Labels = Limitations

Happy Monday! It is fiiiinally feeling like Springtime here in NYC and I'm so happy I'm catching a bit of the beautiful sunshine and blooms before heading off to my travels. 

A little personal update before jumping into blog content-- things have been absolutely insane around here! I feel like a spider with 8 legs tap-dancing, just to keep up with everything that is happening lately. It's a bit overwhelming but also so exciting. While I must continue being mysterious about my big special project that's happening, I can share with you guys that I'll officially be moving soon! More details on that coming, but it's quite a marked change since I've been at my current apartment for nearly 6 years now. 

This transition + the fact that I have had almost no time to feed myself has been the main reason why you guys haven't been seeing new recipes on here. I'll be so excited to bring those back in the summertime once I get settled into the new place that also actually has a REAL KITCHEN (mine currently cannot fit more than me in it, it is a closet basically). 

Lastly I just wanted to give a shoutout to my family, friends, and clients that have been so enormously supportive of all this exciting change and new developments in my life. I feel so very grateful, and especially so of my training clients that lift my day every day with our sessions and how much they inspire me right back. 

Okay now, let's get to it-- LABELS!

I sent this out to my newsletter gang (join here if you're not part of it yet!) awhile back, and wanted to bring this message back since it's been rather prevalent in my life these days-- so I figured it might be for some of you, as well!

We're going to start with a little exercise.

Answer the first things that come to mind:

What are 3 words you'd use to describe yourself?
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Are you a risk-taker or safe + steady?
Are you good at dancing? 
Are you messy or organized?
Are you good at exercising willpower?

Now really think about your answers to those six questions I asked.

When it comes to understanding ourselves, we tend to stick with what we've known about ourselves or been told about ourselves, rather than thinking about the current reality. 

We like labels. Labels help our brains classify and understand things; psychology research says that upon seeing or hearing something novel, our brains immediately try to categorize it within familiar labels to understand what it is. 

For the longest time, I thought I was undeniably an extrovert. I was super social throughout my whole life, never shy to introduce myself to anyone, and a total chatterbox. Only when I stopped assigning that label to myself and boxing myself in, did I begin to understand why I was always so mentally drained after being in large groups for an extended period of time. And why time spent with just myself seemed to rejuvenate me in a way nothing else could. 

Freeing myself from labels that I comfortably assumed for myself, helped me understand myself in a different light. That I also could be two things at once. I'm an extroverted introvert. I'm a safe and steady person who will take calculated but big risks. I am good at jazz and ballet while being awkward at contemporary. I'm extremely organized with scheduling and my home, but can be messy while traveling. I'm so good at exercising willpower that it's a fault at times. 

Those are things I understand about myself, but what makes me comfortable in those descriptions is that I know they are fluid. They don't box me in, and I'm free to change as I grow and my life evolves. 

So again, I ask you to think about your answers. Now try to think about them a little differently. 

Have you always told yourself you're horribly uncoordinated? You can change that you know.  Always thought of yourself as socially awkward? Stop calling yourself that, and explore why you might feel that way.  Perhaps you're not actually. 

Don't box yourself in with labels and put self-imposed limitations on your potential. Especially those that others will try to place on you, in their own ways to understand you in a way that makes THEM comfortable. It's one thing to know and own your reality, but it's another to talk yourself out of your future potential. 

Life is hard enough without you holding yourself back. Be who you want to be, and create your own sense of self.

LifestyleMinna Lee