than who people say you are.
I can still remember words used to describe me that made me stand a little taller. Sadly I can tell you about other labels I wanted to shrug off. We need to be so very careful when we assign a word to others. It can affirm them or stick like ill-placed chewing gum.
Some days I remember words given to me that help me through. But other times, I find myself either trying to prove the cruel ones wrong or just collapsing under their weight.
Years ago when I was a community skills coach I used to teach ‘self-talk’, where you built up a handful of positive affirmations starting with things like ‘I can’, ‘I will’ or ‘I am’. You should try it. Or maybe lift someone else by saying it to them.
Next time you have an opportunity to speak someone else’s identity out loud, remember you hold the power to shape who they are, for better or worse.
And as for you: you are more than the labels assigned to you. So much more. Believe it and see it come true!