Ready to feel better? Click here to watch the How to Feel Better webinar.
Brooke Castillo talking into a microphone

Ep #4: How to Fail

Every day we speak to people about their goals and how to succeed. However, most people never achieve their goals because they are afraid to fail. On this week’s episode we are talking about the importance of failing and learning how to fail.

hg0088官方网站My favorite quote about success and failure is this: “If you want success, you need to double your rate of failure”. This means that in order to reach our goals we have to be willing to fail. We are the ones who decide what failure means to us, and we are the ones who cause those negative emotions. Once we choose to change how we look at and feel about failure, our fear of failure will dissolve.

Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research of life-changing topics from the podcast distilled into only 200 pages. It the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!

Listen to the show

What You will discover

  • Success can be acquired through failure and the willingness to fail.
  • Understanding the true definition of failure.
  • We have complete control over what failure means to us.
  • How to change the way failure affects you.
  • Why you should strive to fail five times a month.
  • Through your willingness to fail in front of others, you will find your confidence.

Featured on the show

Get the Full Episode Transcript:

download the transcript

Episode Transcript:

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.
Hi everybody it's Brooke Castillo. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm so excited that so many of you are listening to the podcast and emailing me and letting me know how much you love it. I have been thinking about doing this for a long time, and I'm really stoked that the time and energy I've put into doing it is paying off for all of you guys who are interested in my teaching and what's going on at the School, so thank you so much. If you're listening to this, and you haven't already, I would really appreciate it if you would go over to iTunes and give me a review. That would be amazing.
Today, we're going to talk about failure. More specifically, we're going to talk about how to fail. I think there's a lot of information about how not to fail and how to succeed, and I think there needs to be more talk about failure and how to do that properly. I would say that most people don't achieve their dreams because they don't want to fail. There's not a lot of consideration as to why. I have a lot of people say to me, "I have a real fear of failure," and I'll say "Well, what does that mean? What are you afraid of? What is failure? Why are you afraid of it?" They'll think about it and come back and say "You know what? I've never really thought about it that way."
That's one of the things we do in coaching. We always try to get to the cause of all the issues. We don't try and solve problems. We just try and solve the cause of problems. One of the main causes of problems is not understanding why. The first thing that's important to do is to understand what is failure; how do you define it? Of course, I went to Google because Google knows everything. I asked Google, "What is failure?" and I was totally surprised by the definition that came up. It said, "The omission of expected or required action." The omission of expected or required action. I love this definition of failure.
If failure means we just didn't do our own expected action or something else didn't do our expected action, it just seems so benign. It seems so "Okay. Well that's what happened. There was an omission of action on either my part or your part." That's what we're called failure? Well, that's not a big deal, right? It's just something didn't turn out the way we had expected.
What most people do, is they just stop expecting, and therefore they never fail. They keep their expectations really low. They just keep recycling the same life. They never go outside their comfort zone, and then they never really have to deal with trying to miss their own expectation or not meet their own expectation. I think that's such a shame. So many of the clients that I talk to, that is their main issue, is they just don't feel alive anymore because they're not putting themselves out there because they're afraid, and they don't want to fail.
I ask my clients all the time, "Why are you avoiding failing? What is the reason?" It always boils down to avoiding wanting to feel something. If failure is really just not meeting your own expectation or not taking the required action to meet your own expectation, then really what's going to happen when that happens, is you are going to think some thought that's going to create some negative emotion. The real reason why we're avoiding any kind of "Missing the mark," any kind of not meeting our expectation is because we don't want to feel what we're going to feel when that happens.
Here's what's really interesting about that. When you don't meet your own expectation, the only feeling that you're going to end up having is based on what your decide to think. Stay with me. You set out to do something, and you have and expectation of the result, and you miss that expectation. Now at that point, you get to decide what you're going to make that mean. You get to decide what you're going to think about that. If you think about that in a way that hurts your feelings, if you think about that in a way that's dejecting and disappointing, then you're going to experience that negative emotion.
Ironically, the whole reason you're avoiding failing is because you're avoiding something that you have complete control over which is your reaction to failing. Are you guys following this because it's really important? You're avoiding something you are in charge of and acting like it's happening to you. Most people when I talk to them about failure will say that "Failure happens to me, and then I have to experience it" but that's not the truth. What really happens is we miss our expectation, and then we decide to make it mean something that hurts. We decide to make it mean something that causes us a negative emotion.
First of all, there can be work on that end of it. When we don't meet our own expectations, we can decide to not make that mean the end of the world. We can decide to make that mean actually something positive, and therefore, we won't be dreading experiencing that very thing what we're creating, which is our own negative emotion. Let me give you an example because I know that this sounds interesting in theory, but you might not quite be understanding what I'm saying, especially if you're new to this work.
Let's say I go as a coach to teach a class, and I start marketing a class, and I want to have 5 people in the class, let's say. I go out there, and I start marketing it, and I'm really excited about it, and I put energy into marketing it. 3 people sign up. I'm like "Oh, that's such a fail. I only had 3 people sign up. I'm not good at this. I shouldn't even teach this class. People don’t want what I have to offer." "I'm never going to do this again because this feels so terrible." Well, the reason it feels terrible is because I'm making it mean that there's something wrong with me, that I'm not any good at this. That's why that certain quote-unquote "Fail", that I'm calling failure, is so awful is because I'm making it so awful. And so I start avoiding something that I'm actually the cause of.
Now alternatively, I could go out and set to teach a class and say, "I want to have 5 people in the class" and I could have 3 people show up and I could be like "Hey! Awesome. 3 people want what I have to offer." I definitely didn't meet my expectation. I definitely didn't get 5 people when I really wanted 5, but I got 3, and I can keep moving forward from here. Next time I hope I'll get 5, and I wonder why I didn't get 5. If you go back to the definition, it's the omission of expected or required action. I love thinking about it that way. It's like, "I just didn't do something. I had an omission of my action to not get 5 people in the class, so I can do that next time, and I can do it differently next time."
When I think about it that way, it actually doesn’t make me want to avoid failure. It makes me want to learn and grow and try it again. You can see that I'm the one that's determining what failure will be like to me by how I decide to think about it when I don't meet my own expectation. Now, I really do believe that success is one of those things that is acquired by failure and by being willing to fail. There's a wonderful quote that says, "If you want success, you need to double your rate of failure," and I really do believe in that because I think the better you get at failing, the more willing you're going to be to do it, the more you're going to learn and the better you're going to get at meeting your own expectations.
If failure is not meeting your own expectations, then I would define success as meeting your own expectations. The best way to meet them is to practice meeting them and to make lot of mistakes and learn what doesn't work. That is something that when you think about failure, when you think about taking action in that way, then you're not so wrapped up in what it means to not have it all done perfectly. A lot of people will say to me that they're perfectionists, and they'll say that "I just want to do it all right, and I'm not willing to do it if I can't do it perfectly." I have this sense that I think perfectionism is for scared people I think it give them an excuse to not take the action, to not put themselves out there and to not fail, to not meet their own expectation.
The reason why they don't want to not meet their own expectation is because they know that they're going to beat their own ass when that happens. They're going to beat themselves up. If you were to make a deal with yourself and say "Hey. I'm going to go out there and try and do this. There's going to be for sure, a chance that along the way I'm not going to meet my expectation. I'm going to fail, and I'm going to fail many, many times, but here's there thing. When I fail, I'm going to have my own back. I'm going to treat myself with respect. I'm going to honor myself. I'm going to use that as an opportunity to learn and to take care of myself. I'm going to use it as an opportunity to love myself more instead of loving myself less. I will refuse when I don't meet my own expectation, to say mean things to myself, to beat myself up, or to quit.
Now, if you set yourself up for that ahead of time, before you start any kind of action, you're going to be much more willing, first of all, to take the action, and second of all, to take the risk that most success takes. To put yourself outside of your comfort zone, to try something you haven't done is pretty risky. What are you risking? Failure. You could fail, but if you know if you fail, you're going to take care of yourself, you're going to be much more willing to do it. If you're much more willing to fail, you're going to double your rate of failure, maybe triple it. You're going to have a much higher chance of ultimately getting success.
Now, let's talk about the benefits of failing. Let's talk about young kids failing. I love the example although it's a little bit overused. I still love it so much, I'm going to use it here. I love the example of a little child learning how to walk because they do some epic fails. It's like you look at that those kids trying to walk, and it is not pretty. They are eating it like every 3rd step. What's fascinating and what I love about that is when they fall, one of the reasons that they're not walking well is because they don't have the strength. When they fall, those little kids, and they have to push themselves back up, that pushing themselves back up is what gives them the strength to ultimately be able to walk.
If they stopped trying to walk because they were failing, then they would never have the opportunity to get strong enough to be able to walk, so it's through the failing, through the falling down that they get strong enough to do it. I just think that's brilliant. It was interesting because I just finished up a Master Coach training, and we were talking about this idea of confidence, and we were talking about how we defined confidence and where confidence comes from. One of the things that I said that I think confidence is, is your willingness to fail in front of other people. We talked about how most people want to get their confidence from their past. They want to say "I'll be confident at something after I'm competent at it."
We gave the example when we were talking in class about pouring a glass of water. We feel very confident when we're pouring a glass of water because we've done it so many times, we know that we're very good at it. If we spill or we miss the glass or knock it over, we don’t turn that into a reason to not do it or to quit. We don't even can really consider that a failure; "I failed at the glass pouring today." We don't make it mean anything negative, and so we're willing to do it because it's not a big deal if we fail. We know we're not going to quit and never try to do it again or make it mean that we're competent, or we don't know what we're doing.
How do you feel that same sense of confidence with something that you've never done? That was our conversation. You have to find confidence actually in your future. Well, how do you find confidence in your future when you're starting out, doing something you've never done before? Everything that you're going to be doing, you know you're going to be failing, so your confidence has to come from your ability to fail and knowing that you're not going to give up and knowing that you can fail and get better and get better every time.
Confidence ... I was thinking about this. For me, I like to try new things. I like change. I like putting myself out there on that leading edge of my comfort zone. I was trying to figure out why I like to do that personally. It's because I'm very willing to fail, and I'm willing to fail in front of other people.
That's why failure isn't one of those concepts that you just talk about after you don't do well on a math test. Failure is something you have to consider as something you want to include in your life. It's not something to avoid. It's actually something to pursue and to get very good at. If I feel confident about my ability to fail, you can see how I'm probably going to try new things, put myself out there, and probably be successful because as I fail and as I plan to fail, I will continue to do it. Does that make sense?
The other way ... Actually one of the students in the class actually brought up this idea of believing in our capacity to learn, and instead of using the word "failure," maybe using the word "learning."
There's the old quote that Edison has where he's like "No. I didn't fail a thousand times. I learned a thousand things that didn't work." That's how we can kind of look at our own quote-unquote "Failures" as just learning opportunities, seeing them as "Okay, we didn't meet our expectation. We didn't take correct action, so we just need to adjust that and change it until we do meet our own expectation." When we think about that word "Failure," think about it in a way that is positive. Think about it in a way as something we want to move towards instead of something that we want to move away from.
I actually like the idea of practicing failure. I like the idea of failure being a skill that we develop. If we are good at falling down, we actually learn how to fall down really well. Then, we're going to have confidence going into our future. I hope that that kind of tickled your mind as much as it did ours. I was so excited when I was talking to me class about this, and all of us we're kind of really getting into because the idea that failure could be something that we embraced was like ... It got us excited. It got us thinking about our future instead of avoiding it so much. You get good at it by doing it often.
One of my favorite authors and mentors and podcast interviewees that I love to listen to is Ramit Sethi. He has a website called "I will Teach You to be Rich." I am definitely not his target market. I think he targets like 25 year old men, but I love him. I think he's hilarious and he talks about his customers in a way that just kills me. It just cracks me up. He's kind of defiant, and he's a rebel, and he scolds, and I just love him. Anyway, one of the things that he talks about that really was a game changer for me, is he says that he has file on his computer, and he wants to make sure that he fills that file full of 5 failures per month. If he's not failing epicly 5 times per month, he's not working hard enough, and he's doing enough.
He also said this when he was talking about a program that he was selling, and he said "If I don't have at least a 10% return rate, I'm not selling enough." That kind of made my mind explode. I was like "What do you mean, a 10% return rate?" I mean I'm someone who ... I have a very successful business, and I don't really have a return rate. I don’t have people that want refunds from me, so to think if I'm not doing at least 10% return rate; I'm not selling enough, was a like a totally different perspective for me to look at. Anyways, since I got this idea from him that we should 5 times a month, I started doing that. I'm like "Okay. I'm going to put myself out there. I'm going to try new things that are highly likely to fail and see if I can get my 5 failures."
What it did for me that was so awesome is when I failed, when I did something that didn't work, I didn't do this big disappointment, regret, shame, dance. I was like "Oh, failure number 1! I can put that in my file now." It really changed my whole perspective. It was like 1 fail down, 4 to go." Ever since then, I've been really accumulating my fails as like badges of honor, as like workouts, as things that are making me stronger, and it really is working. It's something that I am getting so much better at. I have so much more confidence when I try new things because the worst thing that can happen, ultimately, is that I fail.
The worst thing beyond that is how I would feel about my failure by what I would decide to make it mean. I know that I'm not going to make it mean anything negative now. I'm going to make it mean "Hey! A 3 out of 5, done!" It's really up to my excitement, my anticipation, my momentum towards the future because of that willingness that I now have to fail.
Now, I want to be really clear about one thing when it comes to failure. I think it's important to separate failure outside of your comfort zone by taking risks, by putting yourself out there, versus failing by just not showing up. Here's what I mean by that. If you launch a new class for your coaching business, or you go on a date with someone, meeting someone new, or you put yourself out; you go to a bar and you want to meet somebody new, maybe you're not on a date, but you're putting yourself out there and you're introducing yourself to someone...
I mean ... They could reject you. You could consider that a failure. Those sorts of things are outside of your comfort fails. You're putting yourself there that you're trying something new; you are the toddler learning how to walk. That's the failure that I really want to encourage you to do a lot more of, and I want you to be willing to try.
Now, there's another failure that comes from just not showing up. It comes from setting yourself up by sabotaging. That's something I don't want to encourage you to do more of. Here's what I mean by that. Let's say ... We'll go back to my example of the 5 person class. You put yourself out there. You offer a class. 5 people sign up for it, and then you don't show up for it. You're late to the class. You don't prepare for it. You do a terrible job delivering it. You don't have any enthusiasm or excitement. You don't have anything valuable that you share with them. You're just kind of like, "Blah..." and you don't show up.
That kind of failure and that kind of sabotage is definitely not something you want to do because it's still is a failure because you omitted the required action that it took to produce it, and it was well within your comfort zone to do so. You just didn't show up for yourself, and you didn't show up for you clients, or you didn't show up for the date. You didn't show up. That's a very different kind of failure.
By the way, that comes from the way that you're thinking about whatever it is you're attempting to do. That's not something that I want to encourage you to do over and over again because what that is, is that's just spinning within in your own discomfort within you comfort zone. You're in your comfort zone. You know that you're capable of doing something, and you're just sabotaging, sabotaging, sabotaging.
Typically, the thoughts that drive that type of action are "There's something wrong with me. I'm not worth it. This isn't worth it. Nobody’s going to like me. Why should I even show up?" When you find yourself in that kind of failure, what needs to happen is you need to take a look at your mind and find out what's going on with you. It's another invitation to tap in to the work that you need to do ahead of time. That's not something that you want to repeat.
You'll hear people say a lot, "The first time you make a mistake, it's no big deal. You learn from it, but don't make the exact same mistake again." That's the same thing I would say about failure. I think if you do something, and you don't meet your own expectation, and then you try it again the exact same way and get the exact same result, I would consider that staying within your comfort zone failure. I would say that is self-sabotage. That's a different thing. Do not repeat it. Failure is putting yourself out there into the unknown, doing something that you don't know.
Now, a couple things I want to share with you that you may not be able to discover in yourself, okay? These are things that I find in my clients that they say, "Oh my gosh, I had no idea I was doing this." One of the things that we avoid failure by doing is by being confused. We say we're confused; we don't know how, and we say, 'I don't know." Really what we're doing is avoiding putting our self out there, into the world in a way where we don't know if we'll meet our own expectation. We're afraid of how we will treat ourselves on the other side of that.
Please be careful. If you notice yourself not taking action, not putting yourself out there in kind of failure's way, if you're telling yourself the reason you're not doing it is because you're undecided, you don't know, or you are confused, just know that is the sweetest way to avoid failure. You need to be on to yourself. You need to pay attention. You need to have a look at that because when you avoid failure, you also at the very same time, avoiding success. Spinning yourself really away from what you want, but telling yourself the reason why is because you're confused. Being confused, saying "I don't know," and being undecided, is just a way of hiding, so tell yourself the truth about it.
I never say to myself "I don't know how to do something." It doesn't serve me to say it. What I say is "I'm figuring out how to do something. I am going to figure out how to do something" or "I'm learning the steps to understand this. Saying it in that way doesn't stop me. It keeps me going. I don't say "I don't know." I say "I'm figuring it out." I don't say "I'm undecided." I say "I'm going to decide, and I know there's no right decision, and when I make a decision, I'm going to go out there, and I'm willing for it to be the quote-unquote "Wrong decision." I'm willing to fail.
Okay? Just notice that little smoke screen of confusion and "I don't know" that prevents you from taking action that would lead to failure because the reason you don't want to fail is because you don't want to feel the feelings that you would cause yourself to feel when you're thinking that way.
Okay. I hope that that makes sense. I hope that this has totally changed your mind on the way that you think about failure. I hope that I am your biggest failure cheerleader. I hope that you're like "Oh Brooke would be so proud of me! I epically failed today," and I totally would be. One of the things I would love for you to do is go to my website, breakawaydisc.com
Go to breakawaydisc.com/4 because this is episode 4. You will find there the show notes, but you'll also find a place where you can comment. I would love to hear about your epic fail, and it would be great if you could give me one that you do after this podcast. Go out there and just attempt something that you're pretty sure you're going to fail at, and then share it with me and tell me what you did, how you didn't meet your own expectation, and then how you felt afterwards?
hg0088官方网站 Now that you’ve listened to this podcast, I would love to know how you treated yourself on the other side of failure. Thank you so much for listening. I look forward to seeing you on the website and until next time, 5 failures. See you then, bye.Thank you for listening to The Life Coach School podcast. It would be incredibly awesome if you would take a moment to write a quick review on iTunes. For any questions, comments or coaching issues you’d like to hear on the show, please visit us at http://breakawaydisc.com.


  1. Hi Brooke,

    Love, love, love your podcasts. Thanks so much for doing them. Your energy and enthusiam are inspiriting.

  2. Brooke, thank you for doing your podcast, it is absolutely wonderful. The insights are so well presented and I continue to have one “”Ah-ha” momment after another.

  3. Hi Monique,

    Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate you taking the time to listen.

    hg0088官方网站So happy it is inspiring to you!


  4. hg0088官方网站Hi Suellen,

    hg0088官方网站Thank you for posting here! It really means a lot to me that you are having ah ha moments! Those are the best!!!

    Until next time!


  5. hg0088官方网站I’m a big fan of yours, and I always learn something new when I listen to you. Thanks for doing the work that you do.

  6. Hi Maggie-

    Thank you so much for you comments.

    hg0088官方网站I appreciate you being a fan so much!


  7. Brooke! I shared this with the business leaders I mentor. They loved it! I just wanted to let you know that the ideas you shared in this episode about failing have totally changed me and several of my leaders.
    We are taking more opportunities to fail and loving it! This is totally going to change my business.

    You rock!

    I look forward to more podcasts. Thank you so much for recording them!

  8. Spencer-

    Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing. I love failing!

    Stoked you are enjoying.


  9. Listening to this was amazing a big paradym shift for me cos I’ve alway wonder why I get so upset whenever I set out to do a task as it does not come out the way I expected it. Now I know what to expect when I set out on doing something new.really really appreciate you sharing your wisdom on this issue

  10. Hi Omolola!

    hg0088官方网站I am so glad that listening to this was helpful for you!

    I appreciate you coming here and letting me know. That means a lot.


  11. its better than therapy, meditation ….. it’s a new way to exercise the mind (listening)
    your podcasts are a vital part of my day thank you for doing your best work and sharing with the world

  12. hg0088官方网站Hey Patricia,

    I am so glad you are enjoying the podcast. Thank you for letting me know!


  13. hg0088官方网站Thank you so much for this episode! I really do beat myself up when I ‘fail’ or don’t ‘win’ whatever I’m after. I can’t wait to try out some new thoughts next time!

  14. hg0088官方网站Hi Melanie!

    You are so welcome! I am so glad you enjoyed it.

    Happy you might stop beating yourself up. No upside to that.


  15. Hi Brooke,

    Just wanted to thank you for this podcast in particular, which really blew my mind. I’ve been working a lot recently with the notion of “set” versus “challenge” mentalities – the way that some people think their capabilities are just permanently set and if they run into trouble or challenge they assume they are incapable, whereas some people see challenge or struggle as just meaning they need to learn how to do something or practice more. Ironically, as in my case, in addition to there being a gender element people who were really good at school early on tend to be more in the “set” traits mental category. Anyway I’ve been trying to soften that in myself for a couple of months now but this podcast really helped – as soon as I thought “oh, so I should *expect* to be failing quite a lot” and realized that “failure” only means what I make it mean, I felt a lot more capable. I did a couple of small things right away, like trying out my French on vacation even though I was scared to (because in my brain I had decided I should be fluent in French even though it’s not my native language) and backing out of a driveway rather than turning around (because in my mind I’m not “good” at spatial/visual tasks). And today back at work I approached new work challenges with a sense “ok, here we go, something new to try, worst outcome is I don’t do it perfectly the first time – great!” So so deep and helpful. THANKS!


  16. Hi K-

    Wow. I love your post here.

    hg0088官方网站It’s one thing to listen to a podcast,it’s another thing to apply what you have learned to your life.

    Such a great demonstration!

    hg0088官方网站Thank you so much for sharing your experience!


  17. Hi Brooke-
    So excited to listen to this podcast for the 4th, yes 4TH time! I can’t wait to take this mindset back to my 4th grade students to incorporate into our goal/growth plan for 2015! My first listens to your podcasts are for ME and my growth. My next listen is usually geared towards where I can apply this in my classroom and what it would sound like in “kidtalk” in order to help my students grow too! Thanks for all you do. You ROCK!! Keep sharing the struggle!

    1. hg0088官方网站Hi Heather,

      hg0088官方网站Awesome! What a blessing you are!

      Learn and teach.

      Nothing better than that!


  18. Brooke,

    hg0088官方网站Failure- a topic I have always struggled with. I have listened to other people speak about embracing failures and what wonderful learning opportunities they can be. I always agreed with what was being said, and I always wanted to just do what they were saying, but could never muster up that courage. After listening to you I decided, enough’s enough- start failing.

    hg0088官方网站I am studying to become a Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and we are encouraged to practice Health Histories (health consolations) with people, typically fellow students. I am terrified to do my first one. I am afraid if it goes poorly I will feel embarrassed, stupid, not adequate enough. You made me realize that it would be me, not the failure itself that would cause those feeling. So the simple solution is to not let it. Failure can only be negative if I let it be. Well I decided to just do it, and schedule my first health history. I am going to give it my best go, and considering it’s my first one and I don’t really know what I am doing, I probably will fail but I refuse to let that mean something negative. I will learn from this one, and continue to get better, and cut myself some slack along the way.

    Thanks for the push in the right direction,

  19. Brooke- I am new to your podcasts. A few months and have been listening on way to work where part of my job is coaching other business owners but looking to begin my own coaching practice part-time. I decided just recently to go back to your first episode, I had started at #42 initially and just heard this one about failure. WOW- LIFE CHANGING!!! Now I see why it was one of your initial ones and certainly has the possibility of changing my whole trajectory moving forward. Have also just viewed you mini- videos on THE MODEL. Thank you so much!!!!

    1. Marilyn,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know.

      So glad you are enjoying the podcasts.


  20. Hi Brooke,
    First, thank you so much for creating such a fantastic podcast for us all. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve listened to some of the episodes, trying to get all the good stuff to stick. Two that I listen to quite often are this one and “Other People’s Opinions.” For me, they are closely linked.

    In this episode, you talk about two kinds of failure: failure by putting yourself out there and failure by not showing up. And of course you say how we should strive for the former, not the latter.

    My question: what about the failures/mistakes in our everyday responsibilities that also affect others? By that I mean, a failure at something that wouldn’t be categorized as putting myself out there, necessarily, because it’s just one of my everyday responsibilities.

    For example, I work on a magazine, and in our recent issue there are errors in an article, and it’s my fault because it means I clearly didn’t fact check thoroughly enough. Now, I know I’m human, humans make mistakes, I’m not perfect and I’m trying my best to show myself some compassion–but I still feel badly and am having a hard time breaking free of the disappointment-shame-guilt cycle. After all, this reflects badly on my team, too.

    After listening to this episode I suspect that part of my problem is that I’m letting this mean something, i.e., that I’m stupid and that others are thinking I’m stupid. And I’m having a hard time figuring out how to approach this problem because I’m unsure it fits into either of the kinds of failure you discuss. So… does it?

    1. Hey Amanda,

      hg0088官方网站If I was your coach, and I kinda am right now, here is what I would want to know…

      What is the thinking that is causing the result of errors in the article?

      hg0088官方网站That’s what needs to be addressed first.

      hg0088官方网站Know what I mean?


      1. Hi Brooke,
        hg0088官方网站 Thanks so much for the response. Hmm, I’m not sure I know what you mean. Do you mean, what am I thinking that’s leading me to call these “errors,” or do you mean, what was I thinking that caused me to not fact-check thoroughly enough?

        Since a lot of what you teach goes back to the fact that our thoughts cause our feelings, I think maybe you mean the former–I’m coming from the perspective that the articles must be perfect; therefore, any error means it’s less than perfect, it’s wrong, it’s bad, and as a reflection of our team it says we’re bad at our jobs.

        hg0088官方网站Is that what you mean I should explore?

  21. I loved your episode about failure. I have spent two years in hospital and was told I would never walk again. My expectation is to walk again but I might fail. First I had to tell myself that although I might not walk that was their opinion and their experience. I engaged a personal trainer. Then I told her not to come one day as I fid not feel up to it. She still came and I showed up totally ignoring the self sabotage. Now we just do the work uncertain of the outcome. I will get stronger and maybe I will walk. Not showing up and not trying would not be working towards my expectation. I need to be willing to fail.
    I am getting stronger and little victories along the way are encouraging. I can stand

  22. Your pod casts have been so helpful. I’m so glad I found them, you rock!!! I was resisting listening to this podcast as the topic didn’t resonate with me. Well it just started today while I was searching through my episode list so I went with it and am so glad I did. Listening to this podcast gave me a big aha moment – I’m self sabotaging more than I’m failing. Any other ideas on how to differentiate the two? Then how do I move from self sabotage to failure? I’d really like to make progress and get to a point of potential failure instead of sabotaging myself. Also, I just ordered your weight loss book from Amazon, can’t wait to read it!!! Thanks!

    1. hg0088官方网站Hi Tiffanie,

      hg0088官方网站Thank you so much for the feedback. I’ll be addressing your question in an upcoming podcast, so stay tuned!


  23. hg0088官方网站Hi Broke! Hope all is well for you. I have been saving/listening to your podcasts for a while now, and I love the way you talk and teach us: it is very simple and very easy to understand and apply. (Also love your book coaching 101) And this is coming from a non-native English! This podcast specially is very helpful (I’ve listened 3 times now!), because I am in a transition: I am getting my PhD in medical science and I notice I am avoiding to face the fact I am a scientist already (so scary, right?). I am working on it. Thank you for sharing so much with us! I hope one day I can talk to you in person :)!

    1. hg0088官方网站Hi Mariana,

      I’m so glad to hear you have gotten so much from my book and podcast! Would love to have you join us at a future in-person training.


  24. Hi Brooke –

    hg0088官方网站I’m loving your podcasts – I wish there were more hours in the day because I’ve been seriously binging on this! Listening through for a second time and it finally hit home how much I let failure and my thoughts around it trigger negative emotions for me. I have been the type that will replay over and over again failures (I don’t do this with successes), many times people or tasks I think I have failed have been forgotten, but I am still living in the negative thoughts and emotions around them. I am fully committed to living in the negative emotion (I don’t want to run from it) but focus on the thoughts causing those emotions. I really think this will help me to move forward and learn to be braver about taking risks and potential failures. Here’s to my next 5 failures. Thanks for these podcasts!

    1. hg0088官方网站Hi Alison,

      Thank you for taking the time to post your insights here. Brooke reads all comments and addresses them in upcoming episodes, so stay tuned!


  25. hg0088官方网站My epic fail- I went to a book signing, which I was nervous to attend for many reasons, and I only talked to one person and left. instead of feeling like a failure, I knew it was great practice. I was proud of myself for showing up, and next time I may fail to talk to a bunch of people again, but I can now view these failures as my path to success. Such a huge difference because I feel great. Thank you.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience at the book signing with us. Keep up the good work!

      Carina | The Life Coach School

  26. hg0088官方网站Brooke (and team),

    Thank you so much for the value you freely give through these podcasts. I’m working through my goal of listening to them all at least twice- the first time while I’m walking or driving & the second time while typing my own notes (my learning style) as a part of my personal development plan. Many of these truths I have been teaching/coaching to teenagers in the last 5 years — but listening to you enhances my ability & awareness as I humbly coach myself through my own processes. Your direct, concrete & assertive style hits me where I need it most, every podcast.

    hg0088官方网站Long term goal for me? Attending your school + ICF certification + attending Brene Browns program to facilitate her shame & vulnerability curriculum. Instead of coaching teens for someone else mental health program- building my own business.

    hg0088官方网站Thank you, thank you.

    hg0088官方网站-Rebecca Hart

    1. You are so welcome, Rebecca! Thank you so much for taking the time to give us your feedback. Brooke certainly appreciates it!


  27. Hi Brooke
    I have just listened to lesson #4 and my god I love what you have said. It really hit me big time I have used so many of those excuses myself and not even bothered to give things a go or another go because I ‘failed’ the first time. I’m figuring out how to get a business going and it’s not happening how I expected it to so I’m ready to give up but this podcast has changed my mind. My 1 epic fail this week has been asking Single parents what they are struggling with the most I’ve had 3 responses I was looking for at least 20 in order to help me refine what I use in a workshop in doing I started to feel hopeless and telling myself to just give up but now I’ll re look at maybe wording it differently. Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou loving your podcasts 💖

    1. Hi Nikki,

      Glad to hear this podcast has given you a new perspective and that you are enjoying Brooke’s podcast. She certainly appreciates the feedback. Best of luck with your business!


  28. Hi Brooke, I’ve just discovered your podcasts and this was the 1st episode I listened to. So much of what you said resonated with me, especially your examples about children, because I learned how to stop fearing failure from children too! I coach children’s competitive gymnastics and my students inspired me to embrace failure, so much so that I finally quit my day job as a lawyer to try new things. I wrote about it here: .
    Thanks for a great podcast!

    1. hg0088官方网站Hi Christine,

      hg0088官方网站Thank you for the feedback and for sharing your blog post here.


  29. Hi!
    I started to listen your podcast because I just wanted to learn English language better : ) But I got a desire to complete some tasks because it looks like it makes sense! I began to do some practice a week ago, but it seemingly didn´t make a big difference.

    But today something had happened, and I feel like it was a game changer, like system reset:
    I woke up because my telephone rang. It was my boss, he asked weather I am going to do my job today. I was still sleepy and answered that I thought the deadline will be tomorrow that´s why I did´t come to office in the early morning and I thought I don´t need to do it at all. But yes, of course, I will come and do what I need to do.
    I hang up the phone and ask myself as i usually did it when such a things occurred: “Hei, man, how could it happen? Why didn´t you set up the alarm clock yesterday? Why you sleep so long? You should now hurry up and…” I had suddenly stopped on this thought. Some other part of my brain said: “Wait a minute, man! What are you doing with you? You are beating you up because you are late! Why are you doing it with you? You were tired yesterday and you forgot which day you need to deliver this job. But nothing terrible had happened! You just relax, take your breakfast, go the office and do what you need to do. You slept so well, you are full of energy and you feel yourself so good and fresh now, so it will not take much time to finish the job. So no reason to worry! But please don´t make you feel like a looser just because you are late. Just because you made some miserable fault.
    This thought made my day! And I would say it made my week and maybe even a year! I felt myself god and happy the whole day. The job was done, and everything was fine as usual. The only difference was that i felt my self so greatly better just because I stopped to beat my self up for the failure. It was the first time in my life when the failure didn´t frustrate me and even made me to respect myself and to take care of my emotions and feelings! It is so amazing! I am happy man!

    hg0088官方网站Thank you, Brooke, for the sharing your great knowledge!

    1. Hi Konstantin,

      It’s so great to hear you are now applying the skills learned from Brooke’s podcast!


    1. Hi Sg, Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. Brooke appreciates it! –Rebekah

  30. Hi Brooke,
    I was just introduced to your podcast – I love it!! Although it’s 3 years later, you asked to comment on our most epic fail of all time. I thought it would feel good nevertheless to write it down to someone… Here it is!
    I’m 29, I have 2 kids (5 and 7) and I’ve been married for 7 years. We bought a house last year – a bit bigger than anticipated but in our preferred region. Anyways, I had the brilliant idea of becoming an entrepreneur. I wanted to provide project management services. I also had two good jobs. I secured a client, signed a contract and walked out of one of my jobs. It was a job I loved, paid great, benefits, etc. but I was just diagnosed with fibro and have reoccurring carpal tunnel syndrome (even after 3 OP in 2 years). Management weren’t accommodating and wouldn’t respond to emails, or acknowledge my new ideas (or any idea) and wouldn’t communicate info down to me. I looked like a fool when talking with clients a lot of times! But now, my contract with my client isn’t going well, and I realized I didn’t like project management as much as I used to like my other job. I’m out one job (thank goodness I kept my second good job *grateful*) but I’m gonna get short of cash soon. My husband is also losing one of his jobs…
    I think I wanted to follow my gut and I failed. And it’s not just me failing… I’m sinking my family too – all for the sake of following my dream of becoming my own boss. Now I’m scared s*itless to go back to my first dream and following it. I don’t believe in working for the sake of working – my soul will die I promise 😉 I need to feel I have a purpose and that I’m doing good in the world.
    So this is my super duper epic fail. Hopefully I’ll find a solution in the next few days…
    Thanks for your awesome podcasts!

    1. hg0088官方网站Hi Valerie, Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. Brooke appreciates it! –Rebekah

  31. hg0088官方网站Hi Brooke! I found you by way of another Podcaster (Corinne Crabtree). I initially listened to your episodes 188 & 189 and loved it so much I decided to start at the beginning and do all the activities in order. Today I was listening to Episode #4 and am just blown away! It is so amazing to me how God leads me when I am willing to follow. It all began when I “stumbled” upon Corinne and thought I was there for weight loss coaching. After listening to her and wanting to go deeper still into the concepts about my THINKING I was lead to you. Interestingly I am a new Entreprenuer and am at a crossroad with my business that has everything to do with MY THINKING and FEAR OF FAILURE. OMG I feel a life changing break through on the horizon! Thanks Brooke for all you do and your brilliant way of presenting it.

  32. I also recently found Brooke’s podcasts and am totally blown away by her thought processes. Realizing the way I look at failure is my first epic failure of the month. Recognizing that undecided, confused and I don’t know are all ways of hiding from failure is going to revolutionize my self discovery and success! Looking forward to 4 more HUGE fails this month on my way to big success. Thanks Brooke!

    1. hg0088官方网站Glad you found Brooke’s podcast and are enjoying it. Thank you for sharing! –Brecklyn

  33. Hi Brooke,

    So much of you said resonated to me, thank you very much ! However, there is an issue I struggle with and I would love to have your comments about. I am definitely afraid of failing and I know I should free myself or this fear. But I can’t manage (for the moment !) to do it as my worst fear is to harm someone by doing a mistake is actually possible as I am a physician. It creates me a lot of anxiety +++ I think that I couldn’t bare to harm someone or being reproached to (even if it is not true..). Furthermore, it’s very difficult for me to deal with people who are not pleased about my care , even if I know I did the good thing to do. I know this fear is very often illogical and with no direct links with my activity (I feel anxious the same way whatever the problem is , serious or minor ) I am known as a very good physician but I am struggling so much with this issues that it was one of the reasons that lead me to stop my clinical activity few months ago.I am so tired of combatting this problem (in an ineffective way as it lasts for years and years). Any idea for me ? How not feeling fear of failing when it involves others ?
    Thank you very much for your help.
    PS : Sorry for my english, I live in Europe

    1. Great question! Brooke may address this in an upcoming Questions & Answers podcast. Stay tuned! For direct coaching from Brooke, I recommend checking out Self Coaching Scholars, you can learn more about it .

  34. I have definitely pulled the plug on attempts at workshops and webinars when I felt I didn’t have enough people signed up and would have felt embarrassed for only a handful of people to show up. That is the past. I have completely let go of that ego. I just scheduled a room for an event on June 23rd. I found out I need to provide a certificate of insurance that will cost me around $500. That will be a squeeze for me right now and I would have just pulled the plug and felt like the victim, as usual. Today, I’m purchasing the insurance and I’m getting on the phone to get people booked and butts in seats. I will NOT be defeated!

  35. Brook
    I recently discovered your podcast. It has helped me so much. You provide a very good understanding on life struggles. Thank you! The failure episode. 1st off… I am a professional when it cones to excepting failure. I am the youngest of 7. So it was part of growing up. I had a learning disability so all through school. They diagnosed me with dyslexia. I was very self conscious about my reading and spelling abilities. Am till this day. But I have always had a positive attitude and the ability to believe in people. I work as a manager. Managing a young staff of field workers. I find myself coaching all the time. And I had to attempt many things I felt sure I would fail at… But was Able to learn over the years. We are currently working with new directors and managment that has made our environment very stressful. I have lost many good colleagues Over the past few years because it was just to hard for them to deal with it. But I have built my currier here and determined to make it to retirement. I am 54. Started here when I was 27. Starting at the bottom as a field worker, and worked my way to the managment team. I do struggle with the impossible, and having to play this game to stay within the team. I fear it is hurting my heart. It’s been beat up a lot. However I’m a believer… A believer that things work out as they should… The failure part is that is not always true. And your stuck in situations you know is wrong. And it’s hard to learn from this. It’s hart to have the currege to stand up to this. This is my struggle right now.
    hg0088官方网站 So thank you. You are an inspiration. It helps me still be a believer.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Judy. Glad you found Brooke’s podcast and are enjoying it! –Brecklyn

  36. Great podcast, thank you. It’s given me the confidence to take on more projects at work that I had been delaying and procrastinating over
    hg0088官方网站 “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback! Brooke appreciates it very much. –Brecklyn

  37. Broke,
    Here is my first failure while listening to your podcast “How to Fail”
    I called my son to listen to a portion of it that I felt could help him see something he does all the time. He sabotages his ability to fail by saying “ I don’t know how to do this” or “I am confused”.
    So first thing he says to me is “ I don’t believe in these podcasts, I don’t believe In these motivational speakers, psychologists”.
    hg0088官方网站 I responded, “ how many podcasts of this nature have you ever listened to in your whole life?” I asked him to please listen with an open mind. He did. Still he said, “not good”. We argued about it, I explained what it mean and how it’s applicable to him not wanting to try pet sitting as an easy job he could do.

    It left me frustrated and somehow upset and disappointed. Failure #1, 4 more to go. Yay!

  38. I am listenning to you Brooke from Luberon , Provence, in South of France. My life is changing thanks to you: I discover an amazing different way of thinking and leading life! I really wanted to thank you so much and I wanted to share my comments. I would have never thought it was a good thing to fail before I listen to your podcast while cooking tonight. I think this is a concept that is culturally not really accepted in France : at school you are not suposed to fail while learning and you are blamed when you fail. At work, you are not allowed to fail neither and you can really suffer from the consequences of “failed try”(not sure my english is really understandable) : confidence is lost and you need to fight hard to recover. In love you shall not fail : divorcing with children is still considered as unforgivable. It seems that it is more accepted no to try if you are not sure to succeed in. But i am totally convinced now that this is essential to fail to learn and to evolve and quicker than trying only when you are sure to succeed. When you are waiting for a sure result before trying, things are evolving very slowly. For sure when you try , you are confident and you have good reason to think you will succeed and you generally succeed. But this means although that you miss many creative possibilities. And this leads you to think that a try is a death or live option. And fear is growing each time you have to try. Because you know you shall not fail. It is blocking all. And you need to be so brave , much more than if you take fail as a way to learn and evolve. Then failing become funny.
    I am currently in the storm : I need to convince banks to help me keeping my house due to my divorce and Iam feeling so much peacefull after having listenned to this podcast and the one on fears (ep 5) now I feel so strong with these tools. I warmly thank you again and again : you are helping me so much from the end of the world, this is magic! When I listen to you, I am finding the necessary energy inside me and the “joie de vivre” (joy of living? )

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Sandrine. Brooke appreciates it. Glad to hear her podcast has been helping you during this time in your life. –Felicia

  39. Thank you SO much for all the AMAZING information you offer in your Podcasts!! I was literally blown away when I found your site, your message is totally in alignment with my philosophy message!! I already held a lot of these understandings about Self Study and I am also training to be a Holistic Wellness Coach… and I’m curious about your Policies for using/sharing the tools and exercises you teach. I want to properly give you credit…you deserve it, but I want to make sure it is ok to teach along the lines of these things as well, how do you recommend I go about incorporating some of the information into my practice while being appropriately respectful to your life’s work??

    1. Hi Betty, Thank you for your comment. We are so glad you’re enjoying the Podcasts. You can teach the idea of The Model and tools giving credit to Brooke. We ask that you don’t use our specific materials and exercises. If you need more information, you can email [email protected] –Felicia

  40. Thank You Thank You Thank You for your amazing podcast! My failure #1 Is about failing in first good impression on my bosses wife. I’m working on to learn socializing and try to adapt the American way (the way to survive in US) with fast kind (right! comments). :-/ Ok.. Four more failures to look forward to, when Learning…

  41. Brooke,

    You’re amazing! You ‘hit the nail on the head’ with everything you’re telling me. I get choked up and think, “She’s talking to ME”.
    hg0088官方网站 I’m inspired to get going and be brave.

    hg0088官方网站VERY useful at my stage of life (74 yrs. old) and wondering how to re-charge.

    You are very clear in all you’re sharing. I’m excited.

    1. Thank you, Meredith! Brooke appreciates that. Thank you for listening to the podcast. –Felicia