Episode 14: The Labels You Assign

The Less Stressed Lawyer | The Labels You Assign


Did you know that you assign labels to everything that happens to you? More specifically, there are three types of labels: the ones you assign yourself, labels for other people, and the ones you have for things that go on in the world. We tend to be pretty sloppy and make statements about these three things as if they’re just facts. But the truth is, we’re just reporting our thoughts.

Very rarely do we assign labels in a way that is beneficial or positive. However, there are labels you can assign to situations that make you feel confident, motivated, proud, calm, or anything else you want to feel about yourself, others, or the world at large. So today, I’m showing you how to assign labels that have a positive influence on your feelings, and your life as a whole.

Whether you think you’re a hot mess, unqualified, a dreadful parent, that the world is horrible, or anything else that you don’t really want to be thinking, I’m showing you how to see the labels you’re assigning, see why they’re not necessarily true, and I’m sharing how to replace those statements with something way more helpful and empowering.

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How the labels we assign ourselves eventually become the cornerstones of our self-concept.
  • Why we tend to assign negative labels to the things we experience in our lives, and how this taints our view of the world.
  • How to catch yourself assigning negative or unhelpful labels to yourself, other people, or the world in general.
  • The most common labels I see my clients assigning to themselves, and why they’re so disempowering.
  • Why it’s impossible to shame yourself into self-improvement.
  • The power of thinking something positive about other people and the world around you.
  • How to start assigning yourself labels that are more accurate and can actually have a positive impact on your self-concept.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 14. We’re talking all about The Labels You Assign. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach, Olivia Vizachero.

Hi, how are you? I’m going to check on you for a second actually. A lot has been going on in the world, and I just want to do a wellness check, and have you ask yourself, “How are you feeling right now?” It’s okay, if you aren’t feeling really okay, that’s fine. But I want you to take an emotional inventory and just spend a second, check in with yourself. Ask yourself, how are you feeling?

You know, it’s been a heavy week or two with the news lately. And sometimes we can get so caught up in our lives that we forget to tune in and take a temperature check, to see if we need to make adjustments to take care of ourselves. So, before we dive into today’s topic, I just want you to do that for a second.

I know that in the past week, week, and a half, I’ve had a lot of extra emotion to contend with, as well, a lot of sadness, a lot of grief, a lot of frustration. And by checking in with myself, and identifying those emotions, I was able to process those emotions, and hold space for them to be there without allowing them or letting them take over my day-to-day life, without having them really interrupt the flow of anything.

So, I want you to take a second. Name, how you’re feeling right now; if it’s a negative emotion, nothing’s gone wrong. Sometimes part of the human experience is feeling some negative feelings, some of the time. So, you can just acknowledge them, place them in your body, you can describe them to yourselves, and I’ll record a whole episode on how to process a negative emotion. But in the meantime, just name it, notice how it feels. Identify the vibration, get really specific about it, and just acknowledge that it can’t hurt you. It’s allowed to just be there, and you can go about your day.

Alright. Once you’ve done that, I also want you to ask yourself, is there anything you can do to take care of yourself during a time of heightened negative emotion? This past weekend, I made time for leisure in order to lighten my emotional load.

I just got back from an amazing weekend up in northern Michigan with friends of mine. They’ve got a beautiful place on a quaint inland lake up north, and we just cooked and relaxed and had a lot of wholesome fun. We did a puzzle. My friend doesn’t love puzzles, but she indulges me. We played board games like Farkle™ and Yahtzee™. I guess those are dice games, not technically board games, but you get what I’m talking about.

We read, we cooked, it was really awesome. And it was a trip that I had planned ahead of time, but it came at just the right moment. I want to offer to you, that you can have that happen to you, as well. If you decide ahead of time, and make plans, and plan those breaks in your schedule to take time out for yourself. Sometimes you plan them. And even though you made the decision ahead of time and set everything up beforehand, it hits a just the right time.

So, that’s definitely how it felt for me this past weekend to get out of town, have a respite from the daily grind, and just really relax and replenish myself after an emotionally trying week. I hope you had a really great, long weekend too, if it was a long weekend for you, wherever you’re listening from.

And, if the news has been heavy lately, take some time and create an opportunity for you to rest and enjoy something that makes you feel good. If you did that last weekend, I’m so glad for you. If you want to do it this coming weekend, be intentional and make that plan and ask yourself, when was the last time you did something wholesome? I highly recommend it.

If it’s been a while, and you’re having a hard time remembering the last time you did something wholesome, maybe make a plan to do something wholesome this weekend. Play a card game, do a puzzle, go for a bike ride, go get ice cream, go play Putt-Putt Golf™. I haven’t done that, I don’t know, in like a decade and a half at least, but it’s an idea.

So, give yourself that gift of something wholesome. It’ll just really lighten your emotional burden. Give you something to feel good about. Bring some joy into your day-to-day life. It’d be great.

Alright. Now, let’s dive into today’s topic. We’re talking about the labels you assign. I’ve been on a roll, the past couple of episodes, talking about the importance of the thoughts you think. In episode 10 I taught you all about the self-coaching model and how your thoughts because your feelings, your feelings drive your actions, your actions create your results.

So ultimately, what I’m saying by all of that, is that your thoughts are everything, because your thoughts create your results. So, in that episode, we talked about the importance of becoming aware of what you’re currently thinking, because of the impact it has on all of these other areas of your life.

It also helps you create a ton of awareness. And normally when we become aware, we can start to make positive changes. We also start to feel better, because we’re not confused anymore, we have an understanding of what’s going on under the hood of the car.

In Episode 11, we talked about reverse engineering your results. By working backwards, from the result you want, to the actions you need to take to create it, to the feelings you need to cultivate to drive you to take that action, and then the thoughts you need to choose to think intentionally in order to generate those emotions that you need to feel.

In Episode 12, we talked all about “should” thinking and how harmful it can be, the different types of should-thoughts that you think, and how to eliminate them in order to feel better on a daily basis.

And then, in the last episode, Episode 13, I reiterated the truth about your thoughts, which is that your thoughts aren’t true. So, now I feel like I’ve laid the perfect foundation to talk about today’s topic, going through episodes 10 through 13, will really set you up to understand what I’m going to talk about today.

Today we’re talking about the labels you assign. To be even more specific, there’s three types of labels you assign, similar to “should” thinking, the categories break down into the labels that you assign yourself, the labels you assign other people, and the labels you assign to things that go on in the world.

Now, generally speaking, people tend to be pretty sloppy with how they speak about themselves, and other people, and what goes on in the world. We tend to make statements. And it’ll sound like we’re speaking facts, like we’re reporting the news, we’re just speaking in truthful sentences, when in fact, we’re not, we’re simply reporting our thoughts.

One of the ways that we do this is by assigning labels to ourselves, to other people, and to the situations and events we encounter and experience. Very rarely do we do this in a way that’s beneficial to us. If you are assigning labels in a way that’s beneficial to you, in a way that makes you feel competent, and motivated, and proud, and content, and grounded, and calm, all of those things, about yourself, about other people, about what goes on in the world, then by all means, I encourage you to keep assigning labels in that way.

But generally, that’s not what people are doing when they’re assigning labels to themselves, other people, or the things that they encounter in the world. Today, I want to highlight people’s tendency to assign labels in a negative way. I’m going to explain to you exactly what that looks like and why it’s a problem so you can catch yourself when you do it, and course correct.

Let’s start with the labels you assign yourself. I’m going to use some examples that have come up during sessions with my coaching clients. I’ve had clients, during our sessions, talk about themselves in the following ways. They’ll say, “I’m a loser. I’m a failure. I’m a fuck-up. I’m a hot mess. I’m unqualified. I’m stupid. I’m selfish. I’m a terrible parent.” The list can go on and on and on. But those are pretty common examples that I hear from clients when I’m working with them in a coaching session.

They have very strong judgment of themselves. And they’re using these terms as labels that they assign themselves, that become part of their self-concept, that become part of their identity. Now, the examples that I just gave you, they’re pretty negative. Right? Those are painful thoughts to think about yourselves. And even if they feel true for you, I assure you, they’re not true. They’re just thoughts. And I’m going to talk a little bit more about that in a minute.

But I want you to start to see the impact of assigning these labels to yourself. How are you going to feel about yourself when you think those thoughts? When you assign those types of labels, those really negative painful labels?

People also will do this about themselves in, maybe, a slightly less negative way, but still a harmful way. So, they’ll make judgments, and they’ll assign labels to themselves about their character traits, and they’ll be really broad sweeping statements. Statements like, “I’m a procrastinator. I’m a people pleaser. I’m always late. I’m an introvert. I’m a perfectionist. I don’t follow through. I’m flaky. I’m irresponsible. I’m shy. I’m timid,” or, this one comes up a lot for people, “I’m not creative.”

I’ll also hear labels like, “I’m not good at math. I’m not good at technology. I’m not good at social media,” things like that. These are labels that we assign ourselves. Some are more negative than others. But they all tend to be pretty problematic.

Now, I want to talk about why. First and foremost, how you talk to yourself matters. It’s probably the most important thing that you do on a daily basis. You’re in a conversation with yourself, about yourself. And the sentences that you allow to run through your brain, the way you speak to yourself, has such a massive impact on what you do and what you’re able to create in your life, the quality of the life that you live.

Why is that? It’s because your thoughts cause your feelings, your feelings drive your actions, and your actions determine your results. So, if you’re thinking a negative thought about yourself, you’re going to feel a negative feeling, then you’re going to take a negative action or no action at all, and then you’re going to produce a negative result.

It’s so common for people to mistakenly believe that they need to beat themselves up in order to do better. They mistakenly believe that if they’re thinking negatively about themselves, and they’re talking negatively to themselves, they’ll course correct.

That doesn’t happen though. That’s called a mixed model. And it’s not something that happens. Negative thoughts will produce negative feelings, produce negative actions, produce negative results. Positive thoughts cause positive feelings, drive positive actions, produce positive results. That’s always the case.

It’s really common for people to think and believe that they need to light a fire under their own asses in order to do better. We think that if we act like drill sergeants we’ll improve, we’ll progress. But I promise you, that is not the case. You cannot shame yourself into self-improvement.

If you temporarily course correct, when you’re shaming yourself, the improvement will be just, that it will be temporary. Over time, the heaviness of the negative emotion that you create for yourself, when you assign these negative labels, it will become too much for you to bear, and you’ll start to shut down and withdraw. You’ll resist and avoid, or negatively react to all of that negative emotion.

So, in the long run, beating yourself up will not work. Instead, you will just create more of the same. Whatever the label you’ve assigned yourself, when you tell it to yourself, you’re going to create more of that. And this is because, and I will never stop reminding you of this, your thoughts create your results.

So, let’s take a look at the impact of assigning these types of labels to yourself. Let’s take the label of, “I’m a loser.” How do you feel about yourself when you think that thought? What’s the one-word emotion that comes up for you? Or, maybe you don’t think that thought, but maybe you think that you’re a failure. Or that you’re a hot mess.

I once had a client, one of the most practiced thoughts she thought about herself was, “I’m a fuck-up.” And, when you think thoughts like this about yourself, you’re probably going to feel really ashamed, or inadequate, or insecure, or defeated, or hopeless or helpless. Right? Those might be some of the really common emotions that come up for you when you think these thoughts.

Then ask yourself, if these are some of the thoughts that you think about yourself, and you feel those feelings, how do you show up when you feel them? What do you do? What don’t you do? Do you buffer? And by buffering, I mean, do you take an action that provides you with temporary comfort and lets you escape some of that discomfort?

You grab a snack, you grab a cocktail, you scroll through social media, you turn on Netflix, you shop on Amazon, maybe you text someone, maybe you sleep. That’s a really easy way that people buffer to avoid a lot of this negative emotion. So, ask yourself, what do you do, if you’re thinking, “I’m a failure,” and you’re feeling really inadequate, and ashamed?

You’re not going to take any positive action from that, from those feelings. And, then you’re just going to create more failing. You’re not going to work towards your goals. You’re not going to make progress. You’re not going to course correct. You’re not going to take incremental steps to creating the results that you want.

Think about how you feel, if you think and assign the label to yourself that you’re stupid, or unqualified, right? Again, you’re going to feel really unsure of yourself, really inadequate, really incapable. And then what do you do? What’s the action that you take? Or, not take?

When you feel those feelings, you’re certainly not going to figure anything out. You’re not going to work towards gaining new skills, becoming more practiced, or more qualified at something. And then you’re just creating the result that you still haven’t figured it out. So, you still feel unqualified or stupid.

Think about when you… Think about yourself as a terrible parent. How do you feel? Ashamed, maybe guilty. Then what do you do? You’re going to react, or avoid, or resist those negative emotions. And it’s going to have you showing up in a manner, as a parent, that you’re probably not going to be very proud of. Maybe you withdraw, you don’t lean in, you don’t spend more quality time, you don’t show up in the way that you would want to show up.

So, you really want to think about, does it serve you to use these labels? Same thing goes with some of those less judgmental, but still not productive labels. If you think to yourself, “I’m a procrastinator. I’m a people pleaser. I’m a perfectionist. I’m an introvert,” things like that…Those character traits, that you assigned yourself with these labels, you’re probably going to feel pretty resigned, or out of control over that character trait, over that behavior.

And when you feel resigned, or out of control, or helpless, what happens is you don’t change your behavior. The action you take, is to act in conformity with that label.

So, when you’re thinking, “I’m a procrastinator,” you’re going to procrastinate more. If you’re thinking, “I’m a people pleaser,” and you’re feeling resigned to that being the case about you, you’re going to people please more. And then you create more evidence that you’re a people pleaser. So, the thought proves the result true, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Same thing with thinking that you’re an introvert. You’re going to feel resigned, and then you’re going to act in conformity with how an introvert would act. And then you’re going to create more evidence for being an introvert.

Same thing goes, if you assign the label to yourself of, “I’m a person who doesn’t follow through. I’m flaky, I’m irresponsible.” You’re going to feel resigned to these labels, and then you’re going to act in conformity with them, and create more evidence to support your belief that that is true.

I have a good friend who constantly tells herself, she’s terrible with technology, even though she uses technology to run her business, every single day. The belief, the label that she’s assigning to herself, simply isn’t true. But she hyper-focuses on finding evidence to confirm that she’s bad at technology. So, when she struggles with something, it’s like, “Oops, here I go, again; bad at technology.” And she keeps believing that about herself and feeling incompetent and inadequate, when it comes to technology, as a result.

Same thing goes for believing that you’re not creative. You’ll feel resigned, and then you won’t engage in creative activities. So, you create the result of still thinking that you’re not creative, by not being creative at all.

So, these labels are so important. You want to be really conscious of the labels that you assign to yourself, and the impact that those labels have over your results that you create in your life. Okay?

If you have a habit of assigning negative labels to yourself, I want you to examine this for a minute. Ask yourself, where did I learn this habit? Maybe it’s from a parent. I know a lot of people pick this up from coaches, over the course of their lives, especially their childhood. Because a lot of coaches tend to be negative and speak to people negatively, in a way to inspire or motivate.

Parents also do this really frequently. Parents will also talk to themselves this way. They’ll use negative labels towards themselves, or they’ll assign negative labels to other people. And then we pick this up, along the way, when we’re kids. So, I want you to check in with yourself. If you beat yourself up, if you assign super negative labels to yourself, where did you learn this? And do you want to continue doing it? Does it serve you?

I want you to consciously decide if your answer is no, and it probably will be no, that this doesn’t serve you. Because negative thoughts create negative results. So, I want you to consciously decide to stop speaking to yourself this way.

I just did this with a client of mine. She’s a relatively new client. And she constantly says that she’s a loser and a failure. I told her that I’m putting her on a self-criticism diet, that she’s not allowed to use either of those words, the F-word, or the L-word. And it’s probably going to be hard work for her, at first. Especially, I told her that I want her to operate as if there’s a foghorn or an alarm bell that goes off every time she uses those words towards herself. To course correct and say, “I’m not going to speak to myself that way.”

That’s what I want you to do. I want you to interrupt this habit of assigning these negative labels to yourself, and find different ways to speak to yourself.

Now, we also assign labels to other people or to events that we encounter in our everyday lives. So, we will describe people, we’ll give them labels like, “This person is selfish. She’s very difficult. He’s super unprofessional. She’s really condescending. They’re very rude. He’s unreliable. She isn’t thoughtful. He’s very arrogant. She’s a narcissist. He doesn’t care.”

Or, we’ll use labels about things that go on in the world. Like, “My job is horrible. This place is toxic. This event is boring. Doing this is a complete waste of time. This is pointless. This is unfair.” Again, both about people or about the events that we encounter, these are really emotionally charged labels. They’re very negative. But we assign these labels to behavior patterns that we experience, situations that we encounter, and it impacts how we feel.

So again, why is this a problem? If we’re thinking these thoughts and assigning these labels to other people’s behavior, or the experiences that we encounter, we’re going to feel very negative.

If you’re thinking that someone is arrogant, you’re going to feel a very negative feeling; maybe disrespected, or frustrated or disappointed or annoyed. If you’re thinking someone’s unreliable, you might be irritated. If you’re thinking someone’s rude, you’ll feel offended. If you’re thinking someone’s unprofessional, again, annoyed, frustrated, disappointed, any of these negative emotions.

And then from there, what you tend to do, when we’re encountering and assigning labels to other people’s behavior, or to the situations that we encounter, we tend to, A: Complain a ton. That’s one of the actions that we’ll take. We’ll dwell in the negativity of it. We will feel sorry for ourselves, that’s another action that we take.

All of that doesn’t serve us. It’s really unproductive, it doesn’t produce anything positive. We will also go on a hunt and look for more evidence to prove this true. So, if we assigned someone or a situation a label, then we keep searching for confirmation that, that label is accurate. So, if you’re thinking this person is irresponsible, every time you encounter them, you’re going to bring that lens with you to their behavior, to look for more evidence that the person’s irresponsible.

If you’re thinking that someone is rude, you’re going to bring that lens to all of their behavior and examine it through that. I like to think of it like going through a carwash, where you’re getting that rain coating on your windshield, so the water beads repel off. You’re going through and getting that coating. All of their behavior comes through that lens and gets coated with that negative label, that you’ve assigned to them.

If you’re thinking someone doesn’t care, you’re going to look for evidence to confirm every time you encounter their behavior. “Oh, here they go, again. They don’t care. They never care. They’re always difficult. They’re always condescending. They’re always thoughtless,” things like that.

So, you just create more evidence to support your initial belief, rather than doing the opposite, looking for evidence that contradicts your assumption, contradicts the label that you’ve assigned to them. Same thing if you’re thinking about how this is a waste of time. You’re going to keep searching for how that situation is a waste of time, or how it’s horrible or how it’s toxic. You’re going to keep confirming your initial assumption, that label you initially assigned.

Again, all of these actions; the complaining, the dwelling, the looking for additional evidence to confirm your initial assumption, that initial label assignment that you’ve made, none of it serves you. It doesn’t produce any results that’s positive in your life.

Now, I want you to remember, both with the labels that you assign to yourself, to other people, to situations that you experience and encounter in the world, remember that these labels are merely thoughts. And remember, what’s true about your thoughts? That your thoughts aren’t true. So, all of the labels that you assign are optional.

You can choose to keep thinking them. But the better question here is, do you want to keep choosing to think them? Does it serve you to keep assigning these labels? Like I said earlier, the answer is probably no.

I want you to think about this for yourself, for a second. What labels are you assigning to yourself, that you’re using against yourself, right now? What labels are you assigning to other people that you know? If there’s a person in your life, that is a really difficult person for you to appreciate, or you to think positive thoughts about, I want you to think about the labels that you assigned to them.

Or if there’s a situation that’s causing you a lot of strife, I want you to think about the labels that you’re assigning to that situation. Come up with two or three labels that you’ve assigned for each category: about yourself, about another person, and about a situation you’re encountering.

And for each of those labels, I want you to ask yourself; is this thought true? Is this label true? And you may be tempted to say yes, but I’ve already told you this once before, in previous episodes. I’m going to reiterate it here again, the answer is always, no. Your thoughts aren’t true. The label you’ve assigned isn’t true. It’s an opinion statement. That’s optional.

Let me prove this to you. Force yourself, whatever the label is that you’ve identified that you’re now thinking about, force yourself to tell the opposite story. So, I’ll use an example. Let’s take the label that you’ve assigned if you’re a parent, and you think that you’re a terrible parent, or you’re a failure as a parent. It’s a super painful label to give yourself.

Now make the opposite argument. How are you a great parent? How is the opposite true? How is this label not true? Make the argument; have it be compelling. Same thing with thinking that you’re unqualified? How are you qualified? How is the opposite true? Make an argument that you are qualified. Go and list the ways that you are.

How are you smart enough? What is smart enough? Start by defining that, I’ve talked to you about that before. But how are you smart? What do you know? What skills do you have? Go through and list that. If you give yourself the label that you’re a procrastinator, what don’t you procrastinate with? There’s something there, I assure you. There’s evidence to support the counter argument. Go find it.

Same thing with the labels that you give other people. If you think someone’s irresponsible, make a counter argument. How are they responsible? What do they do a good job at? How are they professional? You’ll be able to tell two different stories, depending on the evidence you focus on and highlight, and evidence that you downplay.

Now, as you do this, you’re going to start to notice that one of the reasons that assigning labels is so unhelpful, is that when we assign them, we tend to do it in a very all-or-nothing manner. Right? When you talk about yourself, and you assign the label that you’re a procrastinator, or that you’re a failure, or that you’re a fuck-up, or that you’re a loser, or that you’re a perfectionist, or that you’re an introvert or that you’re not creative, you’re doing so in a manner, where it sounds, like it’s true 100% of the time. That it’s always the case. And that is really never accurate, right?

I had a former boss, and when he would conduct voir dire, he would always talk about truth tellers, and ask potential jurors, how they’d be able to spot truth tellers in the witness stand. Because an alarm bell doesn’t go off and announce that someone’s lying, just because they’re on the witness stand. So, you need to be able to identify a truth teller.

When I teach this concept about assigning labels, I always think about that phrase, about being a truth teller, because in these moments where we’re assigning these all-or-nothing labels, we aren’t being truth tellers. Think about it.

Normally, when we assign labels, we’re speaking in absolutes. The way we speak, the label that we assign, assumes that the labels are accurate 100% of the time; that you fail at everything, that you fuck up everything, that you’re a hot mess 100% of the time, that you always procrastinate, that you don’t have any skills, that you know absolutely nothing, that you’re always a terrible parent. It’s very all-or-nothing.

The same thing happens when we do this with other people. When we think people are unprofessional, it assumes that they’re always unprofessional. When we think that they’re selfish or rude, it assumes that they always are that way. Again, it’s just us being sloppy with the way that we speak. It’s an overgeneralization. But it does not serve us. We want to be really careful to not do this.

And what happens here, is that when we think in this all-or-nothing manner, we end up feeling awful, and we feel awful even though, we’re not even telling the whole truth, we aren’t being a truth teller. So, I highly encourage you to be more accurate in the way that you describe what’s happening.

You can do this by using numbers, use more factual statements. Instead of saying that you’re a terrible parent, describe what you actually did. Your daughter did something or your son did something, and you yelled at them. That’s more accurate than saying categorically, you’re a terrible parent.

Instead of saying that you are a fuck-up, can you transition to just thinking you screw things up sometimes? Can you think that there are some things you know how to do, and some things you don’t know how to do? That you’ve sometimes procrastinate. That sometimes you’re late. That sometimes you people please. Can you make it more accurate?

Again, some of the thoughts that I just offered you, that are dialed back from that all-or-nothing thinking, that are more accurate, that are more aligned with truth telling, they’re not super positive thoughts. I’m not asking you to go from, “I’m a failure,” to “I’m an absolute success. I’m the best at everything I do.” That’s going to be too big of a thought-leap, at least initially.

But I want you to not underestimate the power of choosing to think a slightly more positive thought. It can completely transform your life. I had a client go from, “I’m a complete fuck-up,” to “Sometimes I fucked things up.” Pardon all of the language in this episode, but I wanted to use a specific example that I’ve had come up with a client before. And as I’ve told that to other clients, a lot of people relate with this type of thinking.

The value and switching to that thought of, “Sometimes I fucked things up,” is huge. Instead of feeling completely hopeless and ashamed, you feel more self-loving, more understanding, more compassionate, maybe a little hopeful. That’s going to be a wild difference in how you feel on a day-to-day basis, and how you show up as a result of that emotion. Because again, feelings drive actions, actions create results.

So, a slightly more positive thought, is super impactful. “Sometimes I procrastinate. Sometimes I don’t procrastinate,” is going to decrease the amount you procrastinate, than choosing to assign the label, “I am a procrastinator,” which assumes that that’s true 100% of the time.

Thinking that you’re unqualified, 100% unqualified, that you don’t have any skills, super painful thought. If you can replace it with a slightly more positive thought of, “There are some things I know how to do. There are some things I don’t know how to do,” you’re going to feel slightly more confident. And the ripple effect of feeling slightly more positive, can be monumental.

Another way you can catch yourself, if you’re assigning very negative labels, especially to yourself, is to ask yourself, “Would I say this to a friend? If I were talking to a friend who said this about themselves, what would I say to them?” You’d probably walk them back from that very strong statement. You’d be like, “That’s not true. What about this time? What about this time? What about this time?”

Again, you’re going to that reasoning of, how is the opposite true? How is this label false? How is it inaccurate? Coming up with evidence to support the contrary. I also want to offer you the question, what would be more helpful for me to think here, both about myself, if you’ve assigned yourself a negative label. Or, about someone else, if you’ve assigned them or a situation a negative label.

How can you be more of a truth teller? What’s a more accurate way to describe what’s happening? What would be more helpful for you to think here? Those are very powerful questions for you to ask yourself.

So, spend some time this week and start to pay attention and be mindful; what labels are you assigning to yourself, to other people, to the situations you encounter? Are you being a truth teller? Probably not. You’re probably thinking in absolutes, very all-or-nothing. What would it look like for you to paint a more accurate picture? What does truth telling look like here? What’s a slightly more positive thought you can think? What’s a slightly less negative label you can assign yourself? How is the opposite true? What would you say to a friend if they were talking about themselves this way? What would be more helpful to think here?

Go out. Stop assigning negative labels to yourself, start assigning some positive ones. That’s such a fun question for you to ask yourself, what are some positive labels I can assign myself? Make a long list and reach out to me on social media.

I’d love to hear about some of the positive labels that you can assign to yourself. Some of the positive labels that you can use to replace some of the negative ones, you may have been using, that you’ve assigned to yourself in the past. The good news is, you get to stop assigning them, right now. Right this second. Today.

Alright, my friends. That’s what I’ve got for you. I will talk to you in the next episode. Have a beautiful week.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

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