I was labelled a procrastinator for most of my childhood. I thought it meant I wasn’t good enough. Now I know better.
Procrastinator: I leave things until I have enough thought momentum and enough impetus to produce a piece of work that is worthy of me.
The intention of calling me a procrastinator when I was younger was supposedly to call out a flaw that was holding me back so that I could correct it and become more successful.
What the label did was take away the power in it and left it filled with shame. My ability to collect data, things, ideas and energy so that I could then surge ahead was reduce to a feeling of shame and that turned my strength of the sprint into doubt and delays. The doubt became the new behaviour which was again labelled as procrastination. The labelers were deemed correct. But they were wrong.
Owning your tendencies, your inclinations and habits, is going to be your biggest strength, your power in life. Don’t let a childhood label, determine your worth. Especially not in your own mind. Understand your traits, find their power, own them and make them work for you.
Be very careful what labels you give your children. Don’t turn their traits, tendencies and behaviours into shameful inadequacies. We really don’t know what we are talking about when we do this.
Instead, build them up and help them use their traits to make themselves better.