On Weeds and Flowers: Creating Small Victories


Do you sometimes feel like you’re one step closer to getting your life together, but then something else happens to somehow make it a mess again? I do. And I often think of this mess as weeds.

You have this beautiful garden you’ve taken care of, but as soon as you start neglecting it, weeds start to grow. And even though you strive to keep your garden beautiful; you can’t stop them from growing.

The other day I told my boyfriend I was feeling “weedy.” We use this term to refer to the feeling of being at our messiest or feeling a range of negative emotions. Weedy looks something like this:

growing weeds negative emotionsTo which my boyfriend replied, “Let me help you remove some of them.” He actually even started to mimic pulling imaginary weeds off of me. But the best part was that he then went to the kitchen to prepare an amazing dinner for us, which immediately made me feel better.

Sure, it doesn’t hurt to get help sometimes. But in the end, we are the only ones responsible for the health of our garden. I’d love to tell you to embrace your weeds. In fact, Elizabeth Gilbert once said to “embrace the glorious mess that you are.” But the truth is, embracing our flaws is difficult. Most of us don’t even have the ability to do so yet. Self-acceptance is a practice and making it a habit takes time.

But we can get there by practicing self-care, or by creating small victories. I learned this last concept from my boyfriend who studied psychology for many years. Thank you baby! You sometimes give me the best blog post ideas.

Anyway, if you feel you’ve been procrastinating because you haven’t worked on your craft this week, try making something small that will help you feel accomplished and will bring you joy at the same time. For instance, if you’re a writer, a small victory would look like writing a short paragraph or the introduction of a blog post. What about 100 words? Don’t try to outline your first book or write a 4000-word essay. I mean, you could, but it might feel overwhelming. We want to build it up with small wins.

Or, if you’ve fallen off the wagon when it comes to your eating habits, you can come up with the next right thing you can do. Perhaps it’s preparing a healthy meal. Don’t think about eating healthy for the whole week. Start with the next meal and eat what you consider to be healthyright here, right now.

Once you have reached your first small victory, create another one, and then another one, until you build momentum. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again:

“A win is a win, it doesn’t matter how small, and it needs to be celebrated.” Click To Tweet

You wrote a paragraph? Perfect, give yourself a pat on the back!

Ran 1 kilometer? Do a short victory dance!

Ate healthy for a whole day? Give yourself a high five!

Weeds are an inherent part of human nature. They show up to remind us that our garden needs attention. They can appear in our relationships, health, money, or career. But the important thing is not to be afraid of them. My key to easy weed removal is to simply be aware of them. When I notice that one area of my life feels funky, I go and create a small win for myself.

Weeds are calls to action. Click To Tweet

Sometimes, small isn’t even about writing 100 words. It could just mean opening a Word document, staring at the blank page, and saying “I showed up.” Bam! First small win. Another one could be writing a list of healthy ingredients for the coming week, or preparing your running shoes for the next morning. It could even be something as small as putting on clothes, instead of staying in your pajamas. Small wins break bigger goals into more manageable ones.

I talk more about all of this in my post “How to Overcome Feeling Stuck”.

When it comes down to negative emotions or effects, like binge eating, jealousy, or anxiety; the smallest action you can take is stop to recognize you are experiencing these. You don’t have to drop these feelings immediately. Simply acknowledge them. Take AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) for instance, the first thing members need to do is to acknowledge they have an addiction. That’s the first step to healing.

If you’re feeling lack of gratitude, perhaps one small win you could do is to write down your blessings. My boyfriend and I started writing a “happiness diary.” At the end of the day, we sit together and write down two or three positive things about our day.

The more small wins you achieve, the more weeds you’ll pull off of you. And the more flowers you’ll grow!

It doesn’t matter how weedy you’re feeling right now, you can change that. This isn’t a permanent state. And if you ever need help removing a weed (some can be very rooted) you can always reach out for help. Call a loved one, join a support group, find an accountability partner, or listen to an inspiring podcast. But I’m sure you got this!

So much love,


P.S. My garden has some pretty good-looking flowers in it right now. I’d love to see yours!

creating small victories growing flowers

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Author: Jessica Araus

My name is Jessica. I’m a writer and illustrator living in the Netherlands. I write stories based on my life experiences and I also create colorful illustrations that entertain and inspire many. It’s my hope that this blog serves you as a simple reminder of the power you have to choose, create, and live a life that you love.

4 Replies to “On Weeds and Flowers: Creating Small Victories

  1. Love this post Jess! Notice. Take a turtle step. Celebrate. Repeat. Perfect and so very doable. I’m not feeling weedy at the moment as I’ve enjoyed some turtle steps (yay, mini victory shake behind the computer), but next time I see one crop up, I know what to do.

    Oh and I love, love, love your drawings! What a stunning and unique way to illustrate your posts! Very YOU. Keep going my friend. You (we) got this!

  2. There is so much I love about this post, and I’m reading it at just the right time – I’ve had a very weedy week, and what you say is so true: “They show up to remind us that our garden needs attention.” And I agree, creating the small victories (and remembering to celebrate them) is the best way to start clearing out the weeds. Thank you for another inspiring article! Great drawings, too!

    1. Thank you Susan! I’m glad you read this blog post at the right time. I know you’ll be able to clear out the weeds in no time. Have a great start of the week and grow beautiful flowers! Love, Jessica.

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