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June 6, 2023

Episode 46: I made a mistake. Here's what happened, and these are the lessons.

by Kristy Pask

I made a public mistake, on social media, and people noticed... The trolls noticed and they made sure I knew about it. 

{Spoiler alert} in the grand scheme of things it wasn't even that big of a mistake, however it was what I made that mistake (and any mistake made before it) mean about me that was the biggest deal, and that's what I want to unpack with you in this episode. 

If you find yourself diluting and filtering the things you say in order to keep the peace, to prevent people from questioning you, your opinions or your intelligence - this episode is for you. 

As someone who worked incredibly hard in the past to protect herself against things like this happening, to actually come face to face with a situation I feared the most and to come out the other side stronger has been a huge growth moment for me, and that is why I wanted to share this story with you. 

Get in touch with Kristy

Connect with Kristy on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/kristypask/

Learn more about working with Kristy 1:1 inside The Holistic Marketing Method: https://kristypask.com/the-holistic-marketing-method/

Episode Transcript:

I made a public mistake, on social media, and people noticed, the trolls noticed and they made sure I knew about it. 

Today I wanted to share with you what that mistake was - let me preface this by saying it was pretty minor mistake in the grand scheme of things, and when I tell you you’re probably going to think ‘seriously, was that it?!’, however, it’s not necessarily about the actual mistake, it more what I make mistakes mean about me. 

As someone who worked incredibly hard in the past to protect herself against things like this happening, to actually come face to face with a situation I feared the most and to come out the other side stronger has been a huge growth moment for me, and that is why I wanted to share this story with you. 

So to begin, if you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while you will know I am no stranger to Perfectionism, I have built my business and am building my business and am taking perfectionism along for the ride - I know its getting less and less and I am moving through it and growing past it - however it still lingers. 

For anyone not familiar with what perfectionism is, think excessively high personal standards, highly self critical, the need for control, and for me, a rather extreme fear of failure. 

So much so that in the past I would really filter and dilute my thoughts and opinions in the content I created to limit the opportunities people would have to come at me - to tell me I was wrong, to disagree with my point of view, to tell me that they don’t like what I had to share, or to question my intelligence. 

So, lets get into exactly what happened…

So we’re going back just a few months, if you’re in the online business space you will no doubt have heard of AI and AI platforms such as ChatGPT, there is so much great advice getting around online at how to utilise these incredible platforms to act as a bit of a VA for your business, to help you come up with content ideas, to help you streamline certain areas of your business and how we can event use these platforms to help us conduct research on our behalf. 

However, at the time there was also a really strong narrative getting around at how anyone could use an AI platform such as ChatGPT to create a course and make 6-figures simply by selling it on any of the course platforms such as Teachable. 

There were even conversations in Facebook groups, people asking for advice on how they could do this and questioning what topic their course should be on - what did people need, what would make them a lot of money?! Essentially, kind of like a get rich quick scheme. 

And to be honest, I’d had enough - for multiple reasons. 

Firstly how could you create a course on a topic or subject you weren’t already an expert in?! You don’t know what you don’t know, how would you even know what to prompt an AI platform with to get the information you need, if you don’t even know what information you need?! 

It’s unethical and while you might see some sales initially, scaling the course would be difficult as it’s unlikely to have the information that people really needed. 

And secondly, people who create and sell courses so often pour years of experience, expertise and knowledge into creating courses, so many of which are full of incredible information,that they’re still trying to work out how to sell and scale - if it were that easy, wouldn’t these people have cracked the code too? 

I just want to add in here that AI platforms are a game changer for small business and if you’re not using one I encourage you to do so. You can use it help you research content ideas and prompts, research hashtags, rewrite sections of copy for you and help you to repurpose content - just to name a few things, however I believe it works best when it’s backed by your skills, knowledge and expertise. 

I put my thoughts and opinion into how we could use platforms such as ChatGPT into a 60 second video and I shared it on social media. 

It was not the usual sort of content I would create but I felt quite passionate about it so decided to do it. I held my breathe and waited - I’d decided I’d either be shown support, or I’d have people disagreeing with my opinion which I was prepared for. 

On Instagram, a previous business coach of mine was one of the first to like and comment, she loved it, she then shared it to her stories telling people to give it a watch and how bang on I was. I was relieved, I received a few more supportive comments, people sharing their thoughts and opinions and it was all good. 

I shared the video to TikTok, I woke up the next morning to an onslaught of comments telling me I was stupid, an idiot, that I was part of the problem - people telling me to go away and to stop sharing content, questioning my intelligence.

And here’s the mistake… In the opening of that video I said ChatGTP instead of ChatGPT - a slip of the tongue, two letters around the wrong way - I hadn’t even noticed and I’d watched the video a dozen times. 

Instantly, I started to panic - my heart was racing, my face was hot, I had that heavy ball sitting in my stomach that made me feel nervous and sick at the same time, I couldn’t believe this had happened, I felt helpless and in that moment I thought this would live on forever, I thought it would destroy me.

I know you’re probably thinking, is she for real?! This is such a dramatic reaction - and you’re right, but for me, in this moment, this was very real. I’d been called an idiot, I was told I was stupid and all of a sudden I was filled with dread and self doubt. 

But here’s what I did - and I know that it’s what pulled me out of this and back to reality. 

The first thing I did was ask myself, super honestly - what would I say to a friend if this happened to them? 

Seriously, this is exactly what I did. If my biz bestie came to me and said this is what I did, what would I say?! 

My response, it’s not that big of a deal, it’s a slip of the tongue - this mistake is not a reflection of my intelligence, my ability to do my job or my self worth. It’s a very simple mistake and anyone could have made it. This is nothing you can’t recover from. 

At this point the post was still up, I hadn’t yet removed it - for a moment I considered leaving it there and replying to all the comments with a ‘whoops - you got me’ maybe even replying with someone witty or sarcastic… But in the end I archived it because I didn’t want this, with these comments to be the reason someone came across me and my content. 

I took a look at the comment and checked out the profile of the people who made them, most seemed to be the sorts of accounts that are simply there to troll people, they weren’t business owners, they didn’t have any content of their own and most were middle aged me - and none of them followed me, looked like my ideal client or were part of my world in any way. They were all complete strangers. 

The second thing I did was reach out to 3 people I love, respect and admire to share what had happened - they were all people that had liked and commented on my post, and the one who shared. 

They each told me they didn’t even notice the mistake! Two of them told me to leave it up and said people should be listening to the actual message in the content and not worrying about the fact I got 2 letters around the wrong way. 

Not one of them looked down on me, no one judged me, they all supported me and also told me that it wasn’t a big deal and no one would remember - they also reminded me that it didn’t define me, my work or my intelligence at all. 

The third thing I did was carry on. 

The feeling of embarrassment followed me for a few days, I could feel it in my stomach and throat and every time I would think about it I would cringe a little, however I focused on moving forward. On creating that next piece of content, on promoting my podcast, on working with my incredible clients. 

For the next week or so I would check back in on TikTok to see if I’d been tagged in anything, to see if I was being laughed at or ridiculed - but nothing was happening. As quickly as it all happened, it basically disappeared - nothing has been mentioned since, by anyone. 

I was reminded of some really good lessons throughout the experience that I wanted to reiterate here today also. 

Number one - The people who matter, who support you, good people who want to see you succeed, will support you when you fall. 

I’ve actually started recently listening to Brene Browsn book Daring Greatly and in one of her stories she shares a section from Theodore Roosevelt's Man in the Arena speech, and it goes:

The people who love me, the people I really depend on, were never the critics that were pointing at me while I stumbled, they weren’t in the bleachers at all, they were with me in the arena, fighting for me and with me. 

This was exactly my experience, the people in my world, the people in the arena with me building their dream were never the critics, it was the strangers out in the bleachers making no moves of their own that had something to say. 

The right people will be there for you when you make mistakes. 

Number two - Most people aren’t paying as much attention as you think. Of all the people that saw my Instagram Reel, no one noticed - and if they did, they didn’t say anything. 

On TikTok, around 2000 people saw the video, around 15 of them commented, there were an additional 40 likes on that video from people I am assuming also didn’t notice the mistake or didn’t feel it necessary to say anything - probably because they didn’t care. 

Number three - No one cares more than you, no one is paying as much attention as you. When these things happen to us they feel huge, for a moment it can feel like everything is going to come crashing down, like this is the end, like you can’t or won’t recover from your mistake - but you can and you will. No one was paying attention quite like you were to what happened. 

And number four - Mistakes do not define your intelligence, your capabilities or your ability to succeed. 

From that same Man in the Arena speech by Theodoor Roosevelt - he also states: It’s a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands.

Mistakes happen, it’s how we learn, it’s how we grow, it’s proof we’re taking chances and making moves. The mistake doesn’t define us, what we do next matters more. 

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