Be a VERB, not a NOUN

Alicia Dunams
2 min readOct 6, 2021

Labeling others, and ourselves, can be psychologically satisfying.

She’s a _________. (Fill in the blank — noun)

He’s a __________.

They are ________.

We lock people into labels, and then suddenly our brain feels safe. The thing is…

Human beings are dynamic, evolving beings.

We rob people of their humanity when we label and judge. Humans have the right to change our mind.

If you work with a therapist, or are committed to personal development work, you will understand this. It’s a journey!

So I have some advice, I’d like to share:

In life, be a “verb” not a “noun”.

What do I mean by that?

Daily, I encounter people who are very resolute in who they are:

I am a mom/dad/parent

I am Republican/Democratic/etc.

I am a Christian/Jewish/etc.

I am American/Nigerian/etc.

I am straight/queer/etc.

These are all nouns.

What if you flipped them into a verb:

For example, instead of saying: “I am Christian (noun)”

Say:

I forgive others. (Verb)

I love my neighbor. (Verb)

I am committed to helping poor, orphaned and widows through volunteering, etc. (Verb)

These are actionable and dynamic, and makes people you are sharing with “want to learn more.”

Let’s take another one:

“I am __________ (fill in political party — noun)

And instead use:

“I vote my values which include __________”

How about “I attend all of my son’s football games” instead “I’m a dad.

”I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t fit into any one label.

I am committed to “verbing” through life… being in action, expressing myself, remaining curious, and always growing.

What about you?

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Alicia Dunams
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International corporate speaker and trainer. Bestselling author. Creator of Bestseller in a Weekend®.