Why Putting Labels On Yourself Can Do More Harm Than Good
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Why Putting Labels On Yourself Can Do More Harm Than Good

I speak from personal experience.

Why Putting Labels On Yourself Can Do More Harm Than Good

We're all taught from a young age that we should know who we are, who we want to be, and where we're going in life. The pressure to get everything figured out is on us from the moment we first start our academic careers. Whether or not we as individuals have a support system to help us get where we need to be in terms of ourselves and our identity, in particular, the journey to the answer is never a simple one. While there is an answer, it should be discovered organically, not forced in order to fit society's standard. While it is perfectly okay to choose labels for yourself, I'm here to tell you that it's also perfectly okay to not be 100% sure.

Whether we like it or not, it is undeniable that there are tropes associated with whatever title you may choose for yourself. Without meaning to, we give our own personal meaning to different words depending on our own personal experiences with them. Recurring stereotypes will stick, and especially when it comes to topics of identity.

If you choose a particular way to define who you are, whether or not you are 100% sure about it, it is going to feel like there's an invisible rule book to live by. We are taught that there is a certain way to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, and so on, when in reality, there are countless ways to be any particular identity because no one person is the exact same as another.

If one is secure enough in their identity to know that the stereotypes being applied to themselves by others won't affect how they view themselves, labeling themselves can be empowering. However, if someone is unsure, it puts the pressure on them to try and be a certain way, which, in the end, can force someone to be someone that they truly aren't.

Along with that, putting labels on yourself can be extremely restrictive on your ability to express yourself, leaves little freedom for individuals to explore what they are curious about.

Many live under the false pretense that labels once claimed cannot be changed.

We are always growing and evolving in our own ways, and figuring out who we truly are is a journey that never really ends. Discovering something new about yourself later in life after you thought one thing about yourself for so long can be difficult to accept, and unsurprisingly, can be cause for others to give you skepticism that is wholly uncalled for.

Your identity should not be a topic of stress for you, so you should try to let your personal discoveries come to you naturally. Life isn't a race to figure everything out as soon as possible. Everyone lives at their own pace, and it's not a crime if it takes you longer to figure it out than what is deemed necessary by society.

It is important to keep in mind that everyone has jurisdiction over whether or not they choose to attach labels to their identity; either way has the potential to be wildly empowering and trying to police the identities of others is never acceptable. It is okay to label yourself if that's what works for you.

Just don't let other people tell you who you are. Be yourself and you'll be fine.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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