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Ep #122: Questions and Answers

Welcome to another Questions and Answers episode where I answer questions on a variety of topics that you asked in the comments of past episode posts. I know it’s been a while since we’ve done a Q & A, and I’m really excited to answer all of your questions for you!

This week, we dig into the reason why not all people who have issues with alcohol need to label themselves as alcoholics and why we should keep an open mind on the subject matter. We also cover topics like hiring a new coach, dealing with social anxiety, managing your thoughts to live a life of abundance and much more.

So turn up the volume and listen in because you won’t want to miss the answers and tips covered in this episode!

If you would like to get your questions featured on the show, please leave them in the comments at the end of a show notes post.

Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book.  It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It's the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!

Listen to the show

What You will discover

  • Alcoholism vs overdrinking.
  • The questions to ask a potential life or weight coach.
  • How to deal with the conflict of values when you feel like your child is making a huge mistake.
  • How to manage your thoughts about the past you don’t love.
  • Dealing with social anxiety.
  • Lack vs abundance.
  • And much more!

Get the Full Episode Transcript:

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Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Life Coach School Podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. Now, your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Hello, my friends. We're doing a Q&A today. I'm so excited. I haven't done one of these in a long time. A lot of you have asked questions in the comments and they've been building up and so I'm going to address all of them in the podcast today. I hope you will enjoy. Let's get started. I'm going to start with a comment that I actually got on my site. The reason I want to start with this comment is because it's reflective of how a lot of people feel about this work that I'm doing and I think it's important that I address it and address my perspective on it. I went into creating this program knowing that I would get push back from some people who possibly think that there is only one solution for people who overdrink.

They are very evangelical about it and in some ways cultish about it and I feel as if I know of which I speak because I was involved in a cult and I was involved with this organization of AA and the treatment that they provide with both my dad and with my brother. I feel like I'm very educated on this topic and I'm able to speak from an educated perspective but I also have my perspective and my personal opinion on it, which is very different than a lot of people. I'm willing to have a different opinion. I want to start by saying that I don't have anything against any program or any tool that helps people and that leads them in the direction that they want to go and that they find useful.

What I have a problem with is when someone thinks there's only one way or only one tool or tries to coerce someone into staying in a group when they don't want to or coerces them to join a group and they don't want to. I don't think that any of that is useful or helpful at all. I think that Mary who sent this comment in represents a lot of that perspective of people that disagree with me. I'm going to read her comment and then I'm going to read my reply that gives my perspective. Now, I don't think that we all have to agree on everything and I certainly don't think that you should agree with everything that I believe nor do you need to in order for these tools to be effective for you.

I do want to encourage all of you to keep an open mind to everything and to know that what works for you may not work for someone else. What hasn't worked for you in the past doesn't mean there's something wrong with you. It just means you might need another way. Let's begin. This is from Mary. "This whole thing actually scares me." Now, this is in response, she's sending this in response to my second video and my second podcast which are the same thing. "This whole thing actually scares me. I'll be honest, my hope is that no alcoholic in desperate need comes here thinking that they can control their drinking. I will say for me, declaring that I was an alcoholic at 23 and after six years of sobriety that labeling myself was what freed me.

I couldn't drink like a normal drinker and when I did, I ended up in the hospital. I did try to control it and I ended up back out drinking again. I'm so grateful that I accepted my label as an alcoholic at 23. At 30, my life was so much better and I never have to grapple with maybe I can because I can't. Anything I have tried to put before my sobriety, school, relationships, I lose them. I never had a DUI. I grew up in a loving family. A few whom are alcoholics and sober as well. I grew up in one of the richest towns in America where everyone put everything behind closed doors. I know countless people who have passed from alcoholism because someone once tried to tell them, "It's okay, you can control it," which I find interesting.

That's not why somebody dies of alcoholism but I digress. Great, maybe I can but I never want to live a life where I'm trying to control something. I'd rather accept my label and rock it out as I am now. Not to be six feet under with others I know who tried to cut back and kill themselves or ended up in jail making stupid decisions despite the fact that they are amazing good people. Whatever you want to do with your life, Brooke, is great but please remember that some desperate people will read this and they need help that won't tell them that they can control it because that's what may take me out at night. This breaks my heart. I loved your work and I'm happy to get on the phone and discuss this but please send out the message that if you think you need help and you are at home by yourself with a bottle, you need to stop thinking you can control it.

A lot of alcoholics who are seriously sick and there's no shame in about having a disease like alcoholism as both of my parents who are cancer survivors have said that the fight I lead was just like theirs except my chemo was rehab and my daily life focuses me to not focus on drinking but being a better person because that's what the steps teach us. The only step that actually focuses on alcohol is the first one. I'm not the evangelist, I believe in taking many approaches but just like I would tell my mom, please take the chemo instead of the easier and softer route. I would tell anyone who reads this that they can get off that elevator anytime they want. I don't think about drinking today.

I think about helping the next person and women out there through the work I do. My sobriety gave me my masters degree, performing back on stage in Hamptons, being a key note speaker in New York City helping raise thousands of dollars for desperate people who have tried other ways and want help. Please make sure you are sharing responsibly. I would be heartbroken to see you, Brooke or anyone else find out the hard way that alcoholism is a progressive disease that only gets worse each time you go back out." That was her message and when I read it, I thought she had some very strong assumptions and very strong ideas that are pervasive in our culture. So many people think the way Mary does, whether they are alcoholics or not, and I think this is such a huge problem.

This is my reply to her. “Hi, Mary. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and share your thoughts. I hope you will keep an open mind as you read my reply. I hear that you've had an experience with alcohol yourself and with some people in your life. It's so very easy to take your personal experience and apply it to everyone. In fact, I think this is the main problem when it comes to people who want help with their drinking, your all or nothing approach keep so many people from getting any help at all. My program is not for people who call themselves alcoholics and not everyone who struggles with how much they drink is an alcoholic and not everyone needs to quit drinking. You may have been exposed to people who tried to control their drinking and they couldn't. The reason they couldn't control it might be because they didn't have the right tools.

It might have been because they were alcoholics and needed treatment or it might have been because of some reason you and I can't completely understand right now. It's easy to conclude that they needed to quit drinking completely the way that you might have but there's no way you or I can know that for sure. Everyone's path is their own. We can't claim that treatments save lives. It's the person who saves their life. We can't say that AA saves someone's life without also giving credit to AA for the thousands of people who died while in treatment with AA. AA doesn't get responsibility for either. Some people use AA and get themselves better. Some people use another approach. Some people simply keep using. My dad and brother were both in AA when they died from drugs. I do not blame AA for their deaths but I also don't give credit for anyone's sobriety. Sobriety is a choice that the person makes, they save their own lives.

Thousands of people control their drinking. Many people are able to drink and limit themselves. These people do not need to quit drinking nor do they want to. They have found a way to drink in a controlled manner. You have met them and I have met them. It's absolutely possible. You're mentioning people who try to control their drinking and couldn't doesn't represent all people who have tried to control their drinking. Not everyone who tries will end up six feet under. Many who try will succeed and have succeeded. To assume that everyone who struggles is an alcoholic is what I think is dangerous. That's what scares me. I have met hundreds of people who live in shame about drinking because there's a group of people who immediately want to label them and send them through a program of documenting their flaws and shortcomings.

This one sided approach has excluded so many wonderful people who simply need some tools to be able to manage their minds. Some people need help in a different way. Some people need to quit drinking forever but they can only identify themselves and make that decision for themselves. We can't begin to diagnose or coerce anyone to quit drinking because it has worked so well for us. There are so many people who want and need help with understanding their drinking. People who are tired of being told what they have to do and how scared everyone is because it's so serious. That was me and my experience is very different from yours. My experience, the people who wanted to call me an alcoholic and they sent me to drinking more, hiding or denying more. People who thought they knew better about how I should live my life did not help me at all.

I hope you open your mind to all the types of drinkers in the world. Some need to get help and become sober immediately. Some need to come back on their drinking and they will be able to do that very responsibly. Some just need to manage their minds better so they don't turn to alcohol quite too often. All of these people deserve help and tools. Some desperate, as you say a person might read this and I hope they do, I would never pretend to know what they need to do with their life. I would never tell them they are powerless or in denial. I can't know that for another person but if they want my help I will give it to them. If they want to quit drinking I can help them. If they want to cut back I can show them the way and see if it works for them.

You tell me to share responsibly and I do. I share because it is my responsibility. I have a responsibility to offer a solution that work so beautifully for me and so many of my clients. It won't work for everyone and that is perfectly fine. It's for the people who it does help. I hope you can stay open to that possibility even if it isn't your experience, Brooke. As I read that out loud, what comes to me is that I think that it's very easy to make assumptions that people cannot control alcohol and everybody who struggles is either going to die or go to AA and label themselves as an alcoholic. I think that that is very, very dangerous to think about life in that way. I think it excludes a lot of people.

There are people who identify as an alcoholic and that gives them so much relief and serves them in so many ways. I would never say that was a bad thing ever. If you go to AA and you love it and it keeps you sober and you like being sober and you feel great about it then rock on but not everybody is going to find that to be their experience. In fact, thousands and thousands of people have found that AA is not for them and doesn't work for them. Many more people have found that it doesn't work for them than people have found that it does. I think there are other options and there are other situations and there are ways to control the drinking. To assume that you can't control your drinking is to really eliminate all the people in the world that do and there are lots of them.

I think that I really want to be a voice for those people that don't want to go to treatment and don't feel as if they need treatment and want another option and want another way. Yeah, it may not work for them, right? It may not work for everyone just like AA doesn't work for everyone and that's okay. That's okay but to say that what I'm offering is any less valuable than what you experienced, I think is very shortsighted. I think that there's plenty of room for opportunities, for lots of people to explore lots of different options. One of the things that is so important to remember is that we have the right to do whatever it is we want to do. If we want to go to treatment we can do that. If we don't want to go to treatment we don't have to. If we want to cut back on our drinking we can do everything in our power to do that but we don't have to cut back on our drinking.

I think a lot of people assume that other people should live in a certain way and label themselves in a certain way. I just want to open it up to the possibility that that's not true and that people can make decisions and take care of their own care in the way that they want. Like you said, if they want to get chemotherapy, they can and if they don't, they don't have to and they are not less of a person because they've made that choice for themselves. It's their choice to make. I certainly wouldn't say that one way is easier than another. I think that everybody makes that choice for themselves and their level of difficulty is completely determined by their personal experience.”

Anyway, Mary, if you hear this, I appreciate you sending them in. I think you represent a lot of people and a lot of people's feelings and I know that you're coming from a great sincere place and you have some genuine concerns based on your experience and your learning through Alcoholics Anonymous. I respect that but I also just really hope that you can also open up your mind to a different perspective as well.

Okay, "Brooke, I pray the time over this last week has healed your hashtag sucker punch. Time is a beautiful thing and sometimes less so. I'm always blessed by your words, always. They help me understand who I am and why I am and how I change the things I need to change. A question for you, when looking for a weight coach and or life coach, what questions should I be asking to help me decide for who's the best for me? I've spent many hours in counseling and recently with a coach. Wasted a lot of money on not getting to my goals. Maybe it was me. I want to do the work. I want to get uncomfortable. I might hold myself back in ways I don't understand. I need some guidance on how to go through the process of deciding. I've had some very effective counseling but I don't know what would make her a good counselor for me."

Okay, great question, Jacqueline. What I want to offer is that yes, it is you, always you whenever you expect your coach or your counselor or your therapist to do something for you then you've given responsibility to the wrong person. Of course, the responsibility is with you.

One of the things I want to suggest that you sit down with yourself and ask yourself as why do you want a coach. I had the same issue when I was hiring my business coach. I sat down and said, "Okay, why do I want to hire a coach? What is it I want my coach to do for me and with me? What am I willing to pay if I was to get the results that I ultimately wanted what would that be worth to me?" That really helped me asking those questions because what I thought I needed in a coach and what I really wanted a coach were very different. I needed a coach that would tell me like it is and make me very uncomfortable. I actually wanted someone that would expose me to an industry beyond my coaching industry and really tell me like it was and that's what I got and it's what I hired.

Then I took absolute full responsibility and did every single thing he told me to do without question. I'm not suggesting that you do that with your coach but for me that was the deal that really worked out and I will tell you that it was one of the best experiences of my life. Decide what you want ahead of time and then when you hire that person, go all in 100%. I think most of our wasted money is from our own inaction and not from anything a coach does or doesn't do. Sometimes I feel like we hire people only to then blame them for our lack of success. I know I've done that many times myself. Make sure you don't do that. Make sure you decide who you want to hire and why and then make sure that you're 100% committed to doing everything that they suggest. Once you sit down and ask yourself what it is you want a coach and why then you'll know when you're interviewing them you'll know exactly what to ask them.

Katrina, "Hi, this is the first time I made comment. First thing, I want to say I think the podcast is brilliant. I love listening to all the words of wisdom. This episode When Life Sucks Again is wonderful insight. My question is if the problem that suddenly hit you in the face is something so unexpected and goes against your values and has to do with one of your children, how do you deal with this? Very briefly, without going into detail it's to do with my eldest 16 year old's friendship with an older girl at work who's six years older than her.

We feel that this older girl is taking advantage of her but my daughter who says categorically that she's heterosexual says that she's never felt so happy being with this person. I've gone through many tears. She's now saying that it's definitely more than a friendship. Anyway, I will stop there but just wondered about how to deal with the conflict of values and feeling of disappointment about a child that you obviously loved to the world and back but for who you feel is making a huge mistake which could have repercussions negatively for her in the future. Thanks again for the wonderful podcast."

Katrina, I think this is such a good question and so challenging because we have ideas about who we want our children to be and we have this idea and in our mind we want our children to be a certain way so that they will be happy.

The truth is we really want them to be happy so we can feel happy. We have this idea of how their life should be and the mistakes that they are making that they shouldn't be making. We try to control their lives for their own good. Now, we all do this. We keep our kids away from drugs and away from scary situations so they can live a life that we want them to live without suffering. The truth is we can't control everything they do and especially when they are teenagers and they start experimenting with their life and doing things with their life. We can't possibly know what's in their best interest for the long term when it's something similar to what you're talking about in this situation.

This may end up being what I like to call one of your best mistakes that you learn a lot from. Whether she learns a lot from or this could end up being really important defining direction that she goes in her life. This could be a horrible experience that ends up hurting her and that she learns a lot from or can end up being wonderful experience that she always holds fondly. We just can't ever know and we can't know what's right and what's wrong for another person. When it's our child that's impossible, especially if our children have been hurt by something or exposed to something that we believe is hurting them. We think we know for sure what they should be doing with their life.

When I'm in these situations with my kids, the thing that I think about is first of all, I have to allow them to be who they are and I can't control everything. I can influence them and when it comes to a child, I can discipline them in a way where I don't allow them to do certain things. What I have found is that when my main goal is to understand someone and not think that I know better than them is when I get to know my kids the most. When I sit down with my sons and I talk to them as if I know nothing and they are brilliant, I learn so much and understand so much.

What that does is it opens up the communication and keeps me involved with the influencing. When I decided that something shouldn't be the way that it is then I break the communication. When it comes to your daughter, really understanding where she's coming from, without your agenda, will be the most challenging thing you do because you're pretty sure that this shouldn't be going on. You have a lot of judgment about that and I understand that. If you could get to a place where you know you can't control everything that your daughter does at this point in her life but you can understand it and understand where she's coming from.

Instead of thinking you know better or you know what she should be doing or you know that this will end up badly, maybe open up your mind to consider all possibilities. I think it's okay to share your concerns with your daughter from a place of owning them and not putting them on your daughter. When you say I'm concerned, this is why I'm scared, this is what's going on in my brain and I own this, that's very different in telling her that she needs to change so you can feel better. I know that that's a really challenging situation to be in but ultimately you love your daughter and ultimately you want to connect with her and keep the lines of communication open. When you feel yourself trying to control her, that's when you have work to do on yourself.

Once you've done that work on yourself, then you'll be much more available to understand and hear where she's coming from and give her some influence and love and care because that ultimately, I think, is what you're saying is the most important thing.

"Hello, I absolutely love your podcast. It has helped me so much. I learned about it through a friend and I've been listening everyday since then. I started at the beginning and this is the episode I just finished ‘Toxic people’… is the one she just finished. "Here's my question, is it ever acceptable to cut someone out of your life? I have a friend who I stopped talking to because I said she was toxic. She always has a negative victim mentality.

I feel like it was on me to make her happy and get better. She completely shut me out of her life for a couple months for no reason. She recently sent me a message reaching out to me. I haven't responded because I thought that she was toxic for me to be friends with. Now I've listened to this podcast and I'm second guessing myself. I feel guilty for not responding but I'm afraid if I do I'm giving her the control she had before. Is it wrong for me to ignore her? Should I forgive her and try again? If you've read all of this so far, thank you. I hope that it make sense and that you can give me some perspective. Thanks for all you do. I'm going to listen to your next podcast."

You may not want her in your life and sometimes as Byron Katie would say, the best answer is “I love you and no”. If you're coming from a place of fear and worry and stress, I would do work on that but still the answer may be no, I don't want you in my life. I have people that are no longer in my life and I'm very happy about that. It's when we cut people out of our lives in order to feel better and we don't feel better that we get challenged. I wouldn't recommend that you invite her back in unless that's something that you want to do. The truth is if she has a negative victim mentality, that doesn't have to affect you. if you don't want it to. You also don't have to have it in your life if you don't want to. That's completely up to you.

"Hey, Brooke. I love this episode. I'm working on building a program with this concept in mind starting with gratitude and goal setting from abundance. This program is for performing artists and will allow them to create a life they want from abundance instead of scarcity. Could you recommend some books on the idea of goal setting from abundance and leading with gratitude first? I would love to dive deeper into some of the concepts that you've talked about on your podcast."

Some good books on goal setting and gratitude ahead of time…I would absolutely recommend that you look into the work of Abraham Hicks, Jerry and Esther Hicks and the Law of Attraction and attracting from a place of gratitude. The other goal setting work that I absolutely love is anything by Tony Robbins. Tony Robbins teaches us all about abundance and goal setting and massive action. Those are my two recommendations for you.

"Hi, Brooke. I love all of your podcasts and now I have officially listened to them all. Many more than just one time. I really appreciate you putting this content out there. It has changed me so much. You always said to ask questions in the show comments so here I go. I'm really stuck on how to love or accept my past. I reached this block recently when I realized I couldn't truly love myself and therefore take care of myself because I do not own or accept my past. When it comes down to it, I wish my past were different. I often wish I could time travel and change things.

I keep listening to the self-loathing episode, which addresses this. I'm trying to look at where I am now in life and how my past got me here and how to truly appreciate it. I have to be honest that many, many times I think, "Wow, if XYZ didn't happen in my past I probably be in a better place." How do I truly resolve this? Why do I want to hold on to this past thing? I don't understand it. I do with all my heart want to love myself. I've worked so hard to overcome all the anger and resentment I have towards my family. I would really love to get to the place where you say you are where you can look back and just see the best of both of your parents and also look back on my past all of it and say that was perfect because it lead me to who I am now and that person is exactly who I should be.

I really deeply understand that without that piece appreciating your past you cannot love who you are right now. Without loving and appreciating who I am right now I can't forgive those in my past who put me in harms way when I was a child. Without that forgiveness I'm holding on to anger. I'm allowing the past to hurt me now and I want to put an end to that but why would I want to hold on to the hurt? Thank you for any wisdom you should share about this."

A lot of times we hang on to hurt because it feels protective. It feels like if we're angry and upset and we don't forgive that somehow we're protecting ourselves and it sounds to me that maybe a little bit of what you're doing.

What I want to recommend you do is write down, remember the past isn't affecting you now at all. It's just the way you're thinking about your past that's affecting you. What I want you to do, Lucy, is write down all of your thoughts about your past. Write down all of the things that you think should have been different and what you don't like and make a long list of all of those thoughts. Then, one by one go through those thoughts and ask yourself, "Do I want to think this and what would I want to think instead? What do I want to think about my past instead of this?" Notice that each one of those sentences that you have in your mind now about your past are optional. The things that happened in your past the reason why you want to stay angry and upset about that is because you think that that will somehow protect you.

I really want you to think through is that true that when you are angry that you're more protected, that when you don't forgive someone you're more protective. It sounds like you're not loving yourself because of your current thoughts about what happened to you or something that you did. In order to find a place where you can love yourself, it's really important to unravel each and everyone of those thoughts. I also want to highly recommend that you email [email protected] and ask her to hook you up with one of our coaches who's in training and get some free coaching on this because a lot of times when you are trying to work through thoughts that you have about your past they are so ingrained in your identity you can even see them for yourself.

Email [email protected] and she'll hook you up with one of our coaches in training. That's true for anyone who wants some free coaching. Email Milena and she will hook you up.

Here's another one, "What are some great podcasts you recommend? I love yours so much but I would love something else to listen to in between waiting for your next ones to come out." I am funny and fickle when it comes to podcasts. For the past the year, before this year, all I listened to were business podcasts so I love like Amy Porterfield and Pat Flynn and Freedom Fast Lane and Claire Pelletreau. I listen to everything that had to do with business. This year, I'm obsessed with drinking and overdrinking and recovery and sobriety and addiction. Everything that I'm listening to is all about addiction and sobriety.

It sounds to me like you're looking for a life coaching podcast and honestly, I do not know of another one to recommend for you on that one. I think Tony Robbins has something out. A lot of people that listen to mine also love Lewis Howes, you might want to check him out as well.

"Hi, Brooke. I feel like I already know you and have met you from listening to the first 35 of your podcasts. Some of the stuff you have been talking about has been encouraging me to find some major opportunities in my life. By waking up earlier than usual every morning, I'm managing my time better and right upon awakening doing yoga and getting at work a bit earlier. This practice has really increased the breadth of myself self understanding. I'm currently exploring the next steps towards becoming a health coach but I'm having difficulty goal setting without someone to be accountable towards and to give me the specific tools I need to do so. What is the best way to choose an appropriate health coach?"

Again, Oliver, I think you need to write down exactly what you want in a coach and then just start interviewing people. Most coaches will give free mini sessions and I think to tell them, "This is what I'm looking for, this is what I want and this is what I'm willing to do," I think is the best way to hire someone. Interviewing and talking on the phone I think is the other really best way. The other thing is depending on what you want, you may not need a health coach.

It sounds like you need someone for accountability and that doesn't necessarily have to be someone that's trained in health. I highly recommend you go to thelifecoachschool.com and look under find a coach. Of course, I'm a little bit biased that my coaches are the best.

"Brooke," this is from Amanda. "Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I'm trying to keep this short and to the point. I just diagnosed my husband with bipolar disorder. I'm not a doctor but believe me, he has it. At first, it was such a relief to find out what I've been fighting for so long so I decided that since I now know the problem I could study and fix it. In my study, I learned it is fixable but not by my hand.

During all my study, 99% of the people including psychologist say, ‘Do not tell the person you suspect bipolar disorder especially if you're meshed with them. They will turn on you.’ I first thought, no, he is different but if I take an honest look at past experience, no he's not. He turns on me quickly. I'm getting prepared for the worst. I was putting my money aside and getting things I wouldn't want destroyed put away. I can coach myself through a lot of things but I was wondering if you think this is something I should start at a psychologist who has BPD experience to talk about how to best deal with this person or if saying to myself, so what? He has BPD. He's never been diagnosed and he's never even heard the term. I just live my life the way I want. Set my boundaries. When he lashes out just stick to that, ‘If you do this I'm leaving,’ just like I would for a normal person.

The one issue with this is he's very skilled at doing things to the very edge of being able to pin him down on anything. Even as far as breaking stuff. He makes it seem like it's an accident. I think I'm not skilled enough nor do I have enough strength left to deal with him. He's a pro at making me look oversensitive and crazy being very nice and over-smothering. It's amazing how I can really believe he really cares about me and then get sideswiped and I'm shocked that he could do that. I think I may have come to the point I don't want to help him even if it was in my power."

Yeah, Amanda, I would highly recommend that you involve somebody who understands bipolar disorder and go to therapy together with your husband. Maybe the main thing to focus on is you. Of course it sounds like that's what you're doing, really wanting to focus on you and how you will show up and be in the world versus any attempt to try and change him. It sounds like you have your head in the right place and any decision that you make will come from the understanding that you're not going to change him but you definitely can change yourself.

"Hi, Brooke. This is Julissa. I really love your work and listen to your podcast every week to gain some perspective in my life and I've made tremendous leaps in my own inner work with your teachings. I'm not sure if this question is related to this topic in particular which is creating confidence but I didn't know if you had advice for people with social anxiety or have clients that experience a great deal of social anxiety.

I feel like there are days when I feel very centered and loved but when I get into a social situation I freeze up and don't know what to say. Then I get to spiral of feeling inadequate and unfriendly when I used to be an outgoing individual. I'm a comedy improviser and I can act and get into the group on stage but when it comes to an actual conversation I'm not sure where the disconnect is happening. Now I'm spinning my own story [in advocacy 00:36:05] but in conversations I feel strong [lawls 00:36:08] and I don't feel like contributing as much as I could be. If you have any advice or any words of wisdom I would greatly appreciate it."

Julissa, this is an awesome question. I'm a total introvert myself so I'm great on stage and great in front of people but when you put me on a one on one conversation with someone I don't know or at a cocktail party, it's really challenging for me.

My first piece of advice is it sounds like you're judging yourself a lot about how you show up and how you respond. I would first have a look at that. You may not be as socially adept as somebody else is. You may not be able to manage conversations as well as somebody else does, but who cares. You know what I mean? I think that's okay. I think the main problem is not how you're showing up in conversations. I think the main problem is that how much you're judging yourself afterwards. One of the things that I've just been able to do is accept that about myself and not try and change it. I don't feel the need to change it unless I beat myself up afterwards.

When I beat myself up afterwards, then I find myself trying to change myself but if I just accept that I'm just sometimes socially awkward. It's totally fine. If you really want to understand your social anxiety, why you feel the way you do, you could really break that down. You could look at what your thoughts about other people, especially people you don't know and really see where that's coming from. That's definitely not a bad idea. I would start with the judgment you have about yourself. I would stop judging yourself so much about it and then once you've cleared that up then start working on why maybe you feel the way you do when you're around people in social situations.

This is from Di, "I wanted to say thank you for the life-changing inspiring ideas that you share. I've listened to your podcast over many miles while running and now I'm listening back from episode one to take some action and put them on a little practice. I have many skills but I've suffered from low self-esteem and anxiety. I found your approach and concepts extremely helpful in beginning to address my thoughts and feelings and the effect they've had in my life. I had a quick question. I'm sharing your ideas with my ten year old daughter. To me, it make sense to have this outlook from a young age. Have you ever considered creating material for children?"

Yes I have and I actually have a client who has done that already for me. Her name is Katie McClain. It's katiemcclain.com. It's K-A-T-I-E M-C-C-L-A-I-N katiemcclain.com and she is one of my coaches who has taken the coach material and the model and turned it into work with children. She talks about growing up kind. Helping you feel better and do better. Go to her site and you can learn all this stuff about applying the model to kids. She has a book that's called Tame Your Thought Monster that's fantastic.

"Brooke, your podcasts are amazing. Life-changing really. I just finished your stuff by reading webinar and it was as good as expected. I've never heard you touch on the subject of water consumption. Do you have a specific guideline you follow for example a gallon a day, half your body weight and ounces or do you just drink when you're thirsty?"

That's so funny, I just took a sip on my drink. Here's the key, I like to drink as much water as possible. I think the more water I drink, the better I feel. For sure, I think most of us are dehydrated. I find it challenging to drink water unless I have overly large glass with a straw. That is my suggestion at water. I do not have a specific amount that I think that you should drink but I do think that if you go to Starbucks and get their trenta plastic or glass cup and you fill that with water and you fill it up three times a day, you're going to be all set. It's the straw I'm telling you, Pearl. It's all about the straw.

All right, Michelle, "I wanted to let you know that I love your podcast, which I know is probably what everyone says when they email you. I play and replay many of them weekly. As I listen to each of your podcasts, I write down several phrases, quotes, thoughts and spend the week meditating on them while really digging into why this particular thoughts resonated with me. Sometimes I love what I find. Other times I think, "That really sucks to know that about myself. What now?" This is so good. Thank you for what you're doing and what you do and not being afraid to tell the truth about who we all are. I listened to your podcast on jealousy but there's on question that I have for you or maybe two.

I completely agree with your perspective on your own jealousy issues and I too have very little jealousy towards people for their success, personal possessions, how people look, act or being ahead of the game, etc. These things motivate me to accomplish more in my life or open new pathways of learning about how these people function and succeed. I will study, read, watch videos, podcasts, all to figure people out. I love it. I'm the first one to clap for my friends and family. There are few areas where I can see myself growing green with envy such as women who flirt with my husband and try to elevate themselves in my relationship with him. Watch out. This I feel is normal jealousy.

I truly feel okay with keeping my jealousy in check. This is my question for you, you have never said this directly but I'm sure that you have maybe felt this in the past due to the success of your business and your confident personality. What do you do with people who try to sabotage your success or confidence because they are jealous of you? This is why I ask. I lived several years of my life dumbing myself down, which I hate this phrase because it sounds so arrogant and that others are dumb and that you're meeting them at that level. It's a term that people throw around. I don't feel that way about other people so I'd rather say that I spend a great deal of time trying to build each others up so that they felt in control of situations or above me in our interactions.

One day, I woke up in one week's time my eyes were open to several people trying to manipulate me by using my words, actions, beliefs, confidence, success for their own benefit or to make me appear less than who I am. I was shocked and pissed and horrified beyond my own mother threw me under the bus with my father on several occasions. My husband had been involved in some relationships that were not healthy for our marriage. A couple of friends who we're out at dinner were publicly raking me over the calls and another person who was there overheard this and told me. I decided enough. I approached these situations independently and asked for an honest accounting of why each of them would act this way and chose such disrespect for our relationship.

Here is their cornucopia of responses. My mother, "Everyone always likes you better than me so if I say it's your idea they will all go along with it." She told her friends that my husband did all of our front pot so they kept asking me where he learned to create such beautiful displays. He didn't create them. I did them. I was put in a position to defend her lie or come clean. This is just the beginning with my mom. Bottom line, my mom said she's jealous of my influence over other people and that I have the perfect life. Husband, "When I'm with you I sometimes feel overshadowed if people are giving you more attention or you're giving them more attention than me."

He began flirting with one of my friends so that they would like him better than me. They sent him gifts, asked him to go places with them and he became their confidant. Somehow I started becoming the other woman in my own relationship. Bottom line, my husband was jealous that I had other people in my life and I did not feel like he was number one when we were together. The friends, "Your life is so perfect. You have this big house, perfect kids, too good to be true morals, can stay at home if you want but you choose to work, why?" They sat in the restaurant and attacked my fake perfect marriage, perfect kids, perfect job, perfect house, perfect friendships, etc. Another friend overheard them and told me and they always called themselves my best friends to my face.

Bottom line, I asked what did I ever do to any of you to deserve this kind of backstabbing answer from them was nothing. We are terrible friends. This is a long way around my question but I wanted to give you the context to my desire for information from you. I can't be the only one who deals with this talking about other people's jealousy makes you seem like you have a big ego or you're self-centered or narcissistic but it's really a problem to try and figure out how to handle other people's jealousy as you grow yourself and don't want to make yourself small so others feel big. Immediately the pleasing side of me wants to go back to being small. When I acted small, some of these people seemed more content with our relationship from my perspective.

Now I feel horrible inside not setting up the real me to be free. It was like a slow death now I can't go back to that person. In choosing to be true to how God created me I can honestly say that my sole source when I'm organized and goal-driven in all the areas of my life. I don't talk about myself and accomplishments ever which is sad but true. I don't post on Facebook every medal or ribbon or perfect family accomplishment. I was focused on asking lots of questions with other people to praise their success yet still I often feel this resentment with several of them by their under the breath comments like, "Wow, of course your son got straight A’s again. The rich get richer after winning the $1 by playing left center right game.

You would never do anything morally wrong after I said that I should stop talking about a friend who wasn't present to defend herself. If you created it, it would be perfect. You have the perfect life. You get that too." Honestly, I'm sick and tired of hearing this because my life is not perfect or handed over. I work hard in everything I get. I love to work at life and I truly believe that hard work is rewarded, not only financially, emotionally and spiritually and yet this wonderful people are driving me crazy with their comments. Thanks for listening, Brooke. You're amazing. I really mean this. You put out such real information for people to grow themselves up.

You ask the tough questions and help us find the answers. I know that you have to work your behind off to create such a successful business. I would really love a podcast that deals with this topic so people don't feel so lonely as they accomplish their goals whether it's a parenting, business building, dieting, breaking addiction, physical training, spiritual growth, moral growth, artistically, whatever they are desiring. The questions are how do we deal with jealously of others as we begin to accomplish our goals, change our life or truly be who we are meant to be and still stay connected to the very people who might be alongside us in our journey. Do we risk the loss of these people who can't manage their jealousy?

Is it okay to let them go? Will we be all alone as we reach to take hold of our dreams then what? Finally, what is this desire by some to keep others small so that we may feel big? Thanks, Brooke for considering my email. I know that your time is valuable. I think you might have some insight in this topic and like-minded people would be interested in the issue as well."

All right, mama. Here we go, Michelle. Thank you for the email and for being so thorough. Here's the thing, what other people think of me and feel of me is genuinely none of my business. If people want to say negative things about me or they want to act in a way that's based on their own insecurity and their own challenges, I really allow people to do that.

Now, if there's a boundary issue like there was with your husband then that's definitely something you address in a boundaried way that's very clear I think and what's appropriate in your marriage and what isn't. Here's the thing, I think people are just really trying to do the best they can. A lot of times our best is terrible like we're not good friends, we're jealous and all of that stuff that's coming up for your friends. It sounds like people view you in a way that create some challenges for them based on your interpretation. My main work with you would be for you to consider how you're letting their behavior affect you in such a negative way. If people want to say that your life was perfect and of course your kid got straight A’s and of course you're amazing and all of that, that's great.

People say to me it must be nice being able to do this and I say it is nice. It's great. Love it. "Your perfect family." I'm like, ‘they are pretty perfect. I love them”. You know what I mean? If they are uncomfortable about it that's okay with me. I'm not going to try and change who I am if someone's uncomfortable about it and if they want to talk smack about it, most of stuff people say about me is true. They are talking smack. I'm all in. I get it. If somebody wants to talk about me behind my back it's fine, it's totally fine and really genuinely I can usually find where it's true whatever it is that they are saying in some of those ways. I think if you could come to a place where you're more accepting of people's non-perfection.

The fact that people do lie and people talk behind the other people's back and people are jealous and just let it be what it is without being upset about it, your life will be so much better and so much more free. You want them to all behave in a different way and that's what's causing you so much of a challenge there. Let people be who they are and your only job is to show up the way you're showing up. If people like it, great, and if people don't like it, great. Have the conversations with the people that really matter to you and tell them how you feel but on some level too. Really coming from a place where you can understand why they might have said that about you and why they may have been talking about you based on their own jealousy and insecurity, that's going to put you in a much more compassionate place with both yourself and with your friends.

Okay, this is from Bobbie, "Brooke uses the term emotion a lot in this podcast," the weight-loss podcast. "My question is are feelings and emotions the same thing or are they different or separate somehow?" No, they are the same. I use those words interchangeably, emotions and feelings. I think there's a definition where emotion is supposed to incorporate a longer term feeling but I use those terms interchangeably.

Karen, "First, I'd like to thank you for your work that you're doing on the podcast. You're providing your audience for free. You're a fine coach. I found you and truly believed it was meant to be. I'm at a point in my life where I truly need to re-calibrate many aspects of my life. Obviously I needed help with that and there you are. How amazing the universe works? My bathroom mirror is full of post with quotes from your show. Again, thank you very much for helping and guiding me. I was listening to your podcast number 115, generosity. I understood almost everything you were talking about but here's my question I can't find an answer to although I played around with it as you suggest it. This is what happened. A friend of mine asked me for help because she was feeling low for quite some time.

I suggested to use a sea salt soap in order to cleanse herself energetically. She really liked the idea but couldn't find a store to get that very special soap. I told her not to worry, I'd be happy to buy her one for her and the next time we would see each other I would give it to her. That's what I did. A week later I texted her with excitement that I have the soap, that the soap arrived and we're scheduled to meet the following Sunday. She cancelled the meeting because she had missed her flight back home that very Sunday. I already had a feeling that she would cancel because this is what she likes to do. Anyway, no big deal. I thought we will find another date to meet. The thing is since then she never rescheduled a meeting with me in order to try out the soap.

We have text just yesterday but no word about the soap and no word about seeing each other again. Okay, it's not supposed to happen, I told myself. She probably has totally forgotten about it but it's still bugging me. I can't let it go. You talk about releasing all expectations when we give. In my case when I give my money, time, or when I provide a solution to a problem or in this case a soap, I have no expectation to get the money back, not at all. I genuinely want to help her. I'm not even entitled to a thank you for my effort. I personally would acknowledge the other person's effort if it would be the other way around, that's perfectly normal for me and the right thing to do. Where is her respect for my commitment?"

This is such an interesting question. You're wanting her to respect you but the reason you bought the soap is not so she would respect you or your commitment, the reason you bought the soap is just because you want her to try it out. Notice how your expectation there is making you upset. It's not making her upset. It's making you upset. You're coming from a place of generosity but your expectation is what's upsetting you there. Then you talk about the motive when we get to give and that maybe you want to control an outcome. What do I want to control here? You want to control her respect for you. Is the expectation of gratitude or acknowledgement the issue I want to control?

Yes. "Next time, when you do Q&As I'd be very happy if you could share your thoughts on my questions. It would be very appreciated so that I could flash this peculiar pattern of thinking out of my system. Thank you so much or you can use my email. I'm Austrian. I live in Vienna so please forgive me if all my sentences are not correctly written. I would love, love, love to write a review but I don't know where." I use iTunes. You can write a review in iTunes. If you need help with that, email [email protected] and she'll show you exactly how to do it. M-I-L-E-N-A @thelifecoachschool.

When you buy her soap and you want to give her soap, buy and give her soap. That's what I'm thinking, she doesn't want to meet with you just send it to her if you're really buying it for that case. You went and bought the soap and now you're expecting her to want it, you're expecting her to want to meet with you to get it. You're expecting her to want to spend time with you because you went and got that for her. She never asked you for it, right? You're coming from this place of, "I did this for you without you asking and now I expect something in return." That's going to end up creating problems for you and for her. If you bought the soap just because you really want her to genuinely enjoy it then you give it to her when you can or you don't give it to her but either way it comes from that place of abundance then that expectation won't leave you feeling wanting. Ask yourself why did you buy that soap for her. Make sure the answer is what is coming from you not from what your expectation is of her because if you bought it for her because you care about her then you already get the benefit of that. You doesn't rely on her to react in a certain way.

This is from Nan. "I have finally written a review on iTunes. Here's what I like so much about your podcast. Its professional - show notes, transcripts, good sound, excellent content, user-friendly, great example, simple method, the model, wonderful concepts, life-changing. Ever since I've used the model I can see my problems more clearly and I've been able to shed a few unwanted pounds. Even if I was not my priority I don't yell at my family any longer. More peaceful, calmer because I can watch the way I think and catch myself before I react. What's more? I'm more compassionate because I now understand the way other people think, my family, my students.

It has meant working on feelings a lot because just a few years ago I was still utterly convinced I didn't have any and that they were for the weak. That was part of my upbringing but I'm not taking full responsibility for it. I'm no longer in the victim mentality and I'm very willing to feel vulnerable sharing the news of a deceased beloved pet with coworkers, learning hula hoop and ballet which makes me feel ridiculous at times but I'm working on new thoughts. I'm learning how to become a ballerina each mistake I make makes me a better ballerina. I welcome any obstacle. The model has helped me clear my thoughts. I'm no longer an emotional child and I take responsibility for my thoughts, feelings and actions.

I do a model everyday either for me or one member of my family. It's always fascinating and I always end up with gems that serve me. I can't thank you enough for all the good you're bringing into my life and I'm definitely considering adding coaching skills to my English teaching. I have two questions for you. One, I'd like to know what you think of guilt. Whenever I'm given anything I don't expect and I feel I don't deserve like a couple hours of free time I feel guilty." What do I think about that? I think that feeling of guilt comes from a thought in your mind that I think you should do a model on it. I'd be fascinated. Your thought is I don't deserve it, I would ask yourself why. Why don't you deserve it? That thought will be a gem for sure.

"Two, what about lack versus abundance? How can we create an abundant mindset so as to be more comfortable less selfish and less needy? I know my family and I tend to accumulate things just in case as I used to store fat as energy should I need it. How can we let go of this lack feeling? Thank you so much for your amazing work and if you still need somebody to help with typos I'd love to be the one."

Thank you. Again, the lack, the feeling of lack it comes from your thinking. The feeling that you need to store things up for the future come from your thinking. I would put lack in the F line of that model and you might even want to do a thought download in all your thoughts of lack.

Usually it's just conditioned training. When we're kids and we're growing up you might have heard a lot of thoughts that created that lack for you. You just want to have a look at them and decide to change them.

All right, this is from Sunny. "There's always something I need to hear when I tune in to your podcast. Thank you. I need a different way to think of something and I wondered if you might have a suggestion. I feel like I'm generous with how much I love and want to do things and be with my husband. He has ADD and when he gets home he spends the evenings on his iPhone playing games. I want to give off my time and affection generously like you talked about but I want that back so I'm conflicted. Should I want that same attention I give to him? Should I just give and not think about that?

He doesn't give it to me like I want and I give it to him. I feel selfish. He's tired when he gets home and I feel I shouldn't bother him. He works for our family but I'm having such a challenge with being okay with not really getting attention. I don't really needed every minute but I need some quality attention. Just some guidance on a way to think differently about this."

It's a great question, Sunny. First things first, don't give with the expectation of getting something in return. Marianne says, "The only thing that can be missing in any situation is what you are not giving." You're giving him attention but I'm wondering if you're giving yourself attention.

You're expecting attention from him and I'm curious if you've talked to him about this and if you've had a conversation with him about what you would want. There's nothing wrong with telling somebody what you would want from them. The only challenge becomes if they don't want to give it. Are you going to allow them to be who they are? What is it you want this attention for? What is it that you need and want in your life? How can you give that better to yourself? What is it you're seeking for him to provide for you? The last thing you can do is I want you to imagine that he does come home from work and gives you all this attention that you think you want.

What would you be thinking if he gave you all that attention? What would you be thinking about yourself? What would you be thinking about him? I want you to know that those thoughts are available to you without him changing his behavior. Those thoughts are available to you now if you want them. I really want you to think about what those thoughts are and how you can incorporate them into your life now. Great question.

Okay. This is from Carrie. "Your work is so helpful. I would love to hear more about friendship on your podcast. My friendships have changed as I've started using the model. It caused some ugly fall out while still living in the same community and neighborhood.

It's easy to suggest to find new people and I am but I was wondering if you have any insight in staying a healthy course while old friends around me are threatened and disliking my clearer self. I'm not enjoying those people and I'm not pursuing them but distracting myself is harder due to proximity."

I'd be curious to talk to you more about this, what exactly happened with those friendships and what your thoughts are about them. I really want to encourage you to change the way you're thinking towards them. You say that they are threatened and that they disliked your clearer self, to me I don't think that's a useful way of thinking about your friends and the truth is even if they've said that to you, you get to decide how you want to think about them.

Even though they are close to you and even though you're no longer spending that much time with them, by being able to decide what you want to think about these people and decide how you want to feel about them that's going to help tremendously and then wanting new friends. I really want you to think about why that is and what kind of friends you want and why because that will really open up I think some self-coaching for yourself but it also help you know where you can find these friends and in what way you will allow them in your life in a different way than maybe you did to your friends before.

All right, you guys, that's it for today. I have covered all of your questions for the past few months. If you have more questions for me, please go to the comment section of the podcast and put them there and every several weeks I will do a Q&A podcast and answer all of the questions that I have been presented with. I hope you have a beautiful and wonderful and amazing week. I'll talk to you guys next week. Bye-bye. Thank you for listening to The Life Coach School Podcast. It is my honor to show up here every week and connect with people that are like-minded, wanting to take their life to a deeper level with more awareness and more consciousness. If you are interested in taking this work to the next level, I highly encourage you to go to theLifeCoachSchool.com/howtofeelbetteronline.

It is there that I have a class that will take all of these to a deeper application where you'll be able to really feel and experience how all of these concepts can start showing up in your life. It's one thing to learn it intellectually. It's another thing to truly apply it to your life. I will see you there. Thanks again for listening.

11 Comments

  1. Can you give some guidance on doing a thought download? I get totally stymied when I try to do this. Thank so much! I love your podcasts.

    1. Brooke,

      Thank you so much for being such an amazing outlet for me and everyone else who listens. I am a veteran and I have to say your podcast has helped me get through some of the toughest PTSD episodes, your encouraging down to the nitty gritty words have pulled me from many ditches. Thank you.

      If I may I would like to ask a question? I have a twin and she has stressed to me that her life feels like a prison due to the fact she decided to divorce her husband and now she is the only parent raising a child of Autism (her ex is not the father). Her child of Autism is unable to go into stores, restaurants and be in crowded places. I always use your famous words of “Change your thought, you change your emotion” but when I do I do no hear back from her for weeks on end. She has expressed to me that I don’t care about her life and she states that I am being a pussy cause I think my life is hard with my PTSD, (she believes it’s not real) How should I approach her? she is my twin, I just don’t know how to help her?

      Thank you, your battle buddy
      Tamra Ward

      1. Hi Tamra,

        Glad to hear you have gained so much from Brooke’s podcast! Great question – Brooke will answer it in a future Questions & Answers episode.

        Carina

  2. Hello,
    Long time listener, first time caller and this is taking a lot of pride swallowing. At first I brushed off the podcast about over drinking as that does not pertain to me. However, it may not pertain to me for ETOH but it does pertain to me for food. I am obese. So I signed up for the SOD program and insert food/sugar/carbs for ETOH. That started to help but I am still struggling, a lot. I know you are not running your SOE program now but I need guidance and help for overeating. Are there other options like the SOD program for overeating. I have tried coaches, weight watchers, and other programs and tend to not stick with anything. I am frustrated and looking for suggestions.

  3. Brooke,
    Wow! It is so awesome that you do this! It’s exciting to learn that your coach trainees can offer free coaching. I wasn’t aware of that before.
    My question is about your Stop Overeating and Overdrinking courses. Can the principles be applied to other addictions. I am addicted to my phone. Even when I want to unplug, I usually end up grabbing for it. Doesn’t matter if I’m reading a real book , I interrupt it by picking up my phone even if I didn’t get a notification. If I’m reading an ebook…well forget it, that notification is right in front of my face.
    I am a life coach at the very beginnings of building my business so it is going to be important to me to take care of this habit so I can focus on the things I need to in my hours that I don’t spend at my full time job.
    Thank you!
    Juli

    1. Hello again, Juli

      Yes, Brooke herself applied all the same tools that she used in her Stop Overeating Masterclass to her own drinking of Chardonnay and she lost the desire to drink (as her students lost their desire to overeat).

      Carina

  4. Thank you for answering my friendship question. Time is a great healer. What I think of my former close friends is now clearer to me and I am not bothered by their reactions as to who they think I am now or who they thought I was before. . I don’t want to elaborate on this public board but I do want to sincerely thank you.

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