Have you ever been questioned about the way you live your life? Maybe your decision to switch careers, lose weight, get married or divorced, or even dye your hair has been challenged.

I want to give you the gift of permission to answer these questions like I’ve given myself.

Why did I get a divorce? Because I wanted to.

We can get so consumed by judging other people’s lives that we stop living authentically in our own. What would happen if you stopped caring about what others thought? What if you allowed them to have their opinions, but didn’t accept them as truth?

In today’s episode, I share my reason for getting a divorce and walk you through how I came to that decision. I want to help you give yourself permission to make decisions you like and drop the desire to pretend to be anything but who you are.

What you will discover

  • Why I got divorced.
  • How to make decisions based on what you want.
  • What to do if someone has a negative opinion of you.
  • Why you might be judging how other people live their lives.
  • What happens when we pretend to be different than who we are.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode number 357.

Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Hello, my friends. We have been having some fun in Scholars. My boyfriend and I taught a class last week. We didn’t actually teach a class. We’re doing what we call conversations about relationships. So, we’re doing a series of calls in Scholars where we’re basically having back and forth conversations.

And during these conversations, we are answering any questions that anyone has of us and our relationship and what’s it been like for us since we started dating and what it was like for us to get divorced and in between divorce and dating.

And this week, we’re going to talk about dating and we have like a whole series of topics that we’re going to be talking about. One of which is the 90-day relationship, which is a concept that I created in my mind basically and that we did the first three months that we were dating each other. And it was so awesome and powerful that we’ve had so many people ask us about it that we want to teach it. We want to teach a class on it.

So, we’re doing these conversations about relationships in Scholars to get your insights on relationships, to get your experiences on dating and being in new relationships and on divorce and on being married and we want to create the 90-day relationship so that you can go through this process with someone that you are currently in a relationship, where you can do a reset and start this 90-day process with them, or with someone that you’re newly dating, or use this process to find someone to date, to have the 90-day relationship.

I found my 90-day relationship on an app, on the Bumble app. So, we’re going to talk about how I did that, how he did that, how we were on the apps, the dating. We’re going to talk about all the things. So, it’s fun. It’s exciting. We’re talking, just having conversations right now, getting input from everyone, loving it.

One of the things that we did, because there were so many people on the call and so many questions, is we printed out all the questions and went through each of them. And we were just having the time of our lives. We’re having so much fun. It’s so exciting to be able to do this kind of work and just love it so much.

And so, as we were reading through the questions, one of the questions that come up the most is, “Brooke, why did you get a divorce?” And the curiosity around my choice to get a divorce – and even though I’ve explained it on the podcast and I’m going to obviously explain it and answer that question as many times as I need to within Scholars – people seem to be very unsatisfied with my answer.

And so, I wanted to address it in a podcast. My answer is, because I wanted to. I got a divorce because I wanted to get a divorce. Why is that hard to accept for people?

I’ve been thinking a lot about it. I’ve been thinking about why is it hard for other people to hear that I did something very significant, very life-altering to me and to my family because I wanted to?

And I think that it reveals so many of the issues that we deal with in life coaching and that we deal with in our lives and that we deal with in society; truly understanding what it is we really want, liking our reasons for wanting those things, and then living our lives authentically based on those things.

What if you did not care what anyone else thought of you? Now, this doesn’t mean that you don’t care about other people’s feelings, that you don’t have values, that you don’t have empathy, that you don’t have ethics and that you don’t love people. In fact, it’s the complete opposite.

My philosophy on relationships, what I teach, what I believe, it has not changed at all is that you should not leave a relationship because you’re unhappy in that relationship thinking that a different relationship will make you happy.

Relationships do not make us unhappy or happy. It is not your relationship’s job to make you happy. So, if you leave a relationship hoping that that relationship is causing your unhappiness and that a different one will cause your happiness, you are going to be disappointed.

I always recommend you stay in a relationship long enough to be happy. And then, the question I get next is usually, “Well, if you’re happy in a relationship, why would you leave it?” And my answer has always been simply because you want to.

If the reason you’re in or out of a relationship is not so it can make you happy or unhappy, then you get to be in or out of a relationship simply because you want to. And this can apply to everything in your life.

Now, people will say to me, “Well, you can’t just do anything you want to. What about other people? What about their feelings?” Now, for me personally, I don’t want to do things that are deceitful. I don’t want to do things that are harmful. I don’t want to do things that are disrespectful. I want to do things out of love and I want to make decisions in my own life out of growth and out of excitement and out of pursuing the best life that I can possibly pursue. And I want to live my life on my terms without guessing what other people will think of me and trying to please them.

So, if I’m in a relationship and I’m unhappy and I’m having urges and I’m trying to solve that by leaving, I’m probably going to be very unhappy as I leave. But if I’m in a relationship and I can be happy in that relationship and I’ve found my way to happiness within that relationship, from that place, I can decide to stay or leave knowing that I will be happy either way.

This is exactly what happened in my marriage to Chris. I was happy in my marriage to Chris. I know so many of you want there to be gossip. You want there to be tragedy. You want there to be deceit. There was none.

I loved Chris with all my heart. I still love him with all of my heart. We still love each other. We still love our children. We still love our family. We did not deceive each other. We did not hurt each other. There was no one else involved. There was no fighting or arguments or seething or complaining or hating. There was nothing like that.

We talked many hours, for long times, about our relationship and what we wanted. We went to therapy and talked to a therapist. We talked to each other. We wrote down our dreams. We did all of the things.

And I left because I wanted to. And Chris wanted to be with someone who wanted to be with him, of course. That is the beauty of that decision for us. I left because I wanted to leave. That is reason enough. I left with love. I left with respect. I left with knowing in my heart that it was a difficult and challenging decision for me because of the effect it would have on my kids. But I did it because I wanted to do it.

And people will say, “Well that is very selfish of you.” And I agree in the sense that it’s a decision I made for myself. But I also think it is my job, as my kids’ mother, to be the best version of myself for them. And so, in that case, I don’t think it was selfish. I think it was providing my children with the best version of a mother that I could possibly do, and the most authentic relationship that I could have with Chris was one where we weren’t married anymore.

There’s nothing else there. I know some of you are trying to find it. You’re trying to explain it. You’re trying to judge it. You’re trying to gossip about it. Sorry to disappoint, there’s nothing there. It’s simply something that I wanted to do.

And I’ve had people say to me, “Well, if you were happy and you worked on it, shouldn’t you have stayed? You should have stayed.” And that’s – I’m open to that. I’m open to other people’s opinions. I’m open to other people’s ideas and religions and beliefs about marriage and what should happen.

I just don’t live my life based on other people’s opinions. I don’t let other people’s judgments of me determine the trajectory of my life.

“Why aren’t you drinking alcohol?” Because I don’t want to. “Why aren’t you getting married?” Because I don’t want to. “Why aren’t you going to college?” Because I don’t want to. “Why are you making so much money?” Because I want to. “Why are you dating this person?” Because I want to. “Why are you talking about this publicly?” Because I want to. It’s a full, complete sentence. You need to offer no further explanation.

I talked about this previously, but I want to talk about it again here. When I made this statement that I wanted my company to make $100 million, people wanted me to explain myself, justify that amount of money. They wanted me to talk about all of the good that I would do with it, that I would give to charity and hire women and serve the world. And all of those things were true.

But I don’t need to justify anything. I want to make $100 million because I want to. I want something because I want it and that is enough. And in my life, I evaluate my reasons for everything that I want before I make a decision. I recognize that there are consequences and I make sure that the consequences of my decisions serve my authentic life, that they’re worth it for me and for my growth and for my values and that I could do it from love and that I can respect the people in my life and love them in the hardest, deepest way and that I could do it with honesty.

I didn’t want to stay in a marriage and keep working on happiness if I rather would not be in that marriage. I wanted to get to the point where I knew I could be happy either way. And from that place, I could make the most authentic decision for myself because I wasn’t telling myself that I would be happier somewhere else. I didn’t know that I would be. I had no idea. I hadn’t been single for 22 years – 25 years I hadn’t been single.

I had no idea what that would be like but I wanted to make that choice for my growth simply because I wanted to. And I want to give you all permission to do the same thing. I did not realize what a catastrophe it is for people not deciding to do things they want to do because they’re so afraid of other people’s opinions.

And I’m so surprised at how many people have an opinion about what I do with my life. I want an explanation. They say, “You can’t possibly have been happy. You can’t possibly have loved your husband and left him.” But you’re wrong. That’s exactly what happened. That’s exactly what I did.

I was very happy, very in love with my husband, and I decided to leave. And that’s it. Because I wanted to. And I did it on my terms and I did it in a way that I’m proud of and that I feel was authentic and true.

You can do whatever it is you want in your life because you want to. You don’t need to justify yourself. You don’t need to explain yourself. You want to leave a job, you want to start a job, you want to start a business, you want to change the color of your hair, you want to lose weight, you want to gain weight, you don’t want to lose weight, you do not have to explain yourself. “Because I want to,” is a complete sentence.

You do not have to justify your decisions to anyone but yourself. Please hear me. So many clients come to me and they want permission to do their dreams. They want permission to live their lives on their own terms. Permission granted. You are a grown-ass adult. Make choices based on what you want and let that be reason enough.

Do not feel pressure to justify or to tell yourself you don’t have a good enough reason to do the thing that you want to do. A good enough reason is, “I want to.” And when you feel that deep inside of you, you will make decisions from that place.

So, I want you to ask yourself these questions. This will really help with the work of deciding what you truly want, honoring it, and doing decisions based on them.

So many of us are not doing what we want because of what we think other people will think about us. And some of us don’t even know who those other people are.

So, ask yourself this question; what is it you want other people to think about you, and why? Do you want them to think you’re a good mom, a good wife, a good person?

Here’s what happens when we try to control what other people think. I’ve coached hundreds of people on this who are living lies. They’re in marriages they don’t want to be in, cheating on their spouses, not participating in the marriage because they want other people to think they’re good people.

This makes no sense, my friends. Why not actually just be the good person you want to be? Just actually be true to you. Don’t pretend to be something that you aren’t, unless that’s a decision that you want to make on purpose and you feel good about it and you want to do that. Then you can do that.

But here’s where we get into trouble, I think, is when we start pretending that we’re other than we are, we start pretending that the truth is different than what it actually is, because we want someone else to like us. We don’t want other people to be disappointed in our decisions. We don’t want other people to be influenced by our decisions in a way that’s negative, that requires them to have a negative opinion of us.

And so, we end up living our lives for other people’s opinions. So, ask yourself, what is it you want these other people to think about you? And do you think that about yourself?

Is it true? Do you want to believe that about yourself? And is it okay if those things aren’t true? Is it okay if you’re not as good of a person, as loyal of a person, as married of a person, as consistent as a person as other people think you are?

How many of you are pretending to be happier than you are, pretending to be more successful than you are, pretending to be more married than you are, pretending to eat less than you normally do in front of other people? It goes on and on and on.

If you knew what you wanted those other people to think of you, you could ask yourself, why? Why do you want them to think that of you? And it’s because of how you think it will make you feel. But what I want to tell you is how other people think of you does not determine how you feel. Their thoughts don’t determine your feelings. Your thoughts determine your feelings.

And at the end of the day, you’re living your life. I’d rather live an authentic life based on me doing what I want to do and have someone else have a negative opinion of me than me living a lie trying to control other people’s opinions of me, other people making judgments of me. And I want to give you the same freedom to do the same things for you; doing things just because you simply want to.

The next question is, what happens when someone has a negative opinion about you? You either believe them or you don’t. When someone has a negative opinion about you, it tells us about them, doesn’t it? It doesn’t tell us anything about you. It tells you what they believe. And the third question is, what if you let people be wrong about you? Allow them to have their opinions. Let them not like you.

So, the first question is, you’re trying to understand, what is you want other people to think about you What do you want them to believe about you and why? And then the third question is, what if you let them be wrong about you, have a negative opinion about you, and let them not like you, whether it’s based on a lie or the truth?

Some people aren’t going to like you living your authentic life and some people are going to have an opinion about you that isn’t true. Will you be able to stay in your authenticity regardless of what other people think about you?

Now, for many of you, this is just your family or your immediate community. For some of you who are growing businesses and having a presence in the world and being more public with your lives, this could be hundreds or thousands of people that are having opinions of you.

Can you hold space for yourself to live a life that you want to live, regardless of whether they like you or not, regardless of whether they know the truth about you or not? Can you allow them to have their opinion? Because when you give yourself that gift, of not caring what other people’s opinions are of you, then you can focus on your opinion of you.

And I will tell you, with the hundreds of people that I have been coaching, the main issue I see with most of them is their opinion of themselves is so low. They’re so busy trying to control the world’s opinion of them that they have no respect for themselves. They’re so busy lying to the people in their life without even realizing it, pretending to be someone that they’re not in order to get approval from outside people, who genuinely may or may not care about them.

So, ask yourself, what is it that you really want? And what will people think of you if they know that? And that is your work.

When someone asks you, “Why are you doing what you do with your life?” You tell them, “Because I want to. That is why. And that is reason enough. This is my life and I get to do what I want.”

There doesn’t have to be a horrible, negative, awful reason for me to get a divorce. It can be a good reason. It can be a positive reason, in my world. It may be different for someone else, and that’s okay. But in my world, that’s how it is and I will live into that and tell the truth about that because I would rather walk the world alone in truth than live in a prison of lies.

And I want to offer that to you. It takes much more courage to live in your truth, to be your truth, to walk in the world telling the truth with your life than it is to hide in a cave and pretend to be someone that you’re not.

Why are you living the way you are living? Because you want to. That’s it. First, you have to know what it is you want. And then, you have to live into that on purpose with zero apologies, with zero Fs given as to what other people think.

And I want to end with saying this. It’s important for you to do what you want and give other people freedom to believe and to do what they want. If you’re judging other people for how they’re living their lives, it’s usually a projection. It’s usually you judging them because of your own life, because you’re not living in a way that maybe you want to be living.

So, I want to encourage you, if you feel like – and this could be judging movie stars, this could be judging people you don’t know, this could be judging politicians, it doesn’t matter. Look at your own judgments and pull them back to you and ask yourself, “Are you living the most courageous, authentic life that you could possibly be living simply because you want to?”

Because I believe, when we follow our truest desires, when we honor our own values, when we do things because we know it will bring more love into the world and more love into our lives, that’s when we evolve and that’s when we have the most genuine life. It doesn’t mean you’re going to have the happiest life. You’re always going to be on that 50-50 trajectory. But you can step into a life that feels true, where you have no secrets and you have nothing to hide. It is true freedom. No explanation needed. Because I want to.

Have a beautiful week, everyone. Talk to you soon. Bye.

Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.

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