“Hello, my name is Blank.”
When a child is born, one of the first things essential to establish is the name on the child’s birth certificate. Our name is one of the many things that identify and separate us from one another. A name is also one of the first things we remember about a brand in the marketing world. Our name is a part of our personal life, “brand,” and how we think and speak about ourselves with others is how we “market” ourselves. It’s essential to learn what factors may contribute to how we label ourselves and how to replace those labels.
In the world of acting, actors are sometimes “type-casted.” This means that an actor is sometimes put in a box due to their physical characteristics, past experiences, or acting style. It can sometimes be bothersome to actors to feel that they are only being given the chance to play certain acting roles, for example, the villain, the jester, a minor character, and so forth. It is important in the world of acting, and with our emotional internal world, we do not put ourselves in a box but rather break out of the box! Ask yourself, “what box have I allowed others or myself to put myself in? What is waiting for me outside this box?” The Japanese believe everyone wears 3 “masks” (parts of ourselves). The mask we wear out in the world, the mask that we show with our close friends and family members, and the last mask is reserved for just ourselves (the parts that no one else sees).
This belief is similar to Carl Jung, the father of analytical theory, who believed that each individual has four archetypes. Archetypes, according to Jung, is the unconscious shared human experience about the different parts of ourselves that we are trying to bridge with our consciousness parts of ourselves. The four archetypes consist of the persona, the shadow, the anima or animus, and the self. The persona, our different “masks”, is how we adapt to our surroundings to be accepted or for self-preservation. The shadow, the repressed part of ourselves, is the part we do not want to bring to the light, or we are unaware we may feel a particular way about something. The anima, ideal feminine traits from the perspective of a man. The animus, ideal masculine traits from the perspective of a woman. Therefore, the anima and the animus are the feminine and masculine traits that each person possesses within themselves from the perspective of Carl Jung. The self is the unique personality each person has, it is when our consciousness and unconsciousness can meet.
It’s interesting then to see how external factors and internal factors influence how we may:
Categorize ourselves into certain boxes.
Choose what mask to wear, and the awareness/unawareness of our conscious and unconscious parts.
3 Practical ways to overcome Negative Labeling
In a journal, write out your feelings about the things on your mind and heart. Journaling is an effective way of practicing externalization of your feelings (letting feelings out of your body so they do not somatize). It’s also a great way of organizing and grounding your thoughts. It is also a form of a “mind dump” where one does spring cleaning and de-cluttering of the mind. Journaling is, therefore, a way of surrendering the negative labels since they do not serve you well.
Daily gratitude journaling is an effective way of training the neural pathways of the mind to highlight and focus more on the things you do have rather than what you currently do not have. Gratitude is connected to abundance thinking, which is choosing to multiply the thoughts about the things you are grateful for in your life. One can challenge oneself to pick a time in which they will challenge themselves to reflect on the things they are thankful for that day. Each day, a person is invited to think about different things (not to write down the same thing each day). Focusing on what you are grateful for is a way of focusing on your strengths. For example, “I’m proud of myself for being able to make the appointment that I was putting off in the past.”
Replace the negative self-label with three specific positive affirmations to counteract the label. For example, “I’m so dumb I made an error on a work email.” Replace with “I am capable; I have written many well-written emails before…..I am human, and I get the opportunity to learn from my experiences…..I am detail-oriented, I do to the best of my ability to pay attention to details when writing things for work.” Positive affirmations are ways of reframing your areas of growth.
Thus, the human mind is both wonderfully complex and simple simultaneously. Next time someone or even yourself asks you your name, know that you are a forever-changing and evolving human being who can’t be put in just one box. You are a brand that will always re-brand itself through different stages of life.
For more tips, please check out our other tips here https://www.plantationcounseling.com/blog). You can always find us at 954-903-1676 for counseling services.