We are More Than the Labels we Give Ourselves

When I was growing up, school wasn’t my strongest area. Don’t get me wrong…I did okay in school, but I feel like I was more of a B+/A- type of student. I had to study so much harder to get these grades, and in an environment where grades are meant to be a direct correlation of effort…it felt like I always fell short. No matter how hard I studied, I very rarely got a perfect score and in all truth, when you put in as much effort as you can, and you still don’t see the desired result (A+ – the grade that is expected of you), it can make it really difficult to stay motivated.

It is funny now, because I look back and I remember how in English specifically, I never did very well. I wasn’t a fast reader and my grammar would get torn apart. Things I felt like were good pieces, turned out to be subpar at best (according to my teachers) and covered in red. It was because of this that I really moved through life with the thought that I wasn’t very good in school and I, especially, wasn’t a very good writer…

Yet…here I am…writing.

In fact, now I actually think of myself as a writer. I mean…by definition I am. I have written over a 250 blog posts (wow!) and the literal definition of a writer is “someone who writes”. What is even more crazy to me, is that people actually read what I write! Haha.

But, you are probably wondering, “Okay, Melissa, but what is the point?”

The point, is that there are many things in life we get labeled as. Whether we label ourselves as based off of a handful attempts at something, or others place labels on us, we tend to want to define our abilities as good or bad and if they are bad, then we should probably avoid them and DO avoid them because of what we believe in our head to be true.

I am sure if you told my AP English teachers (hola at ya Joel Levin – who by the way has written his own personal book titled “Incomplete” and Mr. Mathers) that I would become a writer they would have laughed. It wasn’t my trajectory and it sure wasn’t a thought I even had for myself. I had accepted the label that English is not my strong suite (school in general) and writing specifically would never be something I would come to embark upon. It wasn’t until the idea of a blog came to mind (for the second time in my life), that I thought about writing and it wasn’t until I found that writing was actually something I really really reallllyyyyyy liked that I began to shift this narrative.

We develop these ideas in our heads that define and limit our abilities, but they don’t actually have to be there. Sure, are there things we are naturally better at than others? Of course, but just because we aren’t “good” at something does not mean we cannot do that exact thing.

I think of the saying “Everyone starts somewhere” and for some that ‘somewhere’ may just be a little bit more ahead or behind others, but it doesn’t mean we can’t do something and it doesn’t mean that something is out of the question for us.

Don’t let your labels – whether placed by you or by others – prevent you from doing something. Don’t let them hold you back. You are capable of many many things.




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