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A Pep Talk On Failure

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

In this episode, I talk about failure this week - and the lessons I learned through the experience. Failure is a part of life and mistakes are not something to beat ourselves up for - they're proof that we're taking risks and trying. And there's a lesson in everything - something to learn from each situation. The more difficult and uncomfortable it is, the more that we need to learn. This episode is a pep talk for times when you're feeling down about yourself about having failed - save this and come back to it whenever you're feeling down and need someone to cheer you on!

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Welcome to the Sober Yoga Girl podcast with Alex McRobs, international yoga teacher and sober coach. I broke up with booze for good in 2019 and now I'm here to help others do the same. You're not alone and a sober life can be fun and fulfilling. Let me show you how.

Hello everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Sober Yoga Girl. It's Monday, June 7th. And literally like three hours ago, I said in my podcast producer, you know, I think I need to cut it back to only one podcast episode a week. It's too much for me. I can't keep up with it. And then, but literally two hours later, I'm like, I think I'm recording another podcast episode. I'm recording this episode because I really want to talk about kind of everything I've been through this weekend. It's been a heck of a weekend. If you follow me on social media, you probably know what went down. I have been getting a new website redesigned by a web developer over the past two months. So we started the project in March. It was supposed to launch on Friday and we were up until 4 a.m. getting all the bells and whistles ready. When it launched on Friday, the most important feature was not working, which is the zoom booking system, because we have a massive, massive live zoom yoga community. And of course, I was fast asleep because I had been up until 4 a.m. the night before. So I got up at like 2 p.m. It was a complete gong show. After an hour of promoting the grand opening, I realized that I was going to have to divert back to the old website. Then it was all messed up because people didn't have their cash cleared, blah, blah, blah. People can't access the website. We're on a different domain. People don't know what the domain is. It was like literally, like a nightmare. And for someone whose entire business is online. Oh, my God. And I was getting message after message, WhatsApp, Instagram DM's , Facebook messages, emails from people who could not access the site, could not book their classes, could not get their free grand opening passes like it was literally a gong show. So I stayed up until midnight on Friday. I really quickly was able to divert onto the old site. Really quickly able to get that whole thing set up. And we actually were able to-- I figured out how to like import the fonts of the new brand. I figured out how to basically copy paste the whole structure that we were working on with the web developer. I was able to input that all the way back onto Wix, and I was super proud of myself. I've done it in 24 hours. It's now Monday and I've realized through it that I'm pretty capable and competent at Wix, much more capable than I gave myself credit for. So anyway, I want to talk and do a little episode about this because it was like a pretty massive public failure. It was like really upsetting and traumatic for me. And I actually, in the midst of all of this, this shipment came in of masks that I had ordered to give my colleagues as gifts. And that all came in on Friday. I've been so excited about these masks. And then I was so upset and so ashamed about what had happened that I literally didn't even want to bring in my masks to my colleagues because I was, like, mortified. I was like, you know, I can't even properly run a business. Why am I giving people merchandise from my business? And anyway, I've been through kind of 24 hours, 48 hours of reflecting on the whole thing. Luckily the website is back up and running and everything's fine. And I've been thinking a lot about some of the key lessons I learned from this experience and I kind of wanted to just do a little episode and share. So I kind of did a little bit of journaling on the ten things that I learned from this whole experience. And I want to share them with you. And the first thing is that, I mentioned earlier, you know, I was so ashamed about this failure. I was so ashamed of what happened that I literally didn't even want to bring in my merchandise masks and give them out as gifts to my colleagues. I thought all of them would be talking, you know, Alex doesn't even know what she's doing. Alex just launched this big website that failed. And I got into school, and so anyway, people kind of convinced me to bring the masks today. So I brought them in and it was amazing. And I was talking to people about it and people did not even know that it did. Right? Because the whole world doesn't revolve around me and my business and they have their lives, too. And so people didn't even know that I had launched a big website that had failed. Right? And we get so caught up in our heads and we think that everyone is judging us and criticizing us when in reality people still think, you know, like you've literally built a business Alex, like that's something to be so proud of no matter if you have a website failure. You've built a business, that's amazing. And so the first thing, that's the first thing I want to share is that we can be so ashamed of mistakes we've made. But that shame is often something that is living within ourselves. And it's not actually reflective of the way other people are judging us or what other people are thinking. And even if they are judging you and even if they are thinking that, who cares? Because, you know, it doesn't matter. It's all that matters is what you think about what you've done. Second thing I want to share, and I share this all the time in yoga class, it's that nothing lasts forever, right? When we're in a situation, we're like, oh, my God, this is such a mess, such a disaster. I've completely destroyed my business, blah, blah, blah. But pain, discomfort, everything passes, grief, happiness, sadness, the good things and the bad things. They all pass. And you're never going to be in any situation forever, right? You're not going to be in chair pose forever. You're not going to be in a toxic work situation forever. You're not going to be anywhere forever. And if you just learn to sort of ride the waves and go with it, you know, it will pass. Right? This whole website situation passed in like two days. And it's Monday and we're back to normal on what we launched the website on Friday. So it's been like three days and now everything's completely fine. And so, yeah, nothing lasts forever and know that when you're going through crap, it's going to pass. The third thing I want to share is that there's a lesson in everything, right? There's something to learn in each situation. And the more difficult and uncomfortable that it is, the more that there is for us to learn. And the discomfort made me learn and realize some big mistakes, like I probably should have test driven that website before it launched. Right? And that's a reflection that obviously I am-- it immediately occurred to me and I was like, wow, I wish that we had done a test run. Now, what's not helpful is when someone watches you fail and then tells you all the things that you should have done, like says to you, Alex, you should have done a test run, because obviously I know that. And I've immediately realized that. Right? Any reflective person will immediately realize where their mistakes were. And if you go in as another person and start listing their mistakes, it's probably not going to make things better. And that kind of leads me into the next thing. So I got a bajillion amazing messages over the weekend of love and support. But of course, the only two that I remembered were the two hurtful ones. And one person said, you know, you're spending way too many plates. You obviously can't handle it. Why don't you tell your clients that you'll focus on this once you're done your teaching job in a month? And that really, really hurt me. And the second message that I got was, you know, someone who listed a bunch of things that I should have done, which obviously I'm reflective. I know what I should have done. It's done. There's no way I can go back and do those things that I should have done. So it would be more helpful if you keep that to yourself rather than tell me the things that I should have done. But this person also commented that most businesses fail when they make a mistake such as this. And this sent me over the edge. I don't think I have ever sobbed so hard as I was sobbing, like literally cry, choking, or I was thinking, you know, is this all worth it? What am I doing? This business is going to fail. And I spiraled into a lot of upset because my entire heart and soul is the MLPC. It is so important to me. And this person was saying to me, you know, most businesses fail when they make a mistake like this. And I really, really, really had to take a step back. And, you know, I preach this and I preach, so I preach it. And then this moment of pain, it took me, you know, a good couple of hours of reflection for me to realize. This comment, these comments that this person are making towards me, this isn't about me. This is not at all about me. This is about them. This is their reaction. And this is not a reflection on me. And this is a Don, I think it's Don Miguel who, as he writes the "Four Agreements". And the second agreement is "Don't take anything personal because nothing is personal, nothing is personal. We all react to the world. We all interact with the world based on our own perspective, based on our own point of view, based on our own life experiences". And so this person was reacting in this way to me for whatever reason, it was unprompted messages. But this isn't about me. This isn't about, you know, I need to remember that he's reacting that way for whatever reason of his. Right? And I can choose how I react to his reaction. Right? And I can step back and realize that the choice and the power in our reaction lies within us. And I wish I didn't get so angry back at this person, but, you know, I was really, really hurting. It was a really, really, really stressful day. And so once you kind of take that step back and collect yourself, you're like, okay, how can I move forward with this? How can I move forward? And is it distance from this person? Is it communicating to this person? Why these messages were hurtful? Like that's something that we as individuals have to sort of reflect on. And this kind of leads me into my next thing. Don't take criticism from someone that you want to take advice from. Right? So this person is criticizing me on the way I'm running my small business. But have they ever run a small business? No. And I would not take advice from them on how to run my small business. So I shouldn't be taking criticism from them on how to run my small business. And I really took in this criticism and I had to really, really, really take a step back and remind myself that, you know, I'm not here for it. And I'm not going to let it, you know, further knock me down. The next thing I learned from this whole experience is, okay, so in rebuilding, quickly rebuilding the Wix website, I'm actually out of Wix pages. They let you have a max 100. And in a year in running my business, I've hit the 100. And so I had to start going through pages and thinking, you know, what's unimportant? What can I delete right now? And as I was doing through that, doing that, I had about 10 pages that were search engine optimization pages. So I had paid someone a fortune about a year ago to do search engine optimization for me. So they were supposed to research the keywords of my business, write these little posts that were supposed to increase Web traffic and therefore convert clients. And I was paying it double. I was paying it on the Mindful Life Practice and both on Alex McRobs, like literally a fortune for this service to pay a person who knew nothing about yoga and nothing about sobriety. To write these terrible articles, form both of my websites that increased zero Web traffic and got me zero clients. And as I circled back to these pages and I was like, okay, yeah, we can definitely delete these and thank God I cut off that contract. I'm no longer paying that person to do that pointless job. But it occurred to me, you know, this whole year of building a business has been so many failures, literally so many failures. And this website, one might have been more emotional because it was so public. Right? I had really, really promoted and pushed something that epically failed. And it was obvious. And, you know, that might have been what made it hard. But in reality, you need to fail in order to fly, right? You're never going to get anywhere in life if you stay cocooned in this little shell where you're not taking risks and you're not failing, right? And if you fall, I say it in yoga all the time, if you fall, you're still a good person. Right? And in life, we have to make mistakes to learn. Right? And so there were so many things that I failed, like even, you know, I was running the Sober Girls yoga program that I never even wrote the last 40 pages. So I literally quit that project in the middle of doing it. That was a failure. You know, meditation challenges where people dropped out. You know, I had 40 people start with me. No one finish. There were so many times that I failed this year and I tried things that worked and didn't work. And failures are not the end. Right? It's often just like a blossoming when you really learn a hard lesson. And so failures are an opportunity for growth. And if we let failures knock us down, and if we let people's comments on our failure, make us have low self-esteem, then that will hold us back. And you just got to get back up again. And something I talked about in one of my yoga classes was that, you know, I got hundreds of messages that were so supportive, but the two messages that were hurtful were the ones that stuck out to me. And, you know, I was reflecting on it. And I'm like, isn't it so wild how we can be so loved and so supported by our communities and have so many, you know, incredible people standing behind us? And yet the only thing that we'll remember is the criticisms. The only thing that we'll remember is like the negative things people said. And I got a lot of nice messages this weekend. I got a message that had the subject line. It's not your fault. My sister sent me a message and said, I'm proud of you for taking risks. And those are such amazing things you can say to people when they fail, right? I'm so proud of you for taking risks or, you know, it's not your fault, you know, things that help people realize that, you know, failure is not a bad thing. In reflection, this was probably the best thing that could have happened because I'm launching this giant Sober Curious Yoga school in a month and I need an effective platform to run it. I need a proper platform to run it. This is high stakes. It's a huge program. I have a ton of leaders around me facilitating. I have more than 80 people signed up on the waitlist. I've only been, you know, taking people on the waitlist for under a week. And so Sober Curious Yoga school needs to go properly. And it dawned on me yesterday I was like, wow, this website failure is the best thing that could have happened, because it means that I need to research and learn and move all of my content onto an effective platform for that Sober Curious Yoga school, because I cannot have this big of a mess up when I launch that program. Right? And so I was like, wow, actually, this is perfect timing. This is like divine intervention because I've now done my research, found a better platform. Yasr, the virtual assistant, is helping me migrate all my content onto this other platforms, that it is all ready to go in perfect shape and perfect form for when I launch that program. And so, you know, there's always a silver lining and there's always a good reason that mistakes have happened. And the last thing I want to share is, is the message that I ended yesterday's mindful sweat class on and the message is, "When a wave comes, go deep." And this is a Humans of New York quote, "There's three things that you can do when life sends a wave at you, you can run from it but then it's going to catch up and knock you down. You can fall back on your ego, you can stand your ground, but then it's still going to clobber you or you can use it as an opportunity to go deep and transform yourself to match the circumstances. And that's how you get through the wave." Right? And so I could have just run from this whole exploding website. I could have just popped up my chest and been like, you know, this website is fine and it's going to work or I use this as an opportunity to transform. And I was like, how am I going to save this right now? Right? Transforming myself to match these circumstances. And that's how I got through that wave. And so mistakes, this is like a mistake pep talk. Save this podcast episode and listen to it whenever you've made a mistake, because there are so many beautiful things you can learn. There are so many beautiful takeaways and remember that mistakes are proof that you're trying. Mistakes are a risk that you should be proud of taking. And failures don't define you. Right? You're defined by how you move past your failures and how you transform yourself to match the circumstances. Right? That's how you get through the wave. So thank you guys for tuning in. I know this is super short, super quick, but I really felt like I had to drop another solo episode. And I'm going to go back to my podcast producer and say, actually, I'm going to keep the two episodes a week because there's always something to share. There's always something to chitchat about. If you are interested in that Sober Curious Yoga school, I promise we are going to have the best platform for it. We're in the middle of migrating all the content and then the Sober Curious Yoga teacher trainers are going to actually view it first and give me their feedback. It's going to be perfect because obviously I have learned my lesson, which is that I should have done beta testing before I launched it. So we will be testing, we will be launching and we will be good to go for that. Super, super pumped about it. Had to "" to drop your name on the waitlist. Thank you so much for tuning in, for supporting honestly for everyone that, you know, has stood by The Mindful Life Practice through this wild ride of a week. You guys are awesome. As Nadia said in the bar class, you know, we're a family. And, you know, that's something I want to say to is, you know, this person who commented a lot of businesses fail when they make mistakes like this, something I said was, you know, that person doesn't know who you are. That person does not know who we are because we're compassionate and we're caring and we're here to support each other. We're here to cheer each other on. We're not here to shut each other down. And I really think that if you think that a setback like this website is going to demolish The Mindful Life Practice, then you don't know who The Mindful Life Practice is, because we are pretty much the best kind of people. If you have not joined in for Mindful Life Practice class, by the way, Sober Curious Yoga or other, please jump on "". Get your free month trial. I'm giving a free month trial for everyone, for all new members. Really would love to see you trying out our classes and connecting. And if not, I will catch you soon in the next episode. Have a great day, everyone. Bye.


Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of Sober Yoga Girl with Alex McRobs. I Fam so, so grateful for every one of you. Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss the next one and leave a review before you go. See you soon. Bye.

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