Lately, I've been noticing how I've sometimes limited myself by using too many labels. A word like "mainstream", for example, might not strike many as limiting. But when I begin to uncover the stories that go with many labelling words, I've learned something valuable.
Let me use "mainstream" as just one example. An author many people enjoy is Stephen King and for years I thought of King as mainstream; he refers to himself that way. After recently devouring his 2000 memoir ("On Writing"), I recognized how that label had, for me, a story associated with it. And the story that went with that word had made me foolishly avoid King for many years. Although I can cite other examples from my experience, I'd like to hear which labelling words you use or once used that limit you.
Equally important, what happens when you consider how the labels you use can potentially limit others, especially those you love? To take just one example, how about the label "shy"?