Choosing to self-reflect, identify our unhealed hurts, and move through growth is no easy feat. Most of the things we decide to change have been with us for years, probably even decades. Sometimes they become a part of our identity and where we get our sense of worth. Uprooting that comfortable (although not helpful) way of existing can be really challenging.
If you’re wondering what to expect through your own self-growth journey…
Here’s 3 common occurrences along the way:
- Relationships change. As we evolve, our relationships with others will also change. This includes how we show up at work, with our friends, and with our family. People create stories about who we are in their lives and this directly impacts that image. Our relationship dynamics will change, our boundaries will change, and even how we spend time with others might change. It’s the responsibility of others in our lives to adapt and accept the things we change. If not, those relationships may become more disconnected and even end. This is a natural progression of change, which is why self-growth can involve a lot of grief.
- Grief. Social media does a wonderful job of glamorizing the self-growth journey. They make us believe it’s all about self-care, journaling, and being happy. Although a lot of that may be true, there’s a lot of change involved…..and where there’s change, there’s often loss. We lose parts of our identity, relationships, the comfort of our lives and patterns before change. We lose the overall familiarity with what our life looks like and now that’s significantly different. Humans love and seek out safety, comfort, and control because on it feels good. Grief is not a bad thing…it means that whatever we lost was incredibly meaningful to us. Allow yourself to sit in those moments and truly honor what comes up for you.
- Guilt. Guilt is helpful when it indicates that we behaved outside of our values, beliefs, or morals. It tells us that we need to right a wrong. Unfortunately, guilt pops up in a lot of really unhelpful ways, especially if we’ve had unhealthy relationships in our lives. We might feel guilty for setting new boundaries, cancelling social plans, or expressing our needs in relationships. It’s important to understand in those moments that guilt arises because you’re doing something you learned was wrong. You’re doing something different, but it’s not unhealthy or against your morals (hopefully). Pay attention to when guilt comes up for you and find a way to soothe yourself in the moment.
These are only a small part of changes you can expect to happen while you grow into a healthier version of yourself.
It’s Called A “Journey” For A Reason.
Self-growth takes a lot of courage, commitment, and self-reflection. It forces you to look at your life, your behaviors, and how your past impacts you now. Although self-growth may never end, the beginning of change can be quite challenging. Previously you read about how your self-growth journey might involve relationships changing, grief, and guilt.
Here’s 4 changes you might experience on your path:
- Boundaries. After we become aware of our unhealthy patterns, where they came from, and how we respond to them, we typically look at boundaries. Boundaries are designed to protect our time, energy, physical and emotional space. Oftentimes if we’re stuck in unhealthy patterns or relationships, our boundaries may need some adjusting. Once we learn what we value in life and relationships, we can start setting our boundaries accordingly. You may encounter people in your life that push back against your healthy boundaries and others that might cheer you on. It’s hard to know what your boundary setting might look like, but you can bet on feeling more energized and empowered once you start.
- More alone time. This can go hand in hand with your boundaries and relationships changing. If we recognize unhealthy dynamics or relationships in our lives, we may need to distance ourselves from them. We may find that we’re not truly connected to others in our lives for various reasons. Sometimes relationships will end during this process and that’s okay. Pay attention to what your body needs and if it’s time alone then you can practice honoring that.
- Lots of realizations. Once you open the door to learning more about yourself, you’ll start to connect things to your present experience. In a way you’re unraveling everything you’ve known and evaluating if it still serves you. You might start understanding how your great childhood meant you still had emotional needs that went unmet. When you start putting pieces of your puzzle together, this happens to come up in day to day life. You might be cooking dinner then suddenly realize why you’ve done a certain pattern your whole life. This is a common experience and helps you become more self-aware.
- Lifestyle changes. Part of self-growth is learning who you are, who you want to be, and how you want to spend your life. This involves identifying your values, evaluating how often you live within them, and what changes you need to make. Living within our values might look like taking more road trips, spending more time outdoors, or finding new ways to connect with friends. There’s not one size fits all with how we live our lives, so honor your desires.
Going through this process will help you be a more authentic version of yourself. The more we can honor our feelings, experiences, needs, and values, the happier we can live.
How can I make easier for myself?
Congrats for getting to this place and wanting to improve yourself! You’ve done a lot of work to get here. Let’s keep in mind that growth isn’t always linear can sometimes can be frustrating or feel like you’re doing it wrong. To make it easier to navigate it’s good to keep these four things to keep in mind:
1. Define your goals – what do you want to achieve from this journey?
2. Set realistic expectations – remember that change takes time, so don’t expect overnight results
3. Be patient – the journey is just as important as the destination, so savor every moment
4. Take things one step at a time – focus on one goal at a time and break it down into manageable steps
5. Celebrate your successes – no matter how small, each accomplishment is worth celebrating!
6. Learn from your failures – they are inevitable, but they can teach you valuable lessons
SELF-GROWTH THERAPY TAMPA
If you’re ready to take your self-growth to the next level, work with an experienced Tampa therapist to help you. Our therapists and counselor have specialized training to be the best advocate for you during your growth journey.
Wondering if a therapist, counselor, or life coach is a good it for you? Reach out today for your free 15 minute phone call and we’d be happy to answer your questions!