#1334 - rewrite
"How do I change an existing label that is not serving me anymore?"
After yesterday's apple, a friend sent me this question. And it's a very good one.
I believe a label is like a habit—something we do regularly that reinforces our identity.
As James Clear says in Atomic Habits, "a habit is a behaviour that has been repeated enough times to become automatic."
In the same way, a label is a definition that has been repeated enough times to convince ourselves and others that it's who we are. They are mental shortcuts that we use to quickly identify a person.
As much as I'd love to have no labels, I don't think it's possible. Labels are hardwired in our brains, so we can't really get rid of them. But we can replace them with new ones.
So, to rewrite one or more labels that I feel are not aligned with my identity, I would use the same strategies I would use to replace an unhealthy habit with a new one.
Rewriting a label is a two-step process:
Decide the type of person I want to be
Prove it to myself with many small victories
What does it mean to prove it? It means using the new label consistently. Anytime I use the new label to refer to myself is a vote for the kind of person I believe I am.
I added "writer" to my LinkedIn profile four years before my first book came out.
For more suggestions on how to rewrite your labels, I suggest reading a book about creating new habits. My all-time favourite is Atomic Habits by James Clear.