“I am very shy in front of a new audience. It takes me a couple of days to familiarize before I can open up,”, I said with high confidence in myself.
“Its like this since childhood. I am very outgoing when I am comfortable with the crowd, but till then, I am very contained”, I elaborated.
It was a conversation with one of my colleagues and friend few weeks after I joined a new company, where he wanted me to be more connected with the rest of my team. They are my wellwishers, I know, but I was not very comfortable; hence based on my past experiences, I had concluded about myself as a shy person.
Days passed by, and things around me change so much that I could never get comfortable with my surroundings. I was gradually termed as unsocial, then not a team player, and finally a misfit to the company.
One not-so-fine day, I was asked to leave the organization as part of the staff cut, and the sole reason given to me was my social skills, which made others in my team not feel comfortable working with me. I felt unfairly treated and lack of support.
Above is a hypothetical situation but if we look at ourselves and try to define ourselves, we will find we conveniently use certain words to define us and we do that we great pride. We proudly and publicly state our limitations and boundaries despite knowing humanbeings have no limits.
You are not just a word or a few words. You are a bundle of energy. You can not be contained by mere words, but we pick some words for our convenience and make that our identity. Then we believe that identity as an iron cast and can never be changed till we die.
A child told as shy in childhood starts believing it and then lives the entire life proving the world that he is shy.
A young woman joked by few friends being out of shape, takes it to heart, always believes her being out of shape, but tries to fight for the world to prove otherwise. Entire life goes on this struggle.
A talkative person realizes his weakness but somehow enjoys his tag and tried to hold it tight to heart despite knowing the downside of it.
A person seen as a no-nonsense person might have been tagged by friends and colleagues at some point in time, can not feel free to enjoy like others despite the deep desire inside due to the hard casting of ‘No-nonsense’ tag around her. This makes her live an uncomfortable life in denial.
Knowingly or unknowingly, we are being tangled and restricted by the tags we have put on ourselves and live our life, proving the world that to be our identity.
We are much beyond that, we have tremendous capability to go beyond any limitation and achieve any height we can think of. The biggest blocker in our journey to excel is ourselves.
Let’s attempt to untag ourselves.
- Sit down in a relaxed environment and write every word that comes to your mind when you define yourself. Do it non-judgementally.
- Categorize the words you have written to find the pattern.
- Pick one category of traits and attempt to break that identity
- After a week of conscious effort, write down how did you feel. It may be uncomfortable initially, but if we give yourself some time, you will get used to it.
- Once you are comfortable breaking one category of identity, pick the next set and repeat.
We are not what others said to us about ourselves, we are what we can make out of ourselves. Do not stop working on yourself and building a better you every day. Tagging yourself is laziness, and its injustice to the beautiful creation called you.