Becoming Unapologetically You in 2020

by Sarah Al-Zadjali

Woman smiling and holding an illuminated heart
This time of year is a good time to check in with yourself.

With 2020 being right around the corner, I would like for you to take a moment and envision your best possible future self. Who do you want to be, and what do you want to do?

For some people, the ‘New Year, new me’ mentality can cause us to experience anxiety and depression.

You might be telling yourself that 2019 wasn’t your year, or, an unforeseen situation happened that lowered your self-esteem, and you just feel stuck. Or maybe you are excited to start the new year off with a clean slate!

Regardless of where you stand, this time of year can be a good time to check-in with yourself and determine if you’re where you want to be in life.

Some things that many of us struggle with in asking and answering these
questions are not having a well-rounded idea of who we are and what we ‘really want,’ having low self-esteem, not liking our appearance, having difficulty being kind to ourselves in moments of heartache and chaos, and struggling with accepting certain things about ourselves.

We also tend to have difficulty finding a healthy balance between speaking kindly to ourselves and holding ourselves accountable, figuring out how these ‘love yourself’ and ‘take care of yourself’ concepts actually work, and determining what our values really are and how to bring them to life.

For example, we hear the phrase “don’t look back—you’re not going that way!”, and I absolutely agree!

Yet, it can be helpful and eye-opening at times to take a minute, and reflect on the journey life has taken us on so far.

How can we use this information to guide us into figuring out our identity and who we are? Have societal norms gotten in the way of us wanting to be our authentic selves?

Exploring a timeline of our life to see what meaning and connection can be found through the different roles and experiences we’ve had is a great way to help form and understand our identity.

What about the “inner critic?” Does that name ring a bell? It’s that soft (or loud) voice in your head that reminds you to not take risks, to stay small and safe in your comfort zone.

It’s that voice that reminds you to compare yourself with those around you, and to mind-read what others are saying about you.

Self-talk— it’s the narrator of our life. It’s the stories we tell ourselves to create meaning of the noise around (and within) us. It can be harsh sometimes, and not supportive at all—especially when you’re
feeling overwhelmed and defeated.

Exploring this inner critic and finding alternative, more healthy and rational ways of thinking is extremely helpful in improving our self- esteem and overall view of ourselves.

This is another big one… self-acceptance. How can self-acceptance improve
anxiety, you may ask? How does “accepting” something you are fearful of help you get

further in life? Acceptance does not mean you have ‘given up’ or that you are ‘weak’ for not holding on.

Instead, acceptance shows that you have chosen to let go of the heaviness of trying to compete in a battle you are never going to win.

Radically accepting the pain, hardships, and anxious moments you are experiencing frees you from rumination of “what could be” to “what is” in a compassionate and empowering way.

Explore how you might benefit from practicing self-acceptance by giving it a try, and see what happens.

If you are interested in dedicating time to work on yourself this new year, and/or any of the above topics sound like things you would like to work on, I have great news!

The next session of my group “Unapologetically You: A Road to Self-Exploration and Self-Acceptance” starts January 7th!

As a team, you will begin the New Year by re- writing your narrative, which will improve your emotional and mental wellbeing, empower you with the skills and resources you need to feel successful and whole, and graduate you into being unapologetically you!

Click here for more information or register here.

now offering video therapy sessions

It's more important than ever to take care of your mental health, so all of our therapists are doing Telehealth and many have immediate openings for new clients.