Note: Over the past six months I have provided articles about self-renewal. Exploring self-renewal is easier when you understand the many different ways it can appear. All people are different with their own unique experiences, preferences, and personalities. To better understand what self-renewal can look like among different people, here is the 3rd case study for illustrative purposes only. It is about Jacob, a fictitious person, and how he overcame his addictions.
Jacob, a single father of two young daughters, found himself in a downward spiral after the unexpected passing of his wife six months ago. The weight of grief pushed him to seek solace in alcohol, a coping mechanism that brought temporary relief but caused lasting problems. As a result, his daughters had to fend for themselves, and Jacob's job was at risk due to his frequent absences and tardiness.
Each time Jacob emerged from a drunken haze, he was consumed by overwhelming shame, guilt, and anger toward himself. He realized that by turning to alcohol, he was not helping his daughters cope with the loss of their mother. Moreover, he jeopardized their only source of income, making his desire to drown his pain in alcohol seem foolish and self-destructive.
The knowledge that his loved ones, neighbors, and colleagues were aware of his alcohol abuse problem filled Jacob with immense embarrassment. The mere thought of admitting to his struggle unleashed a torrent of shame and denial. Although he promised himself that he would gather the strength to quit drinking after every binge, he always ended up falling back into the same destructive cycle.
It was only after a close friend confronted him with brutal honesty that Jacob acknowledged the extent of his alcohol problem. The harsh truth stung, but it also served as a wake-up call. Jacob realized that if he didn't make changes, he would inflict irreparable harm on himself and his family.
Following his friend's advice, Jacob mustered the courage to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in his city. Stepping through the doorway and joining the group felt like an official confirmation of his struggles, intensifying his embarrassment, shame, and fear. Despite these emotions, Jacob made a commitment to attend his first meeting.
Upon arrival, Jacob took a moment to observe the other attendees. They appeared to be ordinary individuals, just like him—coworkers, parents, and neighbors. Seeing others who shared his shameful struggle helped alleviate some of Jacob's anxiety. As the meeting commenced, he settled into his chair, ready to embark on a new path.
Although progress in conquering his drinking habit was slow, Jacob remained steadfast. He attended meetings regularly, formed connections with new people, and delved deep into his drinking problem, addressing the root causes buried within his grief.
Jacob had long attempted to suppress the painful emotions stemming from his wife's death. The experience had been unpleasant and shocking, leading him to avoid those feelings at any cost, even if it meant relying on alcohol. The journey of self-discovery was arduous, but it proved to be worth every effort. Over time, Jacob's desire to drink diminished as he developed healthier coping mechanisms to navigate his overwhelming emotions.
After a year of unwavering commitment, Jacob emerged as a much healthier single father. Instead of evading his profound emotions, he embraced them, even when they seemed messy and challenging to handle. While the occasional temptation to drink still arose, Jacob equipped himself with productive and healthier strategies to navigate those moments. He recognized that his path to self-renewal was an ongoing process, as his grief would likely never fully dissipate. However, armed with the right tools, Jacob was determined to continue growing and improving his situation.
Inspired by his own transformation, Jacob made a life-changing decision. He decided to start his own home-based business, allowing him to be present for his growing daughters. With the flexibility of running his own venture, Jacob could create a nurturing environment for his girls and support them through their healing process. The business became a means for Jacob to provide for his family and spend quality time together, fostering a strong bond and a sense of security.
Jacob's home-based business thrived as he combined his newfound emotional resilience with his entrepreneurial spirit. He dedicated himself to learning about internet marketing, leveraging his skills and creativity to build a successful online presence. Through strategic planning and hard work, Jacob attracted clients and developed meaningful connections within the industry.
With the success of his business, Jacob's financial situation improved, easing the burden that had weighed heavily on his shoulders. He no longer had to worry about his job's stability, enabling him to focus on his daughters' well-being and personal growth. Jacob's decision to create his own path not only allowed him to stay close to his daughters but also served as a powerful example of resilience and determination.
Today, Jacob continues to navigate the complexities of grief and fatherhood while successfully running his home-based business. He cherishes the moments spent with his daughters, watching them grow and flourish. Jacob's journey is a testament to the transformative power of facing one's demons, embracing healing, and creating a life filled with love, purpose, and self-renewal.
Are you inspired to create your own path to healing and success? Take the first step towards a brighter future by exploring new opportunities and building a life that aligns with your values. It's never too late to embark on your own journey of personal growth and fulfillment. Start today and discover the possibilities that await you.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, don't hesitate to seek help. Contact local support groups or professional resources to begin your path to healing and recovery. You don't have to face it alone.
Thank you for reading folks, continue becoming the best version of yourself, and stay safe.
Change is a fact of life. And it can be difficult even when it’s positive. However, learning something new or exciting for the first time can truly resonate with us and that can excite us. While we are on our journey to renewal, we need to learn to change with change rather than reacting to it.
People find change challenging because they struggle to accept that certain experiences they had will be a thing of the past. We often see this in the workplace when something new is introduced, a new system, or a different procedure. Employees are comfortable with what they know, so change becomes a challenge for them. Employees are experts in the old system and for them, change feels like they are starting all over again.
Despite this, change is inevitable and often beneficial for those involved. Interestingly, the human brain tends to focus on what is being lost rather than the positives that the change will bring. People then become anxious, emotional, and stressed out, which prevents their opportunity for personal growth. When we actually learn to change with change, we refocus our energy and even revel in the euphoria of learning something new.
One of the first important steps to changing with change is to accept that there is always a positive aspect to it. It may not be easy but we need to realize that a greater good may come as a result of the change. It’s often like peeling an onion, sometimes we cry, but the onion provides the flavor for the food we eat. So, sometimes it’s hard to accept the change and learn to flow with it rather than reacting to it negatively and crying about it.
One of the best ways for us to meet life changes is to practice facing small changes positively. Accepting and learning from the little changes that come our way prepare us for the bigger ones in the future. For instance, you arrive at the doctor’s office five minutes early, and as is often the case, the doctor is running behind schedule. You could react to this situation with annoyance but just by adjusting your mindset with a bit of positivity, you can reduce some of the stress you are placing on yourself. Rather than stewing about it, use it as an opportunity to read a book or an article that you have been putting off reading.
Here’s the deal you can’t change the situation, it is outside of your control, nor can you change someone else’s behavior, but you can change how you react to it.
Now it’s easy to expect others to change to make us feel more comfortable, but it’s much harder to make changes in our own lives. If you find yourself demanding change from others due to high standards or expectations, maybe it’s time to put the spotlight not on others but on yourself. When we shift our thinking from others to ourselves we start the process of changing ourselves. Meaningful change begins with personal reflection and action.
Our travels during the journey in life are all about growth and rediscovery of who we are, our real purpose, and how we can become the best version of ourselves. Change is part and parcel of that journey. So it’s time to become comfortable with embracing change and all the opportunities it brings.
Certainly, it’s important to recognize that change can be uncomfortable and difficult, but it is necessary for personal growth and development.
Sometimes we resist change simply because it takes us outside of our comfort zone and forces us to learn new things. However, our reaction to change is often what causes us pain, rather than the pain itself.
That being said, it is important to remember that not all change is positive. If the change goes against our beliefs and values and leads us in a negative direction, then we need to make a decision. It’s up to us to decide whether to accept the change and adapt to it or to take action and try to steer our lives back in a positive direction.
In the end, change can be a powerful source for personal transformation and growth, but it is up to us to make critical choices as to how we react to it, what responses we make, and what actions we take. When we are mindful of our beliefs and values, and take ownership of our lives, we can embrace change so that it aligns with our true selves and leads us to a more fulfilling life.
So, take a moment to reflect on what changes you need to make in your own life. Where are the areas you want to develop and grow? What habits do you need to break and what new ones do you need to build or strengthen? Lean into the idea of self-renewal and embrace the excitement that comes with positive change. Don’t wait for others to change – take the first steps towards meaningful transformation yourself. Peel back the layers of your own onion.
Thank you for reading and as always stay safe, keep well, and continue becoming the best version of yourself.
If you are on a path toward self-improvement or on a journey to find yourself, then you have likely come across an unending stream of buzzwords. You may have chased many of them down rabbit trails and became lost in the forest.
Buzzwords are not necessarily bad. They are often used in office environments as shorthand for complex concepts. They break down those concepts into a simple word or phrase that is easily understood. Using buzzwords can help you engage with coworkers, customers, and colleagues in line with the norms and expectations of your organization. Here are a few common business buzzwords we use in conversations and writings: “return on investment,” “deep dive,” “impact,” “sustainability,” “logistics,” “ballpark,” and “content is king”.
Self-renewal, self-awareness, and introspection, however, are not buzzwords. They are interconnected. They are bridges among each other. When you understand what each of them means individually, it's easy to understand why that is.
Introspection is assessing your behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. It's something you apply to the thoughts you are currently having. Introspection can help you bring about necessary changes in how you behave, think, and move through the world. In psychology, it's a formalized approach, but in practice, it's something you can do anywhere if you do it mindfully.
A way to use introspection is to consciously reflect on your internal psychological processes. When you reflect on your thoughts, emotions, and memories and examine their meaning you are engaged in introspection. In this way, introspection helps improve your levels of self-awareness which then will help you improve your resilience and lower stress levels.
Since its introduction to the psychology world, introspection has evolved to tie into self-realization. This process helps you modify your behaviors. It draws a line around and between all of the connections between emotions and behaviors that may not be serving you.
Some ways to improve the way you conduct an introspection could be:
1. Self-Monitoring. This involves simply noticing what is going on within yourself using mindful meditation, where you observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment. You simply let them pass through your mind like floating clouds. If you want to stop along the way and meditate on one of the thoughts you begin to gain insight into yourself. Here you are observing, learning, and gaining insights about the way you act and behave.
2. Asking Yourself Open-Ended Questions. Open-ended questions can help you better understand your attitudes, beliefs, desires, evaluations, intentions, emotions, and sensory experiences. Ask open-ended questions like,
3. Taking stock of your strengths and weaknesses. Much of this exercise is looking at your skill sets, how you learn, and your intellectual self. However, don’t forget your emotions in the process, for instance, if upon reflection you notice you get anxious before giving a presentation you might consider this not to be healthy and let your anxiety be heightened. Your anxiety begins to overtake you and in the process, you falter giving all kinds of messages that things are just not right. This becomes an emotional weakness for you and you need to address it in a healthier way.
Self-awareness hypothesizes that people either focus on their internal or external environment at a given moment. If you're staring at yourself in the mirror, you are more likely to be aware of what is directly in front of you. It can fall into two different categories.
The first is analyzing your experiences and behaviors to understand the world around you. The second is the same level of analysis but putting it in a third-person perspective by comparing yourself to societal standards. In either category, you are changing your behavior based on a set of standards.
You can strengthen self-awareness by engaging in the following five activities:
1. Walking in the quiet of nature. Nature not only has a rejuvenating effect on you, but also nudges you to examine something that is happening in your life whether it be something to do with your work, relationships, or family.
2. Practicing mindfulness. Here you are consciously directing your thoughts inward to become more aware of what is happening with your thoughts and beliefs as they trigger your emotions. Mindfulness includes focusing your attention on whatever it is you are doing and involves the practice of meditation or the quieting of the mind.
3. Listening deeply to others. When we focus on another person it is a way to downgrade our self-destructive thinking. Dr. Tchiki Davis points out, “By being open to someone else, we can learn to listen objectively, even lovingly, to what that person wants or needs to share. This, in turn, helps each of us how to listen to our own inner dialogues and opinions objectively and lovingly as well.”
4. Journaling is an excellent way to become greater self-aware. I have often commented on the advantages of journaling as a method of becoming more self-aware. With journaling you are telling your story in your own words and they can reveal what’s critical for you. You can find more about journaling here.
5. Obtaining feedback from others. Finding an objective listener, one who can give you constructive criticism and help you grow as a person is another way of strengthening your self-awareness. Here you need to be open to what people are saying to you and then make a mental note to examine it later. When you reflect on what the other person has said you may find the criticism to be inaccurate and more about a projection of the other person’s struggles. In that case, don’t respond defensively but try to get to the underlying issue so that you can keep a healthy relationship.
Self-renewal is the act of rebirth. It is a change in priorities, an opportunity to renew and regroup. It's something you have to do mindfully as often as possible. You are constantly changing as a person and with every change in who you are, there are changes in what you want, need, and desire.
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus tells the story about not putting new wine in old wineskins because both the wine and wineskins will be ruined. In many ways, this is a renewal story. It is difficult to renew ourselves unless we shed the old skin, so to speak, and put on new skin. And, as we do we go deeper within ourselves (introspection) we begin to find our true selves (become more aware). Self-renewal is the act of keeping up with the changes that take place as we put on new skin.
To solidify this here are 5 concrete things you can do to put on new skin.
1. Clarify your gifts. Focus on your natural gifts and break out from the dam you have of holding them back.
2. Sharpen your learning. Pay attention to learning at a deeper level, but don’t forget to spend time learning just for fun. One of my mentors found that taking a camera course was just what he needed to sharpen his awareness on his walks. Another spends time in a sports activity just for fun and companionship.
3. Focus on spending time with just you. Take some time out to rejuvenate in nature and be in the moment with it. While there say a silent prayer of thanksgiving. You don’t have to be religious to do this. Just revel and be thankful for what is in front of you.
4. Take a personal retreat. A retreat allows you to unplug from your daily grind and connect with like-minded people. Make this an annual practice.
5. Become a volunteer or a mentor. Community organizations are always looking for positive and impactful people. Find one that fits your values and beliefs. Mentor youth or someone who can benefit from your experience and wisdom. Search for mentoring groups within your community or place of work.
Introspection feeds self-awareness, and then the two combined join forces to trigger self-renewal. None of them work individually, and if you try to focus on one without addressing the others, you won't reach the state of joy or fulfillment you are looking for.
As you begin the journey, you need to focus on each of these individually, but you have to do so by taking little steps and limiting yourself to just three things.
So, if you plan to focus on introspection, self-awareness, and renewal, you should choose one action point under each category I mentioned above. Just be sure to choose an action for each that feeds into the others.
For example, if you are struggling with a bad habit like over-eating, smoking, or even getting lost in content, then undergoing a period of introspection will help you uncover everything you can about that bad habit thus bringing about a state of self-awareness. Knowing is half the battle so, once you have the awareness of the issue and an idea of the root causes, you can take the steps to address those issues and renew yourself by adopting a new, healthier means of coping.
If you are struggling and want help along your journey, you may want to seek out the advice of a professional, coach, or mentor. For instance, if you are dealing with a substance abuse issue, then several resources can help you such as Alcohol Anonymous, a social worker, a true friend who has your interest at heart, or a psychologist. These resources will be able to support you as you address the underlying symptoms and coping mechanisms to navigate the healing process.
As always stay safe, keep healthy, and continue becoming the best version of yourself. Thank you for reading,
Jennifer Herrity, 30 Common Business Buzzwords, and Their Definitions.
Kendra Cherry, What is Introspection?
Dr. Tchiki Davis, Ph.D. What Is Self-Awareness, and How Do You Get it,
Dr. Abogao Bremmer, M.D. 5 Ways to Regroup, Reprioritize, and Renew Yourself”