The importance of labeling yourself

Have you ever avoided identifying yourself with something because of the connotations it may carry?

The reason I ask is because just the other day I realized how much effort I was putting into not being something that I do all the time. Something that I really enjoy and have been consistently pursuing for a few years now.

And it’s not like the people associated with this activity are bad people. No, quite the contrary. They offer a thumbs up, and high fives. They push you to keep going. They seem to smile more.

So what’s the big deal? Commitment. Once I finally caved in to labeling myself, my approach changed.

I’m a runner. There I said it. If I call myself a runner, then damn it, I have to run. All the time. Otherwise I’m not a runner. I’m just some slob who enjoys the occasional jog.

We probably all do this in life. If you don’t think of yourself as something, then it isn’t so.

Sometimes there is no harm done (I’ll probably still run, even if I don’t consider myself a runner). Other times, harm is done. Convenient for you. Not so much for the people in your life.

I’m curious: have you ever avoided labeling yourself like I did with running? And once you did attach that label, did anything improve?