Let's take a few minutes to think about the words we use to define ourselves. Because the words we use shape a lot of our existence. I believe that, as a writer. Sometimes what we call a thing can be just as important as the thing itself. Shakespeare posited that a rose by another name would still be just as sweet, but I guarantee you'd have a harder time handing off something called a poisonflower or a snapping turtle or an STD plant to your beloved. The words we use, at least in part, shape reality. So what do we call ourselves? I call myself a writer through no deception of inflated ego. I know that the word usually implies an income earned from the activity of writing. I'm not there yet, but I call myself a writer anyway. For one, I write often. That affords me some grace when using the word, I think. But it's also because I want to envision myself as the professional the word implies. Words don't just define, they shape.
I found myself doing a good deal of running a while back in hopes of getting back into shape. When I'd talk to people about it, I'd say something really specific. "I've been running, but I wouldn't say I'm a runner." I chose to see things that way, and now I'm not as interested in running now that the novelty's worn off. Now I get that this isn't just because I decided not to call myself a runner, but what does saying what I said imply?
I was telling myself that running, to me, was unnatural. That I wasn't made to be doing it. I wrote the narrative that defined reality and then I believed it.
Words contain power. How are you using them to improve yourself? How do you need to stop using them to harm yourself?