Inner Growth Word of the Day: Stigma
Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition: (n.) 1 b. a mark of shame or discredit.
Stigma in a sentence: A stigma may be applied to a person or group of people, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.
Stigma in action: A stigma is a set of beliefs, typically negative, applied by a group of people or society on another or on a group of people.
Stigma and inner growth: Exploring the stigmas you apply to others or that are applied to you allow for an understanding of where your opinions on a type of person or group of people stem from; or when applied to you, it provides you with insights on the people that make such statements. This awareness allows you to change your stigmas, remove them completely if you wish to do so, as well as avoid taking stigmas personally when others place you in those categories. All of this information allows inner growth since it brings you to reflect, at a deeper level, on the things you say or that are said to you based on those stigmas.
Stigma and inner growth action steps:
- In-depth self-exploration questions: What does a stigma mean to me? How have stigmas affected my life? When have I used stigmas and why? What learning lessons have I taken away from situations where stigmas were involved? How has a stigma applied to me by someone else or a group of people affected me? When was the first time I contemplated stigmas? When was the first time I experienced being defined based on a stigma?
- List or word bubble: Make a list or word bubble with stigma at the center and then list or put around it all the other words that come to mind associated with it. Now make a list of two stigmas, one you’ve applied to someone and one that has been applied to you. With the words from your first list, write about these two instances where stigmas were present. What commonalities do the two stories have?
- Bring your awareness to your feelings about a stigma and allow them to flow throughout, but without thinking of a specific stigma or circumstance. As the emotions make their way throughout your body notice where they are coming from and where it feels like they’re going. If they accumulate in a specific area of your body, send a positive emotion their way and visualize the energy dispersing and leaving your body. When you feel your emotions flowing without concentrating in one or more areas of your body, allow thoughts to come in and pay attention to the first thing that comes to mind. Move your attention to that thought and let the feelings from it flow, repeat the same thing you did before and send positive emotions to the areas of your body where it seems these emotions are building up. Feel the emotions evenly disperse once more and release them, leaving behind only the positive emotions.
Your turn – Share your stigma sentence, life examples, and inner growth action steps; and let me know if you’d like to see something added to our Inner Growth Word of The Day explorations 🙂