The MLRA Therapy Blog

Insights and ideas from the therapist team at Meghan L. Reitz and Associates.

Stepping Outside the Box: The Balance Between Embracing Who You Are & Who You Want To Be

Do you ever want to be someone different? Or change who you are? I think we all have had times where we have desired these things. The struggle between accepting ourselves vs. striving to achieve change is ever present amongst humans. We walk a fine line in our challenge to love who we are and the desire to meet our expectations. It can impact every facet of our lives including personally, professionally, educationally, physically, and spiritually, Sometimes this can actually paralyze us from moving forward at all.

It is important to have a good grasp on WHO you are before you set the expectations of where you want to be. Unless you know what makes up you, it will be difficult to set specific, realistic, and tangible goals for yourself. If you struggle with this knowledge of yourself, I suggest the following activities to help you get a better idea of YOU:

  • Make a list of your values (try to shoot for 5)
  • Make a list of your goals (long term and short term- try to shoot for 3)
  • Make a list of how others might describe you (inside and out- shoot for positive, not negative, attributes)

These lists are the building blocks of getting to know you. Having a handle on your values alone can help you understand the things that make up you that are your foundation of sorts. Sometimes we get so caught up in wanting to change so much about ourselves, that we lose sight of the great things we already have going on for us.

Feeling like you still want to make change? Compare your list of values and attributes to the list of goals. How do they add up? Do you need to make changes in how you look at things in order to achieve those goals? Are they attainable with your already present qualities? Take time to sit with this. As there is no clear-cut answer, it can help to get a sense of what really needs to be changed about yourself as opposed to what you need to embrace within you.

 Remember these few tips:

  • At the core of you, you have likes and dislikes, wants and unwants.
  • You are unique. There is no other person exactly like you out there.
  • Live your life the way that you would like to be treated by others- there is a lot to be said about putting yourself in someone's else's shoes.


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