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Why Even Your Failures Are Just Opportunities to Learn | Marie Forleo on Impact Theory | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Why Even Your Failures Are Just Opportunities to Learn | Marie Forleo on Impact Theory".
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Failure is just an event. It's not a characteristic and here's one of the things that has really helped me in that regard. I win or I learn but I never lose. I live my life by mantras. I'm a pretty simple girl. Like they work for me because I just repeat the things that I know are gonna lead me in the right direction. So I win or I learn but I never lose. What does that mean? It means that no matter what situation I put myself in, either I'm gonna be a fucking baller and I'm gonna knock it out of the park or I'm gonna learn a shit ton. And then I'll be like, "Okay!" So I learned all this stuff but I could do it next time. But I never lose. So I'm not attaching that identity. Does that mean that I never make silly mistakes? Of course I do. Does that mean in the moment when I've wasted cash, when I've made a poor judgment call, when I've fallen flat on my face that I don't freaking cry or feel like an idiot? I absolutely do those things. I do those things. But then, the moment I actually take a breath and have a little perspective for a moment, I'm like, "Okay." I win or I learn but I never lose. And that allows me to get back up, contextualize it and keep on trucking. Hey everyone, welcome to Impact Theory. Today's guest is Impact Theory's first ever three-peat for a full blown breakdown of her obscenely long list of awe-inspiring accomplishments, which you can go back and watch either of our previous two encounters and get that entire laundry list. For now, I'll just say this, she is a hardworking Jersey girl with the kind of insights you can live your life by. And in her book, Everything is Figure Outable. She turned those insights into an instruction manual for an amazing life. And that is exactly what we're gonna be diving into today. So without further ado, I give you the one and I assure you only, Marie Forleo. Woo! Hello! This is so good to have you back. Oh my goodness, it's amazing to be back. Hi everybody! Your book is rad. Thank you. And my whole thing is, can you take someone's advice, use it as is and actually make your life better? Yes. And your book delivers that in spades. And I think probably comes the closest to what I really feel is just the core truth of life. And you sum it up in such a fun way. Thank you. And I love the story. So that we get a little bit of framework.
Understanding The Concept Of 'Everything Is Figureoutable'
Everything is figure-out-able (02:34)
Yes. I want people to understand what does it mean for everything to be figure outable? And where did you come up with that phrase? So it was kind of interesting when we were creating the book and started selling it actually into foreign markets. They were like, well, how are we going to define this word? Everything is figure outable because it doesn't translate into other languages. And I was like, OK, it is achievable. It means that something is possible. We started playing with all these words. But I think to answer the second question of how this phrase came about, I'm taking it back to Jersey, taking it back to the 80s, and taking it back to my mom who is like this interesting character. So she's about 5'3". She looks like June Cleaver and she curses like a truck driver. She grew up in the projects of Newark, New Jersey to two alcoholic parents. And she learned by necessity how to stretch a dollar bill around the block like five times. And she promised herself that when she got older, she would find a way to a better life. So cut to me growing up in this Italian-American home, there's like plastic cover couches, very working class. And one of my fondest memories was me and my mom sitting at the kitchen table and cutting out coupons. So because frugality is her number one thing in life, right? She loved teaching me all the different ways that we could save money. And she also introduced me to this idea of proofs of purchase. Do you remember those from? Yes. So if you like save up the fact that you bought X amount of boxes of cereal or whatever and you mailed in this little piece of the box that these brands would send you like a cookbook or utensils, like good stuff for free. And one of my mom's most prized possessions was this tiny little orange radio, like transistor AM FM. It had a little red and white straw sticking out of the side. That was the antenna. And she got it for free from Tropicana orange juice. And my mom is the kind of person who's always busy, always doing something. And so as a kid, I knew the way to find her was to listen for the sound of that tinny little radio coming like somewhere from the yard or in the house. So like one day I was walking home from school and I heard the radio off from the distance. And as I got closer, it was coming from above, which was a strange kind of orientation. And I look up and we had a two story house. And my mom, who's tiny, is perched on the top of the two story house like very precariously. And when you're little and you're short, it just, everything is amplified. And I was like, mom, I was like, is everything okay? Like, what are you doing up there? And in her very Jersey accent, she's like, uh, really, I'm fine. You know, the roof had a leak in it. I called the roofer. He said it's going to be at least 500 bucks. I said, screw that. I went into the garage. There was extra asphalt. I'm going to fix it. And I was just like, okay, you know, that's mom. Another time I came home and I heard the radio like blaring from the back of the house.
A Story of My Mom (05:31)
So I walked to the back of the house and I saw the bathroom. It's like the door was cracked open. And as I pushed the door open, the whole room was filled with dust particles. There was like pipe sticking out of the wall. It looked like a bomb went off. I'm like, mom, what are you doing? Like, is everything okay? And she said, you know, the tiles had cracks in them. And I didn't want the bathroom to get moldy. So I'm retiling the bathroom. Now, Tom, you got to get this again is the 1980s. My mom is high school educated. This was pre-internet, pre-youtube, pre-google. I never knew like where I would find my mom or what I'd find her doing, but that radio was always my clue. So one day it was in the fall in a New Jersey, you know, the daylight savings had already passed. So it was dark and it was spooky and I went home and it was totally silent. And the house was dark, which is very odd for my family. So I walk in and I had that pit in my stomach that you have when you're nervous that something's wrong and I start walking around the house and I didn't know where my mom was. And I felt like something bad had happened. Then all of a sudden I heard these tiny clicks and clacks and I followed the sound to the kitchen and I saw my mom hunched over the kitchen table. It was like an operating room. She had like electrical tape and screwdrivers and in a dozen or so little pieces her Tropicana orange was completely dismantled. I was like, mom, that's your little radio. What happened? Are you okay? Is it broken? And she said, oh, it's fine. You know, the antenna was off and the dial was not working right. So I'm fixing it. And that was the first time I thought to ask the question that I really needed to ask all along, which was how do you know how to do so many different things that you've never done before, yet no one's showing you how to do them? And she like put down her screwdriver and she caught her head and she looked at me and she's like, what are you talking about?
Everything Is Figureoutable (07:23)
It's not that big of a deal. Nothing in life is that complicated. You can do anything you set your mind to if you roll up your sleeves, you get in there and you do it. Everything is figure outable. And I was like, just in that moment and I will tell you this, I don't know, Tom, for sure, whether she said those three words or that's what my childhood brain heard and translated, because you know how we do that kind of thing. But that phrase got embedded in my soul on such a deep level and I just set it over and over again. And then I realized as I became an adult, it's been the single biggest driving force of my life, like from continuing to get rejected on like sports teams and cheerleading and going again and again and like getting out of an abusive relationship when I was like my first love to like getting into classes in college to getting every part time job I've ever gotten every full-time job I've ever gotten, getting out of relationships into relationships, building the entire business. Like I still use that phrase every single day. And so I knew I needed to write this book, but I think more importantly, right now, when we look around at what's happening economically, environmentally, socially, politically, we've got a lot of challenges that we're collectively facing. And my biggest hope was that if people pick up this book, of course, I want them to use it to help them build a better career or get their health back on mine or anything that is challenging for them personally. But honestly, I really, really hope that once people unlock that possibility within themselves that people pick up this book and say, you know what, there's bigger problems that we can figure out and we need to do this together. This is always risky because I could be misreading, but you look like you're getting emotional from telling that story. I mean, I believe in this so much. Like my friend Toby, who runs a company called Shopify, I was writing the manuscript writing. Okay, let's be real. I was like bleeding, like, oh, I can't write that. Like, you know, just trying to pound out on my keyboard. I am not an easy, like everything flows kind of writer. It's very torturous for me. And I was trying really hard to write the manuscript. I saw my friend Toby. We said hi, he's like, Marie, how's the business? What's going on? What's happening in your life? And I said, everything is great. I'm working on this manuscript. And he's like, why are you doing a book? He's like, that's so much work. And that's such a huge commitment. And everything else seems to be going great. It's not like you need to write a book. And I said, Toby, if I got hit by a bus tomorrow, which could happen, I don't want it to happen. I hope I'm around for a very long time. But if I got hit by a bus tomorrow, this is the one idea that I would want to leave behind. That's it. Everything else I've done, that's awesome. It's beautiful. I'm proud of it. But if I can communicate this idea effectively and give people the gift that I was able to receive from my mom growing up, I could go on to the next adventure feeling very satisfied. That thing in what you just said about it being in an idea that's worth telling and that could really last beyond you, it comes out in the book so well. And one thing that I loved in the book is how you essentially use font to shout. Everything is figure out about everything is figure out about that. And I thought that it's really so powerful. And so many people are paralyzed because they don't think it's figure outable. They think it's figure outable by Marie Forleo, but it's not figure outable by me. How do you help people have that breakthrough to really understand? And part of what I love from that story, and I really want to believe your mom actually said those words. I do too. Because it makes her seem so like just earthy and like, you know, the person that you knew growing up. I mean, that's her. She still is that character. And sometimes the text messages I get like the all caps and the expletatives. But to your question, how do we get? I mean, the whole book is designed to help people. Like I'm doing everything in my power to get them to adopt this belief. And we talk about try it before you deny it. You know, there are, of course, challenges that every single human being faces. And I don't pretend to know the history or the hardships of every single person watching this interview right now. But what I do know is this that every single person watching or listening to this has immense power inside, has incredible talents and gifts, has incredible capabilities that they don't even know exist right now. And I know that if they're just willing to try on this idea, just again, try it before you deny it. Don't believe me. Just try it out for yourself that they can overcome any hardship, any challenge they face and create miracles in their lives and in the lives of people around them. I'm certain of it. Like we have dozens, I think maybe you read them dozens and dozens of stories in the book from people who I have never coached. I've never met. I've never worked with. And their stories bring me to my knees because they're facing really hard truths, terminal illness, death, loss, grief, addiction, and have used these three little words to lift themselves up and to find a way to get back on their feet. Your mom actually has maybe the most powerful moment for me, the one that I felt most viscerally and maybe because of the way you wrote it, I don't know.
But like when you come home and she's just freaking out over the divorce, yeah, walk us through that moment. I have the chills now just thinking about it and I just read it. So our beliefs are often forged, I believe, when we have these intense emotional experiences. And oftentimes this happened in our childhood. They certainly happen in our adulthood as well. But I think a lot of us really form our ideas about how the world works and our place in it and where everyone else's places and how we fit into the structure when we're kids. And so my parents were going through divorce and the one thing was really clear, it wasn't about like drugs or alcohol, it wasn't about infidelity, it wasn't about like the violence of any kind, it was always about money, money, money, money, money, money, they're not being enough of it. My mom feeling like she never knew if everything was okay, the fact that she felt powerless, like she didn't have any control of her. I mean, just the list goes on and on. And so when they finally got a divorce, I remember the day that it was finalized and I just walked into the kitchen and my mom was sobbing. And like she's a tiny woman, but she had lost, I don't know, 15, 20 pounds, it's made her look like a skeleton. Her eyes were bloodshed and she was on the phone with her mother who was in Florida at the time. And she was just beside herself crying, balling, saying, I have nothing, I have nothing, I have nothing, I can't believe I was so stupid. Like, I mean, it was just this whole thing. And I just stood there as probably the ground aid or so, just feeling paralyzed because I really love my dad. All I wanted to do is get my mom to stop crying, like trying to figure out how to make sense of all this, just everything felt unstable, which I think most people have some kind of experience like that from childhood. And my mom hung up the phone and she still had tears running down her face and her hands were like really red and you could just see the veins. And she bent down so that her eye level was near mine and she took me by the shoulders and she shook me. And she said, "Ree, don't be stupid like I was. Don't ever, ever let a man control your money. Don't ever, ever let a man control your life. You need to grow up. You need to be independent. Don't be stupid like me. Look at me. Look at me right now. Don't ever be me." And I was just like, you know, just no freaking clue how to process all that. But this part of me inside made a promise to myself in that moment that somehow I was going to find a way as an adult to make enough money so that the lack of it would never cause this kind of pain again because I knew my dad was a good guy. I knew my mom was a good guy. But I just had this equation that the lack of money equaled extraordinary stress and the loss of love and family that giving a man control over your money meant being stupid, that giving anyone power over your life was just a whole bunch of bad things were going to happen. And so that belief formed really early in me and to be honest, I think it's the reason that big reason of who I am today and what has driven me to be here and to also place such a high value on helping women be financially empowered because the statistics are, you know, it's pretty sad and I've seen it even in my career when a woman doesn't feel like she has any choices because economically she doesn't. It's just it breaks my heart. Yeah, hearing that story and knowing how beliefs are formed, it was really powerful in the book and I'm really freaked out in life just how much your youth matters. Yes. Because I really want it to be true. It is sadly not. But I really want it to be true that we're all blank slates and you know that we can become anything we want. But childhood has a disproportionate amount of imprinting, especially when it comes to belief systems. Your book is full of just a ridiculous litany of amazing quotes, both from you and other people. And you had a quote about this and you said, "Beliefs are the hidden scripts that run our lives." And that's one of those. If you could get people to really internalize the fact that right now, your whole life is being dictated by the beliefs that you have. Yes. How do you help people unwind those beliefs? How do you help them replace them with more powerful beliefs? Because that is like a layer of the operating system that is so wildly underappreciated. Yeah. That that's almost always where I start with people. Yeah. It has to be. I think for all of us, I think the first thing for us to go to is that recognizing that beliefs are a choice and every choice can be changed. Yes. So beliefs are a choice and every choice can be changed. Do people react like you're crazy when you say that? Um, you know, I haven't floated that out enough in a big enough audience to see people like, I don't believe it. I'm dying to know how people respond to this. Well, let's see. Because I really think people think that beliefs are recognition of truth and that to try to change your beliefs is to try to deny the truth in some way. Well, I mean, for anyone watching, whoever believed in Santa Claus, right? Like you believed things. I'm certain that I know I have, like you believed things when you were younger, even if you weren't a child, if you were a teenager, you were a young adult that now experience or wisdom or something has shown you, no, that's not actually the truth. Anyway, my point is this, we collectively have believed things both individually and as a society over time that we've changed our beliefs. So I think that that is proof positive that our beliefs are a choice and those choices can indeed be changed. You know, obviously, there is the phenomenon known as confirmation bias, which is the brains. Um, just, it tends to reinforce what we already believe and then ignore information consciously or subconsciously that doesn't match what we already believe, which is often why whenever we're having conversations about really, um, delicate topics, like it could be about gun gun control or reproductive rights or race and they just evolve so fast because people hunker down in their belief bunkers and they're unwilling to see another point of view. But I do hold fast to the fact that all beliefs are a choice and choices can be changed. And here's what else is cool. You know this because you're so immersed in the world of personal development. You're someone who is so committed to learning and growth. Over the years, I've read more personal development books than you can like just shake a tree at. And oftentimes part of the exercise is like you have to go hunt down all of your limiting beliefs. Right. So if you want to become this powerful person and be the best that you can be, you need to find every single limiting belief and then change it and do all these different things. Here's what I realized when writing this book. You actually don't need to do that. I have a time saving tool because everybody needs to save some time and to make this really effective and efficient. If you adopt the belief that everything is figureoutable and you take that on for yourself, you need to go hunt and down all your limiting beliefs because that one thing is like the master key that handles everything below it. It's almost like flipping a switch in your consciousness where then everything else becomes possible. So let's say if you're like, Oh, everything is figureoutable, you bump into something in your relationship that feels like it's problematic. You're like, Oh, I could figure this out. You don't need to go necessarily looking for all those limiting beliefs. You may eventually uncover them and that's cool. You can kind of clean them out, but you don't have to do all this front-end work. Adopt this one. It's like the master key and it'll help you achieve anything you want for the rest of your life. This is not like hype. I'm dead serious on this. Oh, dude, I am I'm a psychopath for the truth of that statement.
The Only Belief that Matters (20:47)
So this is this is what I call the only belief that matters. So when people come to me and they're struggling with something or whatever, I always start with the same thing. There's one belief that matters. And if you're willing to take this on every other domino falls from here, and if you don't believe this and we're in trouble, yes, very similar, which is that the human animal is designed to learn and grow, meaning you can get better at anything, which is another way of saying everything is figureoutable. You can learn this stuff.
The Human Animal Is Designed to Learn and Grow (21:05)
Yeah. So yes, I get it. You don't know it now. I agree. You right now today, you're incapable. Yes. You're in the moment where the radio is broken. You haven't yet opened it. You're not yet trying to figure out like what pieces need to go where you haven't done the experimentation. So I fully accept that right now you're incapable. But if you believe that you can learn, then it all goes from there. Then it's about you can decide I don't want to put the energy in, which of course you cover in the book. Oh, yeah, we should talk about the three rules because these are really good. When I first started writing this book, I floated the idea out to my friend who has an eight year old boy. We're sending out brunch and he's like, what are you writing your book about? And I said, this everything is figureoutable.
Three Rules to Deal with Skeptics (21:46)
He's like, I don't believe that. I was like, oh shit, this is perfect. That's what I said. I was like, this is great. Tell me more. He's like, well, we humans can't grow working wings out of our back. And I was like, you damn right. I was like, but you know what? We can indeed fly. And he was like, oh, and he was like, but you know, I can't get my childhood dog back. He's dead. And he died when I was three. And I was like, kids in 10. Yeah, no, I like it, man. I'm like, bring it. I need to prove my book. Like, I said, bring it to me. We're like, eating our french fries together. I'm dipping in that ketchup. I'm like, bring it, brother. And I said, you are absolutely right. I said, however, dog cloning is happening and they are working on cryogenic. So it may not be figureoutable right now, but that does not preclude it from being figure out a blip some point. A couple hundred years ago, we thought it would be preposterous to be on the moon walking. Right. If you said that, and yet we did it. So there are many things that perhaps we have not put our attention on quite yet to figure out, but doesn't mean it's not possible. So after my amazing talk with my eight year old friend at brunch, I created three rules to help all of us have a mental container so we can do less kind of devil's advocate and more, just use this friggin idea to help yourself and others. Like, can we just focus there? So rule number one, all problems or dreams are figureoutable. Rule number two, if a problem isn't figureoutable, it's not a problem. It's a fact of life, i.e. death, gravity, laws of nature. Now we can play around in there for a minute, but you don't even have to, right? If we could change those. Rule number three, you may not care enough to solve this particular problem or reach that particular dream. And that's okay. Don't beat yourself up. Go find something that you're so friggin passionate about that you can't help yourself, but just attack it and then go back to rule one. And those three simple rules create a fun mental container within which you can play, and then just go and start having fun with making your life immeasurably better.
Rules To Deal With Hatres (23:54)
My response to that, because so it's cute and funny when it's an eight-year-old heckler. Yes. But when they get to be like 48 and they're coming at you with a, well, but this isn't possible, that's not possible. I'm like, all right, hold on. Yeah. Don't you hope I'm right? Don't you hope I'm right that you can learn and grow and figure this shit out. Like, what exactly are you arguing for? Right. Like that's somebody who's built their entire identity and sense of self-worth around being right. And when they can identify something where you're wrong, they get so much like orgiastic pleasure off of hahaha. Like, I have you on this one. Yes. I'm like, well, it's the old adage. If you argue for your limitations, guess what? You get to keep them. Right. And in terms of this book, what you're talking about, you know, if you want to just make the case, like, this isn't going to work. Well, congratulations. Have fun with your life, but nothing else will work either. Yeah. Yeah. That's me. I've, I won't say I've never understood it because I used to be exactly like that. But once you get to the other side of really internalizing it, yeah, what changed for you? I'm curious because you might be giving a lifeline to someone listening right now who people like they hate both of us. I don't believe that. You ready? No, please. So it was once you get into business, they're the market places telling you whether you're winning or losing and the binary nature. And when your house is on the line, like, shit gets real clear real fast. Like, all of a sudden, you don't care about being right. You just don't want to lose your house. You don't want to be standing in front of your wife going, Hey, remember when I asked you to gamble the house? We lost. Like, there's so much fucking clarity in that. So yeah, that being an entrepreneur is like this really powerful thing for people who can stomach the risk and all that. But there's just so much binary clarity. And you're so hungry to, if you're me anyway, I just want to win. Right. And because I believe in what I'm creating that it will really help people that I'm like, I have every incentive in the world to just be a slave to the truth. What is actually working? And when you can get people in that frame of reference, and I was trying to use the most brutal possible situation they could find themselves in, someone wants to hurt you. And they are, they're, they're bullying you, they're being intentionally cruel. And when somebody's trying to be intentionally cruel, they're going to come at you with something that's true. And so it's like, in that moment, you know, you're on the right path. If when somebody says something to be hurtful, and it is real, and you go, I'm actually going to hear that, which you talk about in the book. How do you walk people through that moment where it's like, it hurts, it really does suck. And it really is real. In terms of facing a hard truth? Yeah. Like if somebody, whether it's being flung at them, whether they turn inward and they see it themselves. Oh, there are many different ways, I think that we can deal with the haters. I'll tell a quick story because I was over a decade ago, and I had just created B-School. It was the first time launching something of that scale. I had done other group coaching programs, and I had already been successful in my business and taking care of myself. And I remember going to this business conference where I was really excited because I was clear, my audience was like tiny.
Rule Yourself (27:00)
It was devoted, but small. And I wanted so badly to share this idea. I said, I know I need promotional partners. Go into this business conference, and I had like cheesy-ass binders, big plastic binders filled with things, and my lanyard. And I was going up to the main session. And I was on the escalator in this hotel, and there was a gentleman on the escalator with me who was also part of that conference. And as you do, they're doing small talk like, oh, who are you? What do you do? And so he asked me, what's your company? What are you here for? What are you doing? And I was so friggin' excited, Tom. And I told him all about this new thing B-School and how it's gonna help people build and grow their businesses with integrity. And it's all aligned with your heart and your value system. And it actually works. And there's like style and humor and all this stuff. He literally laughed in my face. And he was like, are you for real? Is this a real business? Come on. You gotta have a rich boyfriend or husband bank rolling you. There's no way this is a real business. And like, you gotta get on from Jersey. And it's very hard one to get me to be speechless. Two, I was like, can I just grab him by the frickin' collar and throw him off this damn escalator? Like, I was like, what is this? Fucking 1808, not 2008? Like, how do chauvinistic assholes like this actually still exist? Like, I was completely baffled. Anyway, we got up to the top level of that escalator and he went his way and I just kind of recomposed myself. But I gotta tell you, I really thank him for not believing in me. I call it fuck you fuel. Because in that moment, I had such a big FU in me that it fired me up to spend the rest of my time at that conference doing everything I possibly could to make my program a success. Do you know what I mean? And so, I hustled even harder. I was even more charming and trying to be persuasive as I possibly could be because I was so motivated to prove that asshole wrong. And I completely get as a coach, like, having that kind of FU fuel as a long-term motivation is not healthy. But I also think in the moment, we have to work with what we have. Like, to just alchemize the anger, the frustration someone putting you down and to use it as a positive and productive vehicle to help you move ahead. So, thank you for not believing in me.
Greatest Gift (29:31)
Dude, I always tell people the greatest gift anyone can ever give you is doubt. Now, the bad news is it breaks most people. So, I get how, like, if you're at the very beginning of your journey, it can be quite counterproductive. But one of the things I think people need to rush to get to is the point in which doubt actually fuels them. So, my question is, how do you teach people? Because you, and you talk about this in the book about, okay, look, I break things down into binaries sometimes because you have to to make a point or be clear. But I really do struggle when people don't recognize the nuance in life. So, I love that you're talking about, on a long timeline, this becomes problematic.
How to not get into the danger zone (30:06)
But in short bursts, it can be insanely powerful. How do you, like, watch yourself to make sure you're not getting into the danger zone of, like, just being spiteful and angry all the time? Me? Personally, I think that I burned through that fuel really fast. Like, the fact that I used it in that particular instance to, like, get me through those two or three days, it was like a way to burn it up. And then, I think what you have to do is stay focused on the difference that you want to make. If we're talking about a business context, or we're talking about something in your career, or something creatively that you want to put out into the world, you can use that FU fuel for like a minute. But then go back to what's the deeper fuel of why this is going to make a difference. Who is it going to impact? What's the greater difference you want to make in that particular market or to someone or even to yourself? And so, I think that's a really easy way to, so we can all check ourselves before we wreck ourselves when it comes to that FU fuel. So, I think that you have to be really rooted in your own process, in your own dreams, and realizing you're going to fall on your face, like all of us do. You're going to wipe out. You're going to try some things. You know, we call it on our team throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. And no, not all the spaghetti is going to stick. Somebody's going to slide down and be like a messy blob on the floor and it's like, "Okay, that didn't work. You're probably going to waste some money. You're probably going to bruise your ego. You're going to be wrong." And that's okay. That's what it takes to figure things out. You know, there's a whole chapter in the book about progress, not perfection. Progress, not perfection. That's all we're striving for. Progress, not perfection. And I think that those stumbles and those screw-ups are a really positive indicator that you're actually in the game, that you're actually making progress and that you're on your way, eventually, to victory. Yeah, you talked, I can't remember if it's a whole chapter, but you talk at length about something that I think is incredibly important, which is you've got to start before you're ready.
Starting before youre ready (31:54)
Start before you're ready, baby. Yeah. Like that is so critical. Walk people through what that is, why it's so important. Yes. Okay. So I think one of the biggest things we can all do in life is tell ourselves this nasty little lie and we believe it, "Oh, I'm not ready yet. I'm not ready to send that email to ask for the introduction. I'm not ready to go out with that particular promotion or to raise my prices or to have that deep conversation with my spouse. Whatever the case may be, I'm not ready yet. I need a little bit more time. I need a little bit more experience." And I found that it's just a form of procrastination. And then before you know it, like two years, five years, a decade goes by and you're just older and none the wiser, none the richer, none the more alive because you didn't even attack your dreams. I realized this when I was starting my dance career and I had, I was 25 at the time, which sadly in the dance world is a little bit over the hill when you're wanting to be a professional dancer and I had never taken a dance class in my life. I had no training, no technique, nothing. And here I was starting to teach a hip hop class purely on passion and just like, "Ah, I think I can do it." And a woman was in the class. She came up to me afterwards and she was like, "You're pretty good." Which by the way, was such a shock to me because at that time, my self-esteem was so in the toilet because I had such a string of failures back after back after back. And she's like, "You should come in an audition for this position I have. I work at MTV. We're working on a new show. We need a choreographer and producer." And I was like, "Are you serious universe? I am so green. I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I am not ready for this opportunity. It made me want to throw up." But of course, I was 25 and not getting any younger. And this was a time when MTV was still super big as a brand and it was one of the things I grew up on. So I was like, "This is like a dream come true." So I had a choice to make. Either I was going to sit there and be small and be like, "No, I'm not ready. Come back to me in a year or two. That's not going to friggin happen." Or I was going to suck it up and walk my ass over to the Viacom building, practically wanting to hurl in the trash can and just go for it. And I went for it and I booked that gig and here's the thing. I was not great at it. I got through being a choreographer and a producer at MTV. There was people I was choreographing who had literally decades more experience and dance than I did. They were talking about dance terms that not only could I not perform physically, I didn't even know what the hell they were. However, that one opportunity and the friggin massive growth that it produced, and I behaved professionally, of course, and I was honest. But it was like starting before I was ready led to me eventually becoming a Nike elite athlete led me to eventually choreographing commercials for Reebok and Nike and other brands doing all of these things. And I think starting before you're ready is one of the greatest secrets to kick your butt out of procrastination and into a world of growth. Yeah, the phrase that I use is failure is the most information rich data stream there is.
Overcoming Fear And Failure
Failure Is Just an Event (35:06)
Like you're going to learn. And so going back to your notion about beliefs, it's like if you have a belief that failing makes you a failure, which oh, let's see how fast I can get to it. You have a quote about this. Well, that was awesome. It's from Judge Pratt. Do you know it right off the top of your head? Judge Victoria Pratt. No, I have one from you. Oh, great. We can talk about them. Let's see. Oh God. Failure is just an event. It is not a characteristic. Yes. So that is actually that's the riff on Judge Victoria Pratt. So she was a she's a beautiful guest on Marie TV. She's a judge and that was one of like when I heard that out of her mouth, it was so incredibly moving because failure is just an event. It's not a characteristic. And here's one of the things that has really helped me in that regard. I win or I learn, but I never lose. I live my life by mantras. I'm a pretty simple girl. Like they, right, they work for me because I just repeat the things that I know are going to lead me in the right direction. So I win or I learn, but I never lose. What does that mean? It means that no matter what situation I put myself in, either I'm going to be a fucking baller and I'm going to knock it out of the park or I'm going to learn a shit ton and then I'll be like, okay. So I learned all the stuff I could do it next time, but I never lose. So I'm not attaching that identity. Does that mean that I never make silly mistakes? Of course I do. Does that mean in the moment when I've wasted cash, when I've made a poor judgment call, when I've fallen flat on my face that I don't freaking cry or feel like an idiot or absolutely want to cry in the corner or call someone and be like, I'm going to leave it. I'm so stupid. I absolutely do those things. I do those things. But then the moment I actually take a breath and have a little perspective for a moment, I'm like, okay, I win or I learn, but I never lose. And that allows me to get back up, contextualize it, and keep on trucking. Oh, God. I really hope people hear that you do both, that you cry in the corner, call a friend, freak the fuck out, and then I freak the fuck out throughout this whole book. Like people are just like, I want to beat my head against the wall. And I know how hard things are, but there were so many times when I called people on my team, I called friends. My dear friend, my best friend in the whole world, her name is Chris Carr, I would Skype with her, Tom, with tears running down my face going, I'm giving the check back. I'm giving the check back. I don't need to write a book. Why did I say yes? This is the dumbest thing I've ever done. No one gives a shit. There's already an Oprah talk. Who cares? Like that's that happened. That happened the whole way. That's what makes the book so useful and truly, truly the highest compliment that I can pay. A person, their work, anything is that it is useful. Thank you. Is you tell both sides of the story? The like, here's where you're going to struggle. Here's where I struggled. Here's how I pick myself back up. This is the mantra that I use. This is how it becomes ultimately useful. And the thing that gets really frustrating, and I'm sure you have this as well, like the more you get successful, the more people begin to discount you. And it's like, okay, you're sort of putting me on a pedestal. So in the one hand, it's flattering, but it's like, my whole mission is life is to help you. And the more you allow yourself to think that I have something you don't, the less likely you are to turn in a stellar performance. And so it's like, ah, you're thinking about this the wrong way. You're thinking that I feel confident all the time, which I do fucking not. And what I'm trying to tell you is like, I have tools and techniques for dealing with that moment. It isn't that I don't have that. Is it Mark Twain that has that red quote? It's like, courage is not the absence of fear. It's rising up in the face of fear. It might be something like that. Yeah, I think, you know, action is the antidote really to fear. And I also think people have a really mistaken notion about fear. They think it's an enemy that needs to be like kicked and punched in the face and like steam rolled over and like, and I don't think that that's true. I think fear outside of the evolutionary response to keep you from not walking into moving traffic. Very, very useful. I think that all of the other flavors of fear that we feel on a regular basis when it comes to moving forward with an idea, a project, something risky, something creative, something exciting.
Fear Is Your Guidance Tool (39:03)
And we're like, oh, we feel that. Our fear is directive. It's a GPS for our soul most wants to go. And if you reframe that and listen to it, I like to give the analogy that, you know, fear is like an infant or like a dog, like an infant can't use language yet. It's just going, like it's making all kinds of sounds. I need to poop, but you know, I need to eat what's going like that's what it does. It's trying to communicate. Same things like my dog, Kuma, right? He doesn't have language. He's just barking his little head off if someone's coming or he wants to play. It's like one note. And with fear, I think it's very similar. Like when we feel so much fear, again, outside, keeping us safe outside of keeping us out of danger where it's legitimately we could die, what fear is doing? She's like jumping up and down like this. She's like, do this thing. I'm making you feel something because this is important. Right? So it's like that's what fear is doing. And she's your friend. She's trying to aim you in the direction that your soul most wants to go. And if you start thinking about it that way, all of a sudden fear becomes this incredibly instructive guidance tool that puts you on the path that's going to allow you to have the most growth. Yeah, fear is telling you there are stakes. Like there's something here that matters. Yes. And then I mean, look, you can get yourself into trouble with if you talk about this very powerfully in the book that the more you think about something, the more hard wires your brain, which by the way, I really respect how much of the neuroscience you bring in enough to really legitimize what you're talking about, but not enough to slow me down, which is wonderful. And so I definitely want people to know and reading the book, they will understand it. Look, there's a level to which you can take this. You can let fear become hardwired where it is the problem that you think it is, but it is fear-outable. You can unwire that stuff and really begin to go in the opposite direction. And we give people tools like there are a number of exercises in the book. There's somatic tools, there's cognitive tools. There are just practices in terms of fear. And I would say the one thing, I don't know if we want to talk about this, but I think the one thing that trips people up is understanding the difference between fear and intuition. Definatively, we want to talk about it. Okay. Because this is an exercise that I would tell you. This is, you've done your pro-con lists, right? We've kind of looked at this from a very logical and reasonable perspective where you understand the landscape and you still can't make a discernment between whether your intuition is going, don't do this. This is bad news. You're going to go down the wrong path or it's very normal, healthy fear that you're like, oh, I should move into this. This is like a new level of growth for me. It's a physical test. So the difference between fear and intuition can be found through this simple exercise. So think about the opportunity you're looking at. It could be an investment. It could be hiring someone. It could be taking a particular trip, saying yes to a new relationship, whatever. When you ask yourself, does saying yes to this make me feel expansive or contracted.
Tuning into the body rather than asking other people what you should do (42:12)
You want to close your eyes, ask yourself that question, not in the company of other people. You got to tune in. And in the nanosecond after you ask that question, physically your body is going to have a response. Expansive will feel something like either your body ever so subtly moving forward in space, a lightness in your chest, your face may lift. You may feel some semblance of joy or excitement or just like that breathy feeling. On the other hand, contracted any sense of heaviness in your tummy, dread, anxiety, even your physical body moving back or even your head ever so gently shaking no. Now a lot of people have been living from the neck up for so long, fucking sucked into their screens or typing on their computers. They're like, I don't know how to open my body. And you need to get into your body because there is so much wisdom, so much natural knowing in this vessel that it goes untapped. And this simple test, expansive versus contracted, it will save you every time. I've never had one person not do this and really do it with good faith. Do you know what I mean? Like take those deep breaths tune in and not go like I have my answer. Here's where it trips you up. Most of the time, the opportunity you're considering looks amazing on paper. For your ego, it looks awesome. There's money involved, there's prestige. You think you're going to get ahead. Everyone else in your position would say yes to this. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. Yet you cannot deny that something in use like, I can't, I can't figure this out. I don't want to do this thing. Something in me is saying no, trust that voice. That is your intuition. Trying to save your ass from making a really expensive mistake. As you were telling the story, I was like, oh my god, I read somewhere who somebody walks through like all the amazing opportunities they had and they had a couple big jobs that they did and they're like, fuck, why do I still not want to do this? It was you. And so yeah, you detail that really well in the book of like, this job, like this is everything I've ever wanted and I still don't want to be here. Yes. Which is very hard for people to get beyond that sort of prestige moment of like, this is what I'm supposed to want. Yes. This actually isn't what I want. And it happens a lot in business.
Beliefs that holds us back (44:27)
And I think that it's amplified in our culture that is so paid attention to social media and looking at what other people have. And I think this is potentially the danger side. Like, again, I feel like I can speak to this because it's been 20 years and I've been around this industry enough times. One of the dangerous bits about like personal development and growth is people can sometimes get into masterminds and there's a bit of groupthink that happens and everyone's following what everyone else does. And they're kind of just copying each other. And then you're like, well, those are his metrics for success. Like, I should be doing that too or she's doing this and I should want that thing too. And all of a sudden you're chasing these goals that don't fucking matter to you at all. And you're so far off track because you've lost touch with your own internal compass. And I believe that every single person listening right now has so much internal wisdom and innate knowing if they can train themselves to continually go inside rather than outside for the answers. That's really powerful. Do you have advice for people in terms of how to learn to interpret the signals they're getting from their body? Like contracting and expanding that was genius. Yeah, but here's what here's how you here's the fastest way to learn. Do a little bit of excavation in your past. Look at the times when you made some kind of boo boo when you just took yourself in a direction and when you look back and most people can get this in an instant, you're like something in me said no. And I over-wrote that. Look at all the times when something turned into a shit show and ask yourself honestly, was there a signal that I over-wrote? Was there something happening this little voice of feeling in my tummy something that told me you shouldn't do this, but you pull out on through because your ego wanted to run the show. Most of us have some instances of that and that's how you can use your past to help inform a smarter future. How do you think beliefs are playing into that? In what way? So my gut instinct is so when you talk about the ego, the ego is getting in the way.
Breaking Old Habits and Replacing Them With Empowering Beliefs (46:26)
So I started thinking, yeah, what is the ego latching onto? And I thought, well, it's beliefs about- It's a belief about needing to get somewhere and to get ahead and almost fear and scarcity that you're not going to be good enough unless you achieve X, Y, and Z. It's a belief in that someone else is going to get ahead if you don't take this opportunity. It's a belief that perhaps you're not going to be important enough or loved enough unless you have enough of a big bank account, unless enough likes on Instagram, unless you get the recognition that you think you need in order to feel enough in this life. Yeah, 1000%. And that's why when you started talking about beliefs in the book, I was like, "Hommie, it's so on the money for people to really, really take control, start making different choices around their belief system, build a belief system that's empowering, have their mantras. I'm like you, like there are so many phrases that I repeat to myself that I almost forget how many phrases I use. And then people ask me like, "Oh, how do you deal with this?" I'm like, "Oh, well, when that happens, whether it's an either win or I learn." It's like, I'm actually saying those things in my head and getting people armed with those and understanding how to use them so that at that right moment when you're feeling that self-doubt, that you have a belief system to lean back on that's always setting you up for the right thing. And speaking of belief system, you said something earlier that I wanted to get back to, which is I think the word you used was action, but you'll know what I'm talking about. Action is the cure for fear. Oh, yeah. So action, I actually don't know. It was great. You probably hung on to it. You said, so the punchline. Actually, the antidote to fear. There we go. Yeah. So I thought that is so true. The mantra that I use in my head is action, cure is all. So whenever I'm feeling anxious, if I'm feeling overwhelmed, like I know like the last few days I've had so much to do, it's really been like I try never to get to the point where I have more to do than I have hours, like more to do where something pretty important will break if I don't do it. Because I can always deal if just giving more hours solves a problem. But once I run out of hours, then I start to feel that sense of overwhelm. And I was having that sense of overwhelm. And I thought, okay, if I sit here in this, it's not going to go away. But if I actually just what's the most important thing on the list and start doing it, it will immediately diminish my sense of anxiety of being overwhelmed. So yeah, that one's super powerful. And I don't think a lot of people lean into that. One of my other favorite ones is clarity comes from engagement, not thought, you know, you gave me that one.
The Connection Between Clarity and Action. (48:52)
The very first time we met, that's so powerful. Yeah, because we can all sit here and be like, I don't know, like should I say yes to this person? Should I hire this person? Should I go ahead with this product launch? Should I go ahead writing this book? And I think until we actually start to do the activity or find a small way to test to actually dip our toe in the water, we won't know. It's just going to be like this mental exercise and this cyclical type of thinking and back and forth and back and forth. But the moment you bust out of that, it's kind of like you go into a new matrix, the feedback you'll get both from the outside world, meaning, do I actually, you know, wow, this is kind of fun. And what happens inside? Do I like this? Does this feel great? Is this a challenge that I want to take on? You're going to get all the information you need to inform your next step. And what's great is you don't have to know everything in advance. You don't have to have a perfect plan because those rarely work. All you need to do is to get into that motion and to trust that clarity comes from engagement, not thought. And the more active steps you can make, like rather than necessarily watching, you know, five hours of a tutorial online, while I love the internet, it's great. Can you pick up the phone? Can you go to an in-person class? Can you go and meet someone in real life?
The Impact And Influence Of The Book
Reference to Pick Up the Phone (49:58)
I think that that active learning gets us so much farther faster than the kind of quasi like, I'm going to do some research online. Again, that's cool for like a minute, but don't get sucked down the rabbit hole for like three hours, three weeks or three years. I'm going to read you a few quotes from your book. You're super rich in quotes. I wrote so many, but we'll start with just three. I'm going to make you pick your favorite. So we've gone through some of yours. There's a bunch more that you did that were awesome. But I'll give you some from other people. We don't see things as they are. We see them as we are. That's one that's by Anis Ninh, never heard before. Anais. The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the economy or the president. You realize you control your own destiny. That's Albert Ellis. And then the last one I'm going to make you choose from. There is more wisdom in your body than your deepest philosophy. That's from Nietzsche, which I was very surprised by. Yeah. Which of those three do you think is most impactful? I think number two with a follow up on number three. All right. That's where why is that? Well, I think that all of us have to really watch out for excuses. The excuses that we give ourselves for why we're not either experiencing what we most want to experience, achieving what we most want to achieve or pursuing that, which is making our heart come most alive. And the three most common that I've seen are a lack of time, a lack of money, and a lack of know-how. And we attack those like beasts in the book.
The Three Excuses in Her Book (51:39)
So we don't have time to go through all that. But I made it my mission to make sure that people could remove every last excuse that they have so that they feel free. And I think when you take responsibility for yourself, which includes how you invest your time and your money and your mental effort and realize so much is in your control, that there is a certain freedom in that. And yes, there are tons of things that are outside of our control. Absolutely. We go into that in the book too. But I think this notion of not blaming anything else is really, really freeing. And I think when we get there, all of a sudden, we feel empowered in a way that you've never felt before.
Where to Find Her Book (52:24)
I agree with that idea so violently, you can't imagine. Yeah. Where can people find the book? Everything is figureoutable.com. And of course, you know, anywhere books are sold or audiobooks are listened to. Nice. That's amazing. What's the impact you hope this book has? Honestly, I really do hope that there is a generation both now and following that has this idea in their hearts and takes a look around and realizes the innate power and wisdom that's possible and takes a look at some of our societal problems. And there's always one that aligns, right? Like I feel like my role in this planet is really a catalyst. And I feel like part of my role is a communicator and share of ideas.
What's the Impact of Her Book (53:04)
And I think each of us has a certain role to play. I believe we need the diversity of talents and gifts and abilities working together in concert to solve some of our bigger problems. So the impact that I hope this book has is to light a fire under some of the geniuses that I know are listening right now and gets them on that path to collectively solving our bigger issues. I hope they do it. The book is done so well and so much like an instruction manual with do this, do this exercise, go here, journal that.
It really, really was very impressive. Thank you so much for coming on and talking about it today. That was amazing. Guys, go out and give the book. It's really, really phenomenal. When she said she was writing it, I referenced this in the last episode we did that I could not wait to read it. It did not disappoint. It is absolutely fantastic. It really will make your life better if you do the things in it. I can offer no higher praise if you haven't already. Be sure to subscribe and until next time, my friends be legendary. Take care. Re my dear. That was amazing. Thank you so much. If I'm upset, if I'm angry, if I'm cranky, it is my responsibility because it's what I'm doing up here that's making me have that reaction. If I'm the problem, I am also the solution.