When working with teens, I tend to see many of them struggling with the ‘Who am I?’ question. But, I think that as adults, we also occasionally fall into this boat. Are these the friends I actually want? Is this the person I want people to see me as? Am I taking the right steps in my life to make the most of it?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of those questions, it might be time to start looking at yourself and redefining who you really want to be. Here are a few suggestions on how to start:
What do you see in the mirror?
Look in the mirror. No literally, look in the mirror. Don’t have a mirror in front of you? Grab your phone and open up the camera. You can look at yourself that way… there are no excuses around here! Who do you see? No, I’m not asking you to look at all your flaws. (If you didn’t, good. You’re on the right track.)
Is that person looking back at you the person you love? Yes, I said it. We read about this all the time but do we really put it into to practice? Do you really love
yourself? If you don’t automatically think yes to that question, then here’s a place to start. The first thing I want you to do is to look back at yourself in the mirror or the phone.
Now, tell yourself one thing you love about yourself. After you do that, grab a piece of paper and write it down. Now, tape it to your computer or somewhere you are going to look tomorrow. This is your daily reminder. Your daily ‘love yourself’ quote.
Who’s gonna be there?
Ever get invited to a party or social event and ask, ‘Who’s going to be there?’ I’ll be honest, I’ve done that a time or two. Why am I bringing this up? Well, I want you to really think about the people you are surrounding yourself with. Are these friends your actual friends? Are they the kind of people who would be willing to hang out with you at the drop of a hat? Or do you have to schedule a time to see them for three weeks in advance?
Think about your friends and ask yourself if those are truly the people you want to surround yourself with and if they are truly worth your time. Be real with yourself. It might be time to dump those ‘friends’. Yes, I understand that your weekends might not be filled up and the thought of being alone scared the pants off you. It’s OK. This is a healthy decision that you are making for yourself. When you purge the unhealthy out of your life, you make room for healthier options and people.
The take away from this is are you truly the person you want to be? Do you love yourself and have friends who you want in your life? Now is the time to start making a healthy decision for you. Yes, it is scary and there are a lot of unknowns. But remember, the more you remove from your life that is not good for you, the more room you can make for the good, the healthy, and what is right for you.
Let’s keep the conversation going. Please feel free to share how you made room in your life to better yourself.
Anne Shragal is a paediatric counsellor, specialising in anxiety, depression, and life adjustments.