Label Reading?

Just the other day I heard myself say out loud to my boyfriend “I am an emotional eater.” I’ve also heard myself say that in numerous coaching sessions on both stress and weight management as a way to relate with clients. There’s a problem with this – it’s always the same sentence, over and over. I’ve probably been saying this for years!  It’s like throwing up your arms and saying “that’s just the way I am.” Sure there are some personality traits that are more set and differ from person to person, things like extrovert/introvert, morning person/night owl. But even there, we can make SOME shift in our behavior to make the changes we’d like to see. Here’s some great news – the brain has plasticity, it’s malleable, we can fire new neural pathways. If the brain can change, then we can change.

So now I ask you, what do you hear yourself saying about yourself over and over? What are your labels?

We stick to our long-held labels because they keep us in our comfort zone. It’s our fallback. It’s our excuse. It keeps us stuck. Who would I be if I said out loud “I am NOT an emotional eater.” It would mean that I changed my behavior. It would mean that when I get happy, sad, stressed, anxious, angry, you name it – I don’t turn to food for comfort. I don’t sabotage my weight loss goals, I handle my stress in other more productive ways. Getting rid of old labels OPENS THE DOORS TO POSSIBILITY.

art of possibilityI learned all about this in the Landmark Education Forum and was reminded of it again a seeing Ben Zander, the author of the Art of Possibility, in an electric presentation. In both cases, the message was clear – take off the shackles of self-limiting beliefs that not longer serve you and uncover the person who you want and long to be.

Try a new new label if you like – just make it one that feels good to you. So while I’m working on no longer being an emotional eater, I can say things like “I am a mindful eater.” I like this label a whole lot better. It also gives me something to walk towards as I am working on this new behavior.

Be bold and be brave – shake of the shackles and set yourself free!



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