Mental Health

The Label Effect

Over my Christmas break, I got excited about the prospect of writing a blog post for introverts in business. Off with my pen I went. That blog post may again grow it’s own legs and ask to fully release itself to you in time. At the moment though, I felt a stronger pull to write about something which has eclipsed that for me…

Introvert. INFJ. Left-handed. Highly sensitive. The Helper.

The above are all labels that I associate with. At some point, I have discovered at least a few characteristics about myself that categorically identify me with the labels above.

A few, I am classified as by default (E.g. Being left-handed). For others, some research/inquiry led to the information (Introvert, Highly sensitive).

The thing is, one of my favorite things is getting to know more about people, and since I am literally the person I will spend the most time with in this lifetime, I have always been my easiest case study. Knowing what makes me tick, why I feel the way I do, etc, has always served me very well. Being self-aware, perceptive and in touch with my intuition has always kept me close to my inner North star and in connection with my life’s work – Coaching.

The labels I listed have been ones that taught me more about myself and have given me a greater sense of understanding and belonging. But right now, I am making a conscious decision to step away from them. Here’s why…

Honoring one’s individuality

As I continue to reach for greater heights, some of these labels feel stifling. That is, if I read too much into them. Asking myself what I really wanted and needed to do as a multi-dimensional human being, not just a ______ (insert label here) is so important. It’s a trap when you:

Mistake procrastination for the need for solitude.

Credit being left-handed for your creativity.

Justify giving too much because you’re “A Helper.”

If you identify too much with labels, you’re not accounting for the immeasurable depth you have. You downplay your gifts as just mere personality traits. You give your power away by dismissing some ideas and options altogether (Making a decision based on what a ______ would do). You simply can’t be put into a box. Let’s own our individuality.

Keeping excuses at bay

Using labels to shy away from certain opportunities and realities is a form of denial. Excuses are allowed to run rampant when you attribute your choices directly to your labels. If you let them, excuses can bypass your own free will and true feelings. Think about the kind of habits you risk forming. Having boundaries is epic, but exercising a one-size-fits-all rule for areas which hinder your, relationships, life’s purpose, etc, is a massive red flag.

You lose your love of occasional spontaneity. You become rigid and don’t follow through on your promises to yourself.

Enabling shape shifting

To grow, we need to remain fluid with our selves.

We need to be comfortable with metamorphosis – The beautiful yet long process of evolving, trusting & the unknown.

We may need to admit sometimes that we are confused, vulnerable and feel alone. Not using labels to identify with does not mean you do not know yourself.

Rather, it shows that you know you’re constantly changing. Whatever needs to will fall away.

It’s necessary to understand that we can never fully know ourselves, as we’re always shape shifting in some way. The quest to have all of the answers to ourselves is both tiring and limiting.

For the record, human being, there is only one of you. I believe you can just about do whatever you put your mind to. No matter what labels you embody and move away from in your lifetime, YOU will be the very reason you win.





Author: Alana Hutchings
Email: hey@lanalea.co
Author Bio: We’re here for the extraordinary. To travel the world. To release that song. To open that business. To give back wholeheartedly. To live our purpose. To realize that dream. After years of trying to fit into the standard cookie-cutter molds and feeling completely out of alignment, I simply decided to own the truth I knew all along: I’m here to inspire people to do what inspires them. To live extraordinary lives with meaning. Currently, I embody this through my work as a Life Coach & being a curious World Traveler.
Link to social media or website: http://lanalea.co/the-label-effect/



by Harness Editor

Harness believes that freedom of expression equals female empowerment. The truth? We’re a badass authentic community of fierce women, and we exist to help your voice be heard. Harness is here to be your safe haven. A place to shed the competition, the insecurities. This is a place to rise by lifting others. This is who we are.


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