I’ve been wanting to return to the podcast and I knew I wanted to start with was an honest and transparent reflection and sharing about what it takes to come back to something that you’ve failed at or haven’t been successful with or that you haven’t been consistent with.
For anybody that wants to try something again I'm sharing what it's taken for me to try again.
I’m focusing on 4 things and what it was like for me to go through that in the process of coming back to the podcast and what I've learned.
An exciting edition is that we now have a private Courage Community where we can engage in conversations and dialogues about these ideas. I’d love for you to join us at amandajane.ca/courage
Welcome back to the More Ways podcast. I am so excited to be back and be sharing this episode with you today. This message I’m bringing today has been percolating for months. You see, I’ve been wanting to get back to the podcast and I knew the first one I wanted to start with was a really honest and transparent reflection and sharing about what it takes to come back to something that you’ve failed at or haven’t been successful with or that you haven’t been consistent with. Because that’s been my experience with the podcast. If you’re anything like me, the best laid plans are just that… they’re plans and aren’t always how things turn out. Not only do things not turn out the way you expect, but coming back to something after you’ve failed takes something special. A lot of people don’t come back after they fail, they give it a single shot and say “I’m not good at that, I’m done.” And sometimes that isn’t the right thing for them.
For me, podcasting continued to be a siren call, something that was “for me” even though my first attempt I hadn’t been able to get into a groove with and it didn’t work out, I knew I wanted to try again. So here I am. For anybody that wants to try something again, learn, innovate and grow, and they need to figure out what it takes to try again. This is what I’m sharing in this episode.
I’ve broken it down to four things it takes to try again and to come back. I’m going to share those four and how I’m thinking about it and what it was like for me to go through that in the process of coming back to the podcast.
Overall, coming back is about being radically honest, and holding yourself responsible with compassion (and idea of cocreation) and a growth mindset. I’m going to look at each of those.
Being radical honest with yourself means coming to terms with the truth/facts of the situation - means reflecting. I love to start with reflecting on the positives and what worked. To counter the negativity bias, because our minds so quickly go to everything that was wrong and we need to correct for that. And so that we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater - there might be a strength or success that you can use to springboard the next iteration and that gets lost if you don’t look at what went well. Not everything about your failure was wrong. And if you intend to find strengths and successes to build on then you will find them. For me, reflecting on what worked was the content. I had a lot of friends and listeners tell me that what I was sharing was valuable, so I wanted to use that and it was one of the things that fueled me to come back.
And the fact is that some things about what was tried in the past didn’t work and reflecting on that honestly as well. Looking at what were the processes, the systems in place. What was the plan or outline directing this? How were decisions made and what information went into that decision-making. These are all things that are not fundamentally about who you are as a person. And looking at these aspects with objectivity means you can approach this with the intent to identify what didn’t work rather than blaming/shaming and looking at what about me fundamentally as a person made this a failure. Coming at this with an eye toward learning, improving and innovate and grow to move on.
For me what didn’t work was the amount of time and energy that each episode took me and the level of perfectionism that went into each detail. I know that my perfectionism is a means to protecting myself from criticism and judgement external as much as internal, that is from others as much as from me toward myself. And feeling like if I spent lots of time crossing every t and dotting every i and creating new images it would somehow prove that this was valuable to be shared and that I was good enough to be sharing it. In the end it was a lot of extra time spent masking the fact that I was new at this and things aren’t smooth or slick and the processes haven’t been refined or honed. Its more messy and raw and vulnerable because I was a beginner/new at this.
That’s what didn’t work - spending an inordinate amount of time trying to perfect things and pretend to be further along than I was to protect myself from criticism and judgement.
Looking honestly at what didn’t work is important part of the process because that is where you’re going to find quality learnings and where you can innovate and grow from. If you’re not willing to look at what went well you might need to repeat those mistakes again.
What necessarily needs to go with radical honesty in order for it to be effective is deep compassion for yourself. Practicing not judging and shaming yourself as being wrong, bad, less than, not knowing enough for having failed, not being consistent or not creating the success you had hoped for. And instead remembering you had good intentions, you had a desire to do good and viewing yourself and your work with kindness and love and how would you evaluate and reflect on this with love-coloured glasses. That’s what I mean be bringing compassion into this. If you reflect with judgement and shame then your reflection and opportunity for growth and learning will come to a halt. I mean how do grow if you believe you’re a failure? 1. You believe that to be true and decide not to pursue this. 2. You work harder to prove that you’re not… and that strategy might work until you burn out and you can’t work any harder. And then you’re a failure again.
To be able to be radically honest bring deep compassion beside it.
And alongside deep compassion needs to also be balanced responsibility. Because what I’m not saying is “let yourself off the hook” or “it’s OK when things don’t work” or some platitude. Instead taking responsibility for the results in your business. If you don’t have results AND you haven’t followed through or acted in the way you intended, then it is your responsibility to understand that and reflect on the relationship between those two - your actions and your results. As a way to improve or create something more effective. Taking responsibility in that way is important for you ability to make change and grow. And it’s not about blaming and shaming yourself and instead taking responsibility for what you are in control of or have influence over. AND leaving the things beyond you to the things beyond you.
The last piece that nests beside the balanced responsibility is a belief that things can be different - you might call this a growth mindset. So this is the idea that you are not a static human, that you are capable of changing and growing.
This one was a big one for me in order to come back and try podcasting again. I had to set aside my ego and see that my results (that is taking too much time for each episode and not being consistent) came from what I knew and could apply at the time. A past version of me. I wasn’t wrong or bad or stupid, I simply and neutrally was where I was, I knew what I knew, I had the skills that I had, I could bring would I had, I was in the season I was in. Period.
Because I took the action of trying to create the podcast the results don’t prove who I am, it illuminates a past version of me - what I knew. Not what I’m capable of or who I can be or what I can create.
Results don’t have to connect to the future unless you ignore and avoid the lessons being gifted from taking actions, experimenting and trying things out.
For me, the fact that I wasn’t immediately successful was proof meant that I didn’t know enough. And for me, not knowing enough is shameful. When I took on the podcast I wasn’t able to be consistent because obviously I didn’t know enough. And in one way that is perfectly true - I didn’t know what I know now. And I was judging that and labelling that as a failure, a disappointment, as something to be ashamed of. I felt like I needed to know everything before I started. And that’s an impossibility - to know everything before you start (and what would be the fun in that…. there’d be nothing left to learn!).
It took reflection and compassion and kindness toward myself and a new perspective to embody the new understanding that not knowing enough is an inherent part of doing something new of trying something you’ve never tried of stretching beyond your limits. It’s weaved into the fabric of being a beginner not knowing everything. It takes making your best guess given what you know (while allowing for what you don’t) and then trusting that your best guess is your best right now. Then having compassion when further along down your timeline you learn something more or something new that requires you to adjust because now you know. But you couldn’t have known before you did it.
In my instance I thought I knew enough to create a process that I would be able to sustain and show up to week after week. I used the information I had and expertise of others to make my best guess about what it would take and what it would look like for me to create a podcast. But once I actually starting doing all the things to create the podcast it turned out it took way more time than I had originally guessed it would take (emphasis on guess). And that’s not because i was stupid, or wrong or should have known better. It’s the simple and real fact that I hadn’t done it before.
After a combination of reflection, radical self-honesty, deep compassion, personal responsibility and and a growth mindset I’m returning to the podcast (and my business to be honest) with a new approach and I’m excited to see what’s next. I hope you’ll continue to join me, for what I’m calling a New Season of the More Ways Podcast.
And an exciting edition is that we now have a private Courage Community (off of social media) where we can engage in conversations and dialogues about these ideas. I’d love for you to join us at amandajane.ca/courage