When it comes time to change the path of how your life is going, it can be challenging to know where to begin. Here are some ways to help you start the journey of self-transformation in other to have a well-balanced sense of self.
Self-Knowledge: To know thyself is to have the awareness of your patterns. The self is always evolving, therefore distinguishing what you tolerate or accept is paramount, which takes time to accomplish with continuous learning. Self-compassion is a guide to combat whatever situation you are in. When you know what you are capable of and problems arise, you are able to adapt or change the trajectory, to achieve self-growth and enhancement. Being diligent and patient with self helps in the process of self-knowledge.
Tell Your Narrative: This is an important step of improving oneself when your life is uprooted or altered by an experience. Telling your story challenges those ruminating thoughts and elevates your mind. Instead of curling up and wallowing in self-pity and feeling guilty and shameful about the situation, speaking out gives you the power to voice your adversity. You release all the tension associated with the pain or suffering you dealt with. Speaking up gives you a sense of letting go in order to move on and rewrite your own story for better peace of mind.
Forgive Yourself: Forgiveness is key for the transformation to begin. This is one of the most difficult acts to do, because we are our own worst critic. When something happens to us, we tend to internalize it and blame the self for allowing it to occur. In reality, you might have played a role in the situation, but that is not always the case. In order to move on, you have to forgive yourself for allowing someone to treat you so poorly. When you forgive yourself, those negative emotions you feel stop controlling your reactions.
Forgive the Other Person: This means giving yourself the opportunity to grow instead of allowing that emotion to fester and diminish your growth process. You also use the experience as a teachable moment; keeping the experience in your knowledge bank, in other to be able to handle the situation if it occurs again.
Being Vulnerable: Most people think to be vulnerable means to be weak, however, to show vulnerability is a strength not weakness. The author Brene Brown states “vulnerability is not winning or losing; It is having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control of the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it is our greatest measure of courage.” (pg.3)
Setting Boundaries: This term is paramount in the journey of self-preservation. It means to have the personal space to maintain self, which enables you to have the foresight to start eliminating toxic people from your life. Saying NO to people is not a selfish act, instead it is selfless. You have to be able to shield yourself from individuals who disrespect you and are toxic to your well-being.
Rejuvenating Self: When you are going through this transformation, self-care is in the forefront of recovery. It helps you reconnect with your core self. Performing actions like reflecting, mindfulness, journaling, exercising, making a gratitude list, being in nature, taking a personal inventory, and eating healthy enhances the growth process and gives you the opportunity to have the strength to continue the efforts in enhancing self.
These principles of self-knowledge, forgiveness of self and others, being vulnerable, maintain and setting boundaries, and self-care are fundamental in building a wholesome self when things go array. It is never easy to let go of trauma. The key is with a determined mind and guidance, you can achieve success in turning around your course.
Brown, B. (2015). Rising Strong. New York: Spiegel & Grau.