Dr. Wouter van den Berg – Labeling limits your potential

Wouter van den Berg used to play football as a kid. He never made it to the first team and this caused him to wonder what was the difference between him and the other players who were selected. This incident impacted and left him with so many questions that he ended up being a professor in neuroscience.

In his TED talk he starts off by telling an anecdote on how his coach mentioned him, in the team speech prior to a match, as a mediocre player, but as an intelligent player on the pitch with leader skills. This made Wouter focus on coaching his team during the match while playing instead on his own football skills. He played badly and they lost.
This is an example of how one gets labeled by other people and how that works on the way you operate. The majority of the talk however, is about how you label yourself time and time again and thereby limit your options and have a negative self-image. He distinguishes four stages in labeling. It starts with your DNA you are born with and what talents you may naturally have and it ends with how you perceive yourself and label yourself. Wouter van den Berg wants us to be more aware of this pattern and free ourselves from negative labelling which holds us back. Free yourself from labelling and start believing in yourself.

Watch Wouter van den Berg’s full talk here.