Ep #44: A Year of Self-Coaching
A lot of our listeners mention in their comments that they love the content presented on the show. They love the concepts I talk about, they love The Model, it all sense to them, but when it comes to applying these concepts to their lives…they find it challenging. One of the questions I recently got from one of our listeners, Wesley, was: “How do you take all this self-coaching information and apply to your life on a regular basis?”
On this episode of Life Coach School, I lay out a plan that you can start using right now as a self-study to truly integrate everything that I teach you into a daily practice. As long as you are willing to really commit to a practice of self-development instead of just passively consuming information your life will improve dramatically! Grab a pen and paper and get ready to take some notes!
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Listen to the show
What You will discover
- The difference between passive action and massive action.
- The importance of applying what you’ve learned.
- How to break up a year-long committed program for ease of “consumption.”
- What “Do Goals” are and how they help our progress.
- My tip for getting truly committed to learning something.
- The secret to everything you want to create in your life.
Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the 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.
That's what's up. A couple podcasts back, I asked you guys to come and comment and to talk to me, like "Let's get a conversation going." You did. I was so excited. All of a sudden, I started getting all these comments, and talking to you guys, and having a connection, and seeing where you're from and who's listening out there. It was really awesome. For all of you that came and commented, I really do appreciate it. It means a lot to me. I love to hear your thoughts about the podcast. Sometimes it feels like I'm just talking into the air, so it was really nice to just have you guys give me some feedback there.
I also really appreciate those of you who have left a review on iTunes for me. I know it seems like your review is just one more and it won't matter, but it does matter to me, really, honestly. If you love the podcast and you're a long-time listener, or even if you just started it, I'd really appreciate a review on iTunes, just to feel that same connection.
All right. Today, we are going to talk about a year of self-coaching. One of the things that happens when you guys talk to me, when you tell me what you're liking about the podcast, what you're confused about, all of those things, is it gives me ideas for upcoming shows, and what I should talk about, and what you guys need more help with. One of the comments that I got was from Wesley and one of the things he asked me was, "How can I slow down and do this work on myself? I listen to what you say, and I understand your concepts. I really like the model, but applying it to myself and working on it is more challenging."
I've actually had a lot of people say that to me. They hear the concept of the model, and they like the concept of it. They really think it makes sense and it resonates with them, but then when it comes to applying it to their life, they have more of a challenge with it. The question is, how do you take all of this and apply it to your life, and how do you make a regular practice of it?
One of the things that I highly recommend is that you do a training. It doesn't have to be my training. It should be my training, but it doesn't have to be my training. You come with us for six days and dive into this training, you will never be the same. You will have a practice in your bones when you leave. Like I said, it can be any training where you really take yourself out of your life and you focus on life-coaching principles, and how to coach yourself, and how to apply these tools in an environment where it's forced application, where you're not just learning them but we actually practice them out loud, will really help.
I am going to give you a plan right now that you can do as a self-study to really integrate everything that I'm teaching you into a daily practice. Wesley, if you're willing to commit for a year, then your life will forever be changed. The first thing that I really want to help you understand is the difference between learning something, which is what I call passive action, and applying something until you get the result you want, which is what we call massive action. So many of us are into passive action. We like to consume, versus create.
Let me explain to you what that means, because I've been on both ends of that. Consuming means we learn. There is something about learning concepts that makes us feel like we're accomplishing something. It makes us feel like we are moving forward. It's important to understand that learning is a beautiful thing, but learning without application isn't taking any action in your own life. It's like buying the gym membership is a good thing, but you have to actually go to the gym. It's the same thing. Buying the material, listening to the podcasts, signing up for the training, all of that is a really good thing, but it won't impact your life until you start applying it.
Although there's a lot to learn, I want to make sure that you are at least doing equal parts learning and applying. Most of us do about 90 percent learning and 10 percent applying. I've talked about this in other podcasts, where when you sign up for a training, or when you read a book, or when you learn a new concept, if you can take what you are learning and commit to it and commit to applying it with no questions asked, you will have such a different experience than if you just learn it.
One of the things that you can do, and I highly recommend you all do for this podcast, is to listen to what I'm teaching you, to listen to the concepts, and then to make a plan on how to apply them or practice them in your life. The way that this podcast is set up is beautiful for that. You have your lesson that you get when you listen to the podcast. Many of you, I know, listen to it more than once, each concept. You get that concept, you listen to it, and then you have seven days until I give you another one. If you would only take that one concept that I'm teaching you and apply it for seven days, then you could be ready to move onto the next one.
For example, what I'm going to teach you in this podcast is the difference, what I have taught you already, is the difference between passive action and massive action, so learning something versus applying something. One of the things you could do is look at your life and see all of the things that you've learned, all the books that you've read, all of the concepts that you are currently consuming, and compare that to how much you're actually applying what you've learned. Are you simply reading recipes, so to speak, and never making the meal? It's one thing to read a recipe and to say, "Wow, I could be a really good cook." It's another thing to make the recipe 10 times.
It's a cool concept to think about it in that way. One of the things that I talk a lot about are "do" goals. What is the action that you could take that would make success inevitable? If you want to get one new client, if you talked to 100 clients, chances are you're going to get one client. Your commitment may be, "I want to get one new client," but then your action goal, your massive action goal, may be to talk to 100 people.
It's the same with, for example, a recipe. If you think about each of these podcasts, any of my books, any of my trainings, as recipes, are you just reading the recipe, or are you cooking the meal? If I gave you a challenging recipe, something that you didn't quite understand how to make, you could ask me lots of questions about it. You could read it many times, but you're not going to really get the effect of the recipe, which means the food and the taste of the food, if you don't cook the food and do what I'm calling you to do in the recipe.
If you were to make the same recipe, let's say, every single day for 30 days, you would probably be pretty good at making whatever that recipe is. Let's say it's chicken parmesan. If you made chicken parmesan ... First of all, if you like chicken parmesan, Martha Stewart's recipe is ridiculous. This is just a little side note. Whenever you have a make a meal for someone when they're going through a hard time or they just had a baby, Martha Stewart's chicken parmesan. Everyone will love you for the rest of your life.
Anyway. If you want to learn how to make it really well, you want to practice it. "What are the best techniques? How can I perfect it? Ooh, next time, I'm going to use a little more salt. Next time, I'm not going to crisp it up so much. Next time, I'm going to use different breadcrumbs." Whatever it is, you practice, you practice, you practice. At the end of 30 days, you're going to know how to make some chicken parmesan.
The first time you make it, it may be a mess. You may not even think you like the taste of it. Same with using the model. The first time you use it, you may be like, "I don't know about this. This is really complicated." Then you do it again, and then you do it again, and then you do it again. Then you do a model every day for 30 days, and you understand the effect that that can have on you, just that awareness of creating and understanding your own models in your life.
One of the things that I would recommend that you do with any of my material is to not just read it. It's to study it. This is actually something in my own practice that I've been doing a lot of. It's really important for, I think, all of you to do in your own personal self-development practice, is to limit the amount of teachers that you're studying. Not because they're not all amazing and not because they aren't all great, but because if you have too many teachers, you're going to end up doing more consuming that you are applying. If you're learning from this teacher, and that teacher, and this teacher, and that teacher, you don't have as much time to apply what they're teaching you.
One of the reasons why I think I've been able to be very successful in my own self-development is by limiting the amount of teachers at any one time and studying them. One of the things that I'm working on right now in my school is master coach training. I do master coach training once a year, and I'm creating the curriculum for it right now. One of the most important pieces of that curriculum this year is not going to be introducing a lot of new material, but basically studying the teachers and the concepts that we already know, but really studying them and really applying them in new ways.
That is something that I want to recommend for you guys who are trying to learn my material and the way that I teach it, is not just to learn it and to listen to it and to consume it, but to create it in your life. If you're going to study me and you're going to study some of the teachers that I've recommended to you, or you have other people on your list that you're studying, I highly recommend you study a lot of people, but you study. You don't just consume everybody's stuff. You actually apply it.
One of the things that is always fascinating to me is when people say that they've read one of my books, for example, If I'm So Smart, Why Can't I Lose Weight? They'll say, "Oh, I read that book, and I loved it. It really made sense to me, but it didn't work for me." I'll say, "The book doesn't work. The book just sits there with its pages. It doesn't do anything for us. You have to work. You have to do what the book says to do. You have to apply the concepts to your life. The book doesn't work, but you do." That's true for all of my teachings and all of the teachings of any other teachers that you're going to learn from, that their philosophy doesn't work or not work, but you do, and you apply it to your life.
One of the things that I want to recommend, if you want a year-long practice, Wesley, is you go through the beginning of this podcast and you listen, or you can start today. Take this podcast, and let this be your number one. You take the concepts in it, and you start applying them. You work on applying them to your life every day for seven days. One of the things that can be really useful and helpful is to set aside some time, an appointment every day, to work on this sort of thing.
A lot of us don't feel like our self-development should be an important, scheduled thing in our life. It's just something that happens on the side. When I see my clients make the most impact in their own life is when they decide that it's not just going to be a side dish anymore. It's going to be the main course. "My self-development is going to come first. My emotional life is going to come first. The way I think, the way I work in my life, in my mind, and in my feelings, and in my actions, is going to be first." When you make that your priority, then you'll notice everything else benefits. Every other thing that you do becomes easier because of the work that you've done on your own mind in the beginning. I would schedule time for just doing that.
If you're going to spend an hour every day doing it, I would recommend, if you really still want to learn, that you spend half the time learning and half the time creating that learning in your life, having it come alive in your life. One of the things that I really want to recommend to you is that you do it on paper, that you write it down. For some of you, it's in your iPhone or on your iPad or in your computer. Your write it down. You get it out of your brain so you can have a look at it, whatever it is you're working towards. If you have a goal in your life that you want, making sure you write that goal down, making sure you see any thoughts that are coming up around it that you need to work towards, that you need to work on.
The other thing that I want to recommend, if you want to do a year-long committed program, is that you do your goal work in 90-day increments. You have 90 days where you have an outcome that you want to focus on. For example, the goal may be that you want to build your business by five clients in 90 days, or maybe it is that you want to lose 10 pounds in 90 days, whatever. You have this outcome goal. Then what you do is you create your "do" goals, the things that you're going to do to make sure that that happens.
I'm working with a client right now who her goal is she wants to eliminate fog eating. For those of you who don't know, fog eating is when you eat without consciousness, when you eat behind your own back. She wants to eliminate that from her life, and she does quite a bit of it. One of the things that she set for herself is a 90-day goal of no fog eating. What we did together was we broke it down into two-week increments. You break down your year into 90 days, and then you break down your "do" goals into two-week increments. What that does for you is it gives you some measurable ways of seeing your accomplishment and of keeping you focused, because our mind can focus in those short increments.
If you want to break it down into two weeks for that specific goal, it may be that you don't want to fog eat. It may be that you don't want to give in to your anger. It may be that you want to manage your frustration better. Whatever it is, create a practice that will help you do that. A "do" goal may seem complicated when you have an issue like ... Let's say you give in to frustration a lot. You're like, "How do I have a goal that allows me to work on that?" That's a really good question.
What you need to do is you need to monitor very carefully and pay attention to how often you're getting frustrated and why. What are you thinking about that's getting frustrated? That's that awareness piece. Then, you practice acceptance. How do you practice that? How do you be the watcher in your own life and pay attention in your own life in a way that fills you with compassion? I find the best way to do that in the beginning is to schedule it, to schedule the time to do that. That may sound like, "What do you mean? I'm going to be scheduling the time to accept that I'm frustrated?" Yes. Then from there, you can start to change it.
I know that many of you want to get to the quick fix, but you need to practice that deliberate practice of paying attention to yourself with compassion. You cannot skip that part. Many of you have written in to me wanting to skip that part. You can't, because you have to learn the practice of being within negative emotion.
One of the goals that I'd been working with with my client is she really wants to stop fog eating. You have to understand, "Okay, so if you want to stop fog eating, why are you fog eating in the first place?" "It's to avoid negative emotion." "Why do you want to avoid negative emotion?" "Because I don't have the ability to experience it. I only have the ability to resist it." Then we have to practice experiencing negative emotion. Doesn't that sound fantastic? "Hey, let's practice experiencing negative emotion."
What happens when you do that is you get good at it. That's your "do" goal. "I am willing to experience negative emotion five times today, five times this week. In the past, I've fog eaten five times instead of feeling. This week, I'm going to feel five times, practice feeling. I'm going to accumulate moments of feeling negative emotion instead of fog eating. That's how you set up those "do" goals for yourself. At the end of two weeks, you've accomplished, "Hey, in the past two weeks, I have felt negative emotion 10 times. Ten times, I was able to go into the negative emotion and feel it instead of fog eating." Then I have my win. I have my accomplishment. Then I set another two-week practice for myself.
If you're willing to do that, one of the things that has made a huge impact on me this year, and I've talked about this on the podcast before, is focusing on one thing you want to change, one thing you want to create, one thing. That whole concept of whatever is essential, what is the most important thing right now for me? When you focus on that one thing, and you put all your energy into it, and you write a 90-day goal for it, and then you write two-week "do" goals for that, you're going to feel yourself moving. You're going to start getting some momentum, because you're going to be able to get yourself some wins. Those wins will feel like that accomplishment, which will make you want to do more.
There is some discipline involved. I think a lot of us, we want to be more vague. We don't want to be specific. We don't want something to be measurable. We just want to say, "Oh, I'll try to fog eat less," instead of, "I'm going to feel five times. I'm going to accumulate five times where I wanted to eat and I felt my feelings instead." That's a very different approach than, "I'm just going to eliminate fog eating," because it's something that you're actually creating. You're creating moments of feeling. You're creating moments of processing an emotion instead of avoiding an emotion. All of a sudden, you have a goal of creating something and doing something, versus just stopping something. That makes a huge difference.
The other thing that I think is important for us as we're developing a year-long practice is we're going to really focus in on ... The first thing we're going to do is really focus in on evening out our consuming versus applying. The next thing we're going to do is break everything down into 90 days and then two-week "do" goals within those 90 days, or the one-week focus for, say, if you're going to do it with the podcast and keep your mind focused on that one thing, so you can have some wins and build some momentum for it.
Then the other thing that I think is really important when you're thinking about creating a practice is a ritual that you have for yourself. We talked a little bit about scheduling that time, but also, how are you going to hold the space for yourself on a regular basis to make sure you're paying attention to your mind, you're reconnecting? If you're unwilling to do the work, what are you going to do when you're unwilling? What are you going to do to get yourself into that practice?
For some people, when they start wanting to do an exercise practice, they sign up for a yoga class or they sign up for a workout class. Then they have this time commitment that they go to. Then they may notice, "Oh, wait a minute. I'm not showing up for that class anymore. I'm making excuses. I'm not going." Having a plan for that time, having a plan for the inevitable obstacle that will be "Life is going to get in the way, and I'm going to make excuses." If you can anticipate that ahead of time, then you can plan for it and literally have a plan for your own escape route. You know you're going to try and do a little shimmy to get out of your commitment to yourself. You already have a plan for it. You've already anticipated it. It's like you know yourself at your own game.
I will say that I think making a commitment and honoring that commitment to self-discovery, to self-evolvement, that process in and of itself is its own self-development. It's this double whammy. You've made the commitment to yourself, and then the process of keeping that commitment is part of self-coaching. It is part of learning about yourself. It's the same thing with, for those of you who are listening who are life coaches, building your business is its own process of self-discovery. Being an entrepreneur brings up all that stuff for you.
That's the other thing that I really want you to see, is that if you take this very seriously, committing to a year of self-coaching, which is what you've asked about, and having a really clear plan and sticking to that plan, then that process of staying committed to it will be an added bonus of doing it in the first place.
I just want to add one last piece as it applies to my work. I have all of these podcasts that are available to you. I also have on the website and on YouTube a bunch of videos that complement this work that I'm doing for you here for free. I also do lots of free webinars, and I do a free coaching call every other week. There are so many free resources for you out here that I want to make sure that you know you can utilize.
I think sometimes when things are free, we don't apply them as much as if we were paying for them. I want to really encourage you not to do that. If you're going to focus in on, "Hey, I'm going to focus in on what Brooke Castillo is teaching at the Life Coach School. I'm going to give my attention to that for the next 90 days." Maybe you have a different teacher every 90 days that you really zone in on learning from. That you take all of the information, whether it's free or you've paid for it, and you treat it as if you paid 5,000 dollars for it.
If this podcast cost you 5,000 dollars, what would you do to pay attention to it more and apply? If I said, "I guarantee you this is worth 5,000 dollars. If you apply what I'm teaching here, your life will change or I'll give you your money back," you'd be like, "What is she saying? Why is she saying it? I'm going to do everything she says." I think that level of commitment, first of all, you have to really believe in what I'm teaching. Once you really believe in it and it resonates with you, then, are you willing to make the commitment? Are you willing to go into the deep study?
I've told you guys before I'm working with a business coach. A lot of the things that he tells me to do I want to resist, and I want to say that I know that already, or "I know better," or "You don't understand." I notice all of that noise that goes on in my brain, but I've committed to doing everything that he suggests that I do without question, 100 percent. I've signed up. I've paid my money. I'm going all in. I expect that my brain will resist. I expect that my brain will want to be confused and that will want to say "I don't know." That's all part of the deal.
That's true for you all, too. As you're learning this new material, you may feel like, "I don't get it. I don't know what she's saying. It's so hard for me to apply." That's all part of the deal. If you recommit and you are willing to go through the process of doing this, then I guarantee that it'll be worth way more than 5,000 dollars, 10,000 dollars, 100,000 dollars, because managing your mind and managing your emotional life, and driving your action towards the direction of what you want to achieve in your life, is the secret to everything you want. Everything you want to create in your life is right there contained in those basic truths. The only thing you have to do is commit to them.
If you've been committed and if you've been working on this, and if you've been doing it in a way that's consistent, and you haven't got the results you want, you just haven't been doing it long enough. All that means is that you just have to stick with it. It's a beautiful thing. If you don't feel like you're doing it right, you can reach out and get help from me on the comments, or you can find a coach and hire them to help you with this process. I do promise you, if you commit and you stay focused, and you don't just sit and learn what I'm teaching you but you focus on applying it to your life, then your life won't be able to stay the same, because you will be directing it with much more authority toward the direction that you want.
Anyway, that is my suggestion for a year-long practice. I've given you some different variables there that you can jump in to. I hope that answers your question, and I really hope that all of you listening will really consider doing the same thing that Wesley's going to do, really committing to a practice of self-development. Not just as a way to passively consume different information, which is important, but to also apply it to your life and see how powerful you really are when it comes to creating the results you want. I will talk to you all next week. Take this next seven days, and rock it out. See you then. Bye.
Thank you for listening to the Life Coach School Podcast. It would be incredibly awesome if you would take a moment to write a quick review on iTunes. For any questions, comments, or coaching issues you would like to hear on the show, please visit us at www.TheLifeCoachSchool.com.