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Why Some People Change And Others Do Not

April 4, 2012

What makes some people change and some not? When all the information is out and laid before someone, what makes some of us stay the path we are on and some choose a different road completely and never look back?

It seems to be how we view ourselves. We give ourselves labels. Some of them are healthy and true, and some are not.

For instance, in the past I viewed myself as always being unorganized and shy. Those were my labels. Everyone expected it of me and I expected it of myself. I adopted those labels and viewed myself this way.

Come to find out, I am not that person! I thrive on organization and interaction with people. In fact, nothing fulfills me more.

This would then explain why people go back to the same destructive habits over and over even though they say they want to change.ย We follow through on our own expectation of ourselves. We just do. We are wired to do so.

We view ourselves through the labels we have adopted as true over time. Many of them are completely false.ย I think we entrap ourselves with these labels much more than we realize.

We think we aren’t good at something and write ourselves off in many areas that we could actually be truly amazing in! If we would simply change our label, imagine what we could do!

I’ve been thinking about this lately. I am challenging myself to change how I view me and to redefine my labels.

Question: Have you ever adopted false labels for yourself?

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25 Comments

  • Reply Chris Peek April 5, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Claudia, you have a wonderful style of writing. Once again, this post resonates with me. It took me up to around age 29 (a couple of years ago) to realize that I’m not “shy” or “quiet”, as many have labeled me, but simply introverted. I love interacting with people on a small scale because I really desire to know individuals and not groups of people. If I’m around a ton of people, my energy is quickly zapped. Now I simply laugh when people place false labels on me, and I’ve quit thinking of myself as “shy.”

    • Reply Claudia Good April 5, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Chris,
      You are very kind!
      What a gift to yourself and others have been able to throw off your false labels! What was the inciting incident… if there was one?

      • Reply Chris Peek April 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        I’ve had to grow up quite a bit in the past 5-6 years, walking with my wife through her health issues. Because of our struggles, I’ve had to take on more of a leadership role, and part of that journey has been intentionally taking time to discover who I am as a person. All of these things played a part – being in FAA for a time, going through several courses like Calling, You, and Idea, taking personality profiles, reading numerous insightful books, spending time in reflection as to why I’m here on earth, being a part of a couple of mastermind-type groups, and pursuing things I’m passionate about.

        • Reply Claudia Good April 7, 2012 at 8:34 am

          Chris, Wow, you have an inspiring story!
          Amazing how those hard times refine us into better people. The cool part is that you let the hard times drive you towards intentionality rather than bitterness!

          Thanks for sharing, Michael and I are so thankful to be on this journey with you.

          • Chris Peek April 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm

            Thanks Claudia! After a couple of difficult years, we had to make a change. We were tired of feeling sorry for ourselves and desired to use our story to hopefully make an impact.

            Likewise, so grateful to be on the journey with both of you. You all are an inspiration.

    • Reply Michael Wright April 6, 2012 at 11:50 am

      Chris, I like your comment here. I’m in the same boat. I recall growing up and my family and others calling me shy. So I stayed concern about it for years like it was a defect or something. That is why I’m very careful of the words I use to describe my daughter. I don’t want to pre-label something that’s not really there! There seem to be alot of books now focusing on Introverts, of which I am one. It’s good to know that many of the top leaders are Introverts, not the flashy guys like Donald Trump you see on TV.

      • Reply Chris Peek April 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm

        Thanks Michael. You and I can obviously relate with the comments we’ve received throughout our lives. That’s awesome that you’re intentionally affirming your daughter for who she is! Like you said, thankfully there has been an influx of new information about introverts so that the mindset of many has shifted from it being considered a hindrance to an advantage in many ways.

  • Reply Ann J Musico April 5, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Most definitely! I find as I’ve grown in the Lord seeing myself through His eyes becomes the most important thing. I see myself so differently now than when I was younger. Separating truth from false labels is critical. It just takes time and awareness to get to that point.

    • Reply Claudia Good April 5, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Good points Ann!
      Time and awareness, and separating true from false labels… so important!

      You also point out the importance of seeing ourselves through God’s eyes. This I have also found is a wonderful journey!! What a gift to be able to see it and believe it!

  • Reply Cindy Hirch April 5, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Claudia,

    Ohhhh…let me count the ways. -:) Some of the labels were self-imposed while others may have been because of the environment I was working in at the time. A year ago a friend of mine observed some patterns and behaviors in me…good things, and one day posed the question “I wonder what it would look like if the real Cindy came out to play all the time?” That statement really impacted me. It was the catalyst to assigning a new label….one that was truly fitting of who Cindy really is.

    • Reply Claudia Good April 5, 2012 at 10:30 am

      Hahah Cindy!
      Well, I’m right there with you ๐Ÿ™‚

      That question that your friend asked you was a huge gift on her part! Calling someone out! Seeing their real potential beyond the here and now! Wow. What a blessing… and you allowed it to change your life! Powerful!

      I love those stories because it shows how much of an impact encouragement and words make in peoples lives!

      Thanks for sharing that Cindy!

  • Reply Joe Lalonde April 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Glad to hear you’ve overcome the negative labels you had on yourself. It’s so confining to have them!

    I had adopted negative labels about myself. That I’m clumsy, accident prone, and a nuisance.

    Finding out that I’m not those things has been a growing experience. The changes it brings is liberating and freeing.

    • Reply Claudia Good April 7, 2012 at 8:42 am

      Joe,
      The crazy thing is that while making progress to overcome the labels I continually put them back on myself out of habit…
      and not only that, but find new ones as I am shedding the old ones! ahhhh
      Crazy how much depth there is to us as human beings! How many layers and how deep some things go.

      Wonderful to hear you are finding more liberty to be who you really are! What helped you get to this point?

      For me it was – Michael and I facing the reality of where our marriage was and taking steps to get it where it needed to be. Then the real -kick into action- was havin a baby ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply robclinton April 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    False labels can definitely hold us back. Way to get out of your own labeled rut! I think my life has been a battle against labels imposed on me from many different areas. Especially when I was in middle and high school… I can remember clearly in 7th grade, the day someone told me that I asked too many questions. I believe that moment had such an enormous impact on my life, that I became un-confident about myself and the things I say and almost made me a mute throughout high school and into my twenties… Didn’t realize this until later in life… Now, I get to ask questions all day long!

    • Reply Claudia Good April 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      Wow! Rob… that is an incredible story!
      I am always so amazed by words and how much they affect us at different points in our lives.

      Who helped you work through the questions/unconfident thing and become who you are today?

      • Reply robclinton April 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm

        I think in a way it was a self taught thing for me coming out of that hole; I think… However there have been many people of influence that have shaped my life’s direction, but to think about the pain of sitting in a room and not being engaged with other’s conversations really bothered me, and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong; like I had some sort of brain processing malfunction in public. Why couldn’t I be as social as others that seem to just enjoy chatting about nothing?

        So it was that pressure that helped, certain books helped, and in the process learning how to shift my focus to not what I’m supposed to say at any given moment, or whether I’m to become such a great talker, but to be more intentional about being genuinely interested in other people.

        That simple concept put me back in the game… Though I’m still not much of a small talker, I’m more focused on what needs to be accomplished, but I know how to take the time and show my interest for someone else’s story. That turns small talk into deep engaging talk, and when that happens that’s when conversations become real and fun…

        Though I joke around too ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Reply Claudia Good April 12, 2012 at 9:42 pm

          Rob,
          Oh my… ๐Ÿ™ What crazy thought we get in our heads! I’m glad you figured out that your brain processes fine when around people!

          So interesting… the combination of personality and the things that happen to us… Michael and I were talking about this… its like the chicken or the egg, which is first and affects us more.

          hmmm did that make sense?

          • robclinton April 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm

            Makes sense to me! I think we give off a persona that has both been formed from our choice, but the choices were also responses of other personas. It is the chicken or the egg analogy, but I think the answer might be “both” ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Claudia Good April 22, 2012 at 7:49 pm

            Indeed…

  • Reply robclinton April 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    False labels can definitely hold us back. Way to get out of your own labeled rut! I think my life has been a battle against labels imposed on me from many different areas. Especially when I was in middle and high school… I can remember clearly in 7th grade, the day someone told me that I asked too many questions. I believe that moment had such an enormous impact on my life, that I became un-confident about myself and the things I say and almost made me a mute throughout high school and into my twenties… Didn’t realize this until later in life… Now, I get to ask questions all day long!

  • Reply I Am Whatever You Say I Am | Backyard Life Blog April 9, 2012 at 8:01 am

    […] to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginAfter reading Why Some People Change And Others Do Not by Claudia Good at Rise365.com, I felt compelled to look back at my life and think about labels I […]

  • Reply Rob Coburn April 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Claudia, you are correct. We can live with trapped in labels whether self-imposed or otherwise and it can Wally hold us back for the good before us. For years this frustrated me in work and then I began to realize that we engage in a world of self-selection and people are wow they think they are. Thanks for making me think. Blessings, @missoncoach

    • Reply Claudia Good April 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      Rob,
      I have never heard the phrase Wally hold… but I like it!!
      Yes, we sure do… I am working on breaking free from them. Many for me have been self imposed and it has been tricky to uncover them.
      I’m getting there!

  • Reply Kent Julian April 17, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Claudia…one of the best blogs you’ve posted. Thanks for inviting us to journey with you!

    • Reply Claudia Good April 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      Kent,
      Thanks so much! So thankful to be joining you on the journey!

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