A little while ago, I mentioned the Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo. It’s a podcast dedicated entirely to having a better life, and Brooke touches on everything; procrastination, self-doubt, love, overeating, rejection, boundaries, money, time management, fear, relationships, anger, forgiveness. There are close to 200 episodes and I’ve been listening to them nonstop. She’s like a really, really supportive, encouraging, no-bull-shit friend/therapist in your ear. During one podcast, I was walking down the street listening with my headphones when you said, “you are worthy.” And then again, “you are worthy.” It’s not often that we really take care of ourselves, and I feel like Brooke completely has my back. Anyway, I’ve learned so much already and wanted to share some takeaway lessons. It’s been really helpful to write it all down. I highly recommend listening to the full episodes, too!
Most of us are experts at procrastinating, right? I’ve found that in my own life, as I’ve gotten older, my procrastination has actually gotten worse. After all, there’s more at risk; I’m not procrastinating from a school paper, I’m procrastinating from my own life, from the goals that I set for myself that also scare me, and require me to really show up. There’s a reason — Brooke argues, and no, it’s not because I’m fundamentally lazy (that’s honestly what I’ve always secretly thought). It has to do with survival. Procrastination is basically an outdated form of self-protection. Simply put, your brain, left up to its own devices, is always going to choose pleasure and avoid pain. The most efficient thing to do is always to do NOTHING, and your brain will only seek out pain when survival depends on it. Makes sense, right?
Luckily, there’s a way to override that instinct, and it has a lot to do with creating rather than reacting. You create the life you want, you follow through with your goals, you honor yourself, and you stop avoiding because it’s “easier” in the short term to sit on the couch. Of course, not everything you do is going to turn out the way you want it to, so you have to be willing to put rough drafts out into the world. You have to be willing to do “B- work,” as Brooke calls it.
Recently, I’ve been applying this idea to exercise. I’ve always tried to stick to a “workout plan” but never followed through (sitting on the couch is always, always going to seem better to me. ALWAYS). By changing the narrative, there’s been a complete shift. I’m not working out because I “have to,” I’m working out to honor myself, to take care of myself, and because the benefits are so much greater than the initial resistance. Plus, every single time I work out, it’s a little boost in confidence, and I resist a tiny bit less. The momentum carries me through to the next scary thing. It’s been completely life changing.
On Thoughts before Feelings
Okay, this also really blew my mind. The concept itself is simple: thoughts happen before emotions. You think something, and that thought results in a feeling. For most of us, we know this to some extent, but it’s easy to forget. Instead of wanting happiness to just happen to us, Brooke says, what if we asked ourselves about the thoughts that would result in happiness? After all, happiness doesn’t fall from the sky.
I also loved this exercise from podcast #2 “How to Feel Better:
You’re at a party. It’s black tie. There’s a guy in a tuxedo. He’s walking around with a big, silver tray, and on that tray are all the emotions that are available to you, you know, the guy that’s walking around, he’s like, “Hors d’oeuvre? Hors d’oeuvre? Hors d’oeuvre?” He comes up to you and says, “Feeling?” and you get to choose from this huge tray of all the feelings available to you, what one do you want to choose, and if you could choose 3 feelings to have on a regular basis, what are you favorites, what would you choose to feel?
I am still digesting Brooke’s podcasts on love and relationships, but I’ll try to explain what I understand so far. Basically, we often believe (especially in this culture) that love is an emotion that erupts from within us and is poured out during select moments. We feel love when our boyfriend bends down to chat with a toddler, or shows up unexpected at work. BUT — if this is how love works, then love will always be conditional, right? It’s the easiest way to set yourself up for failure, because no one will ever meet all of your expectations. “It’s very counter intuitive for us because it’s the way that we are raised when it comes to love, to understand that love is an emotion that we feel, and when we feel the emotion of love, we take action from the emotion of love.” But, that’s actually not the case. Whenever you aren’t feeling love, it has only to do with the thought you are having, and nothing else. Again, thoughts before feelings! As Brooke put it:
I’m going to argue that love is always an option and always the best option. Love feels great and withholding love feels terrible. Unconditional love is a skill. It’s a skillset that we all can learn…Most of us only love if the other person does what we want them to do…But what if love is always the best option and there’s no condition to it, and it always feels good? What if you could make that a skill that you want to get crazy good at? Think about how your life might change if you loved unconditionally, which means you feel love towards the person under all conditions.
Bonus points if you’re still reading, haha. I didn’t intend for this post to get this long but as you can see, I’m *loving* this podcast and really trying to apply it to my own life.
Have you listened to any life changing podcasts recently? Would love to hear!