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Ep #74: Indulgent Emotions

In previous episodes, we’ve talked about indulgent emotions quite a bit, but I believe that it’s always good to have a refresher for most important topics such as this one. Even my most masterful coaches, at times, have a hard time remembering that often we like to indulge in emotions that don’t serve us.

On this episode of The Life Coach School podcast, we talk about the emotions that feel comfortable to us, that we dive into more than we would like to, but don’t give us the results that we want. Tune in to find out why we so often sabotage ourselves with these emotions and how we can create new, positive emotions that get us to where we want to be in our lives.

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What You will discover

  • The definition of an indulgent emotion.
  • Why those emotions are dangerous.
  • Why people often hide behind the emotion of confusion.
  • How we can fight the feelings of being busy or tired.
  • Tips for dealing with procrastination.
  • An exercise that will help you get the results you want.

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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.

Hey. What’s up everyone? Oh my gosh, I just got back from Lake Tahoe along with my best friend in the world who I’ve been friends with since high school, which is longest time ago. We just had the most soul-filled, wonderful, amazing time. I feel completely restored. I know you guys can relate to that like sometimes, I don’t get to see her very often because she doesn’t live really close to me and we don’t work together. She's raising her kids. I'm raising mine. We all just got together. Typically, her son is my godson so I usually take him to Tahoe and she usually has to work but she got the time off.

We just had the most amazing time. I looked at her and I decide, “Listen to me. I want more of you in my life. Period.” It really encouraged some of the next podcast topics that I'm going to cover about who you want in your life and why and what certain friendships mean and how you should put energy into some and not others and why. I have some thoughts that I want to share with you all and I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

In this episode, we are going to talk about indulgent emotions. We’ve talked about emotions a lot on the podcast but it’s always nice to review. It’s always nice to bring it back around because even some of my most masterful coaches have a hard time when it comes to remembering that often we want to indulge in emotions that don’t serve us. This is the concept today I came up with recently. I think I actually, when I first was playing with that, I brought it up on the podcast. Here's for those of you who don’t remember or I have no idea what I'm talking about. This is the first podcast. Hi. Welcome. Write a review.

By the way, if you haven't written a review, hook me up. I hook you guys up all the time. I create content for you. Write me a review, please. Anyway, I digress. Let’s bring it back. An indulgent emotion is an emotion that is comfortable to you. It’s something that you dive in to more than you would like to that doesn’t give you a result that you want. For example, if you think about the model and you remember that your thinking creates your emotion and that your emotion drives your action and that your action gives you a result, if you spend a lot of time indulging in emotions that don’t serve you, you're going to have results in your life that you don’t want.

One of the emotions that I've been noticing that people indulge in a lot is doubt. Now, doubt is one of those tricky little emotions that seems like it could be necessary. It seems like it could be useful and protective. It’s not, right? Doubt is one of those things, especially when you're doubting yourself and your own ability, it prevents you from going in the world because it pretends to protect you from fear. It pretends to protect you from harm. What it does is it just does it ahead of time.

For example, people will say to me, “I don’t want to go out there and build my business because I'm afraid I might fail.” They're doubting their own ability. What they're doing is they're just failing ahead of time. They're just failing before they have the chance to fail. I have clients that say, “I don’t want to do that because it’ll be too much work.” They're doubting their ability to be able to do the work with ease. They are putting themselves in the failure place. They're putting themselves in the “I can't do it” space without even giving themselves a chance.

Another indulgent emotion that I've been seeing a lot of lately is comfort. It’s the kind of thing that people will say to me is self-care. They’ll say, “I want to be in this space of familiarity and comfort because I don’t want to be feeling uncomfortable at all.” I was just talking to someone the other day and I said, “You know, I think our ability to succeed is in direct proportion to our ability to be uncomfortable,” which I think is a bummer but if you listen to this podcast, you know that evolving, our ability to evolve and go to the next level and grow requires us to be in the unfamiliar.

Think about that. Think about if you're going to become more of who you are, if you're going to change, it is by definition going to be unfamiliar. For most of us, we’re more in an unfamiliar space, we are uncomfortable. I’ll have people try things that will make them feel very uncomfortable because of the way they're thinking about them and so then they will decide that they no longer wanted to do that because they don’t want to be uncomfortable.
I want you guys to think about that for just a minute. I want you to think about what would it be like to have the willingness to be uncomfortable. One of the reasons why I talk about emotions as being indulgent is it’s everything for me, when it comes to life coaching revolves around this idea that everything is related to weight loss. When we indulge in food and we indulge in eating Oreos, when we know that that’s not what we ultimately want to do with our lives, it’s very similar to indulging an emotions that we know aren’t going to serve us. A lot of times, we want to indulge in comfort, the emotion of comfort and one of the things the ways that we do that is by overeating or overdrinking or oversleeping or for some us, it’s even overworking. We feel comfortable when we are constantly overworking.

It’s interesting. I was just working with one of my colleagues on this and she was really struggling with her business and indulging in indecision. I said, “You know,” I'm always telling my students that they're not allowed to tell me that they don’t know and they're not allowed to tell me that they're confused. They can tell me that they're finding an answer, that they're seeking a solution, that they're working on understanding something but saying, “I don’t know,” and saying, “I'm confused,” is very indulgent. It’s a way of not taking action. It’s a way of confusion, indulging in the emotion of confusion. I do like to talk about it as an emotion serves no purpose. It doesn’t help you. All it does is stall you out.

People will come to me and they say, “I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I don’t know what I should do with my business. I don’t know how to pick a target market. I don’t know how to do this.” What I’ll say to them is, “You know how, right? If I ask you how to do something, you could give me the steps but you're saying that you don’t know how for a reason. What is that reason? Why are you indulging in confusion? Why are you indulging in indecision? Why are you indulging in what I call I don’t know energy? It’s not serving you.”

Most people are indulging in those kind of emotions because of the doubt and feeling like that it’s somehow protective. It’s not as likely for someone to say to me, “I'm afraid of doing this. I'm afraid of failing. I'm afraid of becoming more of who I am.” Most people don’t really look into those emotions because there's something about those that seem healable and solvable. When you're in confusion, it’s a more indulgent lighter space to be in instead of feeling fear. You know when you're indulging in an emotion because there's no traction, there's no growth, there's no movement.

There's also no like real negativity. It’s not like you're feeling angry or afraid or upset about it. You're just moving along with this energy of … It’s like a low buzz. It’s like … It’s like indulging in food all day long. It’s not like you're binging. It’s not like you're completely overdoing it. You're just indulging all day long. Just a little here, a little there, a little here. That’s what most people do. Then, they figure out two years later that they haven't created anything they wanted to create because they’ve been confused or they’ve been busy. You guys know what I'm talking about there?

A lot of times, I’ll talk to a client. He will tell me that they're too busy to do anything. I like to think of that as an emotion of buzz, the busy buzz. You just feel busy. So many of us indulge in the idea of that, “I'm busy,” that’s the thought. Then, we feel that familiar buzz of, “Well, I can't take any risks right now because I'm too busy. I can't sit down and really get any creative work done because I'm too busy. I'm too busy running around.” Notice, what does that emotion feel like to you?

Another one that a lot of people indulging is tired, exhausted. I think that there is a huge wave of self-pity, which is another indulgent emotion, that is going around when people are constantly referring to themselves as exhausted and tired. I say to most of my students, “Listen to me. You could do twice as much work as you're doing now.” I'm not one that’s like, “Hey, take a rest. Take a load off. Sit back and relax.” It doesn’t mean that there aren’t some people that are overworking themselves because they definitely are and they're hustling and they're pushing too hard definitely for sure. Most people, most people that I deal with are not overworking themselves. They are indulging in “I'm so busy and I'm so exhausted” energy as an excuse not to show up in their lives.

I really want to make it clear that I'm on to you if that’s you. I know you're not that busy. One of my girlfriends was telling me that she went through and did a time journal of what she's been doing in her life and how she's been spending her time. This is a very accomplished woman that’s done a lot of amazing things in her life. When I asked her about this, she said, “You know, what I figured out was that I was spending a lot of time wasting time.” I was like, “Really?” I was so surprised to hear that about from her.

One of the things that she said, she goes, “I spend a ridiculous amount of time scrolling through Facebook. That’s my way of burning up time and then saying I'm too busy to do the stuff that really matters to me. I just don’t have as many hours in the day when I'm doing that.” That’s a way for you to see like, “Are you indulging in that energy?” When you really look at your life and you look at the amount of time you have, what are you spending it doing? Are you spending it feeling busy or are you genuinely accomplishing a lot? Because there's a difference.

I talked about this with my husband, Chris, a lot of the time because he's always talking about how busy he is. I tell him, “I don’t think that’s a useful sentence. I don’t think that it creates a positive emotion when you say that unless you're trying to indulge in it as an excuse for not doing something else.” I tried to … We sat down and I said to him, “Look at everything you’ve accomplished. Look at everything you’ve done. Why can't it be I've accomplished so much today instead of I was so busy today. Notice how those feel so different.” Same with tired. “I'm so tired. I'm so exhausted.” So many of us need to distinguish between the tired feeling we create with our brain because of how we think about our lives versus that amazing feeling of tired we have after a day of really kicking ass.

I want you guys to think about that for a minute. There's the tired that you have from busying your brain and from worrying and from doubting and from creating confusion and disorganization. Then, there's the tired that you feel when you're really taking care of some business. You guys know that’s a very different kind of tired. It’s a good tired and you don’t complain about it. You love it. You're like, “I killed it today,” instead, “I'm so tired that’s why I didn’t get that done. I'm so busy.” We create those excuses for ourselves.

Another emotion that I think is really important for us to acknowledge that is one that is sneaky is the emotion of procrastination. I know that some of you will say, “Wait, procrastination isn’t an emotion. It’s an action.” I've been working with some people recently and it’s a powerful word to use as an emotion because the actual emotion is harder to identify. I want you guys to play along with me for just a minute here. If you think about how you feel when you're procrastinating, how would you define it? Is it fear? Is it unconsciousness? What is it?

If you can't truly identify, I want you to pretend with me that procrastination is an emotion. It’s a way of feeling. It’s something that we indulgent not just as an emotion but of course as an action. When this happens, then I will. That creates that feeling of procrastination, of delay, of pause. We tell ourselves, “We’re just going to put that on the back burner.” I want you guys to think about this. When you put something on the back burner, when you don’t do it, there's that immediate hit of relief, like, “I'm just not going to do that now.” It’s just like that indulgent of grabbing a cookie. In that immediate moment, it’s like, “That’s yummy. That’s good. I'm not going to do that now. I'm going to put that on the back burner. That gives me a moment of delay, a moment of procrastination. It feels good.”

I want you guys to know this. When you're doing that, when you're feeling that and how indulgent that is, there's a reason why we indulge in emotion. There's a benefit. There's a payoff to us. There's a payoff for us to indulge in not moving forward and not being uncomfortable. It’s that momentary relief we get in the indulgence. Even though it may sound like a negative emotion, it’s something that is feeling familiar to us. There's that immediate hit of pleasure that we get from it, from eating the cookie, even when we’re not hungry, even when we don’t even taste it. That immediate relief we get in the comfort, in the procrastination, in the doubt, in the confusion, it’s so much easier to be confused than it is to be afraid for people. They’d rather indulge in that emotion.

It’s really important to recognize where you are indulging. One of the things that I want you to do that I think is a really powerful thing to do, that I have most of my students do is evaluate what their top three emotions are on a daily basis. What are the feelings that you're thinking and creating in your life all day long? How many times a day are you indulging in an emotion that doesn’t serve you? If you keep track, that’s just throughout your day, you ask yourself, “What am I feeling right now? What am I feeling right now?”

One of the feelings that I see my kids indulging in all of the time, a lot of the time is boredom. They’ll indulge. Now, there is no upside to feeling bored. It doesn’t create anything. I hear a lot of people say, “I think it’s good for kids to get bored. They have to learn how to deal with boredom.” I agree with that. They start feeling bored if they take action but if they don’t take action, if they use it as a way to indulge it themselves and not create something, you can see how it’s one of those emotions that is really just indulgent and gives this almost like most of our indulgent emotions have a lack of responsibility to them. It’s almost like, “Well, I'm not doing anything because I'm confused. Well, I'm not doing anything because I'm bored. Well, I'm not doing anything because I'm procrastinating,” or whatever. It gives us a reason not to step in to our true selves.

There's one thing I want to clarify too because I've been having some conversation with some friends of mine where they're saying, “I don’t want to push. I don’t want to hustle. I don’t want anything that feels like too hard of work. I want everything to be easy. I want everything to be gentle.” This is especially to with some of my friends who are talking about weight loss. They don’t want it to have to be challenging or uncomfortable or difficult. I think that’s something that you really want to consider because one of my mottos that I use in my master coach training, my students all bought me this beautiful practice as we can do hard things and my willingness to feel uncomfortable and my willingness to go and be in the space of hard versus ease.

I think that there's a misconception that that means that somehow, we are hurting ourselves because we’re doing hard things like lifting heavy weights or running really fast. All of that is something that makes us stronger and makes us better if we do it in a way that serves us. I think that there's a really important discussion that you need to have with yourself which is what are the results I want and am I willing to create those results even if it means that it might be difficult? How do we do difficult things and how do we do hard things without hurting ourselves? How can we be uncomfortable and growing and also be caring for ourselves? How can we be our best, most soulful connected selves and also be asking ourselves to go to the next level without that painful, pushing and pushing against ourselves but also without that indulgence in comfort and that indulgence in the things that don’t ultimately serve us?

I think that is the most important question. When you go through and you look at the feelings that you're having most often in a day, are those feelings going to get you the result you want in your life? Look at your goals, look at your feelings. If you have indulgent feelings, ask yourself why. What are the thoughts that are creating those indulgent feelings and what could you create in your mind that would produce a feeling that would ultimately give you the result you want? At the same time, have you feeling the way that you want to feel? Are you willing to be uncomfortable enough to get yourself the result you want?

Can you find a way for there to be some comfort in the discomfort? Can you find a way to make peace with it so you can ultimately get the success and the things that you want? Because when you think about not being able to have those things that you want, is that creating a whole another layer of discomfort that you ultimately want to avoid as well? That is my challenge to you, where you indulging. What are the emotions that you're indulging in that aren’t serving you? Check your day. What are the top three? When you find the one that you indulge in the most, are you willing to consider letting it go and creating another emotion that will help you get exactly where you want to go? All right everyone, have an amazing, wonderful, awesome week and I will talk to you all next week. Take care. Bye-bye.

Thank you for listening to the Life Coach School podcast. It will 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.

13 Comments

  1. Who told you my issues!!!! Like many, felt like you were talking to me. Great subject. Your class is on my vision board. See you someday. Thanks for massive value. Teresa

  2. Hey Brooke! Love the way you peer into my brain and then do a podcast on where attention is needed in managing my mind, changing my thoughts. Thank you for this podcast and and for helping me change my world! Julia

  3. I’m currently having an issue of not indulging in my emotions. I’m going through a divorce while living in the same house with my husband and kids. He’s not moving out until it’s final. Since I don’t work.
    He had an affair and is now in love with his mistress. He never came to me. I found out everything on my own. He’s not sympathetic about it at all. A bit of a narcissist. Said he did this to get out of our marriage.
    I have a hard time not thinking about my hurt and pain and how I’m going to raise my kids. I’m constantly thinking of how hard it’s going to be to go back to work (after giving up my career for 10 yrs)
    Can you give advice of how to have positive thoughts when your in a depression?

  4. Hi- I love this topic. I’m I in the middle of a divorce. My husband had an affair and is now in love with his mistress. He has no remorse or empathy at all. He did it to get out of the marriage. So he didn’t tell me I had to find out.
    I’m beyond heart broken.
    We are living in the same house during the divorce And have young kids. I’m constantly indulging in my emotions. I can’t stop thinking of toxic thoughts that make me feel worse. Do you have advice of how to think of this situation, to not make myself feel so down?

  5. Brooke,

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I am amazed that you keep learning….and then share with us. This was powerful. Emotions are tricky…and now I see the layers of them. I will enjoy dissecting this article…and applying to my life.

  6. Dear Brooke, you are my absolute favorite person for the last couple of months, so exactly the time I found you on YT. This is my second comment under your podcasts, as I know how much you appreciate the people leaving them here. Today I listened to 5 of your podcasts and I am going to listen to the next one, once I finish writing this comment. I’d just like to say “Thank you” for all your coaching, it does ake a huge difference to my life.

    I am a new coach and also run a blog and I know how precious it is to see the comments and engagement of the people who are listening/reading what we give in. I would happily write my comments more often, but if I am honest, I am not really sure if you see them, because I don’t get any notification by email.

    Anyway, thank you for being such a healing soul!

    Greetings from Poland!

    Małgosia

    1. Glad you found Brooke’s podcast and are enjoying it Thanks for listening in and for the feedback! Brooke appreciates it very much.–Brecklyn

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