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Ep #183: How to Have a Better Life

This week, I have an exciting announcement for you all…

I have written and released a new book! It’s titled How to Have a Better Life and you can get more information about it and grab your copy here. This book is an easy read, but at the same time, it gives you everything you need to know to manage your mind, Emotions, Actions, and Results.

On this episode, I briefly go over what’s in How to Have a Better Life and teach you some of the most important concepts from the book. I show you the exact process for having a better life and explain how to overcome anxiety, create confidence, solve all of your problems, and manage your thoughts.

If you want a limited-release copy of my new book, How to Have a Better Life, visit this page and grab a copy while you can. If the books are sold out by the time you make it there, make sure to get on the waiting list.

What You will discover

  • A brief run-through of what I cover in my new book, How to Have a Better Life.
  • What it means to have a better life.
  • The importance of understanding that you can’t make your life better from the outside in.
  • The actual process for making your life better (Best news: you don’t have to change anything).
  • What anxiety really is and how to overcome it.
  • Hoping for something vs owning the responsibility for getting it done.
  • Tips for managing your thoughts.

Featured on the show

Get the Full Episode Transcript:

download the transcript

Episode Transcript:

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, hello my friends. I am thrilled today to give you an announcement. I’ve finished a book. Yes, I have a written and finished a book called How to Have a Better Life by Brooke Castillo: Tools from a Master Coach. Learn How to Manage Your Mind, Emotions, Reactions, and Results. I am so excited about this book, so excited to share it with you.

And here’s what I want to tell you – I have put it on limited print. We are only printing 500 copies and I have 100,000 podcast listeners. So, we decided to do a short run in the beginning. I want to get the book in all of your hands and get some feedback on the book, have some conversations about the book and then I will release it again for more sales

But this first run is just 500, and if you want your copy, you need to go to TheLifeCoachSchool.com/better. If you get there and it says it’s sold out, make sure you get on the wait list and we will let you know when the next run happens. We’re only doing a short run this one time, but I’m going to give you a lot of what is in the book right here right now on this podcast.

And I want you to know that what I have done in this book is take everything that I think is the most important, all the most important, pieces and try to distill them down.

There’s this idea that I believe in, and if you’re on my email list, you will know this – it’s that it’s much more difficult to write a short letter than it is to write a long letter. It’s easy to be long and wordy and take your time to explain something. It’s much more difficult to explain something succinctly.

And so, what we’ve done with this book is really try to put everything we can into an easy read, but also give you everything that you need to know to truly manage your mind, emotions, reactions, and results. So, if you go to TheLifeCoachSchool.com/better, check out the cover, I love the cover. It’s the little things, my friends. So, let me just go over briefly what’s in the book, and then I’m going to teach you some concepts from the book.

So, the first, part one, is called What Holds Us Back, common obstacles to success and how to overcome them. So, in chapter one, we talk about fear and failure. Chapter two, we talk about anxiety. I would say that those are two big ones that hold us back and we go into a deep dive on how to define failure. We go into why failure is good, we talk about fear, we talk about confusion, we talk about what it is to have a mismanaged mind, what we can do about fear.

And then we talk about anxiety and how to respond, recognize it and overcome anxiety. Anxiety is something that I deal with a lot in my life and I have a lot of very useful tips and tactics on how to manage it.

In part two, we talk about how to uncover and address two commonly hidden obstacles. And those two would be the blame game or the victim mentality, and lack of confidence. So many of my students, so many of you all, ask me to help you with your confidence, and so I have taken a whole chapter here to talk about lack of confidence and how it can affect you in your life, and how to get over it, basically.

Part three is about emotional maturity, what it is and how to achieve it. We talk about emotional adulthood and healthy thought management. Really being able to choose the thoughts that you think and how to understand your brain in a way that you can take full responsibility, which means you have full empowerment.

Part four is all about using self-coaching to solve problems, talk about how to solve any problem. And then, of course, I talk about the self-coaching model.

I am thrilled to offer this book to you all, thrilled to send it to your home so you can have it. This book will not be sold on Amazon, it will only be sold privately through me. I’m so proud of this book, I’m so excited to share it with you. So, if you’re interested in grabbing a copy, go to TheLifeCoachSchool.com/better. I have a limited number of copies, hopefully, you will get one, my friend.

Now, let’s talk about, in detail, some of these concepts. How to have a better life – so many of my students come to me and say they want a better life, but it’s like this vague idea that their life isn’t as good as it could be. And some of them know exactly what they think would make their life better, but I always ask them, first of all, why do you want your life to be better? What does that mean to you? And what do you think your life will look like if it’s better and what will it feel like when it’s better?

And most of my students think that the way to have a better life is by making their external circumstances better. Nobody teaches us in detail how to have a better life. We don’t really sit down and contemplate it. We’re kind of sold this idea of how to be successful, and we’re also sold the idea that success means happiness.

And many of us don’t even think to question these concepts, question these ideas. And first of all, what does it mean to be successful? And second of all, what does it mean to be happy? And is that the goal of life? And if so, why?

So, when we try to make our life better from the outside in, the effect is always temporary because we’re trying to be dependent on something external for our happiness. I see this most prominently in marriages; where people get married because they think their spouse makes them happy and they rely on their spouse to make them happy and to continue to make them happy.

And inevitably, that is only a temporary solution, right, where my students or clients think that their husband or wife is making them happy for a short period of time, then they start to notice, “Wait a minute, that isn’t working so well anymore. My husband isn’t making me happy; my wife isn’t making me happy anymore.”

And so, we try to control those external circumstances to continue to get happy, and we are unhappy about our own unhappiness. So, we’re striving to make our lives, “better” from this place of unhappiness, from this place of scarcity and we’re out there trying to manipulate the world and change our external circumstances to be happy.

So, you have to remember that you can’t make your life better from the outside in if you want the change to be permanent. To find out what makes your life better, you have to think about what makes it good internally. Why do you want more money, a better job and good relationships? Because of how we believe we will feel in the having of those things.

We try to change our world so we feel better, instead of feeling better to change our world. I have the process to make your life better, and the best news is, you don’t have to change anything. But don’t be surprised when a lot of things change.

So here is the process; this is what I teach in my book and I’m going to discuss it here with you. The first thing that you must be able to do is learn how to manage fear and failure. Why so many of you are suffering with lives that aren’t as good as you want them to be is because you are afraid, and specifically, you’re afraid of failing. So, you don’t go out there in the world and create and contribute and add value in the way that you really genuinely want to because you’re so terrified of failing.

And when you remember that failure is simply a thought and that fear is normal and expected and it actually means go and not stop in our current situation, then you will be able to create so much more of what you want in your life.

Now let me just remind you that when you have a “better life”, whatever that is and whatever that metaphor is in your mind that you believe that is, I think it’s really important to question whether you think that means that you’ll be happy all of the time; that you will be joyous all of the time, that you will feel successful all of the time, because I think a lot of us have that belief that those are the things that will make our life better and then we can settle in and just coast out the rest of our lives.

And what I have found is that a major part of this human experience is experiencing fear and failure on a regular basis so we can continue to grow and contribute and add value and evolve.

So, the first thing I want to teach everybody, and the first thing that I think is so important is learning to live with, not get rid of but live with, manage and be comfortable with fear and failure, because they aren’t going anywhere if you’re going to live an extraordinary life.

Number two is overcoming anxiety and knowing that anxiety is the fear of feeling. So many times we feel anxiety because we don’t want to feel what it is we’re feeling, and I talk about this a lot. How I wake up with anxiety most mornings and it’s anxiety about negative emotion. And since I’ve been going through this process and this understanding that half of my life, as a human, requires contrast; it requires negative to balance out with the positive.

My anxiety about experiencing those negative emotions has dissipated because I open, open, open myself up to that half of the human experience that isn’t comfortable, that don’t go the way I planned or people say things to me that are unkind or situations don’t go in my favor, so to speak.

And when I realize, “Oh no, this is just that part of life that isn’t 100% joyous, this is that part of life that isn’t 100% happy, this is what it means to be a human alive on the planet”, that half of these experiences are going to provide contrast to the other half. And so my anxiety just dissipates as soon as I open up to it. Oh, pain, I can do pain. Oh, frustration, I can do frustration, worry, doubt, whatever it is, I can open myself up to it and release the resistance to it.

And that is an amazing way to release so much of the anxiety that most of us, I would say, that work with me experience on a daily basis.

Number three is stop the blame game. The victim mentality is really where we think we’re at the effect of our lives. We think our lives are happening to us. I was just coaching one of my students and I said, “Hey, are you going to do well in your business?” And she said, “I sure hope so.” And I said, “Notice that, notice when you say that, I sure hope so, that you are putting the power into the hands of something out there and hoping for the result, instead of owning that you can create it.”

When we fail, we can blame other people or circumstances or being busy or situations, or we can own that failure and learn from it, right. We can claim it as a stepping stone, as a building block to whatever it is we are creating. When we experience emotions, when we experience frustration, when we experience that growth, we can own it instead of blaming other people or circumstances for it.

And that is one of the biggest pieces of owning your life and making it better, is in the moment you claim responsibility for all your feelings, you have an incredible sense of an empowerment and authority over being able to change them or allow them as needed. Being willing to be vulnerable means that you tell the truth about what you’re experiencing and you own it.
You don’t beat yourself up for it and you don’t blame yourself for it and you don’t blame anyone else for it. You understand that it’s part of the human experience and you allow for it. What it does is it takes away so much suffering that’s completely unnecessary; so many of us are in way too much pain over our pain. It’s like we’re mad that we’re mad and we’re anxious that we’re anxious and we’re frustrated that we’re frustrated.

And if we would drop the part where we were judging ourselves for negative emotion and negative experience and negative thoughts and we just allowed our self to be half negative because that is the human experience, so much of our suffering about our suffering would be alleviated.

It doesn’t mean we would no longer be in pain, it just means that we would have peace and acceptance around the pain that is part of our experience.

Let's talk about creating confidence. One of the things that many of my students want to do is create expertise so they can have confidence. They want to develop their skill and prove it in the world, and then they will experience confidence. And one of the things that is required in order to feel confidence is courage. And we need to feel the courage to go out there to be able to produce so we can generate the confidence that we need through the way that we think about ourselves.

And confidence is not something that necessarily needs to wait until you've developed skill. You can feel confident in your attempts. You can feel confident in your effort. You can feel confident in the tools that you're using and your ability to practice and get better at something. One of the things that I use a lot to develop my confidence, which is my belief in myself, my belief in my abilities, is I focus on what I'm doing right now to learn. What I'm doing right now to risk, what I'm doing right now to solve problems.

I don't expect myself to be an expert when I am starting out on something. I don't expect all my results to be 100%. I don't expect to always win. And because of that, because I am willing to fail, I have a tremendous amount of confidence because I'm not afraid. I'm open to failing, I'm open to experiencing humiliating, I'm open to experiencing doubt, I'm open to experiencing disappointment. And because of that, I push forward and I move forward into the world, open to those experiences.

And think about the idea, like even if you think about a soldier or you think someone that really needs confidence going into a battle situation, their willingness to literally die is what gives them the confidence. Isn't that wild? It's kind of like your willingness to fall flat on your face, your willingness to be afraid, your willingness to experience all those emotions is what gives you the confidence to actually do those things.

It gives you the confidence to have the opportunity to win, and I promise you that when you are willing to experience any kind of emotion, which requires the courage and the confidence, then you will end up with a better life because you will take action towards those things that you genuinely want in your life.

Number five is finding your way to emotional adulthood. We call this feeling responsibility, right? So you're not just feeling responsibility, but you are taking responsibility for your feelings. You have powerful life management internally. You are not effective at controlling the world, you're effective at controlling your interpretation, your expectation, your influence on the world, which is very different than trying to control other people.

Spending a lot of energy trying to control your environment and other people will exhaust you. When you turn that energy into emotional responsibility for yourself, it will energize you. You will stop feeling afraid of what people think about you, and you'll start paying much more attention to what you think about you. You'll start owning your judgments about yourself and other people. And you'll start thinking in a way, and in a deliberate way, that creates emotions that will serve you in your life.

The ultimate way to have a better life is to have better feelings because we want to feel better. And please don't hear me say that you should have positive feelings all of the time. I think the first step for most of us is to release our suffering about our suffering, to stop being unhappy about our unhappiness, to stop judging ourselves for not being perfect, for not getting straight A's, for not doing it perfectly all of the time every time, allowing for ourselves to live in the contrast of being human and to still wake up every day and go into the world in a responsible and enthusiastic way, knowing that there's pain out there, knowing that there are opportunities that will be presented that could mean failing, that could mean embarrassment, that could mean humiliation, that could mean pain, and showing up and doing it anyway because that is the human experience.

Everyone can agree that the human experience includes all of the ick, and yet we sign up for it anyway, don't we? We go for it anyway. We bring kids into the world and we go into the world knowing that there's pain out there. And if we would stop trying to avoid it or deny it or pretend it isn't there, or buffer it away with false pleasure, we would feel so much more alive.

We could stop trying to dodge the pain that in so many ways is harmless to us now. You know, in a more primitive portion of our evolvement, pain meant death. And now, pain, emotional pain in most situations, is harmless. No one's going to die, we’re going to be fine. We're just a little bit uncomfortable. But our tolerance for it, our ability to feel it has gone down tremendously because we are not forced to experience it anymore.

Most of us can hide in comfort, hide away from the world and try to protect ourselves from ever feeling a negative emotion. And then we wonder why we're not creating the magnificent life that we're capable of creating.

Number six is learning how to manage your thoughts. Really understanding that you should know what you're thinking. You have to be able to separate out the world as it exists in neutrality and your interpretation of it. Many of you think you understand this concept, but when I coach you, I have to show you the difference between your observations of the world, and the world.

Your observation of the world is not the world. It's your interpretation of it. So, when you observe something and you think that it's horrible and you feel horrible, you feel powerless because you think the world is causing that feeling of horrible. And when you own that you're the one causing that feeling, it doesn't mean that you're going to change how you're thinking and feeling. But what it does mean is that you can if you want to. You can own every thought that you think about the world, and sometimes you will choose to feel horrified and grief-stricken and heartbroken.

And that is a beautiful thing, but you will know the reason that you're feeling that is because you want to feel that when something happens in the world that you interpret as negative. That world is not coming down on you causing that, your interpretation of the world is. And that distinction will make you feel so much more empowerment in your life, and it will lay out what you're capable of because you will begin to understand that the worst that can happen is an emotion, and there isn't any emotion that you can't experience. Most of them are completely harmless, and we spend our whole lives trying to avoid them.

Number seven is solve all of your problems. You are the cause of all of your problems. If you don’t want a problem, don't make anything a problem. Things are only a problem because we make them a problem. This is such a mind trip for most of you. You're like, "Wait a minute, no, it really is a problem, someone has to pick my child up from school. That's a problem if nobody picked my child up."

But it's a problem because you make it a problem in your mind, and you want to make it a problem in your mind but you can also allow for the solution when you think about it that way. I like to encourage all of my employees to come to me with solutions instead of problems.

If you're going to present a problem to me, you must also present the solution that you think will most help it, and I will offer my solutions as well, but I always want everyone to think in the contrast. You consider the problem and the solution at the same time. You consider the obstacle and the strategy at the same time. We have that balance between light and dark, positive and negative, problem and solution.

So of course, we're going to have problems existing in the world, but we can also always bring with it the solution, and that's what we want to train our brain to be able to do.

And number eight is use the model and repeat. I think the model is the secret to success. I was teaching a webinar yesterday, and one of the things that I explained to everyone is that I've read self-help since I was 15 years old. I know what is taught in all of those books, and yet nothing was really changing in my life. I never really got the traction, I felt understood and I felt connected to the authors, but I never felt like I could make the changes that I needed to make until I integrated all those self-help concepts into the model for myself.

I created this tool so I could look at everything not just in different sections, not just my thoughts, or just feelings or just my actions, just my results or just my circumstances, but I was able to look at how they all interplayed with each other and caused each other and were at the effect of each other.

And when I put it all together and understood it in that way, that's when my life was "boom" - that's when I was able to integrate it together and all clicked and came together. And I love it when people tell me that when I teach them the model, they feel like I'm teaching them something that they knew and forgot. Right? It's something that makes so much sense to them, they understand it, but they just didn't know how to quite put it together in such a simplistic way.

And so I really do think that the model is the secret to success because there is nothing that you can't put in that R line that you want. And if you aren't getting those results in the R line that you want, the simple explanation is you're not thinking in a way that's serving you to get that result. And you need to back up and see, "What am I thinking that's producing the opposite of that result? What am I thinking that's bringing me up short with that result?"

Then all you have to do is look at your current model and why it's getting you that result and what is the result you want instead. I just did this work this morning on myself. Why am I getting this result when the result I want is this, and I could see very clearly it was my thought pattern. I simply went in and changed my thought pattern, which changed how I feel, which changed the actions that I'm taking to get the results that I want.

It works every single time, and with any situation. There is no situation that isn't a circumstance, a thought, a feeling, an action or a result. Everything fits in the model, and you are always just one model away from the result you want. I believe in the work so deeply that it is my passion to teach it to you. It is my passion to make sure that you don't just understand it intellectually, but that you start applying it to your life.

I genuinely hope the book, How to Have a Better Life will have the impact that I intend for you. When you purchase the book, I will also offer you, if you are interested, to upgrade your order to a recording of the podcast live that we did last year. All the recordings from that live event. If you are interested in learning some of the advanced strategies that we teach at The Life Coach School and that my master coaches taught during podcast live, you can upgrade your order and add that to it, which I absolutely hope that you will do, and I hope that you will download that workbook as well and start applying everything we teach in there.

It's been my pleasure to talk to you guys today, I will talk to you next week. If you want a copy of the book, go to TheLifeCoachSchool.com. Make sure you put the 'The' - TheLifeCoachSchool.com/better. Talk to you guys next week.

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.


  1. Dear Brooke,
    I have been listening to your podcast for the last few months, I love all of it. Can you let us know when will your book be available to be shipped to Canada? Also, would an ebook be coming soon? We can purchase and download to get the ebook right away, instead of waiting?

  2. Hi Brooke,
    How can I get this book if I do not live in the US? On the website, it seems we could only enter a US address.

    Thanks! Looking forward to reading it!

  3. Dear Brook, I am a French litterary translator, translating American novels and/or short stories into French. I discovered your podcasts only about two months ago and it’s pure delight. With you at my side, I feel stronger and the very notion of “massive action” has had a great effect on me (I have a sticker in my office and another one in my phone with “massive action” written on it so that I don’t forget what is important right now for me).
    So I want to thank you so much for your kindness, your encouragements, your firmness and your laugh, I love your laugh.

  4. Hi Brooke,

    I recently found your podcast upon recommendation from a friend, and I am really loving it so far! Thank you for the excellent work you put out – it’s both useful and inspiring!

    I have a question about believing new things (in response to episode #35, but I can’t seem to find that post . . . ). I love what you have to say about taking massive action and changing our thoughts to change our beliefs, then actions, then lives – very powerful! My question is, is it possible and/or advisable to ask of myself that I change my thoughts/beliefs/actions/circumstances on a specific and tight deadline? At what point, if ever, is it appropriate to “be more realistic?” If this has already been touched on in an episode, I’d love to know which one so I can listen to it! I’ve just recently started listening and am not through them all yet!

    Thank you so much for all you do!

    Health and happiness,


  5. Hi Brooke! 🙂

    First I want to thank you for all your podcast that you have created. I love them and listen to them in the morning before work <3

    I live in Norway and I want to buy your book. I hope the e-book is coming soon. Also I wish you can make an audiobook where you read it for us! 🙂 <3 I often listen to books when I drive my car.

    Big hugs from Carine in Norway.

    1. Hi Hélène,
      Stay tuned for future announcement about an ebook edition of How to Have a Better Life. In the meantime, you can purchase ebooks for Brooke’s other books, Self Coaching 101, and If I’m So smart, Why Can’t I Lose Weight? Glad you found Brooke’s podcast and are enjoying it!

    1. Hi Claire, We do not ship internationally. Stay tuned for future announcements about the ebook version. Thanks! -–Brecklyn

  6. Hello Brooke,

    I am absorbing all the podcasts, videos before I go to work, evenings and weekends! They are amazing and the tools are slowly helping me get out of my own way – thought patterns. Thank you so much!

    I have signed up for the February-Life Coaching Scholars and should receive my materials soon. So excited to get started!!!

    Enjoy the day!

    1. Thank you for sharing, Nancy. I’m so glad you found Brooke’s podcast and that it’s helping you in your life. Welcome to Scholars! –Brecklyn

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