I recently attended a workshop in Los Angeles and Katanna caught my eye. Our paths hadn’t crossed directly but she’d stood up to ask questions a couple of times over the weekend. I thought it was incredibly brave because I know not everyone is comfortable getting up in front of over 120 people and asking questions. Her smile was so genuine and I could tell she was incredibly kind and had a big heart. As the weekend flew by, I made a mental note to talk to her to see what she was about and see what common ground I could discover. As it turns out, I didn’t get a chance to reach out until after the workshop ended. I was headed to the bathroom and honestly, I’d had a lot of water… She was leaving and I just had this urge in my gut to talk to her. It was my last chance because those of us left were flying out in the morning.
I caught up to her and just let her know that although we didn’t get to meet, she’d caught my attention and I’d love to know what she did and get to know a little bit about her. Luckily for me, it didn’t come off as awkward (I mean networking is part of workshops right?). We talked for a bit, exchanged numbers and I made a note to reach out to her in the next couple of weeks. As fate would have it, our paths did end up crossing the very next morning! Our planes were departing from the gates directly next to each other. We talked for the 20 minutes we had before her plane began to board. It became very clear why I was so prompted to connect with her.
One thing I really admired about her after talking and emailing with her was her tenacity. It can be challenging not to get swallowed up by our inadequacies, struggles, and the cards we feel are stacked against us in life. It can be so easy to think life would be easier if things were different. Part of the reason I love sharing other women’s stories so much is that I believe it helps us realize that
it’s not about having a different deck in life, but learning how to play the hand we’re holding to the best of our ability.
Katanna grew up in a broken home and lived well below the poverty line. She had her first child at 16 and rather than dropping out of school, she actually took on a job as she continued to study and graduate from high school. Rather than feeling ashamed of her story, she feels grateful. This has taught her how to overcome struggles and challenges as well as build strength and perseverance. I was curious about how Katanna has learned to face challenges and confront her own excuses that could have easily prevented her from getting to where she is today.
She shared that she acknowledges challenges rather than running from them. She shines a light on them so that she can see them more clearly and come up with a plan and an approach to take. That gives her a sense of understanding and that is what she says is an antidote to fear. One thing that many people are fearful of is failure. We share the belief that “failure” is often the main ingredient in the recipe for success! She told me that almost every success that she’s experienced in her life had an element of failure in it. She’s learned that,
failure is an event, not a person.
I love that she made that distinction because when we face challenges, it can be so easy to feel like a failure rather than realized we experienced a failure. Katanna says that by learning to separate the experience from herself as a person she was able to truly learn, grow, and benefit from failures. She even opened up about a failure she experienced. She told me she was contacted by a company to implement one of her programs into over 500 schools across the US. All she had to do was prepare her curriculum to present to them. She said she dropped the ball because she wasn’t prepared for that opportunity. Instead of allowing that to get her down, she realized that showed her she wasn’t ready to support that type of growth at the time. On the other hand, it just confirmed the value her program had. She chose to pursue a path of steady but sustainable growth for her company.
She’s learned from her failures along the way and not to see it as the end of the road. She knows she’ll be presented with paths that lead to unexpected opportunities she is prepared for and more than capable of taking on! Although Katanna is no stranger to challenges, she believes that it’s crucial to get up after facing a failure and try again. That’s what builds courage and ultimately leads to success! She is such a wonderful example of how important our mindset is. Katanna isn’t one to let her obstacles overcome her but to see it as being challenged to overcome the obstacle. I’m so grateful for Katanna’s time and graciously allowing me to share her story with you. I’d love to hear what spoke to you most and how this inspired or encouraged you.
Katanna Castille is a Christian women’s life coach. She has a community where women gather and share their own experiences to find guidance and answers from biblical references. If you’re interested in connecting with Katanna or joining her community, I encourage you to visit her here for more details.