You, Version Two

How do you describe yourself? See how the words you use can help influence your self-identity.
Published February 5, 2016

You probably heard it (and said it) lots of times as a kid: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me.” That message has never been quite true, has it? Of course insults hurt, and hearing yourself labeled with a negative name again and again can make you think you are indeed that failure, that zero, that loser. But take a good look at who's doing the name-calling now that you're an adult. Could it be...you?

Who do you think you are?
Negative names matter not just because they make you feel bad about yourself, but also because they become part of your identity. Call yourself a chocoholic or a couch potato, and you are stuck inside that version of yourself. Isn't it time for a change? The words you use to describe yourself are key to how you see yourself. So what would happen if you called yourself a runner, or a diehard planner?

Watch your language
Think about it: Refer to yourself as a runner, and you'll be less inclined to skip a workout when you have the choice. Call yourself a diehard planner, you'll be more likely to remember to bring along healthy snacks the next time you're doing errands or in a situation where you have to go a long time between meals. Consider all the healthy things you've done and the ones you're doing now. Harness those accomplishments to help create an updated verbal self-portrait. The next time you label yourself, make it something you'll be happy to broadcast to others. It might just make all the difference in your outlook, actions, and self-image.