In this podcast (episode #519) and blog, I talk to existential psychotherapist and trauma-informed clinician Dr. Sara Kubric about what the “self” really is, how you can change who you are, the relationship between freedom and responsibility, and so much more!
In her amazing new book, It’s On Me, Sara focuses on what it means to face ourselves–whatever version that might be, regardless of whether or not we like the person we see reflected back to us. This book is focused on what's possible once we realize that we are responsible for who we become and how we live our lives.
It’s On Me is centered around two most essential questions: "Who am I" and "Why am I here?”. These questions are a guide to identifying self-loss—that feeling of being estranged or disconnected from your true self—so we can stop feeling the pain and emptiness that comes from performing or observing life, rather than living it.
Why are these questions so important? Many of us go through life not truly understanding who we are. This is almost like watching a movie and not understanding who the main character is—it makes it hard to truly grasp what is going on. If we don’t know who we are or who we want to be, it will be incredibly hard for us to know where we want to go in life or what we need to change.
In It’s On Me, Sara shows us how we can go from sleepwalking our way through a life we don’t want to stepping into our most vibrant, authentic, and meaningful Self. This starts with understanding what the self is: it is not something we just “find”. It is something we have to work on, to create. The self is constantly transformed as we go through life, because everything that happens to us changes us on some level. It is not a static, one-off thing that we need to discover. Rather, it is a dynamic process.
This is why it is so important that we take responsibility over our lives. If our sense of self is always changing as we respond to what happens to us, we need to ask ourselves: what kind of things are we exposing ourselves to, and how are they impacting our sense of self? What decisions are we making to create our sense of “self”?
There is no authentic self without responsibility. If you don’t take responsibility for your sense of self, then you will shaped and molded by what happens to you, and one day you may wake up and realize that the life you are living is not truly YOUR life. You are the only one that can do something about your life.
This does not invalidate your pain or what you have gone through. Rather, taking responsibility over your life teaches you how to find beauty in the chaos and messiness of your past and present. Your life is your responsibility, so what are you going to do about it? This is an empowering question. It means that your freedom is connected to your responsibility over your life—it is within your hands. You have the power to change what you don’t like about your self.
For more on finding out who you are, listen to my podcast with Sara (episode #519) and check out her amazing book. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).
This podcast is sponsored by:
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1:20 Sara’s amazing work
2:00 What it means to be an existential psychotherapist
3:05 Asking the big questions in life
4:38, 10:28 The importance of taking responsibility for your life
12:00 Understanding the impact of your past & how to heal
14:22 How to construct meaning within the chaos of life
17:45 The relationship between freedom & responsibility
18:40 Sara’s incredible story
29:50 You have the power to change what you don’t like about your self
31:53 The importance of visualization
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