From childhood you’ve been named and renamed.
You were named by your parents. Given nicknames by friends, family, and enemies. Some described how you rocked the socks off of people. Others had far more cynical meanings.
Names have power. They communicate who or what we are. The names you’re called can even affect the way you view yourself.
You know how hard it is to feel like an extreme falcon-headed combat machine when somebody calls you “Chicken Man”?
— Rick Riordan
I think back to my childhood and the names I’ve been called. Some of my names were great.
Joey, son, brother, comic, friend, smarty pants, love… The list goes on.
Other names stung.
Smart aleck, jolly green a**hole (yes, a schoolmate actually called me this because I was tall and jolly), nerd, geek.
As you can imagine, I didn’t like having this last list of names. They framed me in a negative light. They were meant to bring me down.
Thinking about those names makes me think of what I call myself now. Of what I’ve named myself.
Writer, husband, failure, freak, computer guru, techie, screw-up.
All names I’ve willingly named myself. All labels and weights I’ve put on myself. Not all of them true.
The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers.
— Marshall McLuhan
If you’re anything like me, you’ve done the same.
When we give ourselves names, we begin to create a description of ourselves. If the description is negative, our actions can begin to reflect the name.
We tell ourselves that we’re not so and so. Or that we can’t do what they did. We make ourselves small. Like this boat named Not A Yot (Not A Yacht)
Looking at Not A Yot, you can see the boat is looking a little rough. It’s been neglected and not well cared for.
If it was a yacht, you can bet your socks that the owner would take better care of the boat.
Here’s another boat:
Imagine having that name!
You can see the owner has taken better care of this boat. It looks like he loves it.He takes care of it. He uses it with tenderness.
Stop giving yourself names that make you feel less than what you are. Give yourself a name that describes who you’re becoming.
Are you a/an:
- loving husband
- caring father
- (fill in the blank)
Whatever you are, are you calling yourself by that name? If not it is time to change.
Begin calling yourself by the name you want to be called by. As you do, you’ll begin to take the steps to make that name a reality.
Names are not always what they seem.
— Mark Twain
Question: What name do you want to be called by? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.