What’s written on your marquee? The marquee of your life is how you tell the world who you are and what you stand for. When you let others decide what’s on your marquee, you’re allowing them to typecast you.
Typecasting is what the doctors and therapists and teachers did to me when I was young. I was typecast as weak because of my frequent hospitalizations. I was typecast as a bad learner because of my dyslexia. I was typecast as a problem child because of my dysfunctional family. We’ve all been typecast in one way or another, but the question is how we let that typecasting affect our show.
When we typecast, we make assumptions that have more to do with the limitations we have encountered than with those a particular individual has. If you allow others to typecast you, then you’re allowing them to place limitations on your potential. I call this letting them write on your marquee. People look at the clothes you wear or listen to the way you talk, and in seconds they’re making decisions about the kind of person you are—they’re deciding for you what’s written on the marquee of your life.
No one knows what you’re willing to give up for your dream but you. Others may try to tell you what you can or cannot do, but they’re basing it on what they themselves are willing to give up. That’s why it’s important to make sure that what others think and say about your potential doesn’t become your label or your crutch.
The problem with a crutch is that if you use it as an excuse, you buy into the notion of it. Take Christopher Reeve: he could’ve allowed his paralysis to totally define him. Instead, most people remember him for how he truly embodied the Man of Steel through the strength and passion he demonstrated and the causes he stood for after his accident. Christopher Reeve didn’t allow for other’s impressions of him to define him, and he didn’t allow his life-changing accident to taint the final scenes of his show.
How do you see others typecasting you? Are you treating it like a crutch, or are you titling your own marquee? Stop letting others write on your marquee, and decide for yourself what you want to call your next grand premier.
As a speaker and author, Curtis Zimmerman has impacted over one million people with his life-changing messages and award-winning programs. Curtis is an expert at transforming organizations by inspiring individuals to live their lives at performance level.
Want to be inspired? Check out his podcast The Next 24 Hours.