Be Kind, Rewind: Learning From Mistakes

“Forget it enough to get over it, remember it enough so it doesn’t happen again.” -unknown

Whenever I’m feeling guilt or regret, the most common advice I get is “don’t dwell on it,” or “it’s in the past so just stop thinking about it.” If only it were that easy. But the truth is, until I am 100% okay with something, thoughts will ping around in my mind on a constant loop. I keep replaying the situation, wondering what I could have done differently.

Once I realized there was no way I could will my mind to stop with the instant replay, I knew I needed to find a better way to cope. If I was going to keep thinking about it, I wasn’t going to just criticize myself–I would make it constructive.

So this is what I do: I write down everything that I am thinking and brainstorm what may have gone wrong and how I could prevent it next time. Sometimes I just self reflect, other times I’ll do a little research to get a better perspective.


What happened: Argued with my mom

Why did it happen: I was feeling anxious and stressed. Because of that, I wasn’t fully listening to her and we had a misunderstanding. I was already feeling on edge, so things escalated and I said some not-so-nice things.

How it makes me feel: I know it was my fault for not paying attention. I wasn’t really angry with her–I was stressed about other things and let it spill over into our conversation. I want to apologize for hurting her feelings.

What I can do next time: I know anxiety will probably always play a big role in my life, but I don’t want it to affect the way I treat others. I can use certain techniques (journaling, exercising, to-do lists) to manage my nerves and stay present so when I’m having a conversation with my mom, I can give her my full attention. If I can’t help feeling anxious, I’ll let her know what is going on so she doesn’t take it personally.

View it as a learning opportunity. You’re not perfect, so don’t beat yourself up. The fact that you care so much about what happened is a good sign. You’re concerned and you want to improve–just focus on how you could do better next time. Hopefully you’ll reach a point where you accept your mistake, learn the lesson and move on.

The Problem With Fine

Does anybody else spend hours watching TED talks? I’d love to attend a live talk, but unfortunately tickets are out of my price range. Thankfully, they are recorded and uploaded to YouTube where we can watch them for free. For those of you that don’t know, Ted talks are events that feature experts from a wide range of fields who present their research, ideas, and dreams.

One of the most recent talks I stumbled upon was “How to stop screwing yourself over” by Mel Robbins. She says that one of our biggest problems is saying that we are fine—to others and to ourselves—because it is often a lie.

“Tell the truth…The bigger issue with fine is that you say it to yourself. That thing that you want, I guarantee you, you’ve convinced yourself that you’re fine not having it. That’s why you’re not pushing yourself.”

Are there things that you want to have or improve upon that seem too hard or daunting to go after? Maybe it is a job, a relationship, or a big lifestyle change. When the going gets rough, do you tell yourself that you are fine with your current situation? Fine is a word that we use when we scared of failing. I’ve been afraid to go after certain opportunities and instead of admitting that I don’t want to try, I’ve told myself that I’m happy with what I’ve got, even though I’m not. Just an unhealthy dose of self-deception! Don’t self-sabotage. Be honest with yourself about what you want, recognize that you are worthy of having it, capable to achieving it, and go for it.

Watch the talk here:

Saying Yes More Often

I’ve spent the majority of my life dreading social situations, evaluating my performance in conversations, and second-guessing how others perceive me. I embraced my anxiety as an unchangeable aspect in my life and used it as a crutch when I wanted to avoid something that made me feel uncomfortable. I’d figure, “This is something that makes me stress or worry, so I shouldn’t put myself through that experience.”

What I didn’t realize was how harmful it was for me to become so comfortable in my ways. I once read somewhere that our comfort zones are constantly changing—they are always in the process of expanding or contracting. For a while I let mine contract, and it stopped me from experiencing so many things.

So, how do you go about expanding a comfort zone? For me, it meant saying yes more often. “Yes” to a party or date, “yes” to the new job opportunity, “yes” to posting on my blog, “yes” to any invitation to try something new.

Be realistic—don’t overwhelm yourself by agreeing to too much. It’s okay to say no sometimes, too. Sometimes you need alone time, or you just really don’t want to do whatever it is you’re invited to do. Learn to identify why you want to say no—are you tired, overwhelmed, uninterested, scared, or nervous? There have been plenty of times when I’ve wanted to say no but instead said yes…and you know what? I have never regretted it. The more you expose yourself to what scares you, the easier it gets the next time around—you’re expanding your comfort zone. This year, let’s try to say yes more often.

xx Molly

Little Sprouts: Making Progress

When I started this blog one year ago, I had two reasons. One, I wanted to use blogging as a way to organize my own thoughts and feelings. I’m an introverted person who also experiences social anxiety, and unfortunately I think I’ve allowed that to hold me back in many ways. I want to realize my potential and overcome my fears and insecurities.

Two, I hoped to inspire others to do the same. Before we can start to work on ourselves, we have to be real honest and identify our problems. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it in the long run.

I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve hardly used this blog at all. I’ve got about eight drafts saved, but I’m not happy enough with them to share just yet. However, I have been making an active effort to improve over the past year.

2014 consisted of two break-ups. After stepping out of my comfort zone long enough to date around, I’ve found that for now I’d rather be by myself and focus on the next step in my life (finding a “big girl job” post college). I learned a lot by meeting new people. I learned that I can become involved too quickly, without taking a breather to decide if it’s what I really want. I’ve also realized that being in a relationship won’t fix my problems and that I need to be happy with myself before I can be happy with someone else.

This year I have also formed many new friendships with amazing girls who are brilliant, hilarious, and inspiring. Growing up, I didn’t have many friends because I was too shy to put myself out there. I’ve learned what a blessing it is to have them and that no matter who you are, there is someone out there that will understand you, quirks and all. You’ve just got to open up.

I’ve also spent more time with family, something that used to give me serious anxiety. If you knew my family, you’d think I’m nuts because they are some of the greatest people you will ever meet. Seriously, I lucked out. I’d always been intimidated by my family–everyone is so talented, brilliant, and outgoing. I felt like a black sheep until I took the time to get to know everyone better, and then I realized that they aren’t all judging me. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. The great thing about family is that they’re always there if you need them, and no one will love you more.

As someone who has never identified as a “people person,” this year I am grateful for the people in my life, old and new. At the end of the day, relationships are all that we have. They may be a bit of work at times, but they’re worth it.

xx Molly

Beating Presentation Nerves

“Students will be required to give a presentation…”

During college, that was the most anxiety-provoking sentence I would come across in a syllabus. I’m probably more anxious about public speaking than the average person, but I do know that most people get at least a little bit nervous. The bad news: there’s no quick fix for eliminating nerves. The good news: the right amount of nerves can actually improve your performance because it keeps you on your toes! The key is learning to work with your nerves. These are some tips that work well for me. Continue reading “Beating Presentation Nerves”

Welcome, Welcome!

Hi, internet! So I’ve finally created a blog–something that I’ve wanted to do for years. Actually, it was one of my New Years Resolutions for 2013. Better late than never, right?! 

After mulling it over, I think I found a name that captures what I want this blog to be about. I believe that everyone has the potential to become the person they want to be, but a lot of the time we get in our own way. Self doubt and the fear of failure kill more dreams than rejection ever will. The Bloom Movement is about tearing down those walls and blossoming into the people we want to be. I hope this blog inspires you to do just that. Welcome, friends!

Molly xx