“People can label me anything they like. Ultimately it’s up to me if I stick it on and wear it around.”
When we can identify what it is we are attempting to achieve through the use of language, we become clear of the power it has to control and influence. We are all born free of fear. It is how we are molded by what we hear and see that ultimately determines our future.
By changing the way I spoke and the language I used, I significantly changed the trajectory of my life.
I was not long out of prison and attempting to jump back into abstinence (12 step) based recovery. When a counselor challenged me to become mindful of what I was saying. Essentially to listen to what I was going to say and to think before I spoke.
The reason for challenging me, was because I was constantly complaining. Complaining about how I believed everyone was treating me like I was a criminal. My counselor said, “maybe if you stop behaving like a criminal then they will stop treating you like one”….. OUCH, that was hard to hear, but something that I sooooo needed to hear. It was at this moment I had a wonderful realization. A lightbulb moment, a breakthrough an epiphany one could say. People can label me anything they like! Ultimately it’s up to me if I stick it on and wear it around.
With my newfound awareness, I became conscious of how I spoke. I started to remove words like woulda, coulda, shoulda, gunna, a little bit, sometimes and many more. What I discovered was that how I spoke would often minimize what I spoke about. I was unclear in my ability to communicate appropriately which would often leave me feeling confused and unsure.
Language is such a powerful tool either limiting or enhancing messages, Reinforcing messages in our heads about who we are and what we are capable of. This is something that is starkly evident in the in the world of Psychiatry, where a diagnosis is so impacting it can be life changing. Plus just a relevant in the business arena with job titles and positions.
I started to use “I” statements and was in the middle of completing a graduate certificate in Gestalt Therapy. In this process learned how to take personal responsibility. Coincidentally my entire life started to improve significantly. I was no longer a passenger or hostage to old ideas patterns and ways of thinking. I was responsible for myself and the outcomes of my life. What a powerful revelation.
As the years pass by and my work as a counselor constantly evolves. I have discovered a way to develop a client’s ability to self discover the value of personal responsibility. It has come from a world I believed would not disrupt the therapeutic landscape, Technology!
A solution in technology encapsulator
Founded by a Danny Shannon good friend and colleague I have been able to utilize encapsulator as a tool for my own personal development and growth in many different ways. As a result of using encapsulator it has allowed me to incorporate technology into my coaching and therapeutic practices.
Another important lesson I have learned from implementing encapsulator, is when I can provide people a space to identify who they are free from outside influence, ego or judgment. encapsulator does this so well through its video creation, storage process and time-locked vault. Because we now live in a world where people now communicate at a rapid pace 24/7 through whatever device is within arm’s length. Judgment is such common practice, generally, taking place within the milliseconds of a swipe.
“Fake news, it is amazing the powerful vaule these two words have had”
The labeling of human beings is such a limiting and inhibitive process. Using language to keep people stuck or only perform to a certain level doesn’t promote or foster Emotional Intelligence. The powerful influence language can have, need only be witnessed by the ability of an individual to be able to create something such as “fake news“. Fake news is a practice that is equivalent to gaslighting. It is amazing the powerful value these two words have had!
Now with your new-found awareness. I invite you to become mindful of your language, be gentle, be kind. Understand the importance of saying nice things to yourself not just other people. This is a friendly reminder, that how you talk to yourself and others creates the world you live in.
When I find myself labeling others a great tool for me to use is Byron Katie’s judge your neighbor worksheet this has saved me countless hours in arguments.
“This is why it is best to leave LABELS to be attached to bottles, cans or jars.”
Because there is nothing more frustrating than a can in the cupboard without a label on it.
I have lived and worked amongst the most privileged and the most discriminated of our society, from the highs of property and prestige to the depths of hell battling substance abuse. I am evidence that when supported appropriately, people can change.
After many years of working on my health and wellbeing, I now understand the value of my journey as evidence that people can change. As a result of my studies have provided me with insight and awareness to confidentiality share my story. I display the resilience required to rise above all of the labels society had placed upon me. My journey is evidence that with access to the appropriate support long term change is possible.
I have taken my first steps on a journey to make Systemic Change within the Criminal Justice System. Building Social Capital to design a new framework, that I believe will bring Significant Social Impact and Value.
Things I can do:
Trauma Informed Counsellor || Specialist Consultant || Advocate || Public Speaker
A Community problem requires a community solution.
I am enough - I have enough - There is enough.
"Those closest to the problem, are closets to the solution, but furthest from the resources and power" Glen E Martin
"When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment which it grows in, Not the flower" Alexander Den Heijer.