Weirdly, I always knew that working at bettering yourself invariably is hard before it gets easy. Of course it is. I was running 2 minutes at a time for ages, in great agony, looking ridiculous next to all the ‘proper’ runners in the gym before I actually got going and was able to make it to ten minutes before staggering off the treadmill, legs like jelly but still holding my head up high trying to look cool.

I knew that training to be a counsellor involved a lot of soul-searching and ‘digging deep’. In reality, it probably started years before my training whilst I was actually on the other side of the therapy couch, receiving counselling for my eating disorder.

But somehow, even though we all know that in order to get better at anything, we have to make mistakes to learn from them, I always forget just how hard it is to pick yourself back up and pushing through.

I’ve been on a personal journey for a while now, but recently I’ve found it harder and harder to be tolerant of all the things I find annoying or wrong with the world.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s my job to be objective and non-judgemental with clients, and I don’t have an issue with that, it’s when I come across people whose values I disagree with outside the therapy room that I start to struggle.

Should we tolerate people whose values differ to ours? Absolutely.

Should we continue to surround ourselves by people who don’t support our quest for growth?  Absolutely not.

Whatever road life takes you on, it is your life to lead and it is your journey. People come in to your life for a reason. Sometimes they show you something to aspire to and other times they should you something for you to learn from and avoid repeating for yourself.

These people aren’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’. They’re just people on their own life path, learning from you in the same way you’re learning from them. What these encounters do do, are teach you more about yourself than the other person.

I’ve recently noticed a big personal shift in how I handle myself. [humm…envisioning self as a car to be parallel parked appropriately…]. I’ve written on this blog a lot about the pros and cons and highs and lows of combining different sides of yourself and it’s something I feel I’m pretty good at.

That being said, in recent months I’ve seen a shift in who I want to be around in my personal life…namely those who genuinely encourage me and inspire me to grow as a person. Without me meaning to, those who don’t have gently faded away.

It’s not always easy surrounding yourself with people who lift you up, but nor does it have to be a conscious decision to ‘remove’ people. Sometimes it’s organic and once you start, you gravitate towards more supportive people.

I encourage you to think about who in your life lifts you up, and who holds you back. Just being aware of this is the first step to changing it.