This is an edited version of a podcast episode. If you prefer to listen, click Make Me Whole Podcast to find this and all my other episodes.
Hello, and welcome back to the blog! I’m so glad that you are here. Today we have a topic that each and every one of us has experience with: the evolution of self. Now, you know when it feels like I’m talking specifically to you it’s important, so I want you to ask yourself honestly if this is something that you need to explore. And if it is, you’ll know the answer. So, let’s take a journey through the past to understand the present. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
Picture your former self as an old house.You moved out years ago, but for some reason, people keep knocking on that door, expecting you to answer. Why do they do that? Well, in part it’s because people often try to sort us into rigid boxes. It’s easier to understand someone when you can label them, isn’t it? Did you have a phase when you wore all black and only listened to music that nobody else listened to? Maybe people still think you’re in that phase, but now you’re all about folk music and pastel colors. Or perhaps you used to have trouble speaking out in meetings in your old position. You’ve taken courses, gained confidence, and gotten a promotion since then. But for some reason, the narrative remains the same. “Oh, you know how quiet they can be.”
Before we move on, let’s take a look at the walls that we had to tear down in order to leave that old, outgrown house behind. This is crucial because it helps honor our journey. You were once considered the shy one in the group. It took years of soul-searching and courage-building to break free of that pattern. Or you used to be terrible at relationships, always choosing the wrong partners. But you did the hard work, looked within, and now you’re in a healthy, fulfilling relationship. There was a point in my life when I struggled with expressing my emotions effectively. Always wearing a mask, making sure everyone else was OK while never processing my own emotions. I had to tear down that wall, brick by brick to become who I am today.
Shedding our old skin isn’t just a possibility. It’s a necessity. Imagine if a snake didn't shed its skin. Without that growth and change, it would literally die. We, too, in a way, shed our old skins to survive and thrive. For example, perhaps you used to be addicted to video games, to the point of it harming your career or relationships. Now, you’ve not only conquered that addiction, but also you’re a therapist helping others create the lives they want. This isn't just about the potential for subtle shifts. You can experience an entire metamorphosis. Think about that toxic relationship you were in. You found the strength to leave, and now you’re flourishing! It’s like you’ve grown wings.
You know how I always say I believe everyone has the right to their own truth, their own feelings? Well, that means acknowledging the reality and validity of your own growth and evolution. Once you were considered the most irresponsible person in your family. Now you’re the go-to person for advice. It’s a new chapter. Embrace it. You couldn't even boil water without setting off the fire alarm. Now you’re not just cooking, you’re creating culinary masterpieces. I remember thinking I could never achieve anything significant in my life. Yes, I believed that! Yet, here I am, speaking to all of you, touching lives. I embrace my new chapter, and so should you.
So why the fixation on the old? Why do people choose to stay shackled by what used to be? Here’s the hard truth: sometimes people bring up your past to avoid facing their own present. An old friend keeps bringing up how you used to be a procrastinator. Could it be they’re deflecting from their own lack of productivity? Or those friends who remind you of your failed business venture but never mention their own professional setbacks? Yep, that’s avoiding self-reflection. I had people who constantly reminded me of my failures when I started this podcast. The haters. I realized they were transferring their insecurities onto me. Takes minute to process that. Feel the truth of it.
My friends, the journey to who you’ve become is a book filled with many chapters, some tragic, some triumphant. Don’t let anyone get stuck in the chapter they happened to walk in on. Own your entire story, every page, every chapter. Embrace curiosity, continue exploring, and don’t be afraid to throw in a plot twist and move the story in a different direction. I want you to remember that who you used to be has helped shape you, but it doesn’t define you. What matters is who you are now and who you’re choosing to become.