Who do you workout for?

The new year is a time when people make resolutions, usually having to do with enhancing their lives in some way. As known, one of the most common New Year’s Resolution is to go to the gym and get in shape. But, what about a resolution to NOT go to the gym?

Going to the gym & getting in shape should be done to feel better about yourself, and enhance your overall well-being. Fitness can have so many positive mental & physical impacts, but a recent conversation with a friend completely baffled me & inspired me.

A couple weeks ago I was having a conversation said friend and they (I’m choosing to keep them completely anonymous) said something to me that really got me thinking. This is the gist of how the conversation went:

Friend: “My goal for 2019 is to not go to the gym at all this year”

Me: *confused* …“what?”

Friend: “Yeah, I started to realize that I was going to the gym to look good for others, not to make myself feel better.”

To be honest, I was in a state of shock. But after a while, I started thinking about how powerful and inspiring that is. “I started to realize that I was going to the gym to look good for others, not to make myself feel better.” First and foremost, I am so proud of my friend for acknowledging the fact they were doing something to impress someone else, not for themselves. Making a decision to do something that is completely opposite of the norm because you realized you are doing it for all the wrong reasons is so powerful. Seriously! Going to the gym should be about YOU! It never occurred to me to think about it this way.

After thinking about it for some time, it made me realize that I needed to take a step back and make sure I am doing things for myself, not for others. Actually, I think we all need to take a moment to stop and think about whether we are doing things for no other reason than for ourselves.

*To clarify: I am talking about “things” related to self-care. Like, working out, in this scenario.

Working out is such a great way to improve our overall physical & mental health, but we have to make sure we are doing it for all the right reasons.

 Ask yourself these questions:

Are you working out to impress someone?

Are you working out to look good for someone else?

Are you working out to post a gym selfie on Instagram?

OR

Are you working out to get in shape & feel good about yourself? 

Especially with social media being so powerful, we are always cautious about what others are thinking of us. We want to post the most beautiful images of ourselves & are constantly worried about what others will think. But, at the end of the day, we do need to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves, taking a mental break from looking good for others and make sure we are truly taking care of our well-being.

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For me, fitness has completely changed my life in so many ways. I feel so much more confident & happy and I can’t imagine letting go of my workout routine. The last time I did that, I fell into some serious mental health issues. But, for me, I decided to get back into the gym for myself. It’s something I use for self-care & something I identify with!

While I still believe that health & fitness is important, this recent conversation has left we thinking about it in a whole different perspective. It made me really think about making sure I am making these decisions for myself, rather than for the acceptance of others.

While social acceptance is a human necessity, I do think we all as a society could start thinking more about our mental health as well. In my personal experiences, when I start taking care of myself & my mental health, social acceptance follows.

So let me ask you this…

Are you really doing things, like working out, for yourself or for others?

- Blissfully Jess2

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Gaining confidence to be my true, authentic self

Growth happens outside of the comfort zone.

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I’ve always been painfully shy, easily embarrassed & incredibly worried about what other people thought of me. It’s a natural instinct because we all need social acceptance. I used to just hide in my own little shell, because that where I felt I was safe. Safe from any potential judgement from anyone. No fear of making a fool out of myself. But there have definitely been times when I wished I was less shy & introverted & more naturally outgoing. I wished I was able to put myself out there and achieve what they were doing. They made it seem so effortless.

What if I make a fool out of myself? What if I fail miserably? What if nobody cares what I have to say?

Finding yourself and figuring out your purpose can be a very difficult journey. Everyone’s journey is different, but that’s what makes it so special. Like a lot of people, my confidence was super low, especially in high school. I didn’t realize how low it was until I got to college. That’s when I started coming out of my shell and starting to get myself out there more and more. Over the last couple years, the most important thing I’ve learned is that wishing wasn’t going to help me achieve my goals. Less wishing more doing. I started actively doing things that purposely put me out of my comfort zone.

Since personal growth happens outside of the comfort zone.

Of course, it started working & I slowly started gaining more confidence & ultimately accept who I am. Which is great, I’ve learned a lot and grown  A LOT. But, it wasn’t until this last year that I actually realized what was holding me back. While I was gaining confidence, I still had this feeling in the back of my head that I just didn’t have what it took to do exactly what I wanted to do to reach my goals. But, I was holding myself back because I was so worried about what others would think. Why would anyone care what I have to say? What if I completely embarrass myself & make a fool out of myself?

What I realized, eventually, is that I was letting the potential negative opinions of others control my own thoughts about myself. I finally got to a point where I had to come to the realization that this fear of potential failure & falling flat on my face in complete embarrassment was really the only thing holding me back. Yes, I’m super shy and anxious, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have the “personality”. I needed to realize that I needed to take the control back for myself. To realize that I’m the only one that is completely in control of my own life & the path that I decide to take for myself. I still wish I wasn’t so anxious all the time, but I am definitely proud of myself for taking the necessary steps to getting to this point. I still have a long way to go, but boy have I come a long way.

Ever since I launched my business and started writing blogs, I’ve had such an incredible response. I finally let go of the potential negative outcome and negative reactions that I just let myself do what I wanted, how I wanted. What I have learned is: people care. It has seriously taken a long, sometimes painful, road to get to this point of discovery. But, it’s true and it feels so good to finally have that weight lifted off my shoulders.

I no longer think to myself, “wow, I wish I was more like that” because I have realized that I am truly the only one holding myself back. I’ve heard a lot of success stories that come from people who work hard and take really risky chances. Staying in your comfort zone is only going to provide you with mediocre results, ultimately keeping you from living life to the absolute fullest. Life can be tricky & social media can make things a lot harder for people to find their confidence. We are more connected than ever & it is so easy to compare ourselves. “Wow, I wish I looked like her”, “Her life seems so perfect”.

There are still times when I have those “Oh crap, what have I done?” moments where I get this thought in my mind that I really have made a fool out of myself. I still get those moments where I think I need to retract back to my shell and my comfort zone & stop trying to put myself out there. But, I have to keep reminding myself why I have done this in the first place. There have been times in the past where I have given into my own negative self-talk & have retracted back to my comfort zone, where I know I am safe. But, I won’t let myself do that this time, because I know where my potential is. You never know your potential & what could happen, unless you try. But, you have to remember to keep going. Keep moving forward.

The most important thing that I’ve learned this past year, especially in the last 6 months or so, is how much of my life is in my control. It is so easy to look at the big picture and to think that it is completely impossible, but we have to realize what is in our control. That has seriously been a game changer for me! It seems like something so simple, but I know that a lot of people go through this as well & I hope that I can provide at least some inspiration to let your guard down & start living the life you’ve always wanted.

I encourage every single person reading this to start doing little things to get yourself out there, out of your comfort zone. To start living the life you’ve always wanted. I’m not saying big things, just small little changes that you can start doing today to help makes this possible. You are the only person that is in control of your own life! 

We are all learning & growing every single day. Amazing things can happen, if we keeping working towards letting go of potential negative outcomes & start becoming our true, authentic selves. Now, let’s all get out there & start living our best lives! 💖

- Blissfully Jess2

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY: 5 things I love about myself & my boyfriend

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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It’s the season of loooove, right?! We all love celebrating Valentine’s Day… if you are in a stable relationship, of course. I believe that voicing our love ourselves is just as important, if not MORE important. No matter how you are celebrating, whether it’s gathering roses and chocolates, spoiling your significant other, or maybe you are riding the love train solo; however you are celebrating this hallmark holiday, I hope you take the time to treat yo self as well. We should show ourselves love often & everyday, but this day I think it is a good excuse to really do it, and do it well & over the top.

Self-care is extremely important, as we all know..right?! It’s also a different topic for a different day (soon!). I encourage everyone to take some time this Valentine’s Day to show OURSELVES some love, while we are showing our loved ones extra love as well. Whether that means pampering yourself a little extra, writing about all the things you love about yourself, or whatever else YOU need.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, this season of looove, I am going to write out 5 things I love about myself as well as 5 things I love about my boyfriend.

5 things I love about myself 💗

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1. I never give up

Life has a funny way of throwing a TON of curve balls & bumps in the road. We’ve all been there, so I know you know what I’m talking about. I feel like no matter what I try to do, there’s always 20 things in my way that I have to overcome. Again, we’ve all been there. No matter what has happened throughout my life, I know that I will never give up. I’ve already come this far & I’m not stopping now!

2. I’ve learned to accept who I am

I remember always wishing I was better, smarter, prettier, skinnier, etc, etc. Again, I think we’ve all been there at some point in our lives. As humans, we strive to be socially accepted. We need social acceptance to survive. Therefore, we often feel like we need to be different than who we are to be accepted by others. It’s often very hard to be convinced & convince ourselves that we are just fine the way we are. 🙂 After many years of trial & error with learning about myself, I have finally learned to just own who I am.

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3. I have a great personality

Even though it took me a long time to accept who I am, I’ve always known that I have a great personality. I love how nice I am to everyone & how I truly want the best for everyone. It’s definitely a major part of who I am that I’m most proud of.

4. I’m uniquely smart & have learned to use this accordingly

This goes along with my first post, My journey from a struggling high school student to starting my own business. Smartness is something I definitely OWN now, because I felt so dumb for a majority of my life. I am now using my intelligence to make a difference in the world & I have to admit, it’s AWESOME. There’s no better feeling than being able to use your talents to make a difference.

5.  I truly want to make a difference in the world

When you have a burning feeling in your soul that you really want to make a difference, it’s honestly an amazing feeling. Not knowing how I truly wanted to make that difference was hard because I knew that I had to do it somehow. To wrap up these 5 things, I am just very proud of myself for sticking to what I truly want to do in this world. I am still holding onto that burning feeling of wanting to make a difference in the world. No matter where life takes you, never forget about your passion & what you want to do on this earth.

Side Note: I have to be honest, coming up with the fifth reason was a little tricky. It’s sad to think that it took me a while to come up with only 5 things that I love myself. But, I did want these reasons to be thoughtful & good reasons to love myself. I think it goes to show that when you don’t take the time to think about all the things you love about yourself, you often realize that you forget how amazing you really are. I encourage everyone reading this to take some time to write out a list of things you love about yourself. We all need this reminder sometimes. 🙂

5 things I love about my boyfriend ❤

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For those of you who don’t know my boyfriend, meet Michael. We’ve been dating since October 2018 & he is truly a spectacular person! Also, my brother’s name is Michael. Yes, it is a little confusing & slightly weird.

Anyway… Here’s just a small glimpse at the amazing reasons why I looove him. ❤

1. He loves me unconditionally

The feeling of being unconditionally loved is an indescribable feeling. From the very beginning of our relationship, I automatically felt like I could be my true, authentic self around him.

2. He knows how to make me feel better

I am a very emotional person & with all the changes & everything going on in my life, he knows how to keep me grounded. It’s almost like he knows me better than I know myself. He know what I need from him to make everything better.

3. He makes me laugh

Laughter is the best medicine, right?! Being able to have those inside jokes & just laugh with each other is a feeling I can’t explain. I know understand why it’s important for your significant other to be your best friend, because we truly to just have fun together!

4. He supports me

Holy crap, this one is HUGE! I also never understood the true importance of support in a relationship until I met Michael. He came into my life right in the middle of my Mid-Twenties breakdown trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. With all of the changes in my professional career, he has been with me every step of the way.

5. He is my best friend

I know I already mentioned this briefly, but he truly is my best friend. He’s my rock. Keeps me sane. Makes me feel special & worthy of love. This is also something I never felt or experienced until he came along. He is the first person I call (other than my mom, of course) when good things or bad things happen. He’s there when I need to be cheered up or to celebrate success. We are truly just living our lives, enjoying the time with each other. It is an amazing feeling to be with someone who makes you feel like that.

All I have to say is wowThis exercise was very refreshing & leaving me feeling great about myself. I really do encourage you to take the time to take advantage of this hallmark holiday. Show yourself some extra love and remind yourself about all the reasons why you love yourself & how amazing you. We are all constantly stressed and worried about the future. It’s OK to take this time and reflect on how amazing you are. It’s your turn!

Now, what do you love about yourself?!

Valentine's Day Blog

- Blissfully Jess2

 

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First month of entrepreneurship

Who else thinks January flew by?!

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The first month of the year did not go as I expected, but it never does, does it??

In November & December, while I was planning my business, I was super excited & energized to be working on my business. It was a cool feeling and I truly enjoyed working on it. But, the moment I made my announcement, everything shifted. I found myself getting overwhelmed and exhausted. A week in, I was thinking to myself, “what did I just get myself into?” It’s like everything became real. Up until that point, I obviously knew it was happening, but it didn’t really hit me until it became official. I immediately started feeling frantic, like I needed to get everything figured out. I felt like I had so much to do, I would get up early, sit down and have no idea what to do.

I did not decide to start a business because I thought it would be “easy”. But, I did quickly realize that I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was going to be. That’s probably a main reason for why I was feeling so unsure when I would sit down to get work done. My schedule & tasks have changed so much over the last year and all of a sudden everything I do is completely up to me to figure out. I am running a one woman show. I do the planning, creating, developing, analyzing, making phone calls, initiating emails, etc.

A week into January, I felt like I failing at running a business. I got to a point where I had to ask myself,, “what am I even failing at?” I had to give myself a reality check and slowwww downnnnn. I had multiple messages on LinkedIn, a handful of people that were reaching out wanting to collaborate and build a partnership, a handful of people wanted to help me network. I mean, I had to remind myself that opportunities were sitting right in front of me.

I always like being prepared and no matter how long & hard I worked to prepare for the launch and get my business organized, I wasn’t ever going to be completely prepared. The unknown & unpreparedness are two top things that stress me out and overwhelm me. I quickly realized that I had no idea the opportunities and the work that I had to do. I also understand that this happens. I did lots of research afterwards to make sure this was “normal”. I now have those targeted Facebook Ads about being a stressed out business owner & realized that what I was experiencing is normal.

The important thing that I had to understand & remind myself is that you have two important choices: 1. Let yourself continue to be overwhelmed & let the situation control you OR 2. Learn from this situation & continue moving forward. This has been a life motto of mine forever & when you’re in the moment it can be so hard to follow through with the latter option. Especially when you don’t know how to move forward from the situation. It’s like you know that you’re doing something wrong & there’s a major life lesson, but you’re not entirely sure what it is or where to go next.

So, I began overworking myself, stressing myself out… falling asleep between 6pm-7pm because I was so exhausted. I was more exhausted by the feeling that I wasn’t sure what I needed to do to keep moving forward. This goes back to my feeling that I just want to be successful. I was so focused on trying to be successful right away & make enough money that I was getting overwhelmed.

So, I had to take a step back and analyze the situation and figure out what I needed to do to get myself on track and moving forward. Burn out is a very real thing & I knew I was heading in that direction if I continued doing what I was doing. I needed to get my mind & my focus back on track. I decided I needed to stop writing blogs for a little bit (even though I only had written 2 lol), let myself sleep in & start reintroducing a self-care routine! Towards the end of January, I decided to attend webinars, educate myself even more & developed an even better system to keep myself organized. I even came up with even more things that I want to do with my business. I’m continuing to gain more confidence in my abilities and where this business will take me.

This is an adventure. Honestly, working from home, being my own boss, building a business that I love & I am proud of, making a positive impact on people’s lives… that makes all of this worth it. At the end of the day, I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am truly blessed to be able to be building a life & a business that I love & gives me so much energy.

One of the most important lessons I learned in January was: Say “yes” more often. I had a handful of people reach out & want to learn more about what I do and see if there was an opportunity for collaboration. I ended up meeting a handful of people and learned a lot from each person. I’m learning more and more how to get out of my comfort zone & be as successful as I want to be.

I am young. I’m still learning. I’m still growing. But, we all are, right? You never stop.

So, how was your January?!

- Blissfully Jess2