“Oh, no. I can’t sing!”
“I’ve never been good at sports.”
I’m not, I can’t, I don’t…these are all labels. We either put them on ourselves, or someone else has put them on us and we have accepted them as true. Perhaps you tried something once and weren’t very good at it. Then, if you ever tried it again, you probably went into with low expectations. Maybe you tried and failed at something you’d seen someone else do, even though you had no instruction on how to do it correctly. Or perhaps parents, siblings or friends told you, with no real reason for saying so, that you couldn’t do something. Whatever the reason, the label got slapped on, and there it stayed.
After time, those labels become self-fulfilling prophesy. By saying you can’t do something, you ensure that you’ll never do it. You establish in your subconscious the inability to do a thing, and even if you try again later you have already sabotaged yourself.
The good news is that labels aren’t permanent. You can peel them off and replace them. Like any label, there will be residue left behind. The amount of residue will depend on how long the label was in place, but with dedication and effort it can be removed.
The first step is replacing the image in your subconscious. Begin to imagine yourself doing the thing. Know that there is nothing you can’t do if you decide that you truly want to. Hold that image of you doing the thing, nurture it, and begin to feel it. Experience in your mind the joy and satisfaction you will feel when you are able to do it.
Once you have begun to replace the negative programming in your mind, then it’s time to start working on the skill. Practice, get help, whatever it takes to learn the thing. Find someone who can do it to, look instruction up online, get a book or a video. Whatever it is you want to do, there is someone out there somewhere willing and able to help you learn.
When we’ve lived with labels for long enough, we begin to take them for granted. Don’t live your life with labels you don’t want. Take an inventory of all times you’ve said, “I can’t”, “I’m not good at that” or “I don’t know how.” Change all those labels to “I can!”