Break out of your box?

by | Oct 23, 2014 | Relationships (Self and Others)

As a youngster, I went through a phase of comfort eating and picked up a lot of extra weight. Some family and friends – with the intention of being kind – told me not to worry, it was just “puppy fat” and I’d grow out of it. Many other school kids weren’t as kind and openly teased me about being “a fatty”. I was about six when all this was going on and these labels ‘helped’ me form a complex that took many years to shed. In fact, the “FAT” label stuck around long after I’d shed the extra kilos. Looking back, I was thin on the outside for many years before I really felt thin on the inside too.

As children we often learn about who we are based on how the world views us (especially our parents and close family). Their feedback and the labels they use to describe us are paramount to our self image; we start to see the world through the lens of “chubby”, “shy” or “self-conscious”. That label becomes part of our identity, we often carry it around for years and we look for evidence to support it, unless we stop and test to see whether our childhood labels still fit. As you examine yours, you might be surprised to notice that you’ve outgrown your labels or that they were never even true in the first place. Let’s STOP right now and take Key Steps to…

Replace the Old with the New

1.Make a list of your accomplishments. Remember to list both the personal and professional ones and then ask yourself… Would someone who is really [fill your label in here] have achieved all that?

2.Ask a colleague or friend. Pick someone you can really trust for good feedback and ask them to describe your qualities. Listen carefully to the words they use to describe you and what picture they create. You may be surprised to hear that some of their labels contradict your old ones. And it’ll be interesting to see how their picture compares to the one you have been carrying around for so long. Ultimately, the only person who can remove the label is YOU. Use this feedback to make a new picture and create new positive labels to inspire and empower you to…

“be the difference that makes the difference




NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free bi-weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.

Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, EQ Expert, Founder and CEO

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 25 years’ experience in leadership development and organisational transformation. Her PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that was published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of numerous business schools and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. In 2020, Sharon was inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame, which is a lifetime achievement award, recognising excellence and her contribution to the field.

Sharon is one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – the Oscar of the speaking industry. She is also a COMENSA Master Practitioner (CMP), a qualified Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT™) and an accredited Global Virtual Speaker. Sharon is also a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner.

Most important to Sharon is that she has become known for her genuinely caring manner, practical and transformational approach, and for providing valuable tools and that allow people to take Key Steps to really… ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’