Apr 112012
 

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”
~ Shakespeare

You are the writer, actor, director and producer of the play of your life. You often react automatically to the situations in your play. These responses are habits that were often formed during childhood. But you ultimately decide whether you’re going to continue in this rut or choose a new path.

Many times, because of your reaction to a situation, other people apply labels to you that you agree with and maintain. Whenever you retain a label that others’ have plastered you with, you let them define who you are and how you’ll act. You give them the power to assign a role for you to play. One that doesn’t reflect the authentic you.

It only takes a single powerful event at a key moment to make an impression that lasts a lifetime. A gifted, young pianist hits a wrong key during a recital, and her father berates her with, “You’re a failure as a musician.” From that moment on, her fingers fumble on the keys when she plays. She accepts the criticism and it becomes her identity.

A label makes sure that you know your lines and your part when the situation calls for it. You know what’s expected of you, and you do what’s expected, whether it’s good for you or not. If you’re really attached to the label, your subconscious will reject any opinion that conflicts with what you believe about yourself.

For instance, a person could believe that they’re not an artist because “I can’t draw a straight line.” But they have a great eye for design and composition. They won’t believe anyone who recognizes their talent because it goes against their long-held belief. They’ll continue to play the role of frustrated artist until they eliminate their label.

What roles have you accepted that are no longer valid or serving you? They may be so engrained, you aren’t even be aware of them. Consider where you feel frustrated, bad about yourself, or when you belittle yourself. These are great areas to start to peel off your labels and rewrite your roles. Decide how you want your play to change and begin producing a new one.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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