Overcoming Trauma and Loss to Spread Our Brightest Sunshine

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Spread Your Sunshine Founder Melanie S. Griffin, Esq. was recently the Featured Guest on The Floridaville with Rosanna Catalano. As further detailed in the recording, this presentation explores overcoming our traumas and losses in order to spread our brightest sunshine. 

Oftentimes we become so entrenched in our comfort zones that we are caught by surprise whenever life comes through to shake us out of it. Most people didn't see the pandemic coming and, like most people, those of us here at Spread Your Sunshine took some losses, had to mourn, pivot and switch up our routines in order to stay in the game.

Spread Your Sunshine is very sensitive to the reality that many lost family members, friends, colleagues and loved ones to the virus, and we are not in any manner attempting to portray the proceeding losses as even in the same realm as those. However, we would be remiss if we didn't survey the entire field of losses that we collectively experienced, including the losses of opportunities for which we were so hopeful.

In early 2020, opportunities for in-person connections with our customers were taken away almost immediately, as well as many speaking engagements, because pre-pandemic most gigs were not yet equipped to be given virtually. We felt like the towel was being thrown in for us, and momentarily, it felt like like all we had worked for was lost. But once we were able to give ourselves a finite time to mourn for what we had lost, we realized we needed to pivot. To come up with a new game plan. We became excited for the new challenges that would lead to us expanding our skill sets, such as how to do green screen on tiktok. It's important to remember that we will not get an "A" in every aspect of our lives every day, and that is okay, so long as overall we have a healthy balance.

This is a lesson that many of us don't learn until adulthood. Many of us grew up in homes where a "C" in a particular subject was unacceptable, and we were reprimanded for receiving such grade. Never were we taught that as long as a "C" was our best effort, that was all that mattered. Instead, we were taught that a "C" or anything below was an automatic indication that we somehow did not do our best work, setting us up for a life where we would continuously strive for perfection. While we should always give our best effort in all we do, perfectionism is not healthy and must be unlearned. Sometimes "good" is good enough. 

A lot of our bad habits directly correlate to our childhood traumas, a subject that is just now beginning to be widely discussed. How our parents or guardians treated us, as well as our interactions and experiences with others, can oftentimes make it difficult for us to be able to accept constructive criticism as adults, without feeling that intense pain we felt as a child bubble to the surface. We are subconsciously reminded of those kids who bullied us when we were young, how those around us laughed when we made a mistake during a presentation, and now we have a fear of public speaking. 

Instilling confidence in children is vital, as well as teaching them to advocate for themselves. They should learn that practice is imperative, but also that they must not be afraid to fail; that failing is the only way to succeed.

When you are giving a public speech, don't even acknowledge mistakes, unless it's a factual error that's wildly incorrect and needs to be corrected. You should film or record your speeches, so that we can go back and watch or listen and learn what you like and don't like. Also, by practicing either alone or by repetition of gigs, you learn time parameters and how much material is just enough for a specific time frame. This allows you to not scramble for more material to fill time or speak too fast to cram it all in, leaving the audience without any key takeaways.

But also keep in mind, no matter how successful or put together someone appears, it's not always like that behind the scenes. Most people don't know the struggles of others, they don't know how hard people are working at times to appear well, when in fact their mental health may not be its best.

If someone helps you with something, or impacts your life in a positive way, send them a hand-written thank you card or letter. Awards and accolades are wonderful, but for many people, hand-written thank you's are their prized possessions, as it comes directly from the people and they mean so much more. Plus, you never know if that one card or letter detailing how they mattered to you, how they aided in making your life better, is the thing they needed to overcome a difficult hurdle in their own life.

Hopefully these tips helped you to discover what experiences from your own childhood may be holding you back, so you can heal from them and spread your brightest sunshine! Know you are not alone. 

To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Now that you have a bit of knowledge regarding trauma and loss, is there additional information you want to receive from Spread Your Sunshine?! We’re sure there is, so please share your ideas by emailing Melanie@SpreadYourSunshine.com or sending Spread Your Sunshine a message via FacebookInstagramLinkedIn or Twitter. We love hearing from you, as together we are strongest.