Getting the best start in 2024

If you could conquer your anxiety, what kind of person would you like to be? How would you begin to view your world? What differences do you long to see show up in your life? How would you know your confidence had increased?


Sometimes, personal circumstances can feel like the end of the world instead of an opportunity for growth and development; most changes can be used to propel yourself forward. Counselling really can be just the boost you need to change your life.

Understanding the cause

The New Year 2024 is here; what are your goals for the coming year? Do you wish to gain an understanding of how to come to terms with stress and anxiety that has held you back in the past? Stress, anxiety, and even depression all have a root cause of living life to try and please others. The pattern of pleasing others before our own needs is often deeply rooted in our developmental years. It is governed by criticism, which carries over to all aspects of adult life because it becomes the norm, causing low self-esteem and trust issues. 

Addressing these matters can seem far too demanding on our own. Is it possible to overcome anxiety? We might try to compensate by committing to turning our life into obtaining perfectionism. When we take this step, we find more stress than answers, taking too much time to complete tasks or constantly being unsatisfied. Anxiety is frequently caused by the fact of not feeling good enough but not wanting anxiety to show up, so avoidance is chosen.

The reassuring fact is that you are enough; you only need to unlock your true self instead of striving to lead a life of meeting other's expectations. Bullying is often used by those who do not respect you.

Is it possible to overcome anxiety?

Our greatest weakness is giving up often through self-doubt and the struggle to maintain progress on our own. The surest way to succeed is to try one more time, but this time with experienced support. Make 2024 the year you challenge your limits instead of limiting your challenges. Start the coming year with a growth plan that brings out your hidden strengths, deciding what you want to show up in your life. Begin 2024: Getting the thoughts that have defeated you out of your thinking to enable new ones to grow in a developing mindset.

The first step must be pinpointing where the anxiety is coming from. Most of you will answer, "but I am unsure where to begin". This is the experience I have received from most of my clients over the years: "I get caught up in daily living, and the root cause I can't quite remember." 

Seeking professional support          

So we are two weeks into a fresh year of opportunity; how are you fairing? Have you started the year with a desire for life to get better? The only way for life to improve is to put in the work; unfortunately, no one is coming to save you. The most significant drawback in self-development is lack of knowledge, leading to fear of failure and becoming discouraged over a period of time due to negative self-talk and doubt, undermining confidence in personal growth without an accountability partner. Lack of clarity and losing sight of your goals due to not knowing how to examine the evidence of self-doubt can rob you of good intentions. Procrastination and weaning of original enthusiasm can derail personal growth before achieving desired goals.  

However, working with a counsellor may be a good idea. When commencing the journey of finding our true selves, it is essential to create a safe space. The root cause of anxiety begins with criticism, either from childhood or unsuccessful relationships in adult life. We become what we tell ourselves. Yes, we build our internal dialogue, positive or negative. 

So, when should you consider seeing a counsellor? Seeing a counsellor is a significant step when you feel your world and choices are becoming limited. Think of the many ways anxiety is affecting your life. A skilled counsellor can help you determine what is meaningful in your life. The things that align with who you are and where your life is going will help you improve your sleep, health, and ability to move forward desirably. If you are living your life constantly on edge, this eventually manifests itself in physical symptoms. A considerable circuit is invisibly functioning 24/7 between what takes place between the mind and body and the internal workings of the sympathetic nervous system. Fatigue occurs when the body is in constant overdrive.

Some clients view contacting a counsellor as an anxious step in itself. Often, uncertainty has a large part to play in this. A good counsellor will want to make you feel at ease before exploring the heavier issues you seek to explore. The first step in the counselling relationship is explaining what we expect from each other and developing sessions according to your requirements. It's all about building a relationship on trust before you feel safe sharing your emotional life in detail. Everyone is vastly different. No two people are the same; any counsellor should always respect this and treat you as your life expert. No one else can hold the lived experience of your life that you do.

Choose to work with a professional counsellor who operates within an ethical framework. You should be able to receive the support required without feeling judged, so judgment should never be in the session. After a short counselling period, many feel safe for the first time to become who they indeed are and emerge from survival mode. Once you feel safe and supported, you might want to explore your true potential. When you feel a sense of calmness, you will find yourself being able to think better and feel confidently connected.

The new feelings that begin to flow are so much more the true you than the old routine of least resistance in pleasing others and feeling your life must be led by their expectations. In your decisions, you will begin to promote self-worth and a feeling of being in the driving seat of life instead of a back seat passenger and at the mercy of someone else, be it a boss partner or unkind advantage takers.

The key to living your happiest life is to quit avoiding the challenge. Today, Decide that you are no longer prepared to subject yourself to everyone's idea of who you should be; my best guidance is to find your purpose before someone finds one for you. No longer run away from opportunities or self-growth. I repeat, no one is coming to save you. Get up and be your own hero. Silence your doubters. 

This coming year, I will be posting weekly on stress and anxiety; over the course of the coming year, this will include developmental and relationship trauma, anxiety in the workplace, How to deal with self-doubt and limiting beliefs, motivational topics for anxiety, working with core beliefs of never being good enough and personal authentic development. You can drop me your ideas of what you want to see. I hope you feel you can ask any questions you have before committing to me and my services.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London W6 & E14
Written by David Pender, MBACP, Integrative Psychotherapy | Anxiety Specialist
London W6 & E14

David Pender M.B.A.C.P BA(Hons) Anxiety and stress management Life can be challenging when you feel constantly stressed or suffer from anxiety. Finding the correct help for your individual circumstances can be difficult. Try a free discovery call today if you feel ready to commit to a counselling relationship that will bring out your best self.

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