Mistake Resilience: How To Recover From A Case of “I Should Have Known Better”

Mistake Resilience: How To Recover From A Case of “I Should Have Known Better”

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Do you ever have those things that happen where you’re like, “Ugh, why did I do that?! I should have known better” ??

Like…

…Forgetting to add the salt in the cookies you grew up baking.
…Signing on the wrong dotted line when you’ve been signing contracts for years.
…Those plans you impulsively said YES to that always drain you for days after.

Whether it’s a recipe you’ve made a hundred times or an industry you’ve been in for literal decades, having experience in something doesn’t mean you’re immune to a flub-up.

And the more experience you have, the more likely you are to fall prey to this specific negative self-talk — I Should Have Known Better — and all the negative self-talk that follows it:

I’m such an idiot.

What a rookie move.

How could you do that, *|FNAME|*?!

Sound familiar? I know it well. I experienced it this week, actually…

moments before “the incident.”

 

Over the last few weeks — ok, last few months — I’ve alluded to the fact that I’ve been having some difficulty with my mental health (as I think a lot of us have been having!). My anxiety has been flaring up so hardcore that it’s been close to impossible to get most things done — and the things that HAVE gotten done, it’s taken all my energy to do them.

So when I finally started to feel a wave of relief, I knew I wanted to tackle something important to me that had been suffering: my podcast.

I started the WANTcast six years ago when I was busy simultaneously working a full-time job, teaching 8 spin classes a week, and spending at least three hours in my car every single day just to get from one place to another.

But no matter what my schedule has looked like, the WANTcast has always stayed a priority since it launched in 2015.

So the fact that I didn’t have it in me to publish a new episode for a whole MONTH, without warning, was wildly out of the ordinary.

The second I started to feel more like myself, I was determined to get “back on track.” I put all the pieces into place, and I finally pressed “publish” on the first new episode in a month last Friday.

WE’RE BACK, BABY!! I squealed to myself in my mind. I geeked out about it on social media, feeling pumped to be in my groove again after an unexpected hiatus, and went on my way.

Cut to Monday, when I’m taking a morning run and decide to listen back to the episode again. (I always love listening purely for enjoyment after everything is up and running and I’m far out of editor-mode.)

I press play and hear the intro music, a wave of relief hitting me that I finally did the damn thing. I’m so jazzed — I’ve listened to this interview about four times already. It’s REALLY GOOD. I’m so proud of myself for getting it out to listeners and so excited they get to enjoy it.

I hear myself talking…

…and then I hear a long pause.

Oh no.

I hear myself clear my throat.

OH NO.

And then, I hear myself taking the loudest, slurpiest GUUULLLP of water right into the microphone.

What happened, exactly?

I’d been so pumped to get the episode out, I’d totally spaced on editing the first 45 seconds.

Which is really the first 15 seconds if you don’t count the intro music.

The LITERAL period of time it usually takes people to pass a judgement on whatever they’re listening to.

Great.
Just great.

Luckily, because I do most everything myself, I know how to go back and edit shit like that out. My run became a sprint as I booked it home and images of one-star iTunes reviews started to flash before my eyes.

She doesn’t even know how to edit her podcast! ⭐️❌❌❌❌

Awful listening experience! ⭐️❌❌❌❌

Don’t even bother, what an amateur! ⭐️❌❌❌❌

Just NO! ❌❌❌❌❌

And then…the dreaded phrase popped into my head.

Katie, it’s been SIX years. You. Should. Have. Known. Better.

Even the most seasoned runners trip sometimes. The small mistake you make probably won’t define you — but what you do next just might. Click To Tweet

Here’s the thing. Whether it’s a small “whoops” or a big “oh shit” moment, things HAPPEN. And we can be really hard on ourselves when we make a mistake — especially if we’ve been doing that particular thing for a while.

If that’s you, and you’ve experienced your own “I Should Have Known Better Moment” lately, here’s what I have to say — and I hope you take this to heart —

That *one thing* does not, in any way, negate all the expertise and skill you’ve built over the years.

Even the most seasoned athletes trip sometimes.

Even the best chefs will inevitably burn a meal.

The mistake you make probably won’t define you — it’s what you do next that matters.

 

The whole process of re-editing, re-uploading, and re-publishing took maybe five minutes. The edited episode is now up and running, but I couldn’t shake the fact that at least 500 people had already downloaded and listened to the episode (and my overactive thirst neurons).

And so in that moment, I chose to practice MISTAKE RESILIENCE (not sure if that’s a thing, but I just made it up so now it is!). Which basically boils down to:

1) GRACE: recognizing my humanity, which means human error will inevitably happen if I’m working on something, because I’m a person not a robot.

2) SPACE: zooming out from the experience and looking at it within the grand scheme of things. I’ve been podcasting for six years, and hope to keep going for many years more. One mistake doth not make or break a pod unless I let it.

3) REPLACE: taking the moment and framing it as a useful learning experience instead of a defeating defining moment. In this case, the lesson was two-fold: I learned to always give my introductions one last listen before pressing publish. And I also learned that getting something done is always better than toiling over perfection for so long that you never end up doing anything.

 

With just 7 weeks left in the year — less than 50 days! — I’m really hoping we can all practice more Mistake Resilience and focus less on what’s going wrong and more on what’s going right. Not to gloss over or avoid missteps and mess-ups, because you are a human not a robot, but to set your future self up for success.

Where can you give yourself grace?

How can you get enough space?

Is it possible to replace that self-loathing with a lesson learned?

 

And then, last thing I’ll say — I know sometimes the little things don’t feel so little at all.

I know the little things can so easily spiral into the big things. And since life is made of the micro-moments, It’s easy to let each one define you.

Life is tough, but you are tougher

YOU get to define You by what you do next.

I believe in you.

I hope you believe in you, too.

 


 

Here’s How To Help Someone You Love Shift Their Negative Self-Talk

Here’s How To Help Someone You Love Shift Their Negative Self-Talk

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I’ll never forget the way my dad looked at me when he said: You have so much to be proud of. I wish you could see it.

My heart breaks every time I hear someone I love put themselves down. But I get it. I was once that person, too. The person who didn’t believe she was enough as is. The person who thought her body, her voice, her MIND itself needed a major overhaul.

That moment with my dad, on a family vacation in my late teens, has stuck with me for almost two decades now. I could see his love, his belief in me…and his pain knowing that he couldn’t just say a magic words and fix my self-image right then and there.

I still struggle sometimes — probably way more than I’d like to admit — but I have tools now that I didn’t have back then. And because I’ve been in such a deep self-loathing, self-doubting spiral, I’m able to recognize it quicker in others. Mainly, the people I love most.

And I feel those same feelings my dad must have felt when he looked at me.

I wish I could just say a magic word and fix it all right then and there. But I know I can’t.

But now that I’ve got hindsight on my side, I now know what helped me most when it came to the impact others had on me: how they spoke rubbing off on how I thought.

~

Your self-talk is like a language. And just like learning any language, it’s easy to become fluent in whatever you’re surrounded by and exposed to.

Not sure of the neuroscience here, but I know from my own experience that I learn best not when someone tells me what to do, but when someone shows me what to do. So I’m not surprised at all that while people telling me to “stop being so hard on yourself” didn’t move the needle much, hearing and watching them model healthy self-confidence and self-concept was incredibly helpful.

Someone you love struggling with negative self-talk? Here are some ways to help them become fluent in a more positive, proactive language…without just telling them to “stop being a dick to yourself.”


5 WAYS TO HELP SOMEONE SHIFT THEIR NEGATIVE SELF-TALK:


1. Be mindful of universal quantifiers: all, none, never, always, no one, everyone, etc.

Universal quantifiers are words that make a global statement with no exceptions. Not to say these words don’t have their place! Just be mindful and aware of when/how you use them, since their misuse can contribute to the kind of binary thinking (wrong vs. right) that can make someone believe there is one way to do life. Everybody is different (see what I did there?).

2. Ask if someone wants your ear, or wants your answers.
Even if you have the best intentions, sometimes people don’t need them, and just want a shoulder to lean on. before you jump into “here’s what I think,” ask your friend what they need from you in the moment so they feel valued and heard.

Bonus: if they want answers, try asking them questions instead. allowing your friend to come to their own conclusions helps them not only develop their critical thinking skills, but gain self-trust (vs. looking outside themselves for the answers).

3. Give specific compliments without strings attached — and give them often.
Have you ever noticed that you save your compliments for big occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or milestones? People need to know they’re loved, liked, respected, or admired on the regular, ordinary days, too.

Don’t go and “love bomb” people — which is “an attempt to influence a person by demonstrations of attention and affection” (Wikipedia). But make a point to give compliments when they pop into your brain. You never know who’s struggling to see themselves in a kinder light.

4. Bond over what you love, what you want to celebrate, or what you’re working toward.
It’s super easy to bond over negativity — and it’s effective, too! Studies have shown that strong bonds are formed when we talk about what we loathe. We’re connecting…but at what cost?

When problems arise or you just need to vent, go for it. But if you’re searching for conversation topics and tend to lean on gossip or complaints, try adding questions like “what are you excited about today?” or “what’s something you’re really loving lately?” into the mix. These small conversation starters can help spark proactive dialogue and positive connection.

5. Speak about yourself the way you would want your best friends to think about themselves.
We learn from example and take cues from one another. If you want someone you love to have a better self-image and more positive self-talk, show them how it’s done.

Be unafraid to share your wins and proud moments, no matter how big or small, with your loved ones. make sure you share in a genuine way that’s not seeking validation or recognition, and instead creates a space in which it’s not only normal, but encouraged, to celebrate exactly who you are. Lead with your own self-love. Side note: you’ll benefit just as much as they do :)

 

 

WANT YOURSELF:
Which of these tips do you think you can implement right away in your conversations? Which do you see being the most useful?

How To Let Go Of…Whatever It Is You Want To Let Go Of, Really.

How To Let Go Of…Whatever It Is You Want To Let Go Of, Really.

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(…or, at the very least, how to get started.)

Doesn’t it sound sexy and badass to say what you’re STOPPING, QUITTING, or LEAVING BEHIND?

I know it does. I’ve done the whole dramatic deal before: written down the things I’m leaving behind, crumpled them up, burned them in a fireplace. Heck, I even took an “anger” themed spin class once.

But it’s not that simple.

We‘re all human – living not just our high highs and low lows but a whole full spectrum of experience every day. Change is never as easy as leaving something behind and never looking back. No matter how mindful you are, it’s very likely you’ll inevitably be confronted with or fall back into an old pattern you thought you were done with. You’re human — which means you’re gonna fall into human patterns and feel human emotions in your life, no matter what. Surprise!!

What’s more likely is what happens to 80% of us: we take that (kinda inevitable?) one step back, then turn on the shame and blame. We tell ourselves we’re “so bad,” we messed up, we’re a failure, we can’t do this, so on so forth blah blah blah.

And that makes total sense. The moment we create ultimatums in our minds is the moment we set ourselves up for shame and self-doubt in the long run.

Social media accounts love to catch your attention with declarative statements about what you should stop doing, leave behind, or let go of.

Notice where the focus is?

To be clear: I get fired up over those “stop doing XYZ” posts on social media, too. It feels good to feel seen!

But whether it’s a thought, a feeling, a belief, a situation, a person – I always try to remind myself:

 

I’m letting go of something in order to make space for something else SPECIFIC.

Because the thing is: the second you STOP, QUIT, or LEAVE BEHIND…what’s gonna fill that space?

 

When I coach people to let go of something – a thought, a feeling, a belief, a situation, a person – I always try to frame it so that they’re letting go of it in order to make space for something else SPECIFIC. If you don’t know what you’re fighting for, you’re most likely going to end up right back where you began with what you’re fighting against…if only because it’s familiar.

Instead of directing your focus toward what you don’t want and calling it a day, try this more productive and proactive formula instead:

I am letting go of (how something affects you or why you do what you do)
So I can (what that thing holds you back from doing)

Here are some examples…
    • INSTEAD OF “I will stop putting others before myself.”
    • TRY “I will let go of my need to please others, so I can make room for myself.”
    • INSTEAD OF “I am leaving behind toxic people.”
    • TRY “I am letting go of excusing bad behavior at my own expense, so I can live out MY journey exactly as it’s intended to unfold.”
    • INSTEAD OF “I will quit negative self-talk.”
    • TRY “I am letting go of my limiting beliefs, so that I can feel confident and grounded.”

Also…notice this formula doesn’t say you’ll always do/feel/be that thing you say you’ve been held back from doing/feeling/being. The point isn’t to find a formula that’s going to be a guarantee, because (as you probably know) there aren’t any guarantees in life. Life loves its curveballs.

The point is to shift your focus.

The point is to make space AND THEN define what you want that space to hold.

The point is to state clearly: this is what I want, this is what I’m willing to fight for.

Burn your regrets in the fireplace if you want. Make a dramatic statement if it feels good. But make sure you do this, too. Just know that you’re a person in progress – and your life will be one long loop of letting things go and picking things up along the way.

You might not get to choose what enters your world, but you sure as hell can choose what you do with it.

 


WANT Yourself: 
What are you letting go of, and what are you making space for?

 

Never miss a post. Ever. Sign up + join the WANT movement:


4 Negative Self-Talk Shifts To Try (That You’ll Actually Believe)

4 Negative Self-Talk Shifts To Try (That You’ll Actually Believe)

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“Good vibes only.”
“Only speak kind words to yourself.”
“Tell yourself you can do anything.”

Nope, these don’t work for me either.

 

Real talk: Replacing negative self-talk with positive self-talk might not work for you if the words you’re speaking aren’t believable in the first place. Research has shown that if you don’t already feel that great, repeating a happy-go-lucky phrase might actually make you feel worse than you already do. In one 2009 study, “psychologists Joanne V. Wood and John W. Lee from the University of Waterloo, and W.Q. Elaine Perunovic from the University of New Brunswick, found that individuals with low self-esteem actually felt worse about themselves after repeating positive self-statements.” [Association for Psychological Science]

Self-talk isn’t inherently good or bad, it’s information. It’s the emotional lens we cast over that information that determines what we do with it (or how we verbalize it to ourselves). That’s why I don’t shame myself even MORE when I start to say something mean to myself: I know there’s real information somewhere in there, and other truths that are present. I just might have to slow down and lean in to figure out what they are.

 

So if replacing negative self-talk with positive self-talk doesn’t work on its own, what DOES?

When your negative self-talk starts to flare up, get curious. Look for alternate truths in the situation — proactive ones you already believe.

When your negative self-talk starts to flare up, get curious. Look for alternate truths in the situation — proactive ones you already believe. Click To Tweet

These are some recent helpful ones for me, so being the millennial I am, I thought I’d make a save-able, shareable graphic for you in case they’re helpful for you too:

negative self talk

Screenshot this list, add to your bookmarks, and try them out. Don’t forget to tell me how it goes in the comments or in the DMs on Instagram (I’m @katiehorwitch over there).

And remember:

It’s not about stopping.
It’s about shifting.

 

 

How To Keep Your Good Going.

How To Keep Your Good Going.

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About seven months ago, I wrote:

Well. We’re not there yet.

But it feels like our New Normal is close.

Can you feel it too?

And hopefully, it will be a New Normal that’s been needed for a good long time.

I believe in you. I believe in your heart, your determination, your strength, your power. And while that’s great, the thing I care the most about is that YOU believe in you.

The year is beginning to wrap up. This weekend there were celebrations of joy around the whole WORLD (which is pretty bananas when you stop to think about that. The whole world). And the phrase that keeps swirling around in my brain is:

NOW THE WORK BEGINS, BECAUSE NOW THE WORK CAN BEGIN.

Fighting for change is not easy. Working to implement change after fighting for it is a whole other kind of “challenging.”

Because no matter the change – in our relationships, in our body image, in our careers, in our self-worth, in our society – the real test comes when it’s time to build and then maintain what we’ve fought so long for.

The real test comes when it's time to build and then maintain what we've fought so long for. Click To Tweet

I’ve gotten caught in the trap of achievement-seeking before, and then totally botched the building and maintaining part. It feels productive and proactive in the moment to fight for a win but the real test is what you do with everything that comes after.

I know I don’t want to look back and just see dreams. I want to look back and see how I built them. I know I don’t want to look back and just see determination. I want to look back and see what I did with it, especially in the quiet moments when no one was watching.

I know it can be really overwhelming to begin to think about the “now-whats” of life, especially directly following mentally and emotionally tumultuous times. Definitely rest and recharge and practice the actual self-care that leads to relief and release.

And then after, consider visiting these thought starters to get your wheels turning about where to go from here. Because it’s clear our Old Normal wasn’t working, and it’s important we pivot instead of falling back into a way of life that wasn’t serving us:

  • What have you learned you can do without? Why? And, what will you do about it in the future?

  • What have you learned you CAN’T do without? Why? And, what will you do about it in the future?

  • What have you realized doesn’t matter all that much? Why? And, what will you do about it in the future?

  • What have you realized DOES matter a great deal? Why? And, what will you do about it in the future?

  • What are you most excited about right now when you look toward the future? Why? And, what will you do about it?

  • What have you fought for this year? Why? And, what will you do about it in the future?

  • What will make this New Normal actually ✨NEW✨ for you? And, how will you make it happen yourself?


Let me know what you come up with in the comments. I’m always here.

Every batch of parents hopes their kids’ generation will “be the ones to change the world.” That’s all fine and feel-good. It’s important to keep hoping for better and better tomorrows.

And.

Don’t wait for another generation to come around.

Be the change you were born to be.

Right now.

I believe in you. And I hope you believe in you, too. 

How To Harness Positivity When Everything Feels Like A Dumpster Fire

How To Harness Positivity When Everything Feels Like A Dumpster Fire

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(…and the dumpster was filled with rancid milk and rotting broccoli and dog poop bags.)

 

WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, my theater teacher used to tell us that instead of saying we were nervous before a show, we should tell ourselves that we were actually excited. Both nervous and excited are “aroused emotions,” meaning they trigger a response in the body that prepares you for action. They’re two words for the same sensation.

But sometimes, there are no substitute feel-alike words for what you’re experiencing. Flipping the shittiness feels saccharine and silly at best, tone deaf and demeaning at worst. You might be feeling exhausted, defeated, enraged, lonely, confused, or some kind of special cocktail of all the above ingredients. “Positive self-talk” probably feels pretty empty, and pretty hokey.

It does to me, too.

Because the thing is that positive self-talk doesn’t always work.

 


THE NOT SO GREAT POWER OF POSITIVITY

Studies have shown that if you don’t believe what you’re telling yourself, and you don’t already have high self-esteem, your brain knows you’re telling yourself lies. The University of Waterloo published a study in the Journal of Psychological Science concluding that “repeating positive self-statements may benefit certain people, such as individuals with high self-esteem, but backfire for the very people who need them the most.” And what’s more, you start to feel ashamed of the fact that you AREN’T that person you’re trying to tell yourself you are.

What’s even more interesting to me is that the aforementioned study also said that when asked to list both negative and positive thoughts about themselves, the people who had lower self-esteem actually felt BETTER when they were allowed to say the negative thoughts about themselves. The so-called positive feelings that were being generated came directly from their so-called negativity. It’s no wonder we stay in negative self-talk loops – we stay where we believe we belong.

 

PROACTIVE, NOT REACTIVE.

Positive self-talk isn’t necessarily empty and it most certainly isn’t bad. But jumping straight to the “talk” part of “positive self-talk” is skipping the vital step of determining what it means to actually be positive in the first place.

If there is ONE message I hope you internalize about harnessing positivity during the toughest of times, it’s this:

Positivity isn’t inherently feel-good, happy, or rainbows in the sky.

Positivity is NOT about uplifting mantras and affirmations.

Positivity is about being proactive, not reactive.

Positivity is about being proactive, not reactive. Click To Tweet

Positivity is about recognizing the full spectrum of a situation – the highs, the lows, the lights, the darks, and everything in between – and making a proactive choice to move forward.

By this logic, positivity won’t always feel good. It might feel uncomfortable, you might feel angry, there might be sadness lingering in the background or dread pushing its way through to the front of the line. Your problems won’t disappear and you won’t be handed solutions on a silver platter. And so you might feel discouraged or like you’re doing things “wrong.”

But as long as you’re being proactive, not reactive, I can assure you – THAT is positivity in motion.

 

HOW CAN I BE PROACTIVE RIGHT NOW?

Some words are easily flipped. And while maybe you can’t flip the stinky dumpster fire of dog-shit and turn it into a babbling brook filled with glistening pebbles…maybe, just maybe, you can flip what positivity actually means to you.

Nervousness to excitement. Positive to proactive.

The words we choose to use hold so much weight. It’s vital we dissect what they mean to us before we decide what we do with them.

Instead of asking yourself, “How can I be positive right now?”, try asking yourself “How can I be proactive right now?”

Report back in the comments. I’d love to hear where your proactive choices take you.