Ep #84: How to Survive Failure – Part 1: No One Can Know

The Confident Coaches Podcast with Amy Latta | How to Survive Failure – Part 1: No One Can Know

We have talked about failure before on the podcast and the process of believing in yourself even when you don’t have proof. But I want to talk about something I experienced recently: an occasion where I failed and did not bounce back right away.

When we fail, we want to hide away. We’re embarrassed and we think to ourselves, “No one can know about this.” But this thought, that no one can know, it’s not protecting you as much as you might think. So, in this episode, I’m sharing my story with you, and why sharing it provides so much more value than even a success story would.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover why you owe it to yourself and your clients to share everything, even when you faceplant and you’re not sure how you’re going to get up. I’m sharing what we miss out on when we try to hide our failures from the world, and why there is no confidence to be gained from not embracing every bit of it.

We are enrolling in the July class of Confident Coaches Mastermind, where you will learn to feel confident in yourself no matter what: no matter how much engagement you have, no matter how many haters you get, and no matter how many consults are on your calendar. That is pure confidence, and you can click here to get it.

I’ve created a brand new free training for you called Stop Overcomplicating Confidence. I see my coaches making the process of cultivating confidence way harder than it has to be, and in this training, you’re going to learn exactly how you might be overcomplicating it, what’s creating that, and how to stop. And the best part of it all, it’ll take you less than an hour. So what are you waiting for? Click here to get it!

What You’ll Learn:
  • Why we tend to think that the storied, successful business people we all know of haven’t experienced real failure.
  • Where you can find evidence that failure happens to everyone at one stage or another.
  • Why there is no confidence to be gained in avoiding failure.
  • How I teach you how to be the coach who handles everything that comes your way: the good and the bad, and the faceplanting awful.
  • Why we often think the worst part about failure is other people knowing we’ve failed.
  • How believing that no one else can know about your failure really only serves to prevent yourself from knowing.
Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 84 of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where you learn how to keep going when you faceplant and don’t bounce back. 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 your host, Amy Latta. Let’s dive in.

Hello, my Confident Coach. How are you doing today? Okay, so I am putting vulnerability robe on right here, or actually, maybe if we’re talking about vulnerability, I’m actually taking my robe off. Am I right? Because vulnerability actually feels very much like exposure, not covering up.

We have talked about failure and believing even when you don’t have proof and how to bounce back from failure. But I want to talk about what I’ve experienced when I’ve failed and not bounced back right away, when I have failed and I didn’t solve the problem.

Like, “Wow, this thing I just did and I was so excited for did not work and I didn’t figure it out right away.” I didn’t immediately turn a corner. Because every single business owner has faced or will face this at some point. Like, I really want you to think that most of the storied business owners that you ever can think of, they’ve been here before.

Everyone looks at, say, a Bill Gates and thinks, “He’s never failed.” But you can Google Microsoft product fails and you’ll find a long list. Windows Mobile, Zune. There’s all kinds of things in there that you probably have never heard of because they were failures.

You can actually Google Google. How many products have they launched that didn’t work? Like, hi, anybody have an old Google+ account that you never really knew what to do with that they ended up shutting down? They have shut down Hangouts. They’ve shut down all kinds of products because they just didn’t work out in the marketplace.

And Oprah did not become the most famous media mogul because everything worked for her. She had starts and stops in her early TV career, including she tells this story about how she was hired to co-anchor a news show in Baltimore and the station put out this huge marketing campaign, she was literally all over the place, billboards, she was on the side of busses. And then the show started and it was a flop. It completely flopped, no one understood what an Oprah was. They didn’t realize that was a person.

And then, of course, she’s had other public failures, even after she became a household name. I don’t know if anyone else remembers her Wagon of Fat show about weight loss. And then she promptly regained it all and, to this day, it is a much maligned story about what she did and whether it was good for the community and good for her audience and what she was showing to the world of what was possible, even though none of it was actually possible.

There was that time she was sued by the entire beef industry. Like, the woman has failed, and yet we all look at her and are like, “Yeah, but she’s so successful.” Maybe she’s so successful because she’s had so many failures.

And I have failed. I have had big sales pushes and no one has bought. I’ve held webinars where no one has showed up. I’ve run thousands of dollars of Facebook ads that didn’t convert anyone. I have set goals and then not come anywhere near it. Like 25% of a goal, maybe 30% at the best.

And I’m not just talking about my January launch, which I did a podcast episode about where I was failing and then I rallied and then I overcame and then I ultimately ended up with the best launch by the time it was said and done. I’m not talking about that kind of fail.

I mean, I failed. I did a thing. It did not work. And there was no rally. Money was spent and it was not recovered. Time was invested and the result was not there in my mind to show for it.

I know so many of my clints want to know how to avoid this, somehow thinking that that’s what confidence is, “I can avoid that kind of thing.” Here is the cold, hard truth. You can’t avoid it. The best of the best do not avoid failure, and neither will you.

Now, here’s the good news. This also does not have to be a problem. This is why knowing how to do everything right is not actually what confidence is. Confidence is knowing that you can handle everything that comes your way. And this is what I teach in Confident Coaches Mastermind; how to become the coach who can handle everything that comes your way, the good, the bad, the downright face plant where you’re splayed out on the ground.

Now, let’s be clear. The telling of this story is important. There are other versions that I could tell of this story, but I want you to think about what’s most useful to you. The story of setting a big huge goal and how I knocked it out of the park? The setting of a goal and then not hitting that goal and then regrouping only to pull it out the day before the first call? That’s like the underdog story we all love, right?

Or the story of setting a goal and not even coming close, and there was no recovery in the moment, and yet I’m still here. You’re still here even after that kind of failure. The worst thing I could ever imagine was doing a big launch and not even coming close to my goal. And this has happened to me before.

Maybe yours is hosting a webinar and no one shows up, or a Facebook live and no one interacts, or a big live event and no one buys. Some variation of this will happen. And between this week’s podcast and next week’s podcast, I decided that this is a two-parter because how to survive failure is so important.

Imagine that worst thing you can think of happening actually happening. And then you don’t quit. Not only do you not quit; you keep going. You keep showing up the next day. You keep sharing content that’s useful to your audience, you keep coaching your clients hard. You keep holding space for your people while you are processing the emotions of failing and figuring out what it looks like for you to keep going.

Because of course, all versions, all possibilities of that story are definitely helpful. It’s so fun to listen to a success story where the coach knocked it out of the park. We all love those. They’re so inspiring. And it’s super inspiring to hear a story of the coach who overcame the big struggle in the moment, all of these stories, all of these options, they have great lessons and inspiration. They’re all important to tell.

But I believe none are more important than, “I failed and I’m still here.” And here’s how. This is the story my confidence clients need to hear; how to survive failure. And how do I know this? It’s really funny because this wasn’t my planned episode necessarily, but this keeps coming up.

And in my session, the last session I had this week with my April Confident Coaches Mastermind class, I coached a client on her belief about how much worse it is if other people see her fail. Like, she’s afraid to put strong calls to action in her posts because she’s afraid other people will see people not taking her up on that call to action.

And she can handle her disappointment in private. But in front of others, that’s the worst. Now, raise your hand, can you relate to that? My hand is raised because I know I can.

I have often said public humiliation, the worst thing I can imagine. Like, let me be humiliated, but please, let me do it in private. Yet when you fail, facing this no one can know thought is a must. Because that’s what happens. I’m failing and no one can know. Almost everybody I’ve ever met has hit that moment where something has happened and their first thought and the thought that they’re going to and they’re spending time in is, no one can know.

And as I talk through how I have gone through this, I invite you, listener, to pay attention to what comes up for you and how no one can know shows up when this happens for you. How does no one can know manifest for you?

So, I first noticed this in my own mastermind that I am enrolled in. So, I am running a mastermind called Confident Coaches Mastermind and then I myself am in a mastermind. I myself am in a group setting also. Because I do believe it is the best way to grow your business, to become a powerful life coach, is through that group setting.

And I realized last year, I was going through different trainings for my launches. I was trying to figure out what kind of trainings bring people in. Is it this topic? Is it this topic? Is it this topic? And I really found myself struggling. And I created a training that no one took me up on.

I was like talking to myself. And the thought error I had was I am struggling and I need to figure this out on my own because no one can know. It’s like this very, “Everything’s fine…” kind of idea mentality. When really, the house is burning down and we’re dying inside.

Like, why do you hesitate to reach out for help? Why do you not share? One of the reasons we fall back on no one can know is because we think we should figure out our own shit. Like, it’s our problem, the solution resides in us, so it’s my job to find it. And we think we should do this with no help.

Why? I want you to really think about this. When we are lost in our Helga brains, it’s near impossible to see a clear picture. Your Helga brain is that amygdala, that cavewoman brain, that lizard brain, that survival brain. It’s so hard to see a clear picture.

We’re in the weeds, but our friends, our peers, our coaches, they have a bird’s eye view. They are not stuck in the muck with us, so they can show us the path that’s right in front of us that we could not see ourselves.

I want to offer you, humans, we are terrible at seeing the path when we are in the weeds. We can’t see the path out when we’re in the thick of it. That’s because of our belief blinders. That’s where we’re lacking in belief and we’re like horses with blinders on and they’re so tight. No one can know creates so much restriction and we only see very limited solutions.

But our peers are not in that no one can know mentality. Their blinders aren’t even on. Their blinders are wide open and they can see solutions that we can’t see. So, when you fail, will you find another solution? Will you scrap the plan and come up with something completely new? It’s hard to figure that out when you’re in the weeds.

But your coach – when you’re in Confident Coaches Mastermind, you have me as your coach plus all of your peers. We’re not in those same weeds so we can help you find the path out. We also always don’t want everybody else to know what’s going on because we’re going to have to feel the feelings.

Even right there, I stumbled on that sentence because it’s like, “I don’t want any…” because there’s feelings right under the surface. And what I want to offer you is that when you fail, it’s 100% normal to feel sad, disappointed, angry even, jealous maybe. These are the human emotions we have decided are icky and we just don’t want them, like please don’t make me feel these things.

This is why we’ll say everything’s fine even when the house is burning down instead of asking for help putting out the fire and figuring out how we’re going to rebuild.

In CCM, Confident Coaches Mastermind, you’ll learn two different confidence tools that I have; emotional strength training and loving yourself even when you think you’re not very lovable. And these two confidence tools put together allow you to love yourself even when you’re feeling the uncomfortable human emotions that failing will 100% stir up, learning that it’s okay to feel angry, it’s okay to feel jealous, it’s okay to feel humiliated. Not just learning how to feel those emotions, but that it’s okay that you are feeling those emotions that you can still love the human that you are feeling these emotions that you don’t think are very desirable.

And I just have to say this right here. That right there, that’s true self-love and personally for me, I think it’s the absolute best side effect of failing. Not just loving yourself when you face-plant and learn how not to make that mean anything bad about yourself. That’s like some surface-level coaching there. But actually really loving yourself while you experience the range of human emotions all humans were designed to feel, even though we don’t always enjoy them.

You’re going to shout and you’re going to scream. You’re going to throw that pity party. You’re going to be super pissed off and you’re going to feel so freaking embarrassed. And you can still love you through all of that. And that actually, there is no one more confident than the coach that knows she can experience that uncomfortable side and still love yourself.

Now, sometimes it’s not, “I have to solve my own problems,” but it’s, “I shouldn’t have any problems. I shouldn’t have these bad feelings because people are going to find out I’m not perfect,” as if having problems and having feelings means you’re not the perfect imperfect human that you are.

But we will go like, “Oh no…” so, for real, 100%, that’s me. Let me remind you that I am a recovering perfectionist. So, I am in the $2 Million Group Mastermind. That’s the name of the mastermind.

So many times my brain will tell me I should not ever fail. I should only win. I’ve done all this failing in the past. I should only be perfect now. Honestly, I have felt that way no matter where I was in business. No matter where I’ve been, I’ve had that.

Perfectionism and lack of confidence frequently go hand in hand. A truly confident person is comfortable with failing because they don’t make it mean anything negative about themselves. They feel equipped to handle the disappointment and they don’t need perfection to mean they are okay as a human being.

But a person struggling with confidence, “Hi…” raises, hand, “Amy Latta,” her whole life, believe that confidence is always doing the right things. “I have to be perfect to be lovable and accepted.” Oh man, right, those roots go deep. “So, no one can know because I don’t want my peers to know I’m not perfect.

Which I just want to be honest with you, it’s ridiculous that we think that. Because my thoughts when I was in the no one can know, “Stacey’s going to kick me out. My peers are going to think I’m dumb, they won’t think I belong.” Which I want to offer you, any time we are thinking other people are going to think this, it’s always what we are really thinking.

And when I think I don’t belong, I start acting in a way that has me not belonging. And then I’m not belonging with myself. When you worry about not fitting in, you’re not fitting in with the person that it matters most, which is you.

It doesn’t matter if other coaches think I belong there or not because I feel like I belong with me. And when I do that, I actually belong anywhere. If you fit in with you, you fit in anywhere and other people get to agree or not agree and it doesn’t matter because you fit in with you.

And yet, failure will absolutely stir up that perfectionism. And I did believe I should not be struggling because I’m in a group of people where I have decided – my Helga brain decided, let’s be really clear. My Helga brain sometimes says, “It’s not okay to still struggle,” which of course, unless I ascend my form and become some sort of non-human and join a group of similar non-humans, I’m always going to be in a group of people where there will be struggle. Struggle is a part of the human experience. It’s actually another part of no one can know. No one can know because we don’t want to experience that part of being human.

Because haven’t I already struggled? Haven’t I already had struggle and had to overcome? Why must I struggle again? Am I just meant to always struggle? Will this ever be easy? Oh my gosh, maybe this won’t ever be easy.

I have to tell you, I have failed so much since I was starting out, the starts and the stops. But once we get good at anything, once we get going good at anything, we believe there should not be failure after success because we failed our way to success, and, “Didn’t I check that struggle box off?” Like, struggle box, checked it. I’ve already failed. I failed on my way to success. Once I’m here, I shouldn’t experience it again. Or if I experience it again, let it only be one time thank you very much. I’ve checked that box off. I don’t want to have to deal with that again.

Which is a very entitled human thing of me to think, that just because I solved a problem once, I won’t have to solve it again, this time in a new way. I think this is where we often forget that when we solve a problem in our business, really what we’re solving is a thought error. All problems are, are problems in our thinking.

So, just because we solve a problem over here, it’s because we’ve addressed the surface-level error or the surface-level thought. But there may be more. And again, this doesn’t have to be a problem. And yet, we resist it. We resist learning more and growing more because we’ve already done so much.

There can’t be another thought error under the surface because I’ve already dealt with trainings that didn’t work. Why do I have to do it again? I didn’t want to learn the same lesson but on a deeper level.

And here’s really what I think about this. You have to ask yourself why? Why be resistant? And be really clear. I am 100% talking about me going through this training that wasn’t working. Why would I resist when if I dropped the resistance to learning something on a deeper level, I not only would learn it on a deeper level, but how much freer I would feel when I let that go.

Once I recognized the belief that I have to fix my own problems – which as I say that, that’s totally using coaching against ourselves. As I say that out loud, at first, we think the solution to our problem is always out there with somebody else, but when we fail really, really hard, we’ll use life coaching against ourselves and think we have to keep it hidden and figure it out with no help at all because we know that all problems are really just thought problems. That just came to me. Super fun, right? Stop using life coaching against yourself. That’s a whole podcast topic right there.

So, once I realized that I can have other people help me find my solution because I can’t see the big picture, and once I recognized that I didn’t want my coaching peers to know that I’m not perfect because I worried their love for me was based solely on my perfectness, and once I dropped my resistance to the human experience, no one can know came down to my clients and potential clients.

So, first it’s like I don’t want my peers and my coach to know because of all these things they may or may not think about me and I really don’t want to actually get coached on this because I don’t want to actually feel all the feelings that are attached to it. And once we worked past that, then it’s about our audience and our clients. The clients I coach in my groups.

Now, my clients, they definitely know my failures. I share them often in my coaching sessions. And here’s what I want to share with you. I guarantee you; you will experience this also. The looks on the faces of your clients when someone is sharing their worst fear. And I mention one of my failures or a mutual mentor’s failures, they are shocked.

It’s like, “Wait, what? You failed like this and you’re still here kicking ass? That’s possible?” And of course it is. Not only is it possible. It’s how all of life works. Because when I share my struggles with my clients, my no-one-can-know, my desire for perfection, my resistance to the human experience, it only helps them.

Why is it great for your clients to see you struggle with the very thing that you’re coaching them on? Because for your clients who think, “That’s the worst thing that can happen,” and then you shared how it happened for you and how you did eventually overcome it or move past it, which we’re going to talk more about in the next episode, they learn so much more than if you shared, “Well you know, I might have struggled once but now I just don’t struggle ever.”

I truly believe that my personal struggles is useful for my clients. It’s the highest value I can share with them. “Here is my struggle. Here is how I’ve failed. Here’s how I still manage to show up every single day with those uncomfortable feelings and getting coaching and reaching out by my side.”

Or, “This is how I’m in the process of overcoming it. Many of my clients have had front-row seats to me watching me solve for overcoming a failure or an obstacle. Some of my best coaching sessions have been because of that. Some of our biggest insights. They are also witnessing me in my own struggle and yet still holding space to coach them through theirs.

Oh my gosh, that right there is so powerful. Because how many coaches struggle with confidence because they think, “I can’t have something going on and hold space for my clients?” And I get to model that for my clients in Confident Coaches Mastermind.

Sharing my struggle builds trust between us. And there’s a knowing. They know I get it. They know I’ve not just been there. I just might be in my own version of it right now or just got out of it.

I used to think I had to completely have worked through something before I could coach on it. and I’ve changed my mind about that. That was somebody else’s rule that I followed and it just doesn’t work for me.

Now, I will wait to work through something and test it out with my clients before I make it part of my curriculum to CCM, or to Confident Coaches. But I absolutely can share what I’m going through right now in a coaching session and how I’m shifting my mindset and how I’m working through it in real time.

And if that is valuable for my clients, of course it’s valuable for you, my audience. Is it more useful for you to think, “I, Amy, the confidence coach doesn’t still fail? Doesn’t still struggle?” Or is it more useful for you to know that I do and I’m still here and I haven’t quit and I keep showing up and I’ve learned to love myself while feeling those uncomfortable feelings that failure will stir up?

Of course the answer is so obvious. Only people who want perfection in their coach wouldn’t want to hear that. And people who want perfection in their coach aren’t my people. Because they don’t really want confidence. Because perfection isn’t confidence.

Confidence is knowing you can fail, experience doubt or fear or anxiety, allow those feelings to come along for a ride, and you’ll get the coaching you need to decide what’s your next best step and keep going.

When you overcome the no one can know, you will feel so much lighter. Of course you do. Because I want you to think about this. When you think no one can know, you actually prevent yourself from knowing. Do you see that model?

So, the circumstance is your failure. I’ll use my failure of creating a training that no one signed up for. I hosted a training. No one was there. And the thought is, no one can know. The feeling is embarrassed or maybe even humiliated. And then the actions; I don’t evaluate. I don’t get peer coaching. I don’t get feedback from my current or past clients. I don’t share it with them. I don’t get feedback from you all, my audience. I don’t ask myself more powerful Gigi questions because I’m shrinking in and I’m hiding from not only you but ultimately, I’m also hiding from myself.

So, my result is preventing myself from ever knowing. When you fail and you think no one can know, you prevent yourself from knowing. Knowing what you’re believing that you don’t have to, knowing what you want to believe instead, and knowing what your next best step is.

If you want to survive failure, your first step is getting past the hiding, the no one knowing. And then you can step into pure confidence. And that’s what I’m sharing in the next episode, my friends.

What is pure confidence? How do you get it? Why is it the golden ticket of not only creating the life coaching business of your dreams, but the life of your dreams? Like the everything.

I’m giving you the golden ticket in the next episode because surviving failure is why ultimately, we should not be afraid to struggle. It’s where our lessons are. It’s where our growth is. And we know this. And yet, we still do everything to avoid it. And I’m just going to offer you that you don’t have to anymore.

I’ll just ask why. When there’s so much goodness to be found in failing, in struggle, there’s so much goodness in asking, “What does this process have to show me?” I can’t wait to find out and I hope you will join me.

Hey coach, you actually can join me right now. We are enrolling in the July class of Confident Coaches Mastermind, where you will learn to feel confident in you no matter what, no matter how much engagement you have no matter how many haters you get, no matter how many consults are on your calendar, no matter if your clients are happy with you this week. That is confidence.

It’s not knowing how to do everything right. It’s knowing you can handle whatever comes your way, even when you feel doubt and worry and anxiety. You’ll learn how in Confident Coaches Mastermind. So, head over to amylatta.com/mastermind. Apply and then schedule a consult call with me. Let’s meet, let’s see where you are now, where you want to be, and how Confident Coaches Mastermind can help you overcome what’s standing in your way. I can’t wait to meet you, amylatta.com/mastermind.

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.    

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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.

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