Self-Development Lessons I Learned from 2017

Like for many other people, 2017 was a tough one. There were many ups and downs but I still got a lot of value out of the year because I learned so much about myself. The most I have ever learned in a year about my habits and mental health. 

Jealousy & Negativity

The first lesson I learned was to stop being jealous of others. Jealousy is like a poison, it can make you have a bitter and feel such negativity against someone who has done nothing wrong to you at all. I find myself having bad thoughts about people that I am jealous of, "Oh she got a new job paying more than me? Ooh, I bet she wastes all that money anyway", "She got engaged? They probably argue so much".

It is hard for me to admit this, I don't want to come across as a bitch but I honestly would try to belittle people in my mind to make myself feel better. In this weird way, I was trying to boost my self-esteem. 

Did thinking this make me any happier? Not at all. It made me turn into someone who was so negative, I conditioned my mind to think so negatively of others. It soon became second nature and something that I would do automatically until I became aware of how pointless it was. 

Once I was aware what it was doing to me and how stupid these thoughts were I knew I had to make a conscious decision to stop them in their tracks. Moving forward I am trying my best to only let positive thoughts enter my mind. Because honestly, it is amazing things that people around me are experiencing and why not celebrate them? Like everything, this is a working progress but I am working hard to eradicate negativity from my mind completely. 

Writing all of this makes me think of the following quote from Mean Girls. 

Calling someone else fat doesn’t make you any skinnier,
calling someone else ugly doesn’t make you any prettier,
calling someone else weak doesn’t make you any stronger,
All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.
— Mean Girls

Patience & Trusting the Timing

Things will come when the time is right.

I have been so desperate for my boyfriend to propose for the past 3 years. We spoke about it and both wanted it but it never happened. I actually used to get a little upset because I thought he was just saying it to please me but secretly felt differently about marriage than me. 

Last year was the best year in terms of my relationship with my boyfriend. We seriously have been on cloud 9. We have always had a great relationship but we hit another level this past year. At the end of the year what happened? He proposed. 

Although I have wanted him to propose for so long, really the timing couldn't have been more perfect. I feel the last puzzle piece had finally been put in place last year creating a wonderful image. Because of this everything else fell into place and that year was the year it was meant to happen. I couldn't be happier knowing that we are now out of the other side of the tough times we have had and are really making a start on our future. 

In other areas of my life, I am ready to put my trust in the timing. I might not be where others are but it will fall into place for me when I am ready. Because I am doing everything completely from scratch, no financial help I feel like that although it will take us longer the reward will be huge. 

Recognising What I Need to Work On

I can recognise where I need improvement. I have been witness to a lot of people around me reaching quite late in their life with flaws that they admit themselves and moan about constantly but have never changed. It baffles me that people who have been on this earth for over half a century and still have not figured out that you have to just change your habits and you won't need to moan anymore! 

I know it isn't easy to change a lifetime of habits but it isn't hard to recognise that this could be something you need to improve on and taking small steps towards it.

I am aware of anything I am lacking in and I am consciously making an effort to better myself and create a more peaceful life. I can only do this by stopping the things that frustrate me - or in a lot of cases, start doing the things that I am putting off. I can reflect on my actions or lack of and really put together a plan to combat them. I think this is really important. 

What lessons have you learned from 2017?