There is a word that bothers me the most: labels. These are emotionally-loaded words or phrases that, at one point or another, were assigned to us by the important people in our lives, and they stuck like glue to our identity. These labels, when combined, constitute what we call a bad self-image. In other words, we own the labels and thoroughly believe in them. We think they are true.
Just listen to these words: fat, ugly, moron, loser, failure, reject, and fag. Just by listening to them, or even just be reading them, some emotions surface right? Even if these are not addressed to us! How much more for people to whom these labels are attached?
These labels result to a bad self-image, which results to a low-esteem, which leads to low performance in life. Therefore, the first step in increasing our performance is to overcome this bad-image.
There are several tools and processes involved in overcoming a bad self-image, but all of them point out to the same steps: naming, claiming, maiming, and replacing them.
Naming – what are these labels that compose your bad self-image. The moment you can name them, it will be easier to tame them. Whatever you can name belongs to you now, you have power over it. That is why when you name a dog, the dog belongs to you now.
Claiming – own these labels. Admit that you allow them to affect you. These are not labels attributed by others to you anymore, you have owned them, and that is why they define you.
Maiming – disempower these labels. Dissect them. Expose to the truth. For example, if you are really fat, maim this label by saying that it is not a permanent state and you are not helpless about it. You can do something about this. If it is a lie, declare it as such. You are not a loser. That is a lie because you can cite experiences where you came out the winner.
Replacing – come up with better tags about yourself. Choose positive, life-giving words which will fuel your desire to change. Successful. Motivated. Attractive. Words such as these erupt into layers of meaning.
As I said, there are several means of overcoming a bad image, but they all start with one thing: name them!