Do You Need A Label To Feel Validated?

What’s your label? Is it really yours?

Miran, I met her through an ex-partner of mine in the summer of 2006. At that time, they both still worked in the HR department @ Cisco Systems Australia in Sydney. Long story short, I ran into Miran again a few years later. A small world! Back then she was renting a place in my block so literally she became my neighbour ever since. If you’ve been reading my blog, she was the person I mentioned about on my second post titled “A Winning Attitude As A Catalyst for Change”. We hit it off straight away second time round. It seemed that we had tons of stuff to talk about. We could go on for hours, especially on the topics of life, career and relationships. This story I’m going to share here had a profound impact on me.

Miran grew up in a so-called average family in South Korea, not rich, not poor either. Life couldn’t have been more ordinary in her youth. However, things started to change on the day her mother remarried to a successful man, a solicitor magnate. Consequently, she was no longer just someone’s daughter, she was a solicitor magnate’s daughter – giving her privileges she would’ve never dreamed of, such as a golf membership and other events or functions that we’d normally associate with rich and famous people in an affluent area or those hold a higher socioeconomic status. With an uplift in her living condition and identity, came a shift in how people viewed her as a person. In her own admission, people started to pay close attention when she spoke – something that she had rarely experienced before her mother’s second marriage. It was so obvious that it didn’t take long for her to realize that her ever increasing popularity had something to do with her stepfather’s success.

Many years have passed, armed with a postgraduate degree in Change Management from UNSW and an amazing career under her belt, she’s made a name for herself but never for once acted like she is somebody. The “label” she is wearing is something of her very own.

Everyone wears a label. Having a right one, you will get your foot in the door or get a head start somewhere. That said, if you have humble beginnings, that’s OK. No big deal. After all, what really fascinates and inspires us and ultimately gets our attention and validation is a win achieved by the least unexpected – an underdog…

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