Identifying that super-hard emotions are part of being human, our job is to be an advocate for ourselves and our clients, and to witness the humanity that we have.
Today’s special guest, Krista St-Germain joins the show to go deep into shame and failure as a path to massive success. When we’re willing to fail and fall on our face over and over, coaching and building a business actually becomes a lot more fun.
You are listening to episode 161 of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where you experience deep shame and failure and have massive success doing it. Let’s go.
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. Amy Latta, let’s dive in.
Okay, coaches, you are in for a delicious treat. Today because I am interviewing one of my favorite humans, my former mastermind sister, and master coach, training sister. I have gone through so much with this wonderful human, including what you are about to hear is the second interview and the third attempt, which is perfect.
We go all into it in the episode about what happened, but it’s perfect for what we’re talking about. So here we go … my interview with post traumatic growth expert Krista St-Germain
Amy: Okay, my friends. So, I ham. [laughing]
Krista: Just leave that in. Hi, I’m Turkey. I’m mashed potatoes.
Amy: Oh, my friends, it’s me here, Amy. And listen guys, I have like the best person ever that we’re getting ready to talk to, and I’m going to stop talking and let her introduce herself. Y’all just don’t even know the work that has gone in to getting this podcast interview out to you, but it’s going to be so amazing.
So, guys, my friend Krista St- Germain is here. Hi Krista.
Krista: Hi Amy. I’ve decided I need more of you in my life.
Amy: If anything, I bring nothing but pure joy into people’s life.
Krista: This is true.
Amy: We are recording, so that’s good news. Step one, record.
My friends, here’s the thing, we’ve already done this interview and I didn’t record like an ounce of it, and it was so brilliant, and then we rescheduled and both of us forgot. And now here we are on our third attempt. But here’s what I want to offer to you: Krista’s going to be talking to us about like deep, deep emotions, like super-deep fun emotions that we experience in business.
And I know that so many of us are still afraid to just like try things because you’re like, “I’m going to mess up. I’m going to fall on my face. I’m going to forget something’s gonna go wrong.” And I’m like, “yeah, exactly.” So, I really want you to listen to this conversation and Krista and I are just going to flow.
I think that’s what worked best the first time, so totally for sure we can like, make even more magic. But I really want you guys to just kind of nothing about this experience has gone correctly up until this point, and also because of the work that Krista does, and you know, and she’s a mastermind sister.
I first met her in a really intense yearlong mastermind. She’s a Master Certified sister of mine. She and I have gone through some stuff and had to learn how to process feelings. And when you do this work, you can let the most ridiculous fall on your face, all of the things that you think can go wrong. You can’t do it with the way that she and I have had to learn how to approach them.
Amy: So, let the whole experience my messing up multiple times, Krista’s graciousness, and let’s dive in to feeling stuff.
Amy: Krista, I’m going to let you introduce yourself to my people.
Krista: Yeah, absolutely. So, I’m Krista St. Germain, as was previously mentioned. I never thought I wanted to be a coach ever until my husband died, and I found myself in what I now call a “grief plateau,” which is kind of this weird place where you’re back to functioning and on the outside you look like you’re doing really well, but on the inside you don’t feel great.
You kind of secretly suspect that your best days are behind you, and you’ll probably survive, but you’ll never really be happy again, and you really don’t want that, and yet there’s nothing out there for you. And that’s kind of where I found myself before coaching. And it just so happened that Brooke Castillo launched Self-Coaching Scholars, and I had been listening to her podcast and I joined.
And that experience of the tools that she taught me, and that I learned in coaching, it was just so crazy powerful for me, even though it wasn’t related to grief, that I decided to become a coach. So that’s what I do, is I work with widowed moms and help them genuinely love life again. So, I am truly fascinated by post-traumatic growth.
I would offer that I am obsessed with grief in a really super-productive way, and you know, like before we dive into all the things, I actually really love that, you know, just like you said, that all kind of got messed up because I remember when I was a new coach, it was so easy to think what you saw from other coaches, which was usually not the flaws, not the mess ups, not the ick. You just saw the end result of lots of work and it was really easy for me to hold myself to a standard that was unreasonable. It was unkind, it was not helpful at all.
And like, this is the way we make a bunch of money and help a lot of people, is that we screw things up and we have “shamey” moments and like all the things, right? That is, that is the way of it.
Amy: Let’s talk about shame for a hot minute here.
Krista: Oh my gosh, right?
Amy: So, you know, we kind of consider like, what are the big heavies, right? Grief, shame, humiliation. To me, those are the three super-deep things. And they all have a top-level emotion like sadness goes into grief, maybe inadequacy or something goes into shame, and then like embarrassed goes into humiliation.
But in that moment, she and I have just had the most amazing conversation, right? And the whole time I took so many notes because I was like, this might be the best conversation I’ve ever had here.
And then when we go to turn off the recording, and I don’t know what it looked like from her end, but from my end, I felt the flush right?
My heart stopped, my stomach came up and then it dropped. And I felt like that wave.
Amy: The realization. Do you remember being a teenager or in your early twenties and you ever slept and, you’re staring at the clock and like, that doesn’t say what I think it says, because you’re arguing with reality and, you know, this is just one tiny little thing, I forgot to quote a podcast, but it really was like an encapsulation of what we’re talking about here because I flushed with the most intense humiliation. And then the shame came. And granted, it was mostly in a flash, and it was on full-display because Krista is literally staring at me on the Zoom right on full-display.
Like even now, I’m double checking that we’re recording, because I’m suddenly having this fear. Oh my God, am I recording?
And you know, she snapped a picture. I shared that picture. But in the sharing, you know, she shared this picture because I literally sunk. I literally sunk down, like physically dropped out of my chair. I wanted to die, because not only did I feel embarrassed and humiliated, I felt intense shame because it was on display in front of somebody that I highly regard as a friend and as a human being. And she’s literally witnessing it. So, she’s witnessing me in some of the most intense humiliation I could experience in that moment, and she snapped the picture. She asked permission. And at that point I was like, “oh, I’m, I’m dead anyway, so go ahead.”
But I shared that picture, and Krista, so many people said thank you.
Krista: Oh yeah.
Amy: For being honest about the failure, but also like, “oh, they’re literally witnessing the emotions that we are going to have to feel as a business owner.”
And this is a funny anecdotal story that we’ll tell, and we’ll maybe turn into a lesson in a little bit. But I really think it’s so important for the life coaches out there listening that the work that we do to change the world, it is meant to change you and to allow that.
Krista: I love that. Yeah. And like, it’s not saying you’re meant to no longer feel negative emotion. It’s not meant to change you in terms of that you have to feel differently, but that you actually experience how you feel differently.
Krista: Like we can still have moments of shame. I think it’s so fascinating how also my experience of it was like, I just love you so much, that to me it was just adorable and funny and like, I didn’t have any negative emotion. I was just like, “oh my God, this is hysterical. Like, of course this would happen to us, right?” And yet your internal experience is so different.
I remember since we did that a 100k Mastermind together way back in the day, I remember when I got on the stage at The Life Coach School Mastermind, and I got that award for making a hundred thousand dollars the first time.
I actually went back to my hotel room later and had to process shame. I got off the stage and my inner-critic was super-mean to me about, I don’t even know what I said, I never watched it back, but my inner-critic decided I had said some really awful things and really messed that all up and should have done it completely different. And yeah, literally I was like tapping in my hotel room and crying.
Amy: So fascinating, and isn’t that interesting, because I guarantee most likely, I mean sometimes you will have, you know, there’s always that one guy outta 10 who like,” don’t like her, nope. Everything she just said is terrible.” But 99.9% of the time, I bet people thought whatever you said was amazing and inspiring and they were like, “wow, you can make a hundred thousand dollars coaching widowed moms about grief? Are you serious?”
Krista: And if, I went back and looked at it, I don’t even think it would be anything currently my inner critic would have anything to say about, I think the point is like, it’s totally okay if we just expect that part of building a business is going to be the allowance and processing of intense emotion and we don’t make it mean that something’s gone wrong when that happens, or that somehow we’re different, or at some sort of disadvantage, coaching becomes a lot more fun and building a business becomes a lot more fun.
Amy: So, wait, the intense emotions can make it more fun? I’m sorry, I’m going to need a judge’s ruling on that one.
Krista: I think of the intense emotions though, as, this is what’s helped me, because I didn’t used to think this, but now when I coach myself on intense emotion, usually I’ve already coached myself on the thought that causes the intense emotion.
So, I already can kind of tell that it’s a thought, but so then I just put it in the C line, and my energy is better spent deciding how do I want to think about how I’m feeling.
Amy: Oh, okay.
Krista: Instead of trying to figure out how to feel differently.
Amy: Oh, so we’re actually talking about thinking differently about the intense emotions.
Amy: So, for those of you who are not Life Coach School trained, when we talk about the C line, the A line, we use a coaching Model where circumstances are just facts. They’re just the true statements of life that everybody in the world would agree on. And then there’s your thoughts about that, and then your feelings about that come from those thoughts and then what you do, and then that creates your result.
Amy: I’ve talked about it endlessly on the podcast, but I was like, I never know when sometimes it’s somebody’s first episode.
So, what we would normally do is we would put the feeling on the feeling line, you know, CTFAR, we put like the feeling that we’re feeling. But once you kind of see where that is coming from, what Krista’s talking about, like, “okay, so the feeling is there, and I know where it’s coming from. I’ve identified the thought. I know how what it’s creating for me, but it’s still there.
So, now let’s do another model where we put the feeling as the circumstance. I am feeling this and that is a fact.
Krista: Yeah. And then how do I want to think about it so that my experience of feeling it, isn’t so much suffering, right? Like, I expect the pain and then I solve for the suffering.
Amy: Yeah. And it actually even reminds me because I actually process through that emotion pretty quickly. Because like, all again, people, Krista witnessed the entire me experiencing the entire emotional spectrum. Like she had front row seat friends because then once the humiliation and the shame as I sunk down in my chair and I just allowed myself to feel like, yes, this happened.
I’ve made a mistake, or I forgot to do something super important. I did this, this happened, there’s another person involved. And I felt the shame. Then the laughter came. Then I just couldn’t stop laughing, so then it kind of became of like, “oh yeah, I kind of put the experience of feeling intense and shame and making a mistake in the circumstance line and the entire experience of the first 15, 30 seconds, I put that into my C line and all of a sudden, I was like, this is hilarious.
Amy: This, this is hilarious. Like, this is kind of par for the course, and this is hilarious. Like, this thing happened. I am feeling this. And I was kind of able to move into another place of like, “oh yeah, this.”
Krista: Yeah. But it’s so easy to make yourself wrong for how you feel. right? And, and tell yourself that you shouldn’t be feeling that way and you’ve done something wrong if you are, or you should have figured it out by now, or other coaches don’t do this, why do you? As opposed to just being like, “no, this is just a part of being human. Like this too shall pass. Like feelings are valuable. What is here for me? You know, all humans sometimes feel this way.”
Amy: Yeah. I know I asked you this question before about like, how has grief or super-intense emotion showed up for you in your business, and how have you dealt with that?
Krista: Oh, yeah. I mean, it’s like a regular occurrence, right? So, it’s, what I notice is that anytime I go to do something new, and I set a goal that’s bigger than my current goal, I experience a lot of fear and inadequacy, doubt, those kinds of emotions. And then I do the thing anyway, not to the point where I’m paralyzed by it, right?
It’s uncomfortable, but I’m not paralyzed by it, and I use the tools that I have at my disposal, right? I coach myself; I tap, I do the things that I find to be supportive for me, and I do the thing, and then my capability grows. And so, then my confidence grows, right? And I create the new result. Literally.
I’ve seen this happen to myself so many times. It’s a great microcosm, like when I was an early coach and I worked for Kara Lowentheil, way back she had her six-month Unfuck Your Brain coaching program. So, I worked for her, and every time she asked me to do something that I hadn’t done yet, I would say yes and be completely freaked out about it, and then I would do it, right?
So, It’d be like, coach in Slack. Oh, I’ve never done written coaching before. Freak out, right? And then I’d freak out and then I’d do the thing, and then I’d get the capability, and then, “Hey, I’m going to be out next week. I got to go to a funeral. Could you cover this group call for me?”
Oh God. Like, what? And then I’d freak out and then I’d do the thing, and then I realize, “no, actually I can handle this, I can do this.” I didn’t die. And it’s just that process over and over and over. And so, the freakout hasn’t changed nearly as much as I expect myself to feel those feelings, and I recognize that it is totally a normal part of my growth, and then I’m able to go faster through them, right?
At the beginning though, I kind of told myself, “you’re a coach, like you should know this. You shouldn’t be feeling this way, there’s something wrong with you if you, if you can’t “manage your mind,” which didn’t really leave a lot of space for humanness and that that kind of sucks the joy out of business if you aren’t allowed to be human and own the business.
Amy: Yeah. That’s so interesting because I think, I know I did it. You’re saying you did it, I would imagine probably a hundred percent of the life coaches go through that of like, “wait a minute, I have the intellectual understanding of where my emotions come from, so I shouldn’t be feeling this way.
Krista: I shouldn’t be feeling this way. This feeling that I feel is a problem and I should be able to solve it, as opposed to, No, no, no, humans have feelings and the goal is not to solve them. The goal is to allow them, and that is the magic. And that’s what I’m so much better at these days. And I’ve also really, truly realized, I think, I never really doubted that I could make a hundred thousand dollars. I knew that I could do that.
I believed in myself. Getting to a million showed me that, “yeah, you really are still human. You really do still have a human brain when you make the money that you think is impossible to make,” right? Like it doesn’t, it’s not a panacea for your humanness. Surprise. Everybody kept telling me that.
Amy: So, you’re saying making a million dollars in the in a year doesn’t take away shame and humiliation.
Krista: It does not. It does not.
Amy: What? Why are we doing this?
Amy: You actually said to me, I was going to say, you said to me once, (let’s be honest, it was in the first podcast) it was last week, that emotions aren’t problems to solve.
Amy: Yeah. A hundred percent.
Amy: I think that is something that we as life coaches, having like life coaching 101, your thoughts come from your feelings. So, if your feelings drive your actions, and your actions create your results.
So, if you’re having a negative feeling on the feeling line, then that means only negative action can come from it and only negative results. I gotta go fix this. I have to go solve this emotion.
Amy: And it’s actually the opposite where we allow it, and we process it. That’s really going to change the game.
Krista: Yeah. And I think when you asked me about, you know, grief specifically, that’s what I’m teaching my clients too, is that just because we have a “negative emotion” doesn’t mean we also wouldn’t choose that negative emotion, right? Like, when I think about my late husband, in what feels very appropriate to me, I have enjoyed not being happy that he died.
Like, I want to be sad that he died, but just because I think thoughts that make me feel sad, A. it doesn’t mean I’m doing anything wrong, and B. doesn’t mean I actually have to take action from that sadness, right? I can decide just to let that be with me and not make it mean anything other than I had this amazing relationship and he died.
But that’s not the point to be happy about everything or happy all the time, it’s, can we just be intentional?
Amy: Yeah. I remember in one of my early one-on-one clients when I was really learning how to coach other people through the process of feeling a feeling, and the way she described it was better than I ever could have. And it really helped me of like, it’s the difference between the feeling is on me, vs. now the feeling’s just kind of sitting, it’s still here, but it’s more sitting beside me as opposed to like on me and crushing me, and that visualization really helped me.
It like helped me and I was the coach of like, “oh, okay, I see what our goal here is. It’s not to eliminate it, make it go away. It’s just that I can still take action from the Model I want to take action from, but the sadness, the grief, the embarrassment thing, inadequacy might just be along for the ride. It might just be walking beside me for a while.
Krista: Yeah. It kind of reminds me of like when my kids were little, I remember this moment where I was in my car and my daughter was having a total tantrum and I was trying to get out of the driveway and thinking, “okay, like this is what we have right now. Like this is happening.”
And so, it’s like that for me where I’m like, “yes, the toddler’s going to scream and throw a fit and do things that toddlers do, and that’s just a toddler being a toddler, and I’m going to put the toddler in the car and we’re still going.” Like wherever it is we’re going and, and I can do that compassionately.
And so, that’s kind of how I treat myself, right? It’s like, “no, of course. Like this is what brains do. This is what being a human is like. None of this has to change. And we’re still going, and we’re still doing that. Get, get in the car.”
Amy: Oh my God.
Krista: I know that you don’t like the seam in your sock, but we’re going
Amy: Oh goodness. My stepdaughter was a seam in the sock kind of gal. Yeah. I remember those days. I know that like well,
I’m remembering when the movie Inside Out came out and we learned a lot about …
Krista: I love that movie.
Amy: I know, I know. We both love that movie so much, but that pivotal scene when Joy finally realizes the importance of sadness in the main character’s life.
Krista: Yeah. It’s funny how I’ve watched that movie so many times and every time I watch it, it kind of sinks in in a different way, or kind of hits me differently. And the last time I watched it, it I felt like, man, I just so get this where even early as a coach, I kind of related to that Joy character, like Joy kind of sees herself as the most important.
And her job is to make sure Riley only feels joy and Riley only has happy memories and especially the core memories. And I kind of remember putting that pressure on myself as a coach of thinking like, “I’m supposed to make them feel better.”
Amy: Yes …. Oooh.
Krista: And how my coaching has evolved with the realization that, just like Joy has in the movie where, you know, she keeps trying to, keep Sadness at bay and she draws a circle, and she tries to put her in the circle and she tries to distract her by reading all the books.
And she’s basically like, “Sadness, don’t touch anything. You’re ruining everything.” And then she kind of sees, and the scene you’re talking about is the Bing Bong. Did I tell you my daughter calls my son Bing Bong?
Krista: Anyway, side stories.
Amy: Oh my gosh. Calls him Bing Bong. That’s amazing. Oh, Bing. Bong.
Krista: So, Bing Bong is crying. He’s so sad. And Sadness just comes and sits by him, right? And then he cries and then he feels better. And Joy is so perplexed, and she starts to see, “oh, sadness, there is benefit in sadness.” And that actually is an important part of Riley’s life. And like, it’s the same thing as a coach where you’re like, “oh no, it’s okay for my clients to be sad. Their sadness is not a problem for me to fix. It’s just something for me to witness.”
Amy: And that right there, that changed my coaching too, because it took me a long time to understand that my job as the coach was not to make them feel better.
Krista: Yeah. Yeah.
Amy: My job as the coach was to be a witness to their emotions and their feelings.
Amy: And honoring them so that they can experience life more fully that way.
Krista: Yeah. Can I help them learn that their feelings aren’t problems and that they can be their own compassionate witness and what pressure that took off of me as a coach.
Krista: And I was like, “oh, actually, I just need to be with them, and I need to show them what they’re creating. I need to like help them help themselves, but there’s nothing to solve here.”
Amy: Yeah. I know. So before there was Amy as a coach 101, was like, let’s find the negative thing and let’s go fix it, and then it was, “I get it. My job’s not to fix them. Okay, okay. Here’s the negative one, here’s the positive one. So obviously you want to move to the positive one and here’s how we’re going to do it.” which to me, I didn’t feel like it was fixing it so much. I was just like, “no, I’m showing them their two options, so obviously we’re moving towards option two.”
And it wasn’t until I started my certification with Kara Lowentheil in her Feminist Coaching Certification, that I realized to take that last piece out of like, “here’s what you’re creating, here’s some other possibilities,” and then left it at that.
Amy: And I was like, that felt like an unfinished sentence to me.
Krista: Which is which is so good though, right? Because then the client is empowered, which is kind of what we want to do, right. To decide the direction that they want to take their own coaching.
Amy: Yeah. And sometimes not even offering them the other possibilities of just staying with them. Like, this is what’s happening here. I can witness it.
Krista: Yeah, I had the very similar transition. It was like, “okay, I realize instead of taking them from unintentional to intentional, can I increase their awareness so high that they have authority over their current experience and see themselves as the powerful creator of that current experience,” then I have done my job.
Then, they can do whatever they want with that, right? But they don’t need me to take them to somewhere, “positive or intentional, or better,” right? Because it assumes that I know what’s better, which I totally don’t. It just assumes so many things.
And I think the more powerful use of coaching for me is, can I get them to authority? Can I get them to see that what’s being created here is something that if they want to change it, they can. And it’s because they have created what it is. Like when I’m thinking about my clients, so often they will think that the happiness or the satisfaction they experienced in their marriage was because of the other person or because of the couple experience, and so of course now that the spouse has died, then they will mistakenly believe that the only way they can be happy again, like their happiness didn’t come from them, is what they think.
Amy: Right, right, right, right.
Krista: Like they don’t see how even when that person was living, they created that experience for themselves, right?
It’s not to diminish the person. I’m sure their person was wonderful, and also if they did it once, they can do it again. So, it’s getting them to feel powerful about what they had before that they loved, so that they realize They were the ones. They were always the ones. It was always them. It still is them.
Amy: I think that’s so powerful, like for everybody listening, like you are the one, it’s always been you.
Amy: Like you’ve always been the creator of your own joy. No one else has done that for you. You have done that and to just plant that seed so that no matter what you’re experiencing, you have to go back to me sliding outta the chair or whatever.
You know, five years ago Amy would have not been laughing. Within moments, I would’ve carried that weight for days, weeks. I probably would’ve been like, well just reschedule and then I would’ve ghosted you on my podcast.
Krista: which is awesome.
Amy: but just be like you said, I can create suffering from this, or I can remember that I am the creator of my own experience, even in these awful moments.
Krista: And normalize it. Move the F on.
Amy: Yeah. So, I’m wondering how a lot of what we talk about we’re some of the biggest, well, I just mentioned failure, if we wanna chalk it up to that.
I mean, in hindsight, it was literally a moment in time. It’s a blip on our radar. It’ll be a fun story we tell at cocktail parties for years to come, but you know, so much of what we do, and it’s a key part of my path to 100k Mastermind, which is failing on purpose, and so I know you’ve seen a lot of what works and what doesn’t work, and how have you approached failure?
Krista: Kicking and screaming.
Amy: which is like your toddler getting in the car with her socks in the seat.
Krista: Yeah. Kicking and screaming, which I do think is probably why I ended up with that failure assignment in Master Coach Training because there was so much for me to learn there, which is just, okay.
Amy: For those of you who haven’t heard the first interview, what do you mean “failure assignment in Master Coach Training?”
Krista: So, in Master Coach Training, we had to do a project, right? You were there, but to those listening, we had to do a project and it was unique to everyone and designed to address whatever your kind of next level of growth was.
And so, I submitted my first idea. Just basically reinforce all the perfectionist tendencies, but I really needed to address like, “I’m gonna do all the things and I’m gonna do them perfectly,” and they were like, “no, try again,” and eventually I realized, “oh, actually that’s my problem. I don’t iterate fast enough. I over perfect,” right?
I obsess over the email that I wrote and spend so much more time, like way beyond, you know, the point of return. It’s just like not a good use of my time. So, what if I could just speed up and what do I have to do to be able to speed up? And the answer for me was, “I have to get comfortable with failure.”
And by failure, I mean I need to try things that might not work and let them not work and let that be okay, and then do it again over and over and over, and just allow myself to learn by doing so.
My project was 90 fails in 90 days. And that doesn’t sound like a lot looking back on it, but I remember that at the time it felt like a lot.
I ended up doing way more than 90. But what I also found was that a lot of ways I thought I was going to fail when I allowed myself to try, I didn’t actually fail. It opened a lot of doors for me. Like, I invited somebody to come on my podcast too. To me, felt like a pipe dream. Like, “she’s never gonna say yes.” And she did. You know? And I was like, what planet are we on?
And I invited myself to go on other people’s podcasts that I thought would never say yes, and they did, and then also I just learned that it actually doesn’t kill you to fail. It really is just a matter of a little bit of emotion that you might feel, which you get to decide what you want to think about whatever just happened.
And you can handle emotion, and you can learn some stuff when you make decisions and move, right? When we were talking, before in the episode that shall not be named because it didn’t get recorded. We we’re talking about the marshmallow challenge.
So back in the day, I used to work for a manufacturing company, and we built Bombardier Learjet. We built the sexiest jet on the planet. PS. thank goodness I became a coach because Learjet is no longer in production. I left my safe corporate job that now doesn’t exist anymore. Amazing, right?
But so, we were always very focused on continuous improvement. It was, you know a part of the company’s culture is how do we do better? And so, one of the things that we were using was a tool called “Plan Do Check Act,” which was basically like, make your plan, do it. See what happened, check it, and then act on what you learned, and do that as quickly as possible.
And we did this game called the marshmallow challenge to illustrate and teach this. It was something that I found online because I love silliness. And basically, what you do is you give groups of people a certain number of uncooked spaghetti noodles, like hard, long sticks of spaghetti. And you give each group some tape and a marshmallow, and then you time them and you tell them that the goal is to build the tallest freestanding structure possible with the marshmallow on top.
And whoever can build the tallest free-standing structure with the marshmallow on top wins. And so, people come up with all sorts of really creative ways of doing this. But what’s really interesting about it to me is that you would think that, you know, the more educated you are, the better you would do, and with the exception of architects and engineers, that is not true.
Architects and engineers do know a little more about design, so they tend to do rather well, but the more educated you are, actually the worse you do in this challenge because they spend so much time planning and so little time doing.
And when you compare that to the people who are the most successful, what you see is the exact opposite. They are like kindergartners. They are the most successful. Aside from the architects and the engineers, but kindergartners are the most successful because they don’t plan at all. They play, they immediately grab the marshmallow, and they stick it on the spaghetti, and they see how heavy it is, right?
They test their assumptions versus the business school graduates who never touch the marshmallow until almost the last minute, and they spend a ton of time trying to create the perfect plan. And then at the very last minute, right as they have built their structure according to this perfect plan, then they test what they didn’t know as an assumption and put the marshmallow on the end of the spaghetti.
And because they don’t allow themselves to learn by doing, their design usually crashes.
Amy: It’s fascinating because you’ve just described.
Krista: Yeah. Right. Me too. Same. Give me the A, give me all the accolades. Don’t ever judge me. Don’t let me fail in public, which is just not a successful recipe for growing a business.
Amy: It’s so fascinating because I think, we’ve just described the two of us and who I would say most of the people that come through my coaching programs are getting ready to do the thing they’re gonna do as opposed to just doing the thing. And I still do it.
So, here’s the other thing. I mean, this is a theme throughout the podcast and all my coaching. I will catch myself in the getting ready to get ready mode. And then I’ll be like, “oh, I’m doing that thing again.” I’m doing that thing because it’s a habit, because I was a people-pleaser, gold star-getter, get all the best grades growing up as a kid, so that wiring is still in there, and it can still be my default when I’m not thinking about it.
But it is so fascinating because I totally would’ve spent the entire time planning. I would’ve never considered like, “let’s just go break a bunch of stuff and see what happens.”
Krista: Like how many times did I get coached on switching to group coaching? How many times? Where I was fully booked as a one-on-one coach. I had reached capacity, but I was so afraid to fail. I just kept getting coached on it as opposed to just, “okay, how could I test this? How could I try it? What could I learn?”
Krista: And then low and behold, when I tested it, I mean, not everything worked, but I figured it out, right? It didn’t need all of the coaching that it got, it just needed some action.
Amy: So, you said this little line a few minutes ago. “You just gotta feel a little emotion.” I don’t know if anybody else caught that. She literally glossed over why people don’t do this. You just gotta feel a little emotion.
Then you went all-in about beauty of like, well, emotion. So that’s what’s stopping people from doing 90 days of fails. That’s what stopping people is, You just gotta feel a little emotion. So, like what, why how, huh?
Krista: Do it on purpose. That’s what I say. Have you ever seen, Jia Jiang, 100 Days of Rejection?
Amy: Oh, I do know what you’re talking about. Yeah. Yeah. He’s so good.
Krista: He did a TED Talk. Anybody can go find it, but it’s called 100 Days of Rejection. So, he totally realized he was onto himself that rejection was a problem, and he knew that it was holding him back.
And so, he just intentionally went to go experience rejection by asking people the most ridiculous things. Like he went into a Five Guys, and he would film it all, went into a Five Guys, and he was like, “can I have a burger refill?” And they were like, “what’s a burger refill?” And he is like, “well, it’s like a drink refill that’s for a burger.” And they’re like, “no, we don’t do that.”
Or he’d like, go into Home Depot, “can I make an announcement on the intercom?” Go up to a police officer, “can I sit in y your police car?” Like he just kept go up to people. “Can I knock on somebody’s front door? Can I plant this plant in your backyard?”
Like, which again, was so fun because just like with my fails project, none of it killed him. He got really good at rejection and also, he opened so many doors for himself because so many people said yes.
Amy: You are telling me this, I feel emotion right now. I felt like emotion come across my face, kind of almost not quite the same experience as I had, but I felt like embarrassment, I guess.
What did you have to experience, and how did you get so good at experiencing in your 90 days of fails project? All of the emotion that came up.
Krista: Well, a lot of it felt like a flutter in my chest.
Amy: Okay. Yeah.
Krista: That, to me, that’s how I feel. That’s how I experience fear. Nobody can see me, but it kind of goes from my lower belly up to my shoulders and it’s like a fluttering feeling, so that feeling, sometimes I cried, or it would feel a feeling in my throat. But I mean, it really was just like, “okay, what could I try that feels uncomfortable that might not work and would also move the needle if it did? And what do I need to be able to think to be able to try that thing and like, what’s the emotion I want to fuel me?”
Which usually, for me, bravery works really well. Like I don’t try to talk myself into confidence. I just try to, “okay, fear is present, so I’m going to go to bravery and then I do the thing.” And then if there’s a feeling, I allow it. I mean, that’s really it.
Amy: She makes it sound so simple. We’re talking about just allowing the sensation of like the flush feeling I get, or the fluttering heart.
Krista: This is how I teach my clients and how I think about myself is I use the acronym N.O.W.
This is very easy for me to remember. So, it’s in “name.” So, this is fear, this is shame, this is embarrassment, this is whatever it is, right? Name it.
And then the O is for “open,” which just means open up to it, do the exact opposite of what your primitive brain wants you to do. Your primitive brain wants you to run back into the cave and like curl in and go into the fetal position.
And so, opening to me just means literally opening my chest and dropping my shoulders and breathing in and sometimes even saying like, it’s okay for me to feel this way. This is fear and I can allow it.
And then the W is for “witness,” which just means watch it go through your body, witness what happens in your body. So where is that feeling? What is it like? And, and then describing it as it as it processes, right? And if you know it’s going to be there and you’re willing to feel it, and it really is like a three-step process for me, then it can’t hurt you. And you get so much more familiar with what it’s like in your body.
Amy: Yeah. And it’s funny, it’s in my own program. I’m like, “oh yeah, I have one of those, I call it CALM.”
Krista: Oh yeah, yeah. Just a little acronym that helps.
Amy: Little acronym moment.
Krista: Yeah. And I also love tapping, to me tapping is really helpful too. So sometimes if I am having a really intense emotion and I’m having trouble accessing the thinking part of my brain, then I will tap like even just side of hand or collarbone.
Amy: Yeah, and I’ve talked to your tapping practitioner, and she and I are going to be adding some tapping modules to both Free to Paid Coach and Path to 100k, specific to what they go through, and yeah, feeling your feelings using CALM is centering myself, acknowledging, so that would be like naming, leaning into it, which would be opening into it.
And then I used M as “mercy,” which was kind of the showing yourself love and loving the human being that’s feeling this emotion right now and having compassion for that person.
So, yeah, I love that. CALM is a module that’s in Free to Paid Coach. And it doesn’t really matter. It’s as much as both of them talk about, like, “this is what I am experiencing right now. I’m gonna love myself through this experience of it.”
Krista: And it’s totally normal to be, and then at the end, you can look back and be so proud of yourself, even if the thing didn’t work, you know you did it and you allowed yourself to feel uncomfortable. And you supported yourself as you felt uncomfortable, and you learned something, which is that that thing didn’t work. And so, okay, so now we try something else.
Amy: So, when you’re saying “things,” can I ask, like, what do you mean? What kind of fails did you do in your 90?
Krista: Oh, I did all kinds of stuff. Like, one of the things I worked on was speeding up my email writing because I was spending so much time creating content as I would set a timer and say, “okay, we’re going to write an email in like 30 minutes, and then 20 minutes.
Amy: And then send it, as opposed to over perfecting it for three hours?
Krista: Right, exactly. I have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t feel called out at all.
Or, you know, like inviting myself, I pitched myself to a ton of podcasts. I asked a lot of people to come on my podcast. I would do a Facebook Live and try to get a certain number of consult calls after that.
Or challenge myself to get an increased percentage in an open rate by testing a couple of subject lines. Like it was all kinds of, you know, just try some things, and try them quickly.
Amy: Trying them, trying them quickly, implementing them quickly, and oftentimes, so it sounds like doing a lot of the same stuff you’re already doing but putting like a goal into those things.
Like, I’m going to do this Facebook Live, which I might do anyway, but I’m going to go in with the goal of let’s get four consults out of this Facebook Live which kind of changes how you show up.
Krista: And it was also about not overthinking it for me, because that’s my tendency is to think too much.
To think to the beyond the point of diminishing return.
Amy: Right. Like you have to go into a thinking mode, do the problem solving, but then once you have an idea, like let’s hit go and play.
Krista: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Truly like you know, the worst at just the over planning. The ready, aim, aim, aim, aim, aim, aim, aim, aim.
Amy: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Krista: Yeah, right. And I’m sure your listeners have no idea.
Amy: When you’re about to do a thing for two months and you’ve never actually just like done the thing and it’s like, “what are we waiting on? Let’s just write that email.” Or go live and say, hey, this is this thing that I’m doing right now.”
Krista: Yeah. Just rip the band-aid off and try it because you’ll learn.
Thinking back to when I was telling you about working at Learjet, I keep reminding myself of this, the Lear 85, the plane that never was, because it got canceled because we spent so much money on it, we couldn’t make it profitable.
And one of the biggest mistakes we made is that we were trying to build a composite jet. We wanted to build the main portion of this composite jet, which we’d never done in a facility in Mexico at sea level, built an entire plant, I mean entire manufacturing plant at sea level without having ever tried building composite material at sea level.
So much money, right?
Amy: Oh my gosh.
Krista: Oh, all the people. I mean, and eventually that program got axed and we lost, I mean, so much money. And that was a company that preached, you know, plan, do, check, act, and iteration. But you have to design, build, test, design, build, test, design, build test. You can’t just design, design, design, design, design, and then build, build, build, build, build, and then test.
You gotta go fast. The faster the better. And that’s what I keep reminding myself is, there is no perfect plan that validates your assumptions, that assumptions are only validated in the doing.
Amy: So good. Well, and I want to highlight, because so many of my clients, and this really comes up at the mastermind level where, you know, they thought they’d be farther along by now. They were mortified that they planned this giant masterclass or webinar and like no one showed up, and the time that they’re wasting, and the money that they’re wasting. These are the stories that come up.
Krista: It’s not a waste.
Amy: I now have a new example to share with my clients. Major corporations have invested millions, if not billions of dollars into a thing that didn’t work.
Krista: Yeah, yeah. You just have to tell yourself it’s a gift. When you test an assumption, which means try something new to see if it works, that’s a gift you’re giving yourself because you’re giving yourself new information and you can only improve something when you have new information.
Amy: Oh, that’s so cool.
Krista: Over-planning just, just keeps you in the same information you already have, which is not going to get you anywhere new.
Amy: That’s so good. We want to keep getting better, but we’re trying to get better with the same information that we have, as opposed to, okay, well that didn’t work. Now I have additional information. So good.
Krista: And it goes against everything we’re taught in school. At least everything I was taught in school. Because that’s what I was taught in school is you need to get an A, and you’d better do it right. And that is not a successful recipe.
Amy: It is really interesting because I have one son in eighth grade and the other one’s a junior in high school. And it’s interesting that I have seen some teachers, not a lot, I would say they are in the minority, but some of my kids’ teachers have a policy of you can keep redoing to get the better grade if you don’t like the grade that you got.
There’s a timeframe to it. It’s not perpetual, but it’s like if you get a grade on a test and you don’t love that test, they allow for it, and I don’t know if they do it in homework or test or if it’s both. Maybe it’s just homework and not necessarily a testing. But I’ve noticed more of, if the first time didn’t work, it doesn’t mean you’re a big dumb idiot.
Amy: But that is how schooling is set up, is you get one chance and then you don’t get another chance. Or a lot of teachers were like, you have a window of like, if you missed a homework assignment, you might lose a couple points, but still go turn it in. And I just remember when we were growing up, it was just like everything was all or nothing.
You get one shot for every homework assignment, every paper, every test, you got one shot. And we think that’s so valuable, but really, we are raising a bunch of adults who are like, I only have one shot the first time.
Krista: And how that translates into being a coach and owning your own business is like perpetual paralysis because you just don’t move.
Amy: And it’s so funny because I meet so many people who are super successful as business owners, just kind of naturally, and guess what? They tended not necessarily to be the A+ star student. And I’m like, “oh, that’s how it’s possible.”
Yeah. That’s how it’s possible. They weren’t trying for perfection right out of the gate.
Krista: I think that’s what helped in that failure project is the daily goal was to fail, and you bring that along with the feelings. The goal is to feel, like that’s what I do with my clients. Your clients could do it too, is I ask them to feel 100 feelings using that process.
I don’t ask them to feel great and change their thinking. I ask them to feel 100 feelings and use the process so they can prove to themselves that they can handle it through experience.
Amy: Oh, That’s so good. Krista, this was amazing.
Krista: Amazing. I love you.
Amy: It was a different conversation, but same. So, a couple new anecdotes.
Krista: Yeah. love it. We should do it more often.
Amy: We should do this more often.
Amy: And I think, I just love your, I think just reminding everybody out there listening of, there’s not an easy button. That Staples commercial is lying to you. There’s not an easy button.
It’s hard, but it’s not complicated.
Krista: Yeah. Let yourself, let yourself try things. Feel the feelings. Learn from that and keep trying to learn and keep trying like that.
Amy: That’s literally the recipe for success.
Krista: Yes, and coach with Amy.
Amy: Yes. Obviously, because who doesn’t wanna lot of this?
Krista: Well, I mean, we joke, and of course I’m slightly kidding, but honestly, if you don’t have a coach, you need to get yourself one. And I don’t really care who it is, but I will have a coach at all times forever. Done.
Amy: Yeah. Yeah, I agree. I 100% agree. And obviously, if you’re listening to the podcast, there’s a program for you that I have available for you no matter where you are in your business. So hit me up.
Right now, though. I want to invite everybody to connect with this brilliant human being right here. So, miss Krista, how can people connect with you?
Krista: You can listen to the Widowed Mom podcast. and I like to think that it’s very helpful for all people who are interested in grief for posttraumatic growth or if you’ve got somebody in your world who is grieving and you want to help them, the podcast is really helpful. And then all of my other social details and all the things are www.coachingwithkrista.com.
All of her social media is coaching with Krista. So, if you love this episode, you know what to do. Tag Krista and I on the Instagrams and tell us, because this right here, this is really the work. This is what it boils down to. And are we willing to do this?
Amy: Alright, my friend. You’re amazing. Love you.
Krista: Love you.
Amy: [whispering] It says recording.
Amy: I’m not lying. The entire time it was here, I kept checking.
Krista: Is it recording? Is it recording? Recording? Isn’t it recording? It’s recording. Oh my gosh. It’s so funny to me too that like how crazy brains are because shame makes so much more sense if it was like with somebody you were scared of or whatever, but isn’t that so fascinating that even with me, your brain would be like, shame.
Like it’s just so illogical, Which I think is so valuable to see. To me, this is totally fine. It’s just Amy. I love Amy.
Amy: So, you were laughing, but for me, I felt like the humiliation. And then like the shame of you witnessing my humiliation. Again, thankfully I moved out of it and then as you know, I laughed for like 20 minutes. You’re amazing.
Krista: I know you got. I love you.
Amy: Thank you. See you soon. Bye.
I mean, right. So good. You know, I did not remember that that was Krista’s Master Coach training project, and it’s really funny because I know that I got away with a much easier project. My project was the member site that is now the, the backbone of Free to Paid coach.
So, when you are a member of Free to Paid Coach and you see those five steps that I teach over and over and over and over again, and I’ve talked about them here, that the creation of the member site and all of those modules and getting it up and running, and the workbook, and the first iteration, the workbook is now a little bit different than the first one.
All of that was my project, which was not outwardly failing over and over and over again. I didn’t have to build the backbone of that humiliation and deep shame. I had to do a lot of work. I had to create multiple concepts, but mine was more internal.
So, are you going to join me? I think you should join me on doing 90 fails in 90 days.
I know for sure that, so the third step in path to 100k Mastermind, which if it’s not already live, we’re about to go live on applications for February 3rd, that there’s a three-step process, and I’ve talked about it here on the podcast. And it’s identifying what’s working, identifying what you love and replicating more and more of that.
And it’s identifying what’s not working in your business already, what you’re doing just because other people told you have to do it, what you’re doing that you hate, what you keep doing that’s not creating results. And either eliminating that, fine tuning that or outsourcing that. And then the third step has been trying 100 new things, which really is a fail plan.
And it’s the same work, but we are reframing it in this next round of Mastermind because that’s really what it is, is creating a fail plan. The try 100 new things is go try a bunch of different new stuff and figure out, make that what’s “working list” longer and make that “what’s not working list” longer, but framing it as a fail plan is really what we are doing.
So, we’re going to be doing it in the Mastermind. You are going to be doing it if you are already a coach who’s made at least $5,000 in the past six months. You want to make sure that this is the Mastermind, that this is the room that you are in, because that’s the work that we are going to, there’s so many other amazing goodies that come along with a Mastermind, but this is the work, that willingness to feel that deep emotion, that willingness to experience those sensations in your body because you’re trying and you’re iterating, and what Krista meant by iterating, you are implementing, you are not planning to plan to do, you are actually deciding and implementing, deciding, implementing, test, decide, implement, test, over and over and over again. That’s what we do in path to 100k.
And we throw in some patriarchal work. We throw some, operating your nervous system and we, we throw in how to become more creative and how to tap into your intuition and all of that other amazing fun stuff in there.
But that’s really at the heart of what we do, and you need to be in that room. You ready? Alright, let’s go.
Krista, you are amazing. Some of the genius things that stuck out to me:
Emotions aren’t problems to solve, that willingness to implement every decision without a ton of planning. Her NOW acronym, which is just like the CALM acronym that I have in Free to Paid Coach. Calm is one of the things I created as part of my Master Coach Training.
And really, just identifying that super-hard emotions are part of being human and our jobs for ourselves and our jobs for our clients ia not to just make ourselves feel better, but to advocate for ourselves and our clients and to witness the humanity that we have. Beautiful. Amazing.
So, if you loved this episode, I want you to go find this post on Instagram and on my Facebook business page at: @iamamylatta
And comment to us, what stuck out to you? What is it that you needed to hear that Krista and I talked about it today? And make sure, share it into your stories and make sure that you tag us. Now, the Instagram handle we gave you in the episode is not correct for Krista, it is @lifecoachkrista
Make sure you tag @lifecoachkrista and @iamamylatta, sharing to your stories, what did you need to hear, and share that with your people. Share that with your fellow coach friends, because this is real life, running a business is real life and real life is a big part of running your business.
This is the juicy stuff, my friends. You can do it. I’ve got your back and I teach you how to have your back and I can’t wait to see what you create.
Talk to you next week.
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Thanks so much for listening to The Confident Coaches Podcast. I invite you to learn more. Come visit me at amylatta.com and until next week, let’s go do epic stuff.