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Why Confidence is a Skill & Failing Greatly Can Be Good For You – with Katrina Widener, Business Coach

Guest: Katrina Widener
Website | Instagram | Facebook
Katrina Widener is a business coach, podcast host, and community leader, who helps badass entrepreneurs get lit up in business through her custom group coaching community.

Do you currently believe that extroversion is equal to confidence? Do you think that confidence is something others ‘just have’, and you don’t? Do you fear trying something new, in case it isn’t perfect, or it goes wrong, or it might not come to fruition?

Well, get comfy, because in this episode Stacie is joined by Business Coach and Community Leader, Katrina Widener, who has a wealth of wisdom to share with you!

Together we bust some of the myths that surround introversion/extroversion & confidence. Explore how to fail greatly, and why failure, and confidence are skills that we can all learn.

Claim your Free Gifts mentioned at the end of this episode here

Transcript

Stacie Clark
Hey, welcome back to the Quiet Connections Podcast. I’m Stacie, and today, we have one heck of an episode for you. You’re going to love it.

I’m joined by Business Coach and Community Leader, Katrina Widener, who has a wealth of wisdom to share with you!

Let me ask you. Do you currently believe that extroversion is equal to confidence? Do you think that confidence is something others ‘just have’, and you don’t? Do you fear trying something new, in case it isn’t perfect, or it goes wrong, or it might not come to fruition?

Well, get comfy, because me and Katrina bust some of those introversion, extroversion, confidence myths. How to fail greatly, and explore how failure, and confidence are skills that we can all learn.

This chat really resonated with me, I know it will for you also, so let’s go.

Stacie Clark
Hi, Katrina, it’s so nice to welcome you on to the Quiet Connections podcast. How are you doing today?

Katrina Widener
I’m doing well, thank you so much for having me.

Stacie Clark
Amazing. So I’m really looking forward to having a chat with you today. I describe myself as being an introvert, I know you describe yourself as being an extrovert. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we might explore around this topic, maybe bust some myths? I know that there are lots of misconceptions and preconceived ideas around introversion and extraversion. And it’d be really interesting to hear your views on that dynamic from an extroverts perception and position. And yeah, just see what we discover and explore today.

But first of all, would you like to just share with our listeners a little bit about who you are and the work that you do?

Katrina Widener
Definitely. So I am, again my name is Katrina, I’m based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. So a little far away from you.

Stacie Clark
Yeah.

Katrina Widener
I am a business coach. So what I primarily do is I help entrepreneurs feel really excited and feel a lot of ease and flow within their businesses. It’s more than just this idea of like marketing, or sales tactics, or social media. All of those things I know about and can teach on. But it’s also really focusing on feeling lit up by the work that you’re doing, and feeling really confident and how you’re doing it. For me, that ties a lot with alignment. So personal alignment, professional alignment, which I know can kind of be one of those ‘No, no’ words, but if you know me, you know, I talk about it all the time. And it’s really where a lot of my passions lie.

Otherwise, I’m a super people person, huge community advocate, my co lead and entrepreneur community, well the chapter that’s here locally. I also have founded a community beforehand and will, like attend 8000 networking events. So I’m happy to be talking about this topic today.

Stacie Clark
Amazing, I would actually like to explore a little bit later on, a bit about different approaches that maybe introverts could take, just because you know, obviously, our community and our listeners are primarily introverted, there’s a lot of social anxiety, but also a lot of them have a lot of really great ideas for businesses. And can sometimes feel a little bit scared to take that entrepreneurial route. So it would be great to pick your brains a little bit on that later. If that’s okay?

Katrina Widener
Yeah definitely, that sounds like a lot of fun. And I totally, totally understand where everyone’s coming from. So we can definitely touch on that.

Stacie Clark
Amazing. So just to like offer a little bit of background. I know we had a chat beforehand. And you mentioned that, previously, that you’ve had some past experiences of not feeling quite so confident in yourself as well. Could you share a little bit about that with us?

Katrina Widener
Definitely, I think one of the things that we talked about that I know I really want to touch on is this, the idea that just because you are an extrovert doesn’t mean you don’t have social anxiety, it doesn’t mean that you’re completely confident all of the time, it just really means that you fill your cup by being around other people. So if you think about introverts probably fill their cup by spending some time alone, maybe reading, maybe resting and going for a walk alone, right? Like, for me, it’s much more fulfilling to go for a walk with a friend than it is to go for a walk alone.

And that’s really like the biggest difference that I want to like immediately put out there. Because you can oftentimes have these ideas that just because you’re extroverted means that you’re confident all the time, which definitely isn’t true. Like I said, I go to networking events all the time. And if I go to one alone, and I don’t see anyone I know. I’m uncomfortable. It’s not just like I walk in and I’m immediately like, “Oh my gosh, this is amazing”. And don’t get me wrong, I will then be able to walk up to around a group of people and be like, “Hi, my name is Katrina, I don’t think I’ve met you beforehand”, so that I kind of no longer feel uncomfortable. But I think that like that’s the biggest difference.

And the thing is, is that even though I am willing to do that, even though I’m willing to like walk up to a bunch of strangers and introduce myself, that doesn’t mean I’m like excited about it. It’s not like I’m like, “Oh, great. I get to go meet new people and I have put myself out there” right? I still get that feeling like, “Oh, I have to do this, okay, it’s gonna be fine”. Just stilll yourself Katrina, go over and introduce yourself. Like I wouldn’t describe myself as someone with this social anxiety. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t get uncomfortable or anxious in situation when I am out in public, and I don’t know anyone, and I’m at an event, or I’m spending time with friends.

For instance, this is another big situation, I feel like people might find themselves in, you know one to two friends and everyone else at the party is a stranger, right? I put a premium on going around and introducing myself and trying to integrate myself into conversations. But that doesn’t mean that it’s comfortable or natural. For even me, even though I’ve literally been able to do this with people since I was like, five years old. It’s a skill that you have to learn. It’s something you have to practice doing. And just the same way that everything else is uncomfortable the first couple times that you do it, maybe it stays uncomfortable, and but once you learn that, hey, the act of going up and introducing myself is going to be awkwar’, but very rarely are people going to be like, no, please leave us alone. I don’t think that has literally ever happened to me.

That also means that then I’m the person at the party who sees someone enter alone who see someone feeling maybe awkward or uncomfortable, and goes over and introduces myself to them and says, Do you want to hang out with us? Do you want to sit at our table? Do you want to like come join this conversation? Because I also know that it feels like to have been in that situation.

Stacie Clark
So first of all, I love the fact that you’ve just completely dived straight in and busted that myth that all extroverts are really confident. Because I know from like my perspective, and from someone who’s been quite shy throughout my life, that I had this idea that anyone who was able to just go up to someone and speak to them, must never feel anxious, or have any doubts about who they are all of those kinds of things. And I know again, a lot of people in our community kind of still have that have that idea as well. And yet going up to people and being able to speak or wanting to spend a lot of time around people isn’t the definition of confidence, which was a huge thing for me to learn.

Katrina Widener
Definitely, it’s one of those things too, where it’s like, we view everything else as like a skill. But we don’t view a lot of emotional things as a skill. Or maybe even like a choice as a better way to talk about it. I can go up and do it confidently now, because I know that I’ve done it so many times beforehand, and it’s turned out fine. And because I am the type of person at a party who wants to go talk to the other people, I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ll go pet the cat or dog as well in the corner. But then I’ll go talk to like, literally every other person at the party.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t get uncomfortable when I’m in situations where I know no one, or I don’t get uncomfortable when I have to force myself to go introduce myself to people. But one of the things I talk about in my coaching business with my clients, is literally whatever feeling we want to feel is a choice. If we want to feel happy, that’s a choice we have to make every single day if we want to feel at peace, that’s a choice you have to make in the moment. If we want to feel successful, that’s a choice that we have to make. And the same thing goes with feeling confident.

It’s not just like sitting there being like, “okay, I want to feel confident”, boom, now I’m magically confident, it’s knowing what actions can I take that will either alleviate the anxiety that I have, or bring in the feeling that I’m trying to achieve. So it’s like maybe, you know, hey, when I go and I do this one thing, I feel confident for me. It might be like when I go and I have my coaching calls with my clients, I know that I’m really good at what I do, and I can walk away feeling confident. Or I know that if I join a networking group and I like have conversations with those people, I’m going to leave feeling confident. So I’m going to fill my schedule with more things that leave me feeling confident and viewing it as something that’s proactive as opposed to reactive.

Oftentimes we think of confidence as something that happens to us externally. or joy is something that we’ll feel when I get this level of confidence or when I get to this financial level or when I look like this or when my house is like that then I’ll be happy. It’s instead saying, “no I can choose to feel however I want to in the moment” by knowing what things bring me this emotion or bring me this feeling.

Stacie Clark
Yeah, I love that so much. That’s very similar to the approach that I I’ve had to take over the last few years as well. There’s that really getting to grips with “Okay, what are the things that I can do, that do help me to feel more confident in myself? And what are the things that don’t” and then either let go of those things or transform them.

So for you personally, what I’m just curious to know, like how you got into this into this work and what your journey has been?

Katrina Widener
Yeah, definitely. So for me, I have always been someone that’s very interested in people. And I know that I’m an extrovert. Yes. But this is even like one step further, where I nerd out about the reason why people do things or what their thought processes are, or how something might affect how they make a decision in the future. When I listened to podcasts, those are type of podcasts I’m listening to. When I’m reading like nonfiction books, I’m often reading about like, this is how the mind works, or this is how like our psyche works, because I just nerd out about all that kind of stuff. And that has always been true. I’m also an avid reader anyway, so just like both fiction and nonfiction. So setting myself in the mindset of another person has always been something I’ve been really drawn to and really enjoyed.

So when it got to the point where I was in the nine to five world, and I knew that it wasn’t for me, I had started out at a humungous Corporation like a mega Corporation. I switched to freelancing full time, but still working with bigger corporations, but freelancing for them. And then I switched to working for a very small company, very intimate setting. And all three of them I was like “This, isn’t it, this, isn’t it, this isn’t it”. I realised that the common denominator was working with these big companies not having the freedom or the agency to really make my own decisions and my choices. I was always beholden to someone else and their needs and their expectations. And as we all know, sometimes managers are not trained to be leaders, they’re just given the promotion to be a manager. And that isn’t a situation where I thrive. I thrive, having some agency over what I’m doing. And being able to, as I’ve already mentioned, really align myself with the work I’m doing and make sure that it’s aligned with who I am, and what my personal values are, and how I operate best and all of that kind of stuff.

So when I started my own business, I really started out, actually first as a life coach, one of my old friends had given me the compliment that was like, “You innately know how to make someone feel welcome and taken care of, like, right from the get go”. And I was like, you know, that means a lot to me, how do I make a career off of that?

Stacie Clark
I love that.

Katrina Widener
Well, and it was just like, that’s what felt good, right? Like, that’s the compliment that stuck in my brain forever. Why wouldn’t I try to move in that direction. And so since then, I been taking some training, I’ve been doing a lot more education, learning. I’ve been in business for four years now. So a lot more education and learning and training. Ongoing education guys is like the trick.

Stacie Clark
Absolutely agree with that.

Katrina Widener
But my background previously, in all my nine to five work, and my freelancing work was a marketing specialist, Social Media Manager, search engine optimization, like all of this good, juicy stuff that could be worked and transformed to entrepreneurs. And I knew as an entrepreneur, how lonely it is, how hard it is to do it on your own, how much you don’t know. So every single person I was working with, I just ended up also talking about these things with, which is when I eventually made the shift to business coach.

So it’s kind of been an interesting journey. But all in all, it really just ties back to, I really enjoy talking to people, I really enjoy learning about them and helping them figure out how to really tune into themselves and how they naturally operate instead of putting shoulds on themselves or listening to outside expectations or looking at other people and being like “I should be like them”, or “I should be more like them”. And instead saying “no, this is how I naturally operate. And that’s how I’m supposed to operate”. And it gets so much easier from there.

Stacie Clark
I just I love that so much. And what I just really want to draw attention to, for any of our listeners right now, is that everything that Katrina has just shared, is exactly like the same type of stuff that we’re trying to promote here at QC as well. Which it really just comes down to the fact that regardless of whether you’re introverted or extroverted, we all need the same things.

Katrina Widener
Oh, definitely.

Stacie Clark
And this is all about, you know, all these fundamental just human things, of getting to know what your values are, bringing yourself into alignment. And the second that you start working towards those things is when life starts to feel a bit easier, and a lot of the anxieties disappears. So yeah, I love what you said there about, you know, letting go of like the who I should be and what’s expected of me and instead actually being true to who we are instead.

Katrina Widener
Yeah, it’s definitely probably the most important work I do in my business. I mean, love talking some good SEO with someone, but when we’re talking about like, these are the expectations I put on myself. And these are the ways that I’m not honouring who I naturally am, what we talk about a lot, and then some of the training that I’ve taken, one of my mentors was like, “we’re all designed for the life that we want to have”. So if you wanted to have that life of that extrovert, you would have been an extrovert, really. And understanding that, like, “hey, what we actually want in life are the things that we’re already set up to achieve”. So we get need to let go of the shoulds. Otherwise, we’ll never get the things that we want in life.

Stacie Clark
Oh, I just I love it. Yeah, I just love everything that you’re saying. That just feels so true, like the things that you are most drawn to, the things that you’re naturally curious about, and the things that excite you, are really the things that you should be walking more towards, and really diving into.

So what tips do you have for someone, who perhaps is maybe standing on the edge of that right now? And is like, “well, I feel like I kind of know what I want to do or what I’m maybe naturally good at. But I just feel far too afraid to take that step”. What tips do you have for that person?

Katrina Widener
I would say that there are two big ones. The first one is really dive into some self exploration. I know like I offer a workbook when I was first starting, I like purchase, like you are a badass, like all of these self help books, more so because I just wanted to explore who I am and explore the things that I am capable of achieving, right? Like, we live our lives, putting ourselves in boxes all the time. And when we kind of open the door and imagine bigger than our box, it’s terrifying because we have no idea how it feels to live that life. We know how it feels to live our lives right now.

And our subconscious brain is basically like “um, you know, like, if you switch up your life, you could like maybe die” they literally see it as that terrifying. So their subconscious brains are like, “what if we just like, just stay here and continue doing what we want?” And our conscious brain is like, “No, no, I really want to go do this thing that looks like fun. This sounds so much better than what I’m doing right now”. And our subconscious brain is basically like, “but but how about not?”. And getting curious about yourself, and whether that’s even just like starting a journaling practice. Or I even recommend doing like meditation. If you don’t, you never know what’s going to come up in those spaces. But really like, looking at some books, looking at some journals, looking at some workbooks that force you to kind of think about your life in a different way.

I know one of the questions in my workbook that might be a good thing that someone could journal about is, what are the moments in my life that I enjoy who I am when I’m doing them? And what are the moments in my life when I don’t? So it’s like, okay, when for me personally, when I am at a networking event, and I’m making connections with people and giving them recommendations, or helping answer their questions, I love who I am in that environment. Like that’s, that’s where I thrive. That’s where I’m meant to be. When I am like sitting at home feeling angry and maybe snapping at my family members. I don’t really love who I am in that moment. I’m not like proud of that version of Katrina. And so asking myself what are the moments that I really love who I am and what are the moments who I don’t?

I also want to put the caveat out there, like I don’t exactly love who I am when I’m a vegetable sitting on the couch watching television. Does that mean I’m never gonna watch television? Obviously not. But that means that like when I’m feeling low, is television going to be the thing I turn to also not.

So that’s the first tip is this idea of like getting curious and really diving into who you are and exploring who you naturally are and what is a should and what is you.

The second thing and it feels like kind of self serving to say this which is not my intention whatsoever. It just genuinely is like a big tip for me, is get outside help. Whether that’s listening to like a podcast, hiring a coach or a mentor. When I first started my business, I knew that I wanted to make a shift, I knew I wanted to make a change, I didn’t know how to do it and the How was what felt so big and so overwhelming intimidating. And I hired a coach at that point of time I that’s how I did all my training with that’s how I learned how to like be a business owner was from somebody else who did it. I can say from my own personal experience that what we did in the span of three and a half months would have taken me a year to do by myself. Like we just dove in, got everything set up.

She was able to like lead me through what does coaching actually look like? What does a meeting look like? How do I sit down and do this? Like, get me started right off the bat. And also all the business stuff. How to set up an LLC? What contracts do I need? What do I do about taxes? Right? All the bigger things like, everyone’s just like, what, wait, how it was so much more helpful to do it with someone else. And that could also just be like a networking community, it doesn’t necessarily have to be hiring someone, it could be reaching out asking someone for coffee chat, it could be asking someone if they want to be your accountability partner, and you can pick each other’s brains on things. Like there are so many different ways to go out and do this.

And especially for someone who like for me is extroverted. I’m like, yeah, give me all the people all the time. For someone who’s introverted, it might be more beneficial to be like, “I want that one person, please”. Like one mentor, or one coach, or one like friend that I know that will hold me accountable. So figure out what works well for you. But like really getting curious, and then also getting some outside help are going to be the two things, they’re going to be the most powerful.

Stacie Clark
I completely agree with you. Again, exactly the approach that like, I’ve had to take myself as well. Even the the getting curious about yourself, that for me came so much easier when I had a coach and somebody else to work with on that as well, just to reflect things back to you and to ask those important questions that perhaps you wouldn’t ask yourself.

So I also got business support, like if anyone listening is wanting to maybe step more towards like self employment or setting up your own business, then yeah, absolutely, seek out other entrepreneurs and other people who are perhaps doing things that you are and who are steps further ahead and seek out their advice and their guidance and their support. It’s absolutely incredible to have that around you. And it’s so much easier than trying to figure out all by yourself, which I think is what so many of us try to do, regardless of whether that’s getting to know ourselves, or taking up new hobbies or setting up businesses, is that we all try to do it alone and independently. And that’s, I think, where we can trip ourselves up a little bit.

Katrina Widener
Definitely, like, I’m based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, it snows most of the year here. And I like, a great example, this year, I took snowboarding lessons, and I paid for someone else to teach me how to snowboard. I snowboard in high school. But you know, that was a long time ago. And I had never gotten formal training. And so I was like, You know what, if this is something I want to get back into, if this is something that I think would be enjoyable for me to do in the winter, right, get out. Also, it was one of the few things here that we could do during COVID and still be outside in the bitter cold winter months. I was like I’m going to decide to work with someone else, and have them lead me through it as opposed to just like getting a ski pass and trying to do it by myself all over again. And the thing that was very interesting is that, I was in an adult class, everyone in there were grown humans, and grown humans very rarely try something like that from scratch at this age.

It’s normally something that we try, something that we’ve never done beforehand, have no idea how to do when were younger. And I luckily had previous experience, but the other members of the class did not. And listening to them talk about it and kind of working with them, and even myself, like getting a lot more tips, it was kind of this question of “when was the last time I really started something on my own?”. And knowing it was going to be hard and knowing I was going to fail the first like 50 times I did it.

Right. Like how many times do you fall when you have two feet strapped to one board? And have never done it beforehand?

Stacie Clark
Yeah.

Katrina Widener
It was really this kind of shift of our like mentalities even as a group of just like, “okay, we can all support each other through this”. I mean, there were only like five of us, but we can support each other through this. We can kind of keep working and see what we can learn and really know that it’s okay to start something from scratch even as an adult and fail the first 50 times. If I look at my one and a half year old niece, when she first started walking, when she first started standing, how many times did she fail? Like 3 million. But she never ever stopped trying. And we’ve lost that as adults. We have lost that feeling and that ability to say like “Okay, I can try something and not do it perfectly the first time and not do it perfectly the first five times and still keep trying at it and still keep going”.

And so, also like, remembering that just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s worthwhile, and relearning that skill of failure, instead of viewing it as a negative thing. Because regardless of if it’s like a hobby, or like you’re saying, getting curious about ourselves, or like, starting a business, or going up at a networking event and trying to talk to someone new, like we’re so used to sticking to what’s comfortable and familiar, and that we’ve already learned, that we forget that failure is not a negative thing. It’s just how we learn.

And do we really want to stop learning for the rest of our lives? Because we’re afraid that like, maybe we aren’t going to get it perfectly the first time, at the get go. When we think about it logically and rationally, and we take the emotion out of it, it’s really just like saying, like, as a baby, I tried to stand for, 300 times before I could actually stand. How is this any different?

Stacie Clark
Yeah, what I loved most about what you just said there, was that failure is a skill. Like we can learn how to fail greatly!

Katrina Widener
Yes!

Stacie Clark
And that’s amazing. And I just know that like, for me, personally, the whole thing around failing, and just this idea of being too afraid to try something new, because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do it perfectly, or do it well the first time, really got in the way for me of actually doing a lot of things that I know would have brought me joy.

Katrina Widener
Definitely

Stacie Clark
And that was like one of my main sources of anxiety. Was that, you know, I’m going to reach the end of my life, I’m not going to have done all the things that would have been fulfilling for me. And yet the things, that stand in the way of me being able to do that, was that hurdle of potentially failing, and not being perfect. And like what a huge thing that we put in front of ourselves!

Katrina Widener
We always think too, about like, “oh, the other people are gonna judge me, someone else sees I’m gonna do this”. I’m like, “no one’s paying attention to you”. Also think about the last time that you are with somebody else, and they didn’t do something perfectly, right. You probably didn’t judge them. Like you’re with a friend, and I don’t know, they went out on a date, and then they never talked to that person. Again, you don’t like think “oh, there’s something wrong with you”. It’s like, no, you’re like, “oh, that person’s rude for ghosting you like you”, it’s not something that actually happens the way that we think about it in our brains.

Our brains like to tell us stories, our brains like to basically, think of your brain as a computer where it’s just inputting and outputting numbers, and your brain is like one plus one equals two, one plus one equals two, one plus one equals two. Except that your brain isn’t a computer and it isn’t a calculator. And it’s basically saying like, as a child, I saw at school, this kid fell and one person laughed, so now I can never do anything, otherwise everyone’s gonna laugh at me. And that even, is more likely than most of the stories our brains makeup. If you think about even the classic, I texted my friend and they didn’t respond to me, they must be mad at me, like that’s our brain putting two and two together and saying one plus one equals two. When really it’s like, “No, actually your friend’s phone died. Your friend is like taking a shower. Your friend forgot their phone in a different room”. Like, there are so many reasons. They’re in the middle of a meeting. Like there’s so many reasons why someone might not have responded to you immediately.

But that’s not the way that our brains are trained to think. Our brains are trained to seek out patterns and believe them as truths. And so when you also start to question everything that your brain tells you, it gets way easier to move through life because you’re like, “Okay, brain I know that you’re telling me that that person’s mad at me and that’s why they haven’t texted me back. But also they’re probably just taking a shower. Also, it’s the middle of the workday” right, we can start to combat the stories that our brains are telling us and find actual truth instead.

Stacie Clark
I know when when I was doing my coaching training, when I first came across all of this information and stuff, when I learned that my perception isn’t reality, I was just like, “what?”. And all of a sudden I was like, “okay, so everything that I’ve perceived to be real throughout my life so far, potentially isn’t?”. And that was terrifying to me! To just like question absolutely everything, but throught it, it created so much space within me to be like, “okay, right, well, blank canvas. What can I create instead now then, if that’s true?

Katrina Widener
Right, and the thing is that like, oftentimes, we think of the voice inside our head is our personality. But that’s not our personality. It’s especially like, I don’t, I know that most of the world thinks this way, and have like a self talk reel, have kind of like an inner narration of how they’re moving through life, like “I need to remember to do this, and I need to go do that” I don’t, my brain doesn’t work that way, which I’ve considered, honestly kind of a benefit. And it’s probably part of the reason why I don’t have as many anxieties as other people. Because I think in visuals, and I think in emotion, so if I’m remembering a memory, I’m imagining the visual of that memory. And when we’re thinking and self talk reels, that’s actually our subconscious talking to us, right?

“Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe I did that. I’m such an idiot, everyone’s gonna judge me” like I, it’s like, the idea of going up and introducing myself to that person is too terrifying. Like, “I don’t think they’re gonna want to talk to me, who do I think that I am”, right, like this inner negative talk, self talk reel, is more prominent, and people who have a self talk reel, but it also is not actually our personality, our anxieties are not a part of our personality.

They’re not an inherent part of us that can’t go away. They are based off of our conditioning. And some people will be more predisposed to anxieties and others, that’s just like how the world works. But it’s not who we are. Our anxieties are separate from like, our selves as a whole. And viewing it that way. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I fully understand anxieties are not something that you’re just like, “Okay, I understand this now. And now it’s gone”. But viewing it as like, “Okay, my anxiety is something that’s like just here to kind of keep me safe. It’s here, really to protect me”. And viewing it as a separate entity allows you to separate yourself from it a little bit and allows you to start to disbelieve your anxieties a little bit more.

Don’t get me wrong, again, they’re still very, very important and prominent and can affect lives very strongly. And I want to make sure that like I don’t undermine how much they might be able to affect a human’s life, but also just like, find some solace in the fact that that’s not actually you. That’s not your personality, that’s not your inner being, that is just a part of how your brain works.

Stacie Clark
Yeah. And again, for me, when I first came across all of this, like, that was a big game changer for me. Because I spent so many years describing myself as being anxious, like, “I’m an anxious person”. And the second that I started creating that space between the two and recognising that okay, anxiety is an experience, it’s something that I feel it’s not who I am. I was “Yes. Okay. Okay. It’s just the feeling”. And then you can learn how to manage that, and how to work with it, or let it go. Or, and again, for me, I felt like that’s a skill. You know, managing anxiety is another skill, just as grown our confidence is, or learning how to go up to someone randomly and speak to them. It’s all skillbased.

Katrina Widener
Yeah, and the other thing is, I like to remind people like, okay, we might say, I’m an anxious person, instead of saying, I’m a person with anxiety. But we would always say, I’m a person with a broken arm, not I’m a broken person, right? Like, that’s never something that we’re like, like, “Oh, I’m someone who has a fever”, not I’m a feverish human. Like, that’s just not the way that we describe ourselves, and really any other area outside of mental health. And it’s like, “No, I’m a person who happens to have anxiety, not an anxious person”. And even just shifting that language internally speaks to your subconscious mind. Like the way that you talk. And the way that you move through the world informs how your subconscious mind also operates and how it moves through the world. And the more good information that you can feed it, the more accurate patterns quality it can create.

Stacie Clark
So I have a burning question inside me, so I just really want to just go back a little bit to something that we touched on earlier. In terms of like, failing greatly, do you have a story where you failed greatly that you could share with us?

Katrina Widener
Sure. Yeah.

Stacie Clark
I love these stories.

Katrina Widener
Yeah. So for me, when it was the end of 2019, and I was sitting down and planning out 2020 in my business and I was like “Okay guys”, and I was like so excited and I was posting about on a Instagram stories and I made on the back of my like closet door and my bedroom this like, “okay, here’s the schedule of how the year is gonna look, here all the tasks I need to get done, each one’s on different post it note, and this is what my like 2020 is gonna look like”. And included in it, I do primarily group business coaching because again, I’m community focused, I’m a people focused human beings, so group coaching works great for me. And I was like, I’m gonna do six different types of group coaching through the year, and I had decided I was going to start a conference.

And it was one of these things that I like, I hadn’t, I was not responding to anything. I had no one being like, “okay, Katrina, we don’t have a conference here in the Twin Cities, I’d love to have one blah, blah, blah”, but right. I was just like, “Oh, this would be really cool. I should do this”. And also, this is like, October, November, and I’m like, I’ll do one in like, April. You guys, that’s not enough time. Like, let me just tell you, if you’re ever considering creating conference, give yourself more than like, five months.

And I was like, sitting there planning this out. And I distinctly remember having like a mentor come and look at it. And she was like, “Girl, you need to slow down”. And I was like, “but like, look at this, and I have planned out exactly how much income I make. And I’ll sell all these things”. And she’s like, “that’s not gonna work”. And I was like, “No, no, it’ll be fine. It’ll be fine”. So I keep ploughing ahead. I’m like, talking to some people about like, like, “okay, you did a conference, let can let me pick your brain”. And they’re like, “that’s not gonna work”. And I’m like, “Okay, thank you”. But you did a conference, and let me pick your brain. And they’re like, “it’s not gonna work”. And I was like, “great”.

And then like, I talked to my original business coach, who I’d worked with, back when I was first just like crystallising the idea of my business and how to put it together. And she kind of gave me this look. And I remember being like, “Huh, okay”. And she was just like, “I mean, conferences are really expensive Katrina. And this is not a lot of time to put it together”. And so I finally was like, “Okay, well, like, maybe I’ll like, hold off, I’ll do it in the fall, instead of in the like, spring, I’ll like wait on it”, and then COVID hit, and everything shut down.

And it was one of those instances where I was like, I was leaning hard on initiation and pushing energy, as opposed to ease and flow energy, as opposed to knowing how I operate best. And knowing the ways to bring ease into my life. I was really leaning on this, like,”I’m gonna like, I’m going to really hustle hard. And I’m going to make this happen. Bla bla bla, bla bla”. And I am grateful that I didn’t pour money into it yet. Because I would have lost all of that money. Like, I was still planning to kind of make something happen when COVID hit. And it’s easy to look at something like COVID and be like, “well, that’s not really a failure, because that happened for everyone across the globe”, right? Like it’s shut down businesses, it’s shut down events, like all this kind of stuff. And the thing is, is that like, I, in this one instance, I could view it as okay, this is like the universe stepping in and being like “Katrina, no, no, no, no, no. What do you think you are doing?”.

And the thing is, is that like, there are times when we want to fail, and just take the exact same idea and evolve it and move forward and then fail, evolve, move forward, fail, evolve, move forward. And it’s basically like moving in a straight line, it’s the same idea, you’re just slowly slowly adjusting it to become more of what you want and more aligned with you and more aligned with like, who you’re working with, or what, like, realm this idea is. And then there’s having an idea that really isn’t aligned with you, and failing and saying, like, “No, I’m gonna let this one go”. And both of those types of failing are valid. But also, this is the part where the skill comes in. I have no shame about trying to force a conference and it never happening. I have no shame about being told by multiple people, “Katrina, what the hell are you doing?”.
Like, I have no shame about that. Because it means that I’m learning, it means that I’m trying new things. It means that I’m like thinking bigger than myself.

It means that I’m expanding who I am and what I feel capable of, and even if, in that moment, it didn’t happen. I have so much more information, that if I ever want to do a conference in five years, I can like, return to all of the interviews that I did, all the notes that I took all of the ideas I came up with. If I’m ever partnering with somebody else at a conference, I have all of this information. If I’m ever mentoring someone who’s doing a conference, I can guide them through some of these ideas, or some of these notes that I’ve gotten from other people, right.

Stacie Clark
Thank you so much for sharing that. I mean that really resonates with me because I know, for me personally, the biggest challenge that I used to have, was even just starting something, like just to share an idea in case other people said, “well, that’s not gonna work”. “That’s, that’s not gonna happen”. So I wouldn’t even take the step to even start doing something just in case that happened, regardless of whether it actually was going to happen. So yeah, I appreciate you sharing that.

And actually, just reframing that whole experience as something that is just about gathering information. And it’s a learning process in itself. And you have absolutely no idea what that might turn into potentially, like years later, or somewhere further down the line, or what skill you might take from that could that could really benefit you in other areas. So great story. Thank you.

Katrina Widener
Yeah, and the thing too, is that, like, even if I look at my business, I started out as a life coach, and then I switched to a life coach for entrepreneurs. And then I started an entrepreneur book club, and after all of that coaching, I was only doing one on one. And then I started my group coaching. And then I decided to only do group coaching. And the way that I just told that sounds nice and pretty, right? Like, it’s like, “oh, I evolved, I tried all these things”. I think they took them all and made them work, right. Like, I would have never done group coaching if I hadn’t tried the book club and realised how much I enjoyed the group format and all this stuff. But it’s also like, if we reframe it, and the way that someone’s mind might look at it, it’s like, “okay, I failed at being a life coach. And then I failed at being a life coach for entrepreneurs. And then my entrepreneur book club failed. And then one on one coaching”, right, like, we can totally transform that and look at the exact same succession of events from two completely different viewpoints.

And in one, it sounds nice and pretty. And all of these things inform each other. And that’s how I got to where I am. And that’s genuinely how I view it. I’m grateful for everything I did, even if they all quote unquote, ‘failed’. But they could also be looked at like, “Oh my gosh, look at all the things Katrina’s tried, like, man, she just can’t land on one topic, like, what does she ever…” you know.

And I’m just like, “No, actually, like, this is just me figuring it out”. And I learned by doing more than I learned through like book reading, or not that I don’t learn through book reading, because I do, but it sinks in for me more when I’m like actually going out and doing this thing than it does if I’m like, trying to perfectly plan and control it all along the way. Because then you don’t have the opportunity for happy accidents, like doing an entrepreneur book club allowed me to know how much I would enjoy doing group coaching. And that’s literally all I do.

Stacie Clark
Yeah, again, I love that. And it, again, rings really true for part of like my experience and the things that I felt so insecure about previously. And that was, doing lots of little things, and then having this feeling of like, “Oh my god, everyone’s gonna think that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. And I’m failing at everything. And and I can’t stick to things”. And again, I actually I hear this a lot with my clients as well. Like, “I always quit, that I start something and I can’t stick with it”. And there is a beautiful reframing that you’ve just shared with that, that’s like, maybe it’s not quitting? Maybe it’s not, not sticking with it?. In fact, it’s you trying things to seeing what actually feels good for you, and how that can fuse together later on in life or wherever it might take you. It’s, it’s not always what we think is it.

Katrina Widener
Like, again, if we think about young children, right, they kind of bounce off, like when they’re figuring out their boundaries, when they’re figuring out what area to move in. They kind of like bounce off the walls. It’s like, “okay, go over here, oh, here’s where a boundary is. I can’t do that. Okay, I’m going to try this thing over here. That’s where a boundary is”. And it’s how they learn. It’s how they evolve. They, they push their parents and they push their, like, authority figures to say like, “Okay, how far can I how far can I go? Oh, this is where the line is great. Now I know”. And then they swap and they start going in the opposite direction. “Okay, this is where the line is great. Now I know”.  And as adults, we, for some reason, think that we need to know everything before we start doing it. And that’s just not how humans operate. Like, genuinely not how we learn.

So, remembering that’s only an expectation that we’re setting for ourselves. And honestly, if someone is the type of person who’s going to judge you, because you’ve started something and stopped and evolved and switch gears, that’s on them, that’s not on you. Like that’s their own insecurities coming out. And when we again, try to separate ourselves and our actions from the insecurities and again, the thought patterns, right? Our brains as a computer, one plus one equals two, like, that’s just how their brains are operating. And they’re not in control over that either. It’s not their personality either. And, like allowing ourselves really to let that kind of stuff go and say like, you know what, like, that’s good for you. Not for me, basically.

Stacie Clark
Speaking so much truth, so much truth.

Okay, so just to wrap it up quickly, if there was a message that you could send back to your younger self, what would that be?

Katrina Widener
Oh, that’s a good question. I would just say like, for me, personally, it would be stop trying to control so much. Like, again, I’m not immune to all this stuff, I have been doing the exact same stuff that everybody else does. I just technically have a job that allows me to do a lot of training education on how the brain works. So. But past Katrina, it would be like, “hey, like, let it be easy, let it flow. You don’t have to hustle. You don’t have to try to control the environment. Because you’re actually getting in your own way more than opening the doors to things like joy, to things like confidence, to things like success”. And once I kind of was like, you know, “screw it, I’m gonna release those expectations”. It got so much more fun, and so much easier. All the things that we want in life.

Stacie Clark
Oh, that was amazing. Thank you so much for everything that you’ve just shared in our chat today. I think it’s gonna be really helpful for our listeners. And yeah, thank you for coming on. It’s been such a pleasure to speak with you, Katrina. Thank you so much.

Katrina Widener
Thanks for having me. And if anybody does, like have any questions, or wants to pick my brain or anything, I’m always open in my Instagram, DMS. So feel free to just be like, “okay, Katrina, you were talking about this, but how do I actually apply that or? You brought up this concept? I didn’t quite understand that. Can you explain more?” like, I’m totally open. My Instagram handle is just @Katrina.Widener. It’s super, super straightforward. So feel free, it will not be awkward, I promise you to reach out afterward.

Stacie Clark
And do you have a website as well, where people could maybe find a bit more information on you?

Katrina Widener
Yeah, definitely. That would be just KatrinaWidener.com, super straightforward.

Stacie Clark
Lovely. And we’ll pop those in the show notes as well so that people can get hold of you.

Wonderful. Okay. Well, thank you so much, Katrina.

Katrina Widener
And thank you too.

Stacie Clark
Thank you for coming on.

Thanks for listening. If you’d like to reach out to Katrina, you can find her links in the show notes below.

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