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  • Darci Daniels

Why do we limit ourselves with labels?



Yes, it's a selfie. Because I'm exercising, not doing a photo shoot.

Wanna know why I’m smiling so big? Because I finally figured something out and I couldn’t wait to share with all of you...


You don’t always have to like or dislike things just because you decided a long (or short) time ago that’s who you are. You are allowed to change your mind. You are allowed to grow. You are allowed to become a better version of yourself. You are allowed to let go of not just other people’s expectations, but also your own. We've told ourselves stories about who we are and how we relate to the world since we could talk. But what if we've been wrong? 


Quick story - I decided a long time ago I hated exercising, and that it was always going to be a struggle for me. I also decided (or maybe people told me) that I was not an outdoorsy kind of girl. That I couldn’t like luxury and fancy handbags and shopping and diamonds AND like to be outside hiking and camping and trying to stay warm (unless it was at a football tailgate, that was acceptable). You know what? They were WRONG. I was wrong. I can love all of that, because none of it needs to be mutually exclusive. I was also wrong in believing exercising would always be a struggle for me. Once I decided that wasn't true, that I was going to be a person who walks, almost every day, it became no struggle at all. Once I dropped my story that I wasn't an exercise person and I wasn't an outdoorsy person, it all shifted easily. I can be whoever I want to be.


When I started working out regularly a year ago for the first time in my life I realized something important: not only do I prefer to be outside walking in colder weather (as long as I have the appropriate clothing — HUGE difference!) but, I can also do whatever I want. Yoga at home over hot yoga at a class? Yes please. Online workouts instead of a gym? Yep. Walking outside in any weather as much as possible? For sure. Having a trusted & experienced friend take me hiking? YES. (Psst - get yourself a friend -- or a coach! -- who will help you see past your stories and knows you're capable of more. My hiking friend did me a huge favor in believing in me and my ability to be an "exercise person" when I didn't. They simply didn't accept my story, and slowly helped me to see it wasn't true.)


I was holding myself back with my own labels and definitions of what and who I was, based on who I used to be. Based on bullshit stories that I told myself. Based on who other people told me I was. We do this all the time, without even realizing it. We are constantly narrating our experiences and telling ourselves stories about who we are and what the world thinks of us. Our mind works against us, because we let it. Don't let old thoughts dictate your current reality. I get to choose who I want to be. So do you.


Where have you limited yourself with the categories and boxes you’ve put yourself in? What if you’ve outgrown that mindset? Maybe you always told yourself you weren't an outgoing enough person to be a manager. What if your boss didn't believe that story, and wanted to promote you? What if your boss DID believe that story because you repeated it, and you missed out on a great opportunity at work? Maybe you decided a long time ago living in a small town wasn't for you. You're a city person. What if you met the person of your dreams, and they loved living in a small town? Or you've always lived in a small town, but your dream job would take you to a city? Limiting your choices because of stories you've told yourself long ago can limit the joy and fulfillment in your life as well.


You may be all the things in the stories you've always told yourself. Maybe you really ARE a small town person and living in the city would be a nightmare to you. Maybe your growth doesn't ever mean you'll like to exercise outdoors. Maybe you are a cat person and dogs will always be your enemy. (Side note - this used to be me, until I had a dream about my heaven on earth and I owned a dog. Now I want a dog someday. And a cat. You never know...)


But... what if you just tried something new? Where are you currently holdling yourself back with stories you once decided were true? What would it look like if you let that label go? For example, if you really are a small town person, opening your mind up to the idea of living in the city may seem scary, or ridiculous, or unnecessary. But what if it did nothing more than give you a different perspective, maybe a respect for people who do choose to live in the city that you didn't have before, and confirm that's not where you're meant to be? If you can open yourself up to the idea that you may have changed, that you might have grown into a different person than you always thought you were, you'll most likely find some treasure there. It may confirm what you already assumed about yourself, but the simple act of truly opening up your mind expands your energy to now start thinking anything is possible. It allows you to be open in ways you may have shut off a long time ago. Start by asking yourself, "what if..."? What if I got the dream job opportunity in another state? What if I used my introvert skills as a manager to bring out the best of other introverts in my division? What if I decided to quit my soul-sucking job to take a lower paying job I'd really love? What if I decided to walk outside instead of on a treadmill at the gym? What if I decided I liked to cook, so I ate at home instead of grabbing fast food 5 times a week?


This is big work my friends. I would love to help you with it. Comment here or email me at lifecoachdarci@gmail.com for a free consultation. I'd love to help you believe yourself into the person and life that brings you true joy.

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