma, visit her 'About' page or contact her directly.

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