Congratulations! You took the time to rebuild, you have the tools to set boundaries within yourself, and for others, you are aware of how and when to focus on your joy and develop positive routines. Now it's time to grow! What does it take to grow as an individual? In my opinion, it stems from accountability. This is surprisingly hard for many people to do. Don't worry, though, because you already have the starter tools necessary to make this easier for you. Refer back to the previous articles and repeat the steps needed throughout this part of your journey. Getting into that habit now will benefit you significantly later on.

     When you hear the word "accountability," how does it make you feel? Honestly, most people don't respond well to the word. It is often used in a negative dialogue like, "you NEED to take some accountability here!" in a time you may already be on the defense. Let's start by removing that negative association to the word. Accountability here means growth, and growth is good. Keeping that in mind, growth can be uncomfortable sometimes, and that is why it is essential to remember to cycle back to previous steps and regain that power. Accountability equals growth which equals power.

     You may feel easily triggered and impulsive at this point in your journey. You need to stop and analyze your reactions to these things during this time. Chances are, these things are not terrible; they remind you of something that brings up emotions. What emotions are you feeling? Where do you think it is? When was the first time you remember feeling that way? Was it within your control? Start to ask yourself these questions. Feeling these emotions fulling and with awareness is part of growth. Knowing how your mind and body react and where it stems will help you go back to previous steps and work on rebuilding that hidden hurt part of yourself. 

     Now let's talk about accountability regarding how you may affect others. Throughout this journey, you will make connections and build bonds with people. Chances are, these relationships won't last. A couple of reasons being you more than likely are not choosing healthy people, and you will end up changing throughout this time and will grow away from some people. Just know that this is ok and is completely necessary to learn the lessons needed to attain empowerment truly. The key is to pay attention to your reactions throughout these relationships and when they end. You will make mistakes. You will respond in negative ways and revert to these steps again. That is all normal and ok! That is growth! Repeating these mistakes until you learn the lesson and grow. You can only control your reactions to situations at the end of the day.

     After months of trial and error, failures, and successes, all of this will become natural to you. This healthy behavior of routines, joy, boundaries, rebuilding, and accountability will become a habit. Throughout this journey, you may have already stumbled backward and made some mistakes. That's ok because these are the moments to reflect and grow. Take accountability for yourself. Focus on what you can control, which is your reactions. Emotional impulse is hard to overcome, but it is possible. Having a sound support system is essential, so throughout this time, make it a goal to weed through the bad ones and find the right people who align with your future self.  

     Remember to reward yourself along your journey. Don't forget to focus on your joy and keep your routine going. Keep rebuilding and setting boundaries as you grow. After this, you can easily transition into empowerment and validation.  

3 responses to “Growth”

  1. […] Now that you have the tools to set boundaries within yourself and for others, how and when to focus on your joy, and developing routines, you can get into the hard stuff like shadow work. Imagine that every time you felt repressed or actively repressed yourself, it created a shadow version of yourself. This shadow self gets tucked away and hidden. These minor traumas stay with us, and if we don't address them, they can hinder our growth. They can manifest through addiction, negative self-talk, stress, depression, and other health issues. So why would you want to address these sides of yourself in the first place? These pieces of you are ignored and abandoned traumatized parts of you that can bring you down. They are within you, so you have to be responsible for their peace because it's also your peace. So how do you address this "shadow self" you've created? It's not easy and can range from light to intense. Intrusive thoughts were something that I struggled with badly after my last relationship. Negative self-talk and a paranoid victim mindset is something I lived with, and it was destroying me. This shadow part of me was created through all the years of abuse. I began to doubt myself and talk myself out of things that made me happy. I started believing everyone was out to get me before I could be convinced of it. Without my ex there to scream these things at me constantly, my shadow self was in my head screaming it at me. It stopped me from trusting people, from developing empowering relationships, and making healthy decisions. I became aware of shadow work and what I was doing to myself and started fixing it. When it comes to intrusive thoughts, the way I faced it was with aggressive counteractive thinking. Whenever I noticed these negative thoughts, I would immediately counter the thought with an honest, positive thought. For example, anytime I noticed I thought I couldn't trust people and they were against me, I would immediately counter those thoughts with positive truth statements. I would tell myself that my feelings come from an old reaction to an old environment. I would say to myself that it is ok to feel safe around people and that I had no real reason to have these feelings. I reminded myself that I am a good person who is worth knowing and loving. And I would repeat these thoughts over and over again. Every time I noticed these thoughts creeping in, I would've to give myself that reality check. I wouldn't allow myself to feel bad for having those thoughts because, although inaccurate, they were indeed valid. The feelings needed to be addressed and worked through, however. So now, let's discuss some other forms of shadow work. Imposter syndrome is something many people struggle with frequently. A feeling that you're faking it and will be found out. You may be a perfectionist, pick up on new things effortlessly, are highly independent, tend to be an expert on topics, and always feel like you can do more. So when you notice yourself feeling like this, remind yourself of what you have accomplished. Ask yourself to highlight what qualities you carry that make you worthy of your position and what can be done to improve yourself more. Remind yourself of all the work you have done up to this point. Tell yourself you have earned it and deserve more if you keep working at it. These back and forth conversations will give that shadow part of yourself the attention it never had before. The last exercise I want to discuss here is an inner child exercise. Sometimes a shadow self is a childlike part of you that needs to be heard, validated, and loved. It can develop from not feeling heard and seen from family growing up. As an adult, this can cause you to become quiet or closed off in certain situations causing you to feel powerless. This powerless feeling can make you want to lash out or close yourself off. In reality, you need to sit down and talk to yourself. Think back to when you first felt these feelings of not being seen or heard by people you valued. Let the child version of yourself tell the adult what happened. Visualize your adult self reacting in the way you expected as a child. Allow that childlike side of you to feel heard and seen. Hug yourself tight and remind yourself that you have a voice. Self-validation can be very healing. Along with all the other steps, this step will be something you will repeat throughout your life. It may get more challenging at times, while other times, it will be effortless. After it is all said and done, you will feel empowered and know where self-love comes from. After this, you can easily transition into accountability and growth. […]


  2. […] lot of accomplishments, you've stayed focused, you've experienced freedom, you rebuilt, and you've grown so much! Take a moment to let that sink in. You did it! You put in the hard work and can see […]


  3. […] 21-25 are from step 5 – growth (accountability). Continuing to build yourself back up also requires accountability for the role you play in your […]


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