Rise & Shine Interview: Haley Moore of Your Old Sweater Blog

I'm really excited that one of my sister's really good friends, Haley Moore, is sharing her thoughts on perseverance with us.  I have gotten to know her, and she inspires me.  Haley is an aspiring writer and the creator of the blog, Your Old Sweater. Feel free to comment and encourage her to go after her dreams :)  Hope you enjoy her encouraging words as much as I have. Happy Friday everyone!

Hi, there. I'm Haley, and I'm thrilled and honored that Arianna asked me to contribute to her blog. I hope that you will find my responses insightful, if not helpful, on your own life journey - I am really only starting mine, so I have shared what wisdom I have gleaned in my twenty-something years on earth. A bit about me:  I grew up in Alberta, but after almost seven years here in British Columbia, consider myself a true west coast girl. I graduated from university in 2010 with a B.Sc. in Health Information Science and currently work as a project business analyst in Vancouver. When not planning my next life adventure, I love running the Stanley Park sea wall, experimenting with vegan recipes, scouring music blogs, and reading a good book. I balance out my healthy habits with a serious chocolate addiction! Recently, I've caught the travel bug...in the last year I have been to Peru and have a trip to London planned for the spring. On my to-do list before I'm thirty: learn to DJ, get a piece of my writing published (does this count?!), run a marathon, and more travel of course. My current mantra is "worry less and have more fun," and I hope to pass that on to as many people as I can! Happy reading!! Read Haley's Interview below!

Haley on the Inca Trail after hiking up to 4212 m after recovering from a pretty bad case of altitude sickness the day before. Image (c) Haley Moore
Haley on the Inca Trail after hiking up to 4212 m after recovering from a pretty bad case of altitude sickness the day before. Image (c) Haley Moore

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Who did you receive it from?

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is from my mom – she’s the person whose wisdom I trust unconditionally. She wrote in a card for my twenty-fifth birthday: “Enjoy each day. Don’t worry about when and if you should have everything figured out. Savour the journey." I’ve kept the card out since November to remind me of the lesson!

 How important is mentorship in terms of your success?

I think there’s a natural tendency in your teens and early twenties to think you know it all. To be honest, one of my biggest lessons in the past year or so is that I have so much to learn from others. Having a mentor or coach is very important, whether it’s someone whose career you admire or someone whom you aspire to live more like. The more we are open to learn from others, the more opportunity we have to grow ourselves, our skills, our ways of thinking, and our living. One of the things on my three-month “to do” list is to ask a woman whose leadership style I admire to mentor me in my next career move.

 What has been the best moment in your life so far?

I feel grateful that a great many moments in my life come to mind! I would have to say in the last year, the best moment was watching the sun rising over Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate after hiking the Inca Trail with a group of amazing friends.

What tips would you have for living a healthy life?

Balance! Be kind to yourself. Exercise and eat healthfully to allow you to have the energy and ability to do the things you enjoy. But do indulge in that glass of wine or chocolate bar – life is about pleasure and having fun. Spend time outdoors. Spend time with the people you love. And never underestimate the power of laughter!

How do you motivate yourself to persist despite setbacks? 

What I’ve learned is that sometimes after a setback, you have to give yourself permission to take a time-out before you’ll feel ready to get back in the game. You’ll know when you’re ready. The motivation will come. But if I’m having trouble getting out of a setback induced rut, there are three sure fire things that will help get my butt back into gear: (1) talking it out with my sisters (we have a no holds barred kind of relationship, so they’ll stick it to me if I’m just moping); (2) getting outside for a run/hike/bike/snowboard adventure; and (3) listening to some good music – especially if it’s live. Indulge in activities that soothe your soul and heal your spirit, and you’ll feel back to your motivated self in no time.

What has been your biggest setback? How did you deal with it? What did you learn from it?

I think my biggest setback or challenge overall is getting over my own fears. I can honestly say that the most amazing and memorable experiences in my life have stemmed from taking a leap and trying something that had my stomach in knots. What could I achieve if I let go of my fears? So much! Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of getting hurt, fear of looking stupid – it keeps me from going after many things that I want. I’m learning to deal with it by using discomfort to guide my next move. If something feels a bit uncomfortable, I try to challenge myself to do it. Seeing myself succeed at something that seemed impossible has helped me realize that there’s really nothing to fear, and it has given me confidence to try bigger, scarier things. My best advice: practice getting out of your comfort zone. Sometimes I think that learning to do what scares you could be the meaning of life!

How do you deal with critics?

I find I am my own worst critic! We’ve all got to work to shut that inner critic up. I would love to say I deal with criticism from others well, but that would be a lie. I really tend to take criticism very personally. What I’m working towards is looking at criticism objectively – not taking it personally and not getting defensive. There are some instances where criticism can be a valuable lesson on where you can improve, but there’s no point beating yourself up about it. There are other instances when people are critical out of their own negativity. I need to work on letting this kind of criticism slide off my shoulders rather than obsessing. I need to learn to accept that there will always be someone who doesn’t like me or who doesn’t agree with what I’m doing. There’s absolutely no reason for me to take on their negativity.

How important is social support in overcoming obstacles?

Social support is critical in overcoming obstacles. I rely on my family and friends to provide the support which gives me the courage and strength to soldier on through challenges and difficult periods in my life. Without that safety net to fall back on, I don’t know that I would have taken half the leaps that I have taken.

What advice would you give others about goal setting?

Be realistic. If you’re honest with yourself, you know your weaknesses. Don’t set goals that you know will be unachievable - that will do nothing for your confidence and you’ll just beat yourself up when you fail. Set goals regularly, and re-visit your goals monthly to check your progress and assess whether a particular goal is still in line with the path you want to follow. Finally, make sure your goals are truly your own. Don’t set goals in an attempt to impress other people.

What life lesson have you learned that you would like to pass along to others?

Embrace change. It’s inevitable. The faster you accept change, the happier and more successful you’ll be in all areas of your life. One more thing...learn to laugh at yourself now, because you'll only keep making mistakes.

Thank you Haley for sharing your story with us!!!! You rock! Keep up the great work.  Check out Haley's blog: http://vanhales.wordpress.com/ when you get a chance :)

Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you at the beach!