Ep #7: Look Back to Leap Forward


The holiday season is in full swing and the end of the year is approaching, and this means it’s the perfect time to take a look back at your year. You might have heard me say before that our brains often want to look back to our past to decide what’s possible for us in the future, and this episode might sound like I’m contradicting myself, but stay with me.

This week, I’m showing you the distinctive difference between wallowing in your past to decide that past failures mean your future can’t be filled with success, and looking back and evaluating what you can do differently. I’m bringing you an exercise filled with questions you can ask yourself to start this process, so get your pen and paper ready.

We’ve all had wins and fails this year, whether it be in your life or business, but acknowledging them is the first step to growth. No matter where you are right now, I can guarantee you’ve made huge leaps from the person you were at the beginning of 2019. Make sure to stay tuned for next week where I’ll be showing you how to plan your 2020.

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:
  • What I mean by looking to your past to create new results.
  • An exercise to practice that evaluates your past year.
  • Why you should always start with the good when evaluating your results.
  • The questions you can ask yourself in this evaluation process.
  • Why it’s important to acknowledge what isn’t working in your life or business.
Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:
  • To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving away a brand-new Series 4 40mm Apple Watch and four $50 Amazon gift cards to lucky listeners who leave a rating & review in Apple Podcasts. Click here to find out how to enter!
Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode seven of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where we look back so we can leap forward.

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 my confident squad. How are you guys doing today? I hope you are all doing fabulously. Now, you might possibly be traveling or wrapping presents because for much of the world, it is Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas everybody.

And so many of us are traveling over the river and through the woods. I mean, at least we are. The Lattas are headed to Hannibal, Missouri to spend Christmas Eve with my in-laws. Brunch at Grammy’s house, dinner at our cousin’s house, and then a late-night drive home back in our beds for a quiet Christmas at home with our boys.

Then we’re just going to turn around, we’re heading to Chicago for a few days to visit my sister-in-law and her family. So I mean, just you know, Christmas wrapping and all the food and visiting with family. All the good stuff, right?

Then also let’s be honest. In all of that good stuff, there’s some crap in a hand basket too sometimes, right? There’s the travel and hoping that the weather is in our favor and as much as we love family, there’s family and possible awkward conversation, right?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a life coach for four years and yet none of the really get what I do for a living or understand how hard I’m working, just hanging around the house all week, right? And I don’t even want to go there with all of the political stuff going on right now.

I mean, it is December of 2019 and we have just impeached our third president, and I live in Missouri, and political stuff totally comes up at the Christmas table. And not everybody’s on the same side. I mean, and then there’s other situations too where this time of year can bring a lot of alienation. There’s also a lot of beauty. It’s a really interesting time of year. This juxtaposition, right?

Because the truth is with all of the good, you will find some bad wrapped into that. And with all of the bad, you will find some good wrapped in. That’s actually what we are talking about today. The good and the bad, and I want to offer you how it is actually all good.

But before we dive in, let’s give Confident Coaches listener Krista a shout-out, shall we? She wrote this in her review of the podcast. “Delivering high quality coaching infused with sass, boldness, and truth. This is Amy’s zone of genius. If you are a coach, struggling with the confidence you need to build your business, tune in, buckle up, and get ready to build belief in the most important person in the room. You. Amy is going to show you the way.”

I love this so much. Do you guys ever read testimonials from your clients and be like, that’s me. Because preach it, sister. This is why we are here, right? Tune in, buckle up, we’re going to build belief in you. And I am feeling a little like white hanky preaching in here today, just a little bit in today’s show.

I do want to note that today’s episode is kind of part of a two-parter. I mean, you can not do this work and jump into next week’s episode and vice versa, but the two together, they really work together as a pair. We’re going to take a look at this past year and use the results of this episode in next week’s episode where we make a plan for next year.

Because here’s the thing; we’ve got one week left in the year and really, we’ve got one week left in the decade. Now, I know, those of you purists who are like, well technically, the end of the decade – get out of here with your logic. You know that the common average man is seeing this as the end of the decade.

And so we are in this week of warm holiday fuzzies, mixed in with stressful family and travel and everything in between. It’s actually a perfect analogy to look back at our entire year. This week is kind of like a time capsule of what an entire year can look like.

So here’s what I want to offer you. No matter where you stand in your business today, there is good and there is bad in the year that you have just had. And your ability to evaluate that year is huge in order to move forward. Now, at risk of sounding like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth, I realized that I did an entire episode about spending time with future you and doing this because our brains want to look to the past to decide what is possible for our future.

We don’t want to decide what’s possible for our future based on past results. Not if we want to create something new. Not if we want to create a new level of success we’ve never created before. And here I am saying hey, let’s spend time thinking about your past.

But let’s be really clear of the distinctive difference. This is different than allowing our brain to wallow in the past to decide what is possible for our future. This is looking at what we have done, acknowledging what worked, acknowledging what didn’t work, and then deciding what we can do differently in the next year.

This is that evaluation piece, as opposed to just oh, it’s all facts. And this should totally sound familiar. This is what we talked about in last week’s episode about evaluation and keep going. Only this week, we’re really going to be applying that work to this past year.

Because no matter what you achieved in 2019, there was stuff that worked and there was stuff that didn’t. And from that information, you can look to the next year to set some new goals, brainstorm some new ideas. So this episode, come on my friends, this is a working episode. I know, am I a Scrooge? Am I kind of a Grinch here? I’m putting you to work on Christmas.

Here’s what I suggest. I suggest giving this episode a listen and let your brain just start exploring. Let it just kind of open up the doors of ideas. And then come back, like after you’ve had your roast beast and your figgy pudding, like who even eats that? I want you to go ahead and then sit down with some pen and paper and re-listen to the episode.

This is what we’re doing. I want you to take a look back at this past year. I want you to think about where you were a year ago versus where you are now. And let’s start with the good. And before we dive into the good, here’s why we start with the good. No matter where you are right now, if you are a coach looking to feel more confident, it’s probably likely you’ve not achieved the level of success you’ve been hoping for, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s so much less about the number of clients, the dollars in the bank. If you struggle with confidence, your brain will always tell you your results are not good enough. And your brain’s first inclination is to focus on the crap. What’s not working, how many clients you didn’t sign, how much money you said you were going to make and you didn’t.

If you go there first, your brain will have a very hard time finding anything good to say about any of this. It will dive down a rabbit hole and you’re going to have a really hard time prying yourself out of that. And even if you are able to and you’re able to identify some wins, you’re going to feel like you’re going to have all of that what didn’t work energy and you’re going to be like, yeah, so what.

I know, my friends, because I have done this myself. So that’s why we start with what’s working first. Because your brain probably doesn’t think there’s that much, but I promise you, there is. I’m going to guide you through that in this episode.

And when we start with the good first, when we do get to the not so good, our brain is already feeling okay. So that bad doesn’t seem quite so bad. Like, let’s go ahead and give this Jedi mind trick a ride, shall we? Okay, remember, listen to this first and then come back with pen and paper and spend some time to actually answer these questions. Even if you need to pause.

We’re looking back at this year, 2019. Where were you then and where are you now? What are most proud of? Can you find three things? What three things bring you the most pride that you of a few years ago would say wow, you did that? Maybe you didn’t even have a coaching business a year ago. Maybe you’ve been certified in the past year. Maybe you’ve signed 20 clients and last year you only signed five or 10.

I had a client just this week share that the coaching business she has today wasn’t even a twinkle in her eye a year ago. And she created $15,000 this year, a full roster of clients, and produced 34 podcasts in less than a year. When she really looked back at that, she was like, holy cow, I did that. How many consults did you have? Go ahead, look it up. I’ll totally wait. Press pause. Go look it up on your calendar.

How many clients did you work with? Free or paid or any combination thereof. Take a look back at your blog posts. How many of those did you write? How many emails did you send? How many social media posts, Facebook Lives, how many podcasts did you produce?

Think about things you did that you never thought you would do. How has the engagement on this stuff changed? Do you have more people commenting now than you did before? Think about what you have accomplished this year and can you come up with at least three things that kind of blow your mind that you’re really excited about?

What are you most proud of? And what are you grateful for this year? Who showed up for you to cheer you on? What was there when you needed it to be? And what’s good in your life right now? What’s good in your home, in your family?

I mean, if you need to look at the basics, by all means, let’s acknowledge the roof over our head and the clothes on our back and the food on our table. That absolutely counts here. What are you grateful for in your life, both in your business, in your family, in your life as a whole?

We could do an entire episode just on gratitude alone because there’s science here. Gratitude actually rewires your brain, and just being grateful and not doing anything else will make you feel more content. But that’s not this episode right now, but it still fascinates me to know how our brains work.

And then let’s go inward. When we’re taking a look at what’s working right now, how have you grown? Have you been coached? Are you aware of thoughts you finally let go of? Are there feelings that you used to feel that are not so strong today? Maybe you’re more calm or you’re less stressed. Are you less overwhelmed than you were a year ago?

What about your shifts in belief? Are you taking more actions overall? Are you personally different today than you were a year ago? And if you are, how so? What’s changed? If you can find specifics, let’s find specifics. Are you yelling at your kids just a little bit less? Are you showing your husband just a little bit more grace? Does sitting down to turn on the Facebook Live camera not bring quite so much discomfort as it used to?

And if you are aware of thought shifts, name them specifically. What are some old thoughts or beliefs that you no longer have? And what have you replaced them with? This is also what’s working. How has your mindset changed? How have your thoughts changed? How has your thinking changed just in the past year? Any amount is a positive thing. Any amount here is proof to your brain that you are capable of changing how you think about things.

And it’s really not too hard to see that no matter where you’re ending up this year, no matter what the facts of your results are, the number of clients, income in the bank, et cetera, there are so many places that you can really mine really good stuff from if you are willing to look there. Be willing to look in your business, in your personal relationships, in your friendships, in your personal health, in your spirituality, in your recreation, in your fun, in your hobbies, all those different areas of your life. What is working?

And once you have that, let’s take a moment. Let’s not move on too quickly here. I want you to take a look at this list that you’ve just created of what’s working, what’s good in your life, in your business, you’ve put a name on it, right? I want you to take it in. Take a moment to feel the gratitude or love for this good that is here, because here’s the thing; you are responsible for all of that good. Because all of these results came from your thinking.

You created all of that. You may find your brain wanting to throw in some, “Yeah, but,” and acknowledge that. Yeah, but that’s not what we’re focusing on right at this moment. We’re going to get there in just a second, brain, hold on. I know you want to throw in some yeah but this, yeah but that. Right now, let’s savor all that is working and all that is good just this moment.

And I invite you to stay in this moment for a few minutes. Take a deep breath into it. How long can you hold this right here? When you sit here, in this energy of all that is good that you created, what are you thinking about yourself in this past year? And write this down. In this moment, right now, what are you thinking about you and this past year and all of this good that you created?

You got it? Do you get that? Now, let’s go ahead. Let’s go ahead and go there. It’s where your brain wanted to go the whole time anyway, am I right? What’s not working? And you’re going to notice, it already feels a little bit different because we did all of that what is working first, right?

If we would have dove right into this, we’d feel like a pile of crap right now and we haven’t even gotten started yet. We wouldn’t have even been able to be objective or find any good. But when we start with the good, when we sit in the positive energy of what is good in our business and in our life and the acknowledgment that we created it, it really just changes our perspective.

It’s such a simple perspective shift right there. Okay, so looking back at this year, let’s get honest. What’s not working? What was a miss? What did not work out? What didn’t connect? What was your goal for clients and income and where did you actually end up? And be willing to be honest with yourself here.

I have no problem listing all of the things that are not working, because of course I have misses. Of course I have fails. Of course there are times when I didn’t show up for myself and I had every intention to. Of course there are times where I chose to sit down on the couch and watch Netflix, though I don’t actually do that anymore.

What I do is I bring my iPad in and I still try to trick my brain into being productive but I totally have Game of Thrones or something going on my iPad off to the side. And I have to go, oh, I’m buffering again. Of course I still do that because hello, I have a human brain.

Of course I spent way too long running Facebook ads that weren’t working before I realized I could change them. Of course I spent way too long running the same value video before I realized I could change that. Of course I said things I wished I hadn’t.

Now, when I did this work back with my mentors in July, my mentor Corinne, who is one of the most successful life coaches I have ever met, Corinne has a six-million-dollar plus coaching business. She acknowledged that her not working list easily – she had like, 10, 20 things on it. No problem. She’s not afraid to acknowledge what isn’t working and it’s because of this.

We can’t find solutions to problems we aren’t willing to admit that we have. This is your time to admit those things. And with each of these things that aren’t working, why? Why didn’t they work? Remember this, my friends. Every single result that you have, both positive and negative can be traced back to a thought.

This is your opportunity to take full responsibility for the results that you have, both positive and negative, at the end of the year. We can take responsibility for what is not working and we do not have to beat ourselves up for it, remember? We don’t have to make it mean anything morally wrong with us, or that we aren’t enough.

In fact, as I was writing this podcast episode, I was also writing my regular weekly email that goes out to my people, and this is what I ended up writing to them as I was thinking about this episode and I wanted to share it with you real quickly here.

This is what I wrote in my email. “You are simply you. You are not your business. You are not your wins, your losses. You are not your thoughts, your feelings or your actions. We can become so laser-focused on something, like finally creating our dream coaching business, and we forget that we are not just coaches but friends and wives and lovers and moms and sisters and daughters, and we’re yoga enthusiasts and Harry Potter geeks and we’re knitters and we’re runners.”

Well I mean, I’m not a runner. “We are human beings with likes and dislikes and hobbies and interests, and some days we are hilarious and amazing and benevolent, and some days we are cranky and we’re shitty and we’re terrible. We are all of those things. You want to really get over yourself already? Stop the assumption that who you are is what you think, feel, or do, or achieve, because that is all bullshit.

You are brilliant and amazing and broken and beautiful in all of the things that make you you. Nothing you ever think or feel or do could ever change that. You are as brilliant a human today as you were the day mama held you in her arms for the first time. When we look back at this year, when we look back at this decade, we have laughed and cried and failed and succeeded and every single thing in between.

Do not forget to live your life while you pursue this dream of becoming a confident, successful, unstoppable coach. Stop to appreciate the good that is here right now. Remember that you are all of it while also not any one piece of it. This is your beautiful, broken, precious life. It doesn’t define you as a person and it is all yours.”

Yeah, I totally cried writing that, by the way. So be willing to own and take responsibility for what is not working. Because here’s the super fun part. Do you remember that before we went into the what’s not working part of this episode, we spent some time looking at the good, and I asked you from that place of good, what are you thinking about yourself in this past year? And I asked you to write that thought down.

Did you know that it is entirely possible to still think that thought, despite what is not working and all of the reasons why? No matter your results, you can still choose to think that thought that came from all of the good and all of that good energy that we came up with.

So there’s no need to be afraid to own and take responsibility for what didn’t work. You get to take responsibility for both. You get to take responsibility for what did work, what didn’t work, and this is so empowering. The results that you have do not come from out there. They all come from in here.

And this is so important because of the next step, and that is what are we going to do differently next year. And we’re going to dive so much deeper into planning for your 2020 in next week’s episode. But for this week, just let me plant the seed. If you are standing here a year from now on Christmas Eve 2020, what would you want or need to see to be able to call your year a success?

What is success to you? How many clients? How much money? Products launched, books written, podcast launched, what does your work-life balance look like? What does your life look like because you have created these things?

Spend some time with that this next week. Visualizing what you would want to see in your life and in your business a year from now. And then next week, we’re going to come up with a plan to create it. You in? Awesome, my friends. Until then. See 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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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.

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