Are You A Label Whore? 

By Ange Fonce

I have a confession to make...  I was once a terrible label whore... probably not the definition or the type that comes to mind. 

The colloquial version of a label whore... is someone that will not purchase a product that does not have a prestigious brand attached to it...  you will know someone that fits this description... if not yourself... yet that is not the type of label I am referring to. 

I am referring to another label... a much more powerful one that has a deep impact. 

Let me explain...  growing up my father was hardly ever around and when he was... it usually was never a “good” experience...  I really only learned about him... what he was like... from others and what they shared with me... much later in my life... after he had died...  virtually everyone that knew him and met me would spit out some version of... 

“You look just like your dad.” 

“You are just like your father.”  

Everyone used to tell me how smart he was... that he had an IQ over 140 and that he a very talented Artist.. amongst things. 

My Uncle Ernest... was more of a father to me than anyone... he had his own business in civil engineering and despite the lack of a any kind of formal education... i.e... University degrees etc, was fantastic with numbers... to this day... I still remember some of the “short cuts” that he taught me for calculations.  

For example...

How to calculate 99 x 99 in your head...  if you asked most people on the street... 

“What is 99 squared?”

They would have to open their smart phone and use the calculator...  and using some of my Uncles Ernest wizardry... pencil and paper I could spit out... 9801 in about 10 seconds.  95^2?… 9125... see below to learn Uncles shortcut. 

When I was in school... I did well in art and science... my friends... my family... my teachers all labelled me as a ‘brainy’ guy... this was long before the term “geek” or “nerd” was coined for brainy men and women.  

It was logical that when I grew up I wanted to be an either an artist or engineer…  my father... who everyone said I was just like was an artist...  my uncle was in engineering... it was an unspoken expectation. 

There is some interesting research on a human behaviour that shows we tend to become and act in a way that is consistent with others expect of us...  it is called the The Pygmalion Effect... a "self fulfilling prophecy" in which people are thought to perform better or worse when greater or lesser expectations are placed on them. 

Of course I did not know any of this when I was 15! 

Every one was telling me to either go this degree in art or this degree in engineering... and I did something that just about upset everyone... I left home at 15 and then 6 months later I joined the Army.

Yet... it is interesting that I did join the Royal Engineers as an Army apprentice... it seems Uncle Ernst won out in my choice after all.

And I served 3 years as a junior solder and 9 years service as a Regular Solder... and the rest in the reserve forces in military and civil engineering.

Up next?… 

Civi street of course!

Right out of the Army... I was recruited to work for a large defence contractor in their Leadership Program...  this was a program geared to groom participants on a fast track to management...  every six months we would rotate to another department...  I did rotations in Accounting... Financial Planning... Strategic Planning Mergers & Acquisitions and even spent a year in Canada as a controller of a small business unit. 

It took me that long to realize... I WAS NOT happy... and  I could not figure out why...  I should have been elated...  I was on the fast track to upper management...  after some soul searching... I made the agonizing decision to leave the corporate life and to start a business. 

As I started the entrepreneurship journey... I quickly realized there was A LOT to creating... running and growing a business...  just because you hang a business name on a shingle... does not mean customers are going to line up. 

It did not take long to realize that marketing was a critical part of any successful business...  out of necessity... I became a devoted student of marketing....  as I was reading... learning and implementing... it became apparent that great marketing took extraordinary creativity...  hooks... headlines... emails... writing copy... ads... reports... funnels... lead magnets... website design all required "creativity."  

And I had this voice in my head that said... 

“You are not creative… you are numbers guy... science and logic.” 

I doubted my ability and the worst part... I doubted my future.

And then I remembered the Artist in me... the “creative” guy. 

At this point... I made one of the better decisions of my life... I went back to college to study “multi media” art… this required CREATING... this also required writing... the problem with that was... I never considered myself as a writer...  I was a number’s guy...  during school in English... I managed to scratch  a C grade... I detested writing...  I was not any good at it. 

Despite having all these "pessimistic thoughts" and doubts... I rolled up my sleeves and began to write. 

And I wrote all sorts... stories... poems... articles and even started “copy writing”... I wrote ads... sales pages... free reports... I even wrote two books... which have never been published... one I will be frank with you is rubbish... yet the other book... I have been going through and re writing it... with the intention of publishing it... and I have had 15 of my poems published… and you know what? 

As I have wrote more and more I began to realize that I actually enjoyed it… I have LOVED it... writing!   

I can remember the first time someone commented on an article I have wrote and published... 

"You are such a great writer... I really enjoyed your article.”   

As I have gone on and completed significantly more projects that required "creativity"... I actually became open to the idea that the science I love and the art I enjoy can come together and be very CREATIVE.

If you like... “logic” and “emotion” can come together and COMPLIMENT each other as to being “opposed” to each other... and I have come to appreciate that there is a HUGE amount of Science in Art... and there is a HUGE amount of Artistry in Science... for the longest time I had bought into the label that I was not "creative"... I was analytic and logical... and that was my label.   

Looking back... through my life in many ways I have been very “creative”... yet the expectations and the “who I was” to OTHERS won out... often times we are not aware of the labels that we live with... or where they come from.  

If you are not raising your own "personal awareness"... you tend to take these “labels” others put on you as your TRUTH. 

Labels Are Shapers Of IDENTITY In Camouflage … 

They are like invisible handcuffs that can hold you hostage… or set you free...  labels are a double edge sword...  being labelled as a numbers... science guy gave me "confidence" in my science abilities and I performed well... yet they also limited me to explore my other gifts. 

Labels can come from many places.... our parents... our teachers… our peers. 

This is often evident when I an coaching men and women... I have worked with clients from all over the world and from different walks of life... and they say things like... 

“I am not charismatic.” 

“I am not articulate.” 

“I am not confident.”

“I am not a good speaker.”
 
“It takes too much work.”

“I am not... I cannot... It is not me.”

And so on... 

And when we drill down to it... so often... is that they realize that their “thinking” about their identity... their labels... originated from other people and they have adopted by them as their own... and they were completely UNAWARE of this! 

You will never know about the fullness of yourself unless you question yourself… 

Why do I think this about myself?  

Did it serve me in some way?  

Does it still? 

Where did these labels I wear  come from? 

Am I thinking this way because I want to or because it is what others told me I should think? 

The point of this story I am sharing with you is this...

I spent nearly 25 years of my life thinking I was one thing versus another... simply because of the box that other people had put me in... and their labels they had stuck on me.  

I ask you to have courage and explore... challenge and change the labels that you have about yourself...  especially if they are limiting you. 

So roll up your sleeves... challenge the status quo and become the true you! 

Thank you and may you enjoy a Prosperous and Dynamic day!

Yours Sincerely


Ange is an  Author... Speaker... and International Peak Performance Personal Development Consultant... and Psycho Dynamic Counselling Psychologist who works with men... and women who desire to "personally develop" themselves and their "relationships" to become Dynamic Lifers from around the World!


Uncle Ernest Shortcut...

If you want to square 99... here is how you do it.  

You take the difference from 100... in this case 100-99=1 and subtract it from the number you want to square... 99-1=98.  
That is the first part of the answer, 98.  

Then you take the difference... 01... and square it... 01^2=01... that is the second part of the number. 99^2= 9801.  

98^2 looks like this... 98-2=96 + 2^2=04...  therefore... 9604 




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