The Power Of Labels

The Power Of Labels

Don’t let negative labels hold you back. Re-frame negative labels and
change the way you view yourself and the people around you. Author, Vikki
Carrel, shares her unique perspective on the power of labels.

I. What is a label?

-Labels are classifications.

-We classify ourselves and others through LABELING…

She is very smart.

He is a gifted athlete.

She is stubborn.

He is lazy.

II. Do labels affect our self-esteem?

Self-esteem is “how we feel about ourselves” – a self-evaluation.

Labels are POWERFUL and affect our self- esteem.

-Positive labels increase self-esteem – we feel capable and confident to
accomplish goals and master skills.

-Negative labels decrease self-esteem – we feel incapable and doubt our
ability to accomplish goals and master skills.


-Believing (or wearing) a label – positive or negative – is a choice.

-We buy in to ‘wearing’ positive labels because the label creates a healthy
emotional response – increases self-esteem.

**Common positive labels we choose to wear…smart, good-looking, fun

-We buy in to ‘wearing’ negative labels because we choose to personalize
the label. This response is impulsive and unhealthy – decreases self-esteem.

**Common negative labels we choose to wear…stubborn, rebellious, lazy

IV. Identify emotional triggers that promote low self esteem

-Negative labels are emotional triggers that promote low self-esteem.

-Attach to positive labels and learn skills to remove negative labels.

V. Three steps to remove labels

-1. Recognize that you have a choice – do not believe negative labels

-2. Stop reacting – choose to act and empower yourself

-3. Provide yourself positive options by learning to re-frame negative labels

RE-FRAME Negative Labels:

Negative Label: Re-frame Label:

Stubborn persistent

Rebellious independent

Loud expressive, enthusiastic

Shy conservative

Anxious careful

Lazy selective


At work I am often referred to by my co-workers as shy and aloof.
Interacting at work I see myself as reserved and conservative. I view my co-
worker as associates not close, personal friends.

At times my daughter seems stubborn and difficult. This behavior reflects her
need to be persistent when it comes to accomplishing difficult tasks.

Our son seems anxious in social situations. This behavior is due to his need
to be careful and cautious around people he doesn’t know.

I am often referred to as rebellious by my teachers. This is because I am
independent and I think ‘outside the box’.

My friends tease me because they think I am loud. I’m expressive and
enthusiastic when I share my feelings because I am confident about my

Lazy is a word my husband uses to describe our son. I see him as selective.
He is very dedicated at his job and less dedicated to doing his homework.

Vikki Carrel is an author, speaker and founder of The
Empowerment Project. To schedule a “Mother Daughter Connection”
presentation for your school or girl’s group, visit Vikki’s website:

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