3 lessons I learned from my therapy journey.

Hi 🙂

It’s been a while since I last wrote (I wrote my 22 for 2022 list, and that was probably the only post since October?). A lot of things have happened in the last 6 months, and those who followed me on social media would probably know what’s up.

Anyhow, I figured now is a good time as any to get back to writing, though I don’t know how consistent I can be. This post was originally written as a newsletter update, but somehow Sendfox is optimizing my newsletter and not allowing me to send the update to all my subscribers. So, here I am rewriting this slightly for the blog.

I had my therapy session with my therapist from Aloe Mind yesterday. It’s been almost a year since I started my therapy sessions (back in June or July 2021), and I’ve realized how beneficial it has been for me to be able to sit down properly with someone to talk about anything and everything that has been bothering me for the past decade or so.

So today, I would just like to share three lessons I learned from my therapy journey, and hopefully these can help you in your life as well!

Therapy lesson #1: You deserve to feel proud about every single accomplishment that you have in your life, no matter how small it is.

Some of you may recall that I used to write (& talk) a lot about imposter syndrome previously. It is something that I struggle a lot with, and still am at the time. No matter how accomplished people may think I am, there is always that nagging thought at the back of my head saying that I can always do better. That this accomplishment is nothing but luck and chance. That I do not deserve to be happy or proud about it because it’s not even a big one.

This was something I brought up with my therapist yesterday about how I feel at my new job. I’ve been working at a new place for the last two months, and despite how my new manager has always been open about how impressed he is with what I have done so far in the short time I’ve been here – I always feel like I can do more, that I need to do more. I didn’t feel accomplished enough, like everything I have done so far is just too small to be acknowledged.

I have been taking a step back every single time I feel this way, and constantly reminding myself to be aware that these thoughts are purely in my own mind. My colleagues and manager have been very open about validating my work, and that should be enough external encouragement to tell me that yes, my work does matter, no matter how shitty I feel at work.

After all, I am able to do the work that I do in the efficient way that I do because I am good at it, not everyone can do it in the same way that I do. So, even if it does feel small to me, it may not look that way to others. Just because I am used to how I work, that does not mean that others are used to it the same way. And I should be proud of it and own up to my work.

lessons I learned from therapy
One thing I like to do for self-care is also indulging in some relaxing home massage.
Photo by RODNAE Productions.

Therapy lesson #2: Certain things in life do not need to be solved. You just need to acknowledge they exist (or happened) and let them be.

I saw this IG Reel a few months ago – and damn it hits like hell. Sometimes in life, we feel like we need other people to either apologize for the hurt that they have caused us, or for them to acknowledge what they have done to us. We might feel that we need this in order for us to fully heal from the pain and trauma that it caused us. But, in reality, we really don’t.

This happened a lot to me. I had a lot of issues from my past – family trauma, friendship struggles, tons of unresolved problems, and a lot of things left unsaid.

Me being me, I wanted to solve everything. I wanted to make sure everything is fully addressed. I needed closure, and for me, that meant that the other party needed to also acknowledge the hurt and pain that they have caused me (or the role that they played in the trauma that I felt).

Then, I realized that it doesn’t really matter if they do or don’t acknowledge it. I cannot force other people to acknowledge something that they do not want to acknowledge. That does not diminish my feelings – they can dismiss it all they want, but the trauma and my emotions are still valid.

And that’s all that matters. What I feel is still valid, regardless of whether or not they accept it. I cannot take responsibility for how they choose to act about it. But, I can choose how I respond to the trauma, and what I can do moving forward to ensure that I would not do the same to others around me.

Therapy lesson #3: Rest is not something that you earn – it is something that you deserve.

In this world, you see a lot of influencers telling you that you need to hustle hard. Because of this culture, some people may look at ‘rest‘ as something that needs to be earned. Like, you can only rest after you’ve done enough work.

Since when has self-care become a reward and not a necessity in life?

I used to get annoyed with myself if I feel like I am taking way too much rest and not doing enough productive work. But, something that I have learned through therapy is that rest is an important part of actually being productive – you can never be productive enough if you do not schedule enough rest (whatever enough means to you).

And, yes, if you really want to take a weekend off and not do any work and just rest in bed, watch Netflix and catch up on some sleep – go do you.

You know yourself best – you know what your body and soul need. You know what can help you to recharge and reset. And so, you should focus on doing the things that would allow you to recuperate at your own pace.

I took the last 6 months or so off from a lot of my side hustle (coaching, workshops, etc). I told myself that October 2021 was my ‘rest month’. And after losing my mother-in-law in early November, I really did not feel like doing anything at all.

And that’s OK.

Yes, sometimes I feel guilty about not writing my newsletter, updating my blog, or turning down invitations for workshops or talks. Then, I realized that I did not owe anyone an explanation for why I wanted to stay off the radar. It was, after all, a personal decision. So why do I feel guilty about doing what I wanted to do?

You do not need to explain to anyone if you want to take some time off. You do not need to make people understand why you needed some space. It is not your responsibility to make people understand the importance of your personal time for yourself. So, just go and do what is best for you.

Some final updates…

In case you do not follow me on my social media, I wanted to take this chance to share some new updates:

  • My first book, #YourBestSelfBook, is now available in bookstores! You can buy it online from MPH or GerakBudaya’s online store. It is also available at an MPH bookstore near you! The ebook/PDF version is also available on the blog here.
  • I’ve opened up requests (as always) for my Projek Kad Raya 2022. As always, just fill the form up if you want one. 🙂
Your Best Self book is at MPH Nu Sentral!
#YourBestSelf spotted at MPH Nu Sentral!

Alright – that’s all for now. Happy fasting & Salam Ramadhan to all my Muslim readers, and may the holy month brings us lots of blessings, insyaAllah.

Take care, stay safe, and stay awesome everyone!

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