• Bonita Nuttall

Labels Limit Us

Labels limit us. Especially when the lick it and stick it labels are plastered across our foreheads.

Being different isn't always a choice. It's simply how we show up in life. The problem is, there's "different", and then there's "too different".

If we've been told that our "different" is "too different", we may have turned down the difference to fit in, belong, and that's when the reeeeally sticky labels come out like "too emotional", "too loud", "too bold", "too soft", "too smart", "too quirky", or too something.

When that happens, a piece of who we truly are, gets pushed down, repressed, and even shoved into a corner, hidden in a cloak of shame.

But our "difference" is oftentimes the difference that makes the difference in how we present ourselves to the world, and in the work we do. It's the piece of us that connects most deeply to others, because it's authentic, and because in our difference, we actually connect.

When we Turn Up the YOU, we transcend our difference, and find a place of acceptance, true belonging, and authentic connection.

Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.

Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

So how do we honour our difference, share more of our true selves and give ourselves permission to Turn Up the YOU?

It starts with choice. Choosing to show up with sticky foreheads, a gentle grace exempt from expectation (of ourselves and those we imagine from others), and courage to stand in the truth of who we are.


When we do, we create space for more authentic connection to take place, in the boardroom, on stage, at home and everywhere else we present ourselves - and we create space for others to do the same.

What are the "differences", the sticky labels that you've endured in your life?

How could that difference become your difference, that makes the difference in your life?