I’ve touched on the subject of labels in another post. To recap: we all wear hundreds of labels, and those are just the ones we’re aware of and willing to see in ourselves. There are even more when we take other people’s opinions of us into the count. For example, I can be described as a wife, mom, daughter, sister, funny, cartoon loving, right-handed, East-Coaster, tree loving, Sutra teaching, brown-thumbed, intelligent, creative,  food loving, exercise hating  female. I know other people also see me as bossy, obnoxious, overbearing, and self-righteous. And that didn’t even describe any physical characteristics! We switch our labels more than we blink, depending on who we are with and who we want to be in that moment. In fact, we often change labels without realizing it.

Not so sure? Here is something you can try that will really highlight your labels.

First, write out a professional summary for yourself. The kind of thing you might submit with a resumé. Are you professional? Organized, timely, a great teammate and leader? A problem solver who is a certified something-or-other with a Masters in this-n-that? Keep it short, and you can write it as a list instead of a paragraph if you’d prefer. What kind of labels do you use? I’ll bet they’re mostly about the intellect, with a bit of ego in there.

Next, write out a personal ad for yourself, as if you were looking for a relationship. Very different labels, eh? Much more about the emotional – and maybe physical – parts of you, with a bit of ego in there, too. Perhaps you’re sweet and kind, or you’re a devoted cyclist, dog-loving, gym rat blonde. Oh, and let me guess: you love long walks on the beach watching the sunset. Not exactly the kind of verbage you’d put in that resumé.

Try the exercise and share what you’ve discovered in the comments. Do you have more labels than you realized? Do you like them? Are there a few you don’t like to admit to? Isn’t it funny how we have so many “Me’s”?