I received an email about the Handling Chaos podcast series I made to help with the uncertainty and anxiety many of us have been feeling. This email made it clear that I missed the mark in some of the things that I said. And I agree.
The sender was sincere and compassionate and made me see my words from a different perspective. And here’s the thing: I only have my perspective and the perspective of those I relate to. I’m going to say the wrong thing sometimes and so will you.
But, that won’t stop me from using my voice to help others. And I know that this podcast IS helping so many of you.
In this episode, I’m talking about making mistakes and bouncing back. It’s 100% guaranteed that you will fail at some point. Should you let that stop you from speaking? Absolutely not. I want you to continue using your voice and making mistakes, knowing that criticism is all part of putting yourself out there to help those who will be helped.
What you will discover
- That you can’t relate to and please everyone because you are flawed and human.
- How to approach your mistakes with compassion, humility, and understanding instead of self loathing.
- Why being scared of saying the wrong thing is not an acceptable excuse to be silent.
- Why sometimes it’s worth upsetting some people in order to help others.
- How to accept criticism without going into a shame spiral.
- How to have your own back.
Featured on the show
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Well hello, my friends. Welcome back to the podcast Moving Forward. I’m going to start today with telling you all a story about a woman who wrote me an email pointing out all of the ways that I have missed the mark in my Handling Chaos series and mistakes that I made in the podcast and things that I have said wrong.
And I want to tell you, the email – we receive lots of emails from people who are really angry about a lot of the things that I say and the way that I’m approaching certain things. So, this isn’t an isolated case. But this one, she just sent – it was really thoughtful and, I think, really sincere and with a lot of compassion. And it was a very long email with, I mean, really valid points about a lot of the things that I have said.
So, I just wanted to address this for any of you who are life coaches or leaders or people who are taking this opportunity to have your voice heard, to try and help, to try and put yourselves out there and coach and be verbal about things.
Because here’s the thing; it is really challenging when you are personally going through the same things as the world. So, I have chronic anxiety already. I have heightened anxiety around all of my thoughts that are churning and I’m doing all of that work on myself. And I still feel very compelled to contribute and to utilize my voice as a life coach.
I do feel like I’ve trained my whole life for this and this is my opportunity. And for all of you who feel the same way and you’re out there kind of stating the facts and doing your best to contribute to a solution, you’re going to fail doing that about 50% of the time.
So, I would say that I have a pretty solid 50-50 track record here with this Handling Chaos podcast. And her points are really clear and I agree with most of them. And I’m all in still. And that’s what I told her. I said, “Hey, listen, I read through what you’ve written here, and I just want to tell you that anyone that’s showing up and creating this much content is going to say the wrong thing in the wrong way and alienate a lot of people.”
You know, the thing that’s challenging for me for a lot of this work is that I get the 50-50 feedback too. So, for example, I had said, I think, on one of the podcasts that if life was a game, this would be our Super Bowl for life coaches. This is what we’ve trained for. This is our time to get on the field and work our assess off to utilize our training in the best way.
I received so much feedback on what a helpful thought that was for so many people, that the way of looking at that was so helpful. Other people wrote in and said that they thought I was comparing this terrible time in our lives to a game and trying to minimize it and wasn’t, you know, acknowledging the people that are seriously ill and all of those things.
And I can totally see the point there. I can totally see how that could be misinterpreted, my intent could be misinterpreted, how it seems like I’m being callous and careless with that 100%.
Now, I did tell her I’m probably going to keep saying things like that. They’re probably going to upset a lot of people. Some of the things are just straight mistakes. Like, on one of the podcasts I said, right when I was doing my event was like the epicenter of the crisis or whatever, and that was the wrong word. Epicenter, obviously, Dallas isn’t the epicenter of this issue at all.
That was just the wrong choice of word. I think I should have used the word like tipping point in the media or something like that. Total mistake. Huge F, fail, not good. And also, I have my own back here and I talk a lot about money and loving money and earning money, and people have written in and said, “Thank you for talking about it, thank you for letting us hear your voice on this and it’s been really helping me get through. And it is important for me to keep selling and keep working in my business and keep making money.”
And then I’ve received lots of emails from people that say, you know, I’m being really insensitive to people that aren’t in the same financial situation as me and my clients and I need to be more caring and concerning to everyone.
And the truth is, I agree, like, I want to be able to always say the right thing all the time and I want to be able to always be compassionate enough and aware enough to be able to be inclusive of everyone. But the truth is, I’m not. I’m so flawed in that area and I am so unable to relate to every single person on this planet. And I do not share the same experience with so many people.
I’m doing my best to speak to my listeners, to my clients who have a much more similar experience to me. I’m doing my best to do that while also trying to be inclusive. But I get that I’m failing at that and I will do my best to do better. But I will not quiet my voice and not have my voice be heard because I’m going to say the wrong thing.
And I see some people shutting down because they’re afraid that they’re going to get yelled at or they’re afraid that somebody’s going to point out a mistake that they made or an insensitivity that they expressed. And so, they’re just staying totally quiet and not offering any kind of wisdom or help or solutions that they can offer.
And I just want to say to you, I don’t think that is the right answer. I think knowing that you’re going to do it wrong and badly and you are going to fail terribly and some people will yell at you for it, and some people like this client who sent me this beautiful letter will point it out to you and say, you know, “You’ve missed the mark here. You’ve missed the mark on some major things here and I want you to know about it."
And I appreciate that and I agree with her and I told her, “Unfortunately I think I’ve said I’ve said 50% awesome helpful thing and 50% things that weren’t helpful and I probably shouldn’t have said. And yet, I’m going to keep moving forward and I’m going to be willing to let that continue to be my percentage rate.” Which means I’m willingly inviting people to be mad at me.
I’m going to inadvertently insult and hurt people with what I say and upset them and leave them out and not understand them. And I have to tell you, that sucks for me. And I don’t want to do that. And I really genuinely honestly have the intention of being the best version of myself, which means I have the most compassion for all of the humans.
But I also know, for me, that in order for me to get through this time personally and to help my clients get through it, I have to laugh. I have to be able to joke around with my students and my clients. I have to be able to point out how the brain loops and tell sus hysterical things that aren’t true and making peace with the worst-case scenario and being able to laugh at our humanity, and even being able to laugh at our tragedy and still being able to focus on the good things in life and the luxuries in life and the things that not everyone can relate to.
I know what I need for me and I know what I want to give to my clients. And I also know that I will incur the hate of a lot of people when I do that. And I’m willing to do it. I’m willing to do it to be myself 100% and to tell the truth, even when my truth is uninformed, which I think is a lot of the things that I say.
And I do make an effort to be informed without reading too much news. And because I haven’t been reading a lot of news, there’s a lot of things that I don’t know. So, there’s a lot of things that I say on the podcast that are inaccurate maybe. And people point them out to me, and yeah, that’s what I do.
I try not to do that. But here’s the other thing that I notice when I listen to other people’s podcasts or I read other people’s stuff; they’re doing the same thing. It’s hard to keep up with all of this. It’s hard to say the right thing to all the people all of the time.
And for those of you who have your voice and have your knowledge and have your solutions and you feel really scared to put them out in the world because you don’t feel strong enough to handle the wrath or handle the failure, I want to tell you that you’re so much stronger than you think.
And it’ worth it to me, and it can be worth it to you, to upset some people if you’re able to help other people. And I do think a lot of people are scared and a lot of people are angry and a lot of people are lashing out. And I do acknowledge that that really is not my concern.
But there are a lot of people that are genuinely pointing out the mistakes that I am making and that I have made and I will continue to make. And I’m willing to pay that price, and I’m willing to read about those mistakes, and I’m willing to try and do better. I’m not willing to step away from what I’ve done and I’m not willing to beat myself up.
And some of you have said to me that people are DM-ing you and telling you that you that you shouldn’t be talking and that you shouldn’t be using your voice and that you don’t know what you’re talking about and you’re missing the mark and that, as a coach or physician or marketing person or whatever, you should be doing it differently than you’re doing it. And when people do that to you, there’s part of you that agrees with them and so it freaks you out.
And I just want to say, it’s okay for part of you to agree with them because you have empathy and understanding and you want to please people. But that’s not a reason to shut yourself down or censor yourself or silence yourself.
Go into the world knowing that you’re going to get it wrong half the time. Show up and know that when someone comes at you, you can take what they tell you and you can hear it and you can tell yourself, “You made a mistake there. You shouldn’t have used that word. You shouldn’t have addressed people that way. You shouldn’t have forgotten about these people.”
And I know that, at the time, you were doing your best, and now we’re going to do better. And that’s what I believe. And listen, I have a history of self-loathing. I have a history of beating the crap out of myself. And I have, on top of that, chronic anxiety all of the time.
So, when somebody says or offers me a criticism or offers me negative feedback or offers me an indication that there’s something wrong with my character, something wrong with me as a human being, it is very tempting, my friends, for me to beat the ever-living hell out of myself and to go into a shame spiral and to feel bad about myself.
But I refuse to do it. I simply will not do that to myself. I will admit my mistakes. I will own them and I will really love myself for being willing to make them. And I will love the people that provide me the feedback. And by the way, I will love the people that hate me for that.
And so, I just wanted to put this out there for those of you who are struggling with this. I think this is a time where what happens as humans is heightened. So, this type of feedback, this type of opinion and judgment and hating and all of that is part of the human experience. It’s just heightened right now.
And so, how I deal with it on the small scale is how I deal with it on a big scale. And how I deal with my anxiety on a small scale is how I deal with it on a big scale.
One of the things that the woman said to me in this email was, “I bet you’re freaking out. I bet that you’re losing your mind right now and you should be sharing about that.” And I understand her point and I understand what she’s saying. But I don’t agree with her on that.
I agree that my work is to coach my mind so I don’t freak out. And that is the work that I am doing and sharing. And the solutions and the useful thoughts and the way of thinking about it and shifting my mind to contribution instead of consumption is what has worked for me, and that is what I will share with my students.
I do not think we need any more examples of people freaking out. That is not what I will use my podcast for. I will not commiserate with the option to indulge in emotions that freak us out. I don’t think it’s useful.
Many people will think that you’re doing it wrong. They will. And half the time, you will be doing it wrong. You will. There’s no way around it. you’re going to do it wrong. And there will be things that I say on this podcast for the rest of my life that I’ll make mistakes and I’ll say it wrong and I’ll be, you know, unintentionally insensitive.
I know that will happen for sure because I am a flawed human being and I don’t know enough about everyone’s experience and I don’t have enough education in all the areas. And even though I’m going to try my best to do that, I’m not going to be able to do it 100% of the time. And that’s what showing up is.
Showing up is being willing to stand flawed and exposed out there on the leading edge. That is what I’m willing to do. And I want to say, from the deepest part of my heart, I’m so sorry that I’ve hurt anyone by something that I’ve said or something that they’ve interpreted that I’ve said or a thought they’ve had about something I’ve said.
Never in a million years do I want to do that. And even though I understand the model, that’s not even really possible, I understand the implication of people that don’t understand my intention and I just want to, like, hug you and just be like, I’m so sorry that I’m not better. I’m so sorry.
And I want to apologize for the future mistakes that I make and that I’m not going to do it 100% right. I already know it. but I also know – and this is super-important for me to know – that I’m helping so many of you because you’re telling me.
Some of you have to wade through the stuff I say to find the stuff that works for you, and you’re doing it and it’s helping you. And as long as I’m helping one of you, I’m not even kidding you, one human being on the planet, as long as I am helping you, I will keep doing this podcast.
I can tell by the downloads, the interest, the consumption of this podcast that many, many, many people want to listen to it. Many people want to hear my voice, as flawed as it is. And I want to point out to each one of you, your voice is needed.
We need to hear from your voice. We need to hear your ideas on how to make it better. When you’re going to offer to people on how they’ve missed the mark, when you’re going to offer to people problems, when you’re going to judge people, offer them solutions too. Offer them ideas.
And if you’re going to criticize someone for being out there in the world and being flawed, make sure you’re out in the world too. Make sure you’re exposing yourself too so when you get feedback, because you’re not going to be perfect either, that you know how to receive it and utilize it and make yourself better.
And please, please, please have your own back. Do not use this time, or any time as a reason to beat yourself up for being a human being and being flawed and getting it wrong half the time.
You put your voice out there and you let it be heard and you do your best to help and you do your best to contribute and you do your best to offer solutions. That’s what I’m going to keep doing, my friends, and I’m going to keep reading the emails from the people that are mad. It’s okay. I’m in.
But I promise you, this is not the last you’ve heard from me and it’s not the last mistake that I’ll make. And it’s certainly – I know that some people are mad because I’m laughing – it is certainly not the last time that I’m going to laugh.
I’m going to laugh all the way to the end of my life. And whether that’s sooner or later, I will never stop laughing, I promise you that because that’s what makes my life so fun and worth living no matter what the circumstances are.
I hope that you all know you are my purpose for living. You are my heart. I love, love, love you so much. And I’m here and I want you to be here too. I want your voice to be heard as well. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Bye.
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