On my way to work, I saw an SUV with so many stickers. “I brake for Runners” , “I run like a girl” , “Marathon Freak” , ” I heart Running”. In my mind I was, “wow. Really?” And then I saw the plate number. RIO 316. It’s no other than Coach Rio! Ok, forgiven. Haha!
A few of the things I learned from being in the HR field for so long is character-branding. Or labeling. It’s not always a good thing.
Being labeled by what you did or what you achieved is quite common particularly in public figures. Former President GMA seems to enjoy lying, cheating, and stealing thus she was labeled as such. Robert Pattinson got a career boost by playing a creepy vampire boyfriend and now he has to live with that image for life. As for Coach Rio, he became the poster boy for anything marathon after his humble beginnings and massive success, so he embraced the labeling.
But sometimes there is labeling done intently on one’s self, self-labeling, that to me, is twice as sad as being labeled accidentally.
Fixation on being recognized for something that you are passionate about is lame really. For example, being a Web Developer doesn’t mean all you speak about, all you blog about and all you tweet about is web development. Liking or being passionate in something doesn’t mean that it should define you. Part of the reason I try to show my “other” interests to the public eye, is to avoid labeling. As someone with a celebrity complex, I know that my fans would be bored if they only see me doing just one thing (I am being sarcastic ok?)
Sure everyone has to have a specialty or an expertise. I am guilty in being a Jack-of-all-traits Master-of-none, and saying that is really humbling (crushing my ego, really, ouch). But an expertise or a specialty should not define who you are. As such claiming that you are who you claim to be, and declaring that others are not is equally repulsive. (Getting philosophical now, so I’ll stop)
To wrap it up, a label limits everyone’s perspective on what you do and what you can achieve. Therefore a label sort of limits you.