Unapologetically Me: Our New Chapter

It has been quite a year, one full of challenges, valuable lessons and unexpected blessings, and I’m feeling pretty worn out.

It’s exhausting to witness all the violence, hate and trauma that we humans inflict on one another — but precious moments of joy and genuine connection exist amidst the challenges. I’m grateful for the chance to continue growing and learning, even if that means sacrificing my comfort.

Let’s embark on a transformative adventure that empowers you to live life on your own terms. It’s time for an intentional audit and reset. Through this process we’ll begin to understand who we are at our core and become aware of any limiting beliefs or habits that may be holding us back.

The first step is to fully embrace who you are. It’s time to shed negative core beliefs about ourselves, the judgments of others and to celebrate your uniqueness. Self-acceptance is the cornerstone of authenticity.

Start by writing down three things that make you authentically you. These could be your quirks, morals, talents or values. Embrace these aspects and let them shine. Reflect on past achievements and celebrate accomplishments large and small.

Next it’s time to learn from the challenges, which are opportunities for growth and change. To make the most of them, you need to reflect on what you’ve learned. To be aware of toxic cycles, you need to face the parts of yourself you avoid or don’t like.

Don’t shy away from the difficult moments. Identify the most significant challenges you faced and jot down the lessons you learned — these will be your guiding lights in the year ahead and help you chart your course for 2024. Set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals to ensure that you have clear objectives that can be realistically achieved.

It’s also important to prioritize self-care, which is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Take note, however, how much of a privilege it is to be able to consistently invest in yourself — on any level-from finding a safe space to sleep to scheduling that long overdue doctor’s appointment. It’s about nourishing your physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Create a self-care routine that includes activities like meditation, exercise, reading or any other practices that help you relax and recharge. Safety and consistency are key.

In life, having a strong support network is invaluable, so build it. Surround yourself with people or places who uplift, inspire and understand you. Reach out to those who support and believe in you in healthy, positive, reciprocal ways. Cultivate these relationships by actively being there for them in return.

As you reset your path, it’s also essential to understand that saying “no” when necessary is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of self-respect and boundary-setting. Practice saying no to commitments or requests that don’t align with your goals or values. It’s liberating to reclaim your time and energy for what truly matters.

Personal growth is a lifelong journey, so invest in yourself through learning, self-improvement and acquiring new skills. Identify an area of personal growth you’d like to pursue. It could be taking a course, starting mental health therapy or improving a skill that aligns with your goals. Commit to this investment — you are worth it.

You must also protect your peace. Every journey is unique and it’s absolutely fine to create your own version of success. You don’t need to compare yourself to others, and you certainly don’t have to let anyone else’s opinions dictate your choices.

Focus on your own well-being and prioritize your inner peace, staying true to yourself and seeking out the things that truly bring you stillness. Remember to stay aware of your body and mind with the people, places and things that drain your energy or bring negativity into your life. Your journey is yours to embrace and navigate, and it’s a beautiful adventure waiting to unfold.

Thoroughly assess your social and professional networks and evaluate your inner circles. Deliberately curate the energy you associate with and be intentional with who you seek connection with and reconnect with your hobbies, interests and activities to help you rediscover joy and passion.

Embracing your true self and conducting an intentional audit is a powerful journey. It allows you to chart your path, celebrate your achievements, learn from challenges and set clear goals. These are all essential aspects of this process. Investing in your personal growth, celebrating your community, and rediscovering joy and passion will bring vibrancy and fulfillment to your life.

Remember, this is your year to be unapologetically you. The journey is not about perfection; it’s about growth, self-discovery and embracing your authenticity. As you navigate this season with intention and purpose, may you find the strength and resilience within you to become the best version of yourself.

Seize the power to forge your own path, fearlessly and unapologetically. Embrace personal transformation and empowerment as you take that bold step forward.

Say this affirmation with me: “I am embracing this new chapter with open arms, ready to explore uncharted territories and grow into the best version of myself. I am confident in my ability to navigate challenges, learn from experiences, and create a future filled with happiness, success, and fulfillment. I am the author of my own story, and I am excited to write this new chapter with purpose, passion and unwavering belief in my own potential.” I love you! 

Bianca Goolsby, MBA is a digital strategist and activist. She also empowers and equips families to curate safe social spaces for themselves and their children.

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