Friday, June 21, 2013

Shame 12-Being Stereotyped/Labeled

We conclude our 12-part series on shame, based on Brene′ Brown’s book, Daring Greatly. 

Each week we have introduced each blog with this quote from Brene′.

“People often want to believe that shame is reserved for people who have survived an unspeakable trauma, but this is not true.  Shame is something we all experience.  And while it feels as if shame hides in our darkest corners, it actually tends to lurk in all of the familiar places. 

Today’s Topic …

Being Stereotyped or Labeled

The shame we bear with labels around our neck is likened to a death sentence.  It seems we will never escape the labeling from another time in our lives.  And if we’ve been type-cast and placed into a box because of some unfair kind of grouping, we either fight that labeling or we give up in shame and regret.

What a tragedy when we label someone.  What a tragedy when we are labeled. 

Here are some popular labels we like to toss around other’s necks:
Fatty, fatty two-by-four
  Lard butte
               Low life

Need I go on?  We get the picture.  Believe me, we get the picture.

I have not been immune from this labeling effect.  Even today, I can hear (if I choose to play the tapes in my mind) the chants and teasing from days gone by.

“You’re an accident looking for a place to happen.”
“Get out of the way.  Here comes Big Biggs.”

That’s enough.

Listen very carefully to me.  If you have had to bear or you currently bear labels and stereotype stigmas from the past, I have what I hope is some freeing news for you. 

~You are not your label.

~Your identity is what you believe it to be, not what others have called you in a demeaning way.

Just because you performed badly once upon a time does not mean you are a bad performer.  It just means you now have more information with which to improve.  That’s all.

Remember these axioms: 

“You have made a mistake.
You are not a mistake.”
~Dr. Maxwell Maltz

Failure is an event,
not a person.
~Seth Godin and Zig Ziglar

Also, grab onto these thoughts:
    -You are enough. 
        -You are smart enough. 
            -You are talented enough. 

You are not your past.
You are not even your worst day of your life.

You are a unique individual.  You are on a journey, and along the way we encounter bumps and bruises, pot holes and ruts.  Sometimes we get lost.  Sometimes we fall in with the wrong crowd.  And sometimes we fall flat on our faces.

And if we do, remember this.

Pick yourself up.
Dust yourself off.
Start all over again.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

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