Personal growth

I just got notified that it's been 4 years since I started my blog. I don't even know if I have my first post anymore - I think it was a Paramore album review. I just felt like it was time to put finger to keyboard again and write something new. I have so many ideas rattling around my head that I often find it difficult to choose what I want to write about. I've loved writing about my personal experiences and finding out I helped people - that's all I've ever wanted to do through my blogging.

One thing I wanted to write about was personal growth. I've learnt a lot in the last six months about growing myself and setting myself challenges and goals to work towards. It's so easy to feel deflated if you don't automatically get to where you want to be, but you have to be realistic and give yourself time and reward yourself along the way.

I think the biggest, on-going area I've been growing is my mentality towards everything. I can't say I've always been negative because I had moments in the last few years where I really got into mindfulness and tried to teach myself to be positive but there's a lot more to positivity than learning to be mindful. You need to surround yourself with people that bring out the very best in you, you need to put yourself in situations that you enjoy rather than put yourself at the bottom of your list of people to make happy, because at the end of the day you're the most important person to please. Not everyone around me is positive, and you can't change that, but you can limit what you allow these people to do to you. I allow people to tell me about their problems and I'll advise them but I won't let their problems drain me too, it would be selfish of them to expect me to bring myself down over things that shouldn't concern me. Doing your part and offering advice is enough. I do more of what I love and see more of people I love now rather than choosing to do what others want me to do. I've adopted more of a yes to everything attitude. No I don't say yes to absolutely everything but I've started to say yes to things out of my comfort zone, that way I'm finding more things I love to do.

Fitness and health
I think my body change is one of my biggest achievements of 2017 so far and I'm so proud to say that. I could do more but I'm completely happy with how hard I've worked to get to the body I have now. It isn't perfect and I still have more I want to improve on but comparing myself to a year ago, I've changed. The fact I train at least 5 days a week (not at the gym, just at home) says a lot as it took me a LOT of motivation to do one workout in six months just over a year ago. I worked for a fitness company for over a year and even that didn't motivate me to stop being lazy. A big motivator was actually my boyfriend. He sets me challenges and helps me understand so much more to health than just a few squats. The amount of research he does to help me improve my body is incredible. But he also tells me he's proud of me and how hard I work and I think it's another good motivator having someone around you to tell you you're doing well. I've started to eat a lot better too. Don't get me wrong, I'll still go out for food if I want to, I'll still have the odd treat because food makes me happy. I just make sure I do a really good workout that day to make myself feel less bad.

My body change has influenced my confidence too. I used to be really reserved with myself, and incredibly shy. Now I show off what I'm happy about and I do it proudly. If I'm having a good body day I'll whack a picture on my snapchat story and I don't think that's beggy, I think it's just another way to show you're happy with yourself. A few months ago I would NOT be posting my belly on social media so I see it as a huge positive that I'm happy to do that now. I can still be very shy, but usually it's when I'm first meeting somebody. I find it a lot easier now to make new friends, and a big way I think I managed to do this is I stopped thinking that everybody looks at me and has the same negative opinion like the few people that dislike me do.

Setting myself personal challenges are my favourite things, These are things that I want to do just for me. In May me and Hannah just decided to go and climb Mount Snowdon together. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my year so far. Some people can climb it easily, I mean we saw one person running up it with her dog, but me and Hannah aren't that fit (yet) and so it was actually a challenge to us. We were sweating like mad and there were times when I genuinely didn't think I would make it (probably just being dramatic) but after a few hours we did and it made me so proud to be stood at the top of that mountain. It wasn't just for the fitness that I wanted to do it. I wanted to prove to myself I could do something I hadn't done before. I wanted a day to appreciate the world. I wanted a day out with one of my best friends. I wanted a day where we barely touched social media.
And from then on I've set myself another challenge, to climb the Yorkshire Three Peaks in September for charity with my work colleagues and I can't wait to do that.

Friendships, Family and Love
The people around me are huge parts of how I've grown into who I am right now. My boyfriend has opened me up to new things that I admit I first thought "nah never gonna be able to do that" but here I am managing to do these things. I have an amazing group of friends, from all over the place, that I can trust and go to for advice on pretty much every topic. It's nice to be friends with people that don't feel threatened by any of my other friends. It's nice that they get on together so I never feel like I have to choose people over people. My family have and will always be by my side. We don't always agree, and we have very, very different opinions on many topics but they do like to see me do well and we all support each other.

I got a job doing the same thing as my mum in January, so I now rent out portacabins to events and construction sites. On paper that is NOT what I thought I'd be doing as a job but after being there for six months I love it. I love how challenging it is, how everyday is completely different and I always have something to do. I love the people I work with and how we always go out of our way to help each other out. My biggest fear when I started this role was speaking on the phone. I've never been confident doing it which may sound so strange to some people. I had one job a couple of years ago in recruitment where I had to speak on the phone but I always tried my best not to answer it because I lacked confidence, but now I'm a lot more confident, I don't actually shut up on the phone so I've managed to conquer that huge fear.

Personal growth is an on-going thing. I'll be growing myself until I die to be honest. I'll constantly be trying to improve an area of myself so I can be the best me I can possibly be.

Set realistic goals, for 3 months, 6 months, 2 years... be realistic though! Reward yourself along the way.

There will always be people that want to rain on your parade but I've found that these people are actually huge motivators. It's an amazing feeling achieving something that a lot of people said you'd never do.

Your biggest aim is to make yourself happy. You control your thoughts, actions and experiences so you have to make them the best you can make them.

Jennie x