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The Art of Relating

Christine Kniffen, MSW, LCSW

Shed the “Limiting Labels” For A Happy New Year

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Well, here we are at the beginning of another year. It’s that time when everyone starts thinking about those many goals they wanted to accomplish that have slipped by, yet again, unrealized for the umpteenth time. These would include the ever-popular New Year’s goals such as losing weight, saving more money, going back to school, hitting the gym, etc. However, I would like to encourage everyone to consider adopting a different type of goal this year. This is the goal of shedding the limiting labels that you place on yourself.

When clients seek my services, wanting to change some aspect of their lives, one of the first things I introduce them to is the concept of labeling themselves. People label themselves as depressed, unable to lose weight, the one who always makes bad choices in relationships, the person who becomes too overwhelmed to cope with parenthood, the person who is too damaged to be loved, etc. The problem with these labels is that they are so limiting. Unfortunately, these internal messages can cause us to stall on progressing in life and sadly may become a self-fulfilling prophecy which then reinforces this faulty internal message.

I understand that the thought of changing these internal labels can seem nearly impossible. However, some simple behavioral therapy techniques are all that is needed to begin to remove the roadblocks and achieve your self-designed life. Then, as the limiting labels begin to melt away, small steps are all that is required to set the wheel in motion, as its own inertia will lead to change in many other areas in your life.

So, this New Year, forget about making those same, tired-old resolutions that haven’t happened yet and just keep making you feel a failure for not meeting them. Instead, this New Year, make the resolution to shed the limiting labels that you may be putting on yourself. Learn to become conscious of the negative labeling/self-talk that you engage in. Think about just how often you catch yourself thinking or saying negative, limiting statements. If you can master this, you will have no problem setting and achieving many of your goals in life.

Christine Kniffen, LCSW is a Relationship Coach and Therapist. Call for a free consultation today at 314-374-8396.

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