Ep #3: How to Embrace Discomfort

Last episode, we talked about the first step in my Five Steps to Creating Self-Confidence: purposeful belief. This time, we’re going to talk about step two: embrace discomfort.

I know you’re probably cringing right now, because nobody starts out feeling comfortable with discomfort. I spent years trying to avoid discomfort, but all that did was keep me stuck and confused. Once I learned to embrace discomfort, and to allow difficult feelings while still moving forward, that’s when things started to really shift in my business.

In this episode, we’re diving into embracing discomfort and why it’s a key ingredient for self-confidence and a successful business. I’ll tell you about my experiences with discomfort, some of the common avoidance practices I see life coaches using (myself included!) and how to start embracing discomfort.

To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving away some serious fabulousness! ONE lucky listener will win a brand-new, series 4 40mm Apple Watch, and FOUR will win a $50 Amazon gift card. To find out more about the giveaway and how to enter, click here!

What You’ll Learn:
  • Why all of us want to avoid discomfort and how this can keep us stuck in life and business.
  • How we avoid discomfort and how I’ve caught myself when I’m doing exactly that.
  • What discomfort can teach us about what we should and shouldn’t be doing with our time and energy.
  • Why our brain comes up with crappy and even mean thoughts when we’re feeling uncomfortable.
  • How to identify the thoughts that are causing your avoidance.
  • Why it’s so important to feel your feelings while still doing your work and moving forward – and how to start doing this.
Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode three of The Confident Coaches Podcast. The one where I teach you to embrace discomfort. Let’s bring on the feels.

Welcome to The Confident Coaches Podcast, a place for creating the self-confidence you need to do your best work as a life coach. If you want to bring more boldness, more resilience, and more joy to your work, this is the place for you. I’m your host, Amy Latta. Let’s dive in.

Hello, hello, how is everyone doing? So I just got back from a super fun networking event and I have to tell you, that’s not something I’ve done in well over a year when I first started working my coaching business. I hit every networking event I could possibly go to and, at this point, I’m pretty fully booked.

I’m currently working with 20 clients and momma just ain’t got time for networking events. But this actually was a party celebrating women business owners and executives. It was just so nice to be out and about with some super power women here in Saint Louis.

I don’t actually know if you guys know that. Y’all know that I’m in Saint Louis, Missouri? And yeah, I just said y’all; I also lived in Texas for a while. So anyway, yeah, so I live in the suburbs of Saint Louis and it was just so fun to share with all of these amazing business owners. And we’re talking the owners of tech companies and integrative marketing firms and digital marketing firms.

And we just had a bill pass this year for medical marijuana, so I actually met a couple of women who are working on the accounting side of medical marijuana. And the amazing numbers of potential businesses that exist in this day and age astounds me, but can I tell you something amazing?

I’ve just got to tell you guys this. So, here I am, in this room, with these amazing women. They turn to me and ask, like, “Well what do you do?” And I’m like, “Oh, I’m a confidence coach.” Friends, the look in everyone’s eyes…

I don’t know if you know where I’m going with this, but it was like, “Tell me more. I want some of that.” I was overwhelmed by the number of women who were like, “Yes, tell me everything.” This right here could be an entire episode. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, it probably will be.

But I really need you all out there to understand, in podcast land, that our world is ripe for life coaching. The people want to know more. They want to know all the things. And actually, it’s really funny. Last episode, I talked about what you need to think in order to believe; how about that right there?

People want life coaching and you are a life coach. They want to know these things. They’re excited. They’ve heard so much about personal development and everybody knows who Tony Robbins is and Rachel Hollis is making a huge splash. The world is ready for us, so let’s get you out there.

The world needs life coaching. They’re wanting it. They’re desperate for it. They’re excited about it, okay. So add all of that into your belief rack. Go try that stuff on, alright, my friends?

Okay, so today, we are talking about step two of the five steps of creating self-confidence. And I may have failed to say it in the last episode; we’re just skimming these topics at this point, okay, because I want to tell you all the things and I want to tell you all the things right now.

I want to tell you, like, everything I know. I could sit down with you for hours and we just don’t have that kind of time. I want to make sure that my episodes are short and easily digestible and you can, like, grab good nuggets from them, right?

So we will be diving in even deeper into these topics in the future. And really, I’m wanting to also relate these steps to specific confidence struggles that you have.

Now, I have some podcast insiders who are on team Confident Coaches Podcast, even before we launched. And they have been sharing with me some of their biggest struggles. So these first five or six episodes right here, you’re going to know what the five steps are. You’re going to know what most coaches are doing wrong in these five steps and what we should be doing instead.

But this is all surface-level stuff. We’re going to be going so much deeper and really working through each of these specific things, but related to specific struggles that you all have told me directly, “I need help,” okay.

So to kind of set you up with where we’re going here, if at any point you have ideas or you have thoughts or anything like that, by all means, reach out. I’m here. I’m a real person. Obviously, I’m hanging out here in the Lou’ so come hang out with me.

So, to recap, the five steps of creating self-confidence are purposeful belief, embrace discomfort, become your best mentor, have your own back, and evaluate and keep going. So first, you have to purposefully believe. What do you need to think in order to believe? Try on those thoughts, practice them, sit in belief.

And then, you have to embrace discomfort. Now, hold don, do not bail on me now. We’re getting into some really good stuff. This is, like, some of my favorite stuff we’re going to talk about today. You cannot skip this step either, as much as you may want to. I know I wanted to skip it because I had zero experience with failure or discomfort or really staying with anything feeling that bad at all.

So I avoided this for most of my life. But being uncomfortable, it’s kind of part of doing new things, to get new results, and we can believe and then we’ve got to start doing. And here’s a quote straight from my mentor, Brooke Castillo.

And I can’t remember if I told you guys already that I am a graduate of The Life Coach School, which is run by Brooke and Chris Castillo and I’m currently enrolled in her master coach training. And she’s the first person I ever heard say, “When you realize there is no feeling you’re not willing to feel, there will be nothing you are not willing to do.”

That creates some amazeballs self-confidence right there. Like, bring it on.  I promise you, you will be all in when I tell you actually how to feel uncomfortable, but right now, just really even getting, like, when you realize – I’m going to tell you exactly how to learn how to feel uncomfortable and be okay with it. And when you realize you are willing to do that and you can do it, then there’s nothing you won’t be willing to do. This opens up all of the doors.

So, in order to create results you’ve never gotten before, you have to take different action than what you’ve been doing, or at least inspired action as opposed to recipe action. And by recipe action, I mean those generic how-tos that you can check off of a list you got from some marketing guru.

As soon as I say that, understand this; I love marketing. I’m actually a former corporate marketer and a marketing major. But there’s no formula you can copy out of a textbook that just works for everyone. You have to figure out what you need to do and you have to try things you’ve never tried before or try things in a way you’ve never tried before and all from that purposeful belief place that we talked about in the last episode.

And this is uncomfortable, right? It’s uncomfortable to do things you’ve never done before. I mean, something as simple as Facebook Lives. I do Facebook Lives every single week. I’m constantly being asked, like, how are you so good at it?  What tips and tricks do you have?

And I’m like, well, I sucked at it at first. I was terrible. I was horribly uncomfortable. I was awful. I was doing Facebook Lives before Facebook Lives existed. I was doing live videos on Periscope, over on Twitter. I don’t even think Periscope exists anymore. I don’t know, maybe it does.

I was doing it over a year before Facebook Live even existed and I felt terrible and it was awful and I wasn’t good at all.  I certainly could have used some confidence coaching, I’ll tell you that right now because I wasn’t a confidence coach yet. But it is uncomfortable.

Any time you start doing new stuff – if you’ve never run Facebook ads, you’re going to be really uncomfortable trying to figure out how to make them work. If you’ve never done a podcast before, you’re going to be really uncomfortable learning how to put a podcast out.

But what if that’s okay? Like, we get that we have to start doing new things, or at least do things in a better way than you’ve been doing them. And it’s not comfortable to do new stuff. The first time you learned how to walk, it wasn’t comfortable. You didn’t know what the heck you were doing.

The first time you learned how to ride a bike, the first time you learned how to do anything, it wasn’t good. It wasn’t comfortable. You weren’t naturally amazing at it. But if you know you can embrace discomfort then it’s okay to feel uncomfortable.

So, right now, my dear coach friends, most of y’all are avoiding discomfort. Or I hear this a lot too, “Amy, I’m uncomfortable all the time.” Okay, yeah, but if you’re just uncomfortable all the time, then you’re not actually embracing it, okay. So being uncomfortable all the time because you’re frustrated nothing is working or you’re overwhelmed about what to do next, that’s not embracing discomfort.

Most likely, you’re avoiding and resisting. You’re buffering and avoiding and wishing discomfort would go away. You are overindulging in social media. You’re overdrinking, overeating, you’re binging on Netflix, like, avoidance 101, escapism 101.

Friends, I have to tell you this right now. When I was deciding – this was years ago, so this would have been 2015. When I was deciding if I should spend money on my coaching certification with The Life Coach School, I watched 10 seasons of the TV show Supernatural in seven weeks. It’s an hour-long show with like 22 episodes a season. That right there, that’s some professional level avoidance.

Now, I never have been an overdrinker, but I have been an overeater, and I did work through that, but all I did was start avoiding by over-Facebooking. And to this day, I know, when my thumb is scrolling through Facebook – and I know you know what I mean, the thumb scroll, you know, you’re holding it in your hand and you’re scrolling with your thumb right there. It’s like the social media black hole.

That, right there, I still do that. I still totally do that crap, and when I catch myself doing it, I’m like, I know that’s a good time to go check in with myself. I know I’m avoiding feeling the discomfort of something.

So, friends, be really clear. What we avoid or what we resist, it only grows. It doesn’t go away. So like, “Amy, I feel uncomfortable all the time…” yeah, the reason that you’re feeling uncomfortable is because you’re totally resisting and you’re totally avoiding those uncomfortable feelings, right?

So another way that we avoid discomfort is by being productive but not with work. So this is taking action but no in your business, you’re cleaning out hallways, closets. I mean, so I have heard… I personally have never done that… Crap, of course I’ve done that right.

So, just earlier this year, I found myself in my bathroom on the floor, doors open, with everything from the cabinet underneath my sink pulled out. I was cleaning out the cabinet under the sink in my master bath – because that’s totally something normal for a business owner to be doing on a random Tuesday, right?

And I knew, it was like, “Amy…” There I am in the middle of, just like spread out all of this junk from underneath my bathroom sink all over the place, and I knew, I was avoiding deciding what to do next with my Facebook ads. So here’s what I know for sure; my house, never cleaner than when I’m avoiding taking action, when I’m avoiding feeling uncomfortable.

Now, one of the sneakier ways to avoid discomfort is taking action in your coaching business, but it doesn’t actually sign clients. So this is like organizing files, cleaning your inbox, doing research, doing things that are not on your calendar today. I mean, yeah, answering those emails and Facebook posts are a good idea in general, but not if you said you were going to outline your webinar, Amy.

Like, this is the taking action that’s not signing clients at its most insidious because you are working and you might even be working really hard. You’re just not doing the work you really need to be doing, and you know it. if you’re willing to be really honest, you know it.

I confessed to a mentor this year – her name’s Kara Loewentheil and I worked with her for this past year. I was supposed to be doing something, I don’t even know, probably like Facebook ad-related I’m sure. And instead, I reorganized my Dropbox, and she totally yelled at me. She was like, “Amy, no one wants to reorganize their Dropbox. That should have been the first sign you were avoiding something.”

And speaking of not doing what’s on your calendar – that’s one of the things that I mentioned just a few seconds ago, one way to avoid discomfort is you don’t even bother to put things on your calendar.  You don’t make a plan for what you will do. You’re just winging it. You’re winging your action. You’re just taking it day to day and kind of seeing where the week takes you.

Like, “Hey man, yeah, I just like to go with the flow and I’m going to get in touch with my higher power, I’m just going to kind of see where I’m led.” Like, so you’re either doing just jack shit or you’re waiting for the stars to align, or you’re doing all kinds of random action.

Maybe you’re not so ethereal and waiting to see where you’re led and waiting to see where the stars are going to align. Maybe you’re just taking all kinds of random action. You don’t have anything specifically tied to a goal or anything, you’re just doing a bunch of things.

And that latter feels very productive, right? But without actually producing much, because your action is not tied to a specific result that you’re trying to achieve. Action without result in mind is just busywork and you can spend years here.  Trust me, I’ve been there and I’ve played that game.

So, how do you actually embrace discomfort? So, first of all, you need to figure out what you’re thinking that is making you avoid and resist. So if you catch yourself watching Netflix instead of emailing your list, what’s going on in your head? What’s the thought creating that?

If you catch yourself cleaning out your bathroom instead of outlining your webinar – I don’t know who’s ever done that before – what’s the thought that’s creating that? If you catch yourself reorganizing your Dropbox instead of creating a new video ad, what’s the thought that’s creating that?

There’s no need for a long story or a big explanation or some long-fangled epiphany about hitting your upper limit. It’s just a thought. One of the best lessons I learned this year is my coach, and it was Kara again, was yelling at me, because it was Kara again. And she listened to me tell this long, complicated story about the process that I’ve gone through this and that and the other, and she just said, “Stop, it’s not all that. It’s not all that long complicated story. It’s just a thought.” You have a thought and it feels terrible and you’re avoiding doing the thing because it feels terrible, because you’re thinking that thought.

But if you can find that thought, then we can actually start to get somewhere. And I really love doing this with my clients. I love finding the thoughts. Not so much the yelling at them. That’s not necessarily my thing, though I’m willing to yell if you want me to.

It really is though helping them find the thought that is causing them to not do what they said they were going to do. And so then you practice feeling those uncomfortable emotions that those thoughts are creating because what you think causes a feeling that drives an action.

And the reason that you’re avoiding the action you want to take is because you’re avoiding the feeling that that crappy thought is creating. So crappy thoughts might be – oh boy, let’s open up the vault of Amy’s crappy thoughts, shall we?

“I don’t really think I can do this. I don’t know how I’m going to find more clients. I’m not sure I’m even a good coach…” that’s a real winner right there, right? “I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’m not sure I’m doing this right.  I’m a fraud. She’s doing it better. She’s ahead of me. Everyone’s already said everything there is to say.  No one has ever said this thing, so I don’t know if it’s a good idea. I don’t know if six months is long enough to help my people. I don’t know if I have enough to share in six months.”

I mean, friends, as soon as you convince yourself that one crappy thought isn’t good, then your brain, it’s amazing to me how much, will just flip-flop to another one. And the list could go on for days here. I’ve had a million crappy thoughts. You have a million crappy thoughts. I coach with a whiteboard behind me and I coach over video.

I mean, I have filled that whiteboard with more crappy thoughts than you didn’t even know you could possibly thing, right? So once we find the little bugger that’s causing all the ruckus in your head, we dive in.

So another favorite coaching activity that I do with my clients is, after we identify the thought, I take them through my very specific process for feeling the feelings that that thought creates. Yeah, I teach you to feel your feelings.

Now, this is not some new-age woo-woo foo-foo thing, okay. But if you’re scrolling Facebook instead of making offers, I can tell you right now, you’re avoiding feeling a feeling if. If I can teach you how to feel a feeling, maybe you won’t be doing so much scrolling through Facebook instead of making offers.

Are you picking up what I’m throwing down here? And, of course, we’re not great at feeling our feelings because no one taught us this. We didn’t learn how to feel our feelings as kids. We were taught to avoid feelings, right?  How many times were we told, don’t be sad, don’t cry, don’t be afraid, everything’s going to be fine? So it’s totally fine that we don’t know how to do this as adults because no one taught us.

And in all fairness, no one taught the adults that raised us, right? So, so much grace for the parental on this one because they didn’t know either. That’s why we have a whole population of angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, and numbed out humans walking around. Again, another show for another day, but we are needed, my friends.

And you can’t be out there all wrapped up in your feels. The other humans need us to help them with their feels, okay, and we can totally learn how to feel our feelings. And when we are thinking crappy thoughts that make us feel terrible. And this might sound contradictory; we actually don’t want to feel too good too soon.

And this is one that really trips up a lot of coaches. Like, we get the basic idea. I have a thought, it creates a feeling, and my feeling creates an action. So if I’m thinking crappy thoughts, I’m going to feel crappy feelings, I’m going to take crappy actions, so I’d better think positive.

Now, remember though, any feeling that we’re avoiding only persists. So we don’t actually want to jump into the positive thing too quickly. It just doesn’t work very well. So if we don’t allow our feelings to fully process, like really fully go through all stages of it, we might try to jump into a new thought and a new feeling and we might try to do it too soon.

The key here is learning how to take positive action while those negative feelings are still hanging around, because I also don’t want you waiting for the negative feeling to fully pass, otherwise, with some thoughts and feelings, you might be waiting some time, so learning to take action while fear is riding shotgun, or self-doubt, or inadequacy, or whatever it is.

It’s another specialty of mine, teaching my clients how to feel bad emotions, how to process them, and to let them hang out as long as they need to while still moving forward, while still taking action that gets us somewhere. Doing this will make you feel like such a badass. This is a huge confidence-builder right here.

If I can feel uncomfortable feels and not drown in them, not suffocate them, and I can still put myself out there, that’s some superhero shit right there, right? I call embracing discomfort emotional strength training. And it will change your life because nothing’s got anything on the person who’s not afraid to feel all of their emotions. Like, bring it on.

And I have to tell you, I have tons more to share with you about feelings and emotions and feeling them and still being okay, but for today, I want you to imagine the crappiest thought you can think about yourself as a life coach and a business owner. It shouldn’t be too hard. You have a human brain.

And if you need any help, just rewind a few minutes, because I listed a whole bunch of them just a few minutes ago. Alright, so I want you to think that thought in your head. Maybe even say it out loud. And I want you to get out of your head and into your body. And as if you were describing it to a small child or to an alien. Focus in on the sensations in your body.

Where are these sensations centered? Is it in your throat or your chest, or is it in your gut? Is it fast or slow? Is it hard or soft? Is it light or heavy? Does it have sound? Does it have a movement, texture, color even?

Really be able to go into an observer or a watcher mode and just describe the sensation that you’re feeling that’s coming from that thought. And if you could put a one-word emotion on what you’re feeling, what would you call it?

And then I want you to ask yourself the most important question; do you believe that you can feel this feeling and you were also safe? You can feel these sensations, and you were also okay? That right there; life-changing. All you are feeling is the vibrations of an emotion. And emotions are just energy in motion, right? So when I tell you to embrace discomfort, that is what I’m talking about.

This is actually my personal superpower, my friends, feeling emotions very deeply and teaching my clients how to do the same. It is so good. It’s like, bring on the world good, right? So, practice feeling some feelings, my friend. Do it with the good stuff. Do it with the not so good stuff. Expand that emotional range.

And remember, when you teach your brain that you can totally handle feeling any emotion that comes your way, there won’t be anything you can’t do. That is the good stuff, my friends. Talk to you next week.

Hey friends, to celebrate the launch of this show, I am giving away some serious fabulousness. Four lucky listeners will win a $50 gift card to Amazon, while one lucky listener will win a free Apple watch. No joke. A series four 40-millimeter gold stainless steel with Milanese loop. Just like the one I wear. I love it.

And those are some seriously awesome goods to five lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts. Of course, I hope you love the show, but it does not have to be a five-star review. Because I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides tons of value.

So go visit www.amylatta.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode. Thanks friends.

Thanks so much for listening to The Confident Coaches Podcast. I invite you to learn more. Come visit me at www.amylatta.com and until next week, let’s go do epic stuff.

 

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Hi, I’m Amy.

For years, I took a ton of action to sign clients.

I learned to create self-confidence and powerfully believe in myself first, and then built a multiple six-figure coaching business.

And I can help you do it, too.

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Ready to take the actions that sign clients?

Despite your certification and investing in business courses, no one taught you what you really need. The self-confidence needed to take the actions that consistently sign clients.

I am sharing the three secrets I learned about creating self-confidence, right here.