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Ep #96: What Feels Good

Recently on the Life Coach School Podcast, we’ve been talking a lot about feelings, mainly because of what I’m doing in our Stop Overeating Masterclass and how immersed I am in the topic on a daily basis. In that intense six-month daily program, we are currently focusing on the reason why we overeat, which happens to be our feelings. And by now, you surely remember that feelings drive our actions as well as inaction.

Since one of the main things that motivates us is feeling good, one of the questions that came up in the Stop Overeating Masterclass community was, “What does feel good?” In this episode, we dive into the reasons why familiarity feels good and why making changes doesn't. Listen in to discover the main factors that determine whether you succeed in reaching your goals and my strategy for feeling good during the process of making positive changes.

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Listen to the show

What You will discover

  • The reason why we overeat.
  • Why familiarity feels good to us even if it hurts us in the end.
  • Why it’s so difficult for us to make changes in our lives.
  • My strategy for feeling good during the process of making positive changes.
  • The two factors that determine the amount of success  that you have in your life.

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 and now, your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.

What's up? 2016, what's up people? Holy cow! First of all, I can't believe it's 2016. Second of all, I can't believe that I'm on my 96th episode. Oh my gosh! We are just about heading to 100.

I have a woman, Kirsten, who does all of my designs for the artwork for the podcast. For those of you who haven't been to thelifecoachschool.com and look under podcast, every podcast has a different image for every podcast that we do. I just gave her the next 5 episodes or including this one, so next 4 episodes to go all the way to 100. I was debating every 10 episodes I usually feature a teacher.

I was debating like who would be worthy of that 100th episode, like who has been my most influential teacher. I haven't really been able to pick one over the other. All the teachers that I've featured so far had such a huge impact in my life. Byron Katie probably would win if I had to put her all up against each other, but I don't know…Abraham…Everyone, even Marianne Williamson. Everyone that I have studied, Tony Robbins, has had such a different impact in my life. It's hard to say which one is better. They are all together had such an impact. You'll have to wait for episode 100 to see what I decided to do for that episode.

In this episode, we are going to talk about what feels good. We've been talking a lot about feelings lately and one of the reasons why is because of what I'm doing in my "Stop Overeating Masterclass." For those of you who are new to the podcast or don't know, I have a course that I teach on a very limited basis. It's a very high price course, very hands on, daily interaction with me for people who are really serious about losing weight. It's a 6-month daily program. What we do every month is take our level of consciousness to the next level. Really, in month 1, we focus a lot on why we overeat, why we want to lose weight, what was our level of commitment, what was going on with our bodies, a lot of observation.

Month 2, we really work on developing a protocol that we were going to live by and eat by and take care of our bodies by. Then, in month 3, which is where we are right now, we are really focused on the reason why it's difficult to stop overeating. Of course, that reason is our feelings. Remember, our feelings strive all of our actions and our inactions. There's feelings that drive overeating and there's feelings that drive not overeating and choosing to pause and choosing to be present and to feel our feelings instead of reacting or resisting or avoiding them. That's one of the reasons why I've been talking a lot about feelings lately is because I've been doing a lot of deep thinking about it, a lot of self-study, a lot of research, a lot of understanding about it.

One of the questions that has come up for me lately is what does feel good. Everything we do in our life is because of how it makes us feel. If everything we do is because we want to feel a certain way or we want to avoid a certain thing, one of the things that motivates us is feeling good. I started thinking about this a lot, especially in terms of overeating and the pleasure that we get from overeating, and we talked about that in the last episode. One of the distinctions that I think is very important for us to look at and to understand so we can kind of hack our biochemistry, we can kind of hack the way that we were designed and use our kind of the way that we've evolved in order to get what we want in the world.

One of the things that I know is true is that having our minds function efficiently and having our brains function efficiently, having everything kind of on autopilot feels good for us. What that means is when we are efficient, when we are in our routine and when everything feels familiar that, in many ways, feels good to us because that's how we are designed. I talk a lot on this podcast about how our brain wants to be good at filtering out information. It doesn't care if it's positive or negative. It just wants to be efficient. When we get into a routine where we are having to expend less energy on our brain, that actually feels good in some way. One of the ways that I like to describe it especially to the people in my Stop Overeating Masterclass and, by the way, if you are interested in that class, I will be offering it again. You can go to thelifecoachschool.com/stopovereating and put your name in to be on that waiting list. It just occurred to me that many of you have asked me about that so I wanted to make sure you know, thelifecoachschool.com/stopovereating.
Anyway, one of the things that feels good to us is familiarity, is things being the same all the time. It's important that we know that because our routine and our familiarity is getting us the results we currently have. The reason why familiarity breeds that comfort and the reason why it feels good was always fascinating to me because even when you look at like abusive situations, like even family situations that are familiar and abusive situations that are familiar seems safer than the unknown. One of the things that I've always been fascinated with is children that are in abusive homes. They got the opportunity to leave, but they want to go back to the abuser because it's what known and what's comfortable. I see this so much in my clients who don't want to change the way they're eating. They don't want to change the way they are working. They don't want to change their relationships even though they want something better. They want to stay in that familiar because it feels good in some way and knowing this is so important.

One of the kind of, I think, misconceptions that we have with familiarity and the reason why I think it's comfortable is it gives us the sense that we can predict the future. Now, if I do this, I know I'll get the same result especially if it's a routine that we have become efficient at doing. We feel like we are in more control. We feel like we have more structure. We feel more safe because we know what's going to happen. Now, what's amazing about this and this is kind of like that abusive situation, even if the situation is violent and terrifying, it's still predictable. Even if we are torturing ourselves, say, with overeating or bulimia or anorexia, it's predictable. We pretty much know that we are going to get the same result. We are going to remain overweight and there is something. It's like the illusion of safety because it's the known, at least I know what is going to happen.

Now, this is very common when we have an underlying belief system that our life is dictated to us by the external world, so, so many of us and I talk a lot about this in my course how to feel better. So many of us try to create our emotional life. We try to feel better by controlling the external world. Even though that is most of the time impossible to do, controlling the external world because there are so many things that we can't control. That slice of the world where we can create routine, where we can do the same thing all the time, where we can have that familiarity gives us the false sense that we are in complete control. I mean, someone could drive a car through our house, right? We have no control over that. When we are able to repeat the same day over and over and over again, even if it's a day we don't want to have, we feel as if we are somehow creating a predictable life, a life that we have control over.

Even though it may not be the exact life we want, we know that it's predictable and there are some comfort in knowing that. It's one of those tricky things because here's the thing. When we start wanting to change our lives, we have to get out of the efficient brain. We have to get of the neural pathways that are really conditioned and practiced and we have to do something completely awkward, new, unknown and uncertain. That does not feel good to us. That feels uncomfortable. That feels awkward. Now, here's the ironic piece.
Here's the rub, so to speak. When I think about personally what makes me feel great, the emotions that make me feel the best in my body, I would say accomplishment, pride. I get those feelings when I acknowledge myself for overcoming something that is uncomfortable, that is difficult, that is awkward. That is my ultimate feeling.

I want you guys to think about this for a minute. If it feels good to be familiar, it feels good to stay the same for most of us that's on one end of the spectrum. On the other end of the spectrum is feeling proud of yourself, feeling like you put yourself up against the challenge and feel that sense of accomplishment, feel that sense of momentum, feel that sense of evolving in your life, you're going to have an issue. In order to get from feeling the comfort of familiarity to get into the feeling of pride, there's that in between spot where you don't feel good.

One of the things that I teach and this is kind of an interesting thing to wrap your mind around is if ... Let's use example of weight. If you want to lose weight and if you want to be at your goal weight, say, it's 120 pounds. The way to get there to the weight of 120 pounds is to feel the way that you believe you will feel when you've arrived. Abraham would call this matching up to the vibration of the outcome. I talk about this a lot when I do outcome work. If you want to know the outcome you're going to get, if you want to know the result you're going to get, ask yourself how are you feeling right now. You have to align yourself as Abraham once say with the result and be the person that would be able to accomplish that.

That's challenging because here I am in this very familiar comfortable place that is not an equal vibration to the result that I want and you are asking me to align myself with that result that I want, but the path there is a very uncomfortable, awkward feeling. Something that I want to not feel. Something that I would like to keep away from myself. Those feelings of being awkward and being uncomfortable. You can see how in so many ways most of us at such a low percent of people are willing to feel that awkwardness, are willing to feel that discomfort long enough to make your new familiarity the result that you want.

For example, right now, if you weigh 200 pounds, that is your familiarity. Even though you don't want to weigh that, even though you feel uncomfortable, everything in your life is supporting you at that weight. In order to change that, to weigh 120 pounds and to align yourself with that new emotion, you're going to have to go to this place of awkwardness and discomfort and being out of your habits and creating new neural pathways and being uncertain and being in the unknown.

9 times out of 10, people get out of that comfort zone. They get into the place where they're not eating as much, where they are having to feel their feelings, where they are not able to do their routines of eating the breakfast they always eat and the lunch they always eat and the dinner they always eat. They get out and they get to that discomfort zone and they say, "Hell no! I don't want to feel this way. I want to feel the way that I'm going to feel at 120 pounds, but I don't want to go through this awkwardness in order to get there." Knowing that the 120 pounds, that making that the new normal, making that the new familiarity will be so much better than the familiarity that I have at 200 pounds here, but I'm not willing to go through that space of uncertainty. Now, that's if your conscious of this concept which most people are not. Most people are not conscious of this idea that we want to stay the same, that we want homeostasis.

The brain in the body has evolved to be efficient at wherever it is. If you aren't aware of that, you will just think and I hear this from my students all the time, my clients all the time. "This is exhausting. This is just too hard. This is just too tedious. This requires too much effort." It's because you have to break your bond with the comfort familiarity that you've gotten efficient at. Now, nobody wants to admit that they feel good at their current weight, that they feel normal, that this feels like where they should be. If you are having trouble losing weight, if you are having trouble working or having trouble leaving your relationship or whatever, that may be the reason. There may be some level of comfort that feels good to you even though you're not getting the result you want.

One of the things that I've talked a lot about on the podcast and a lot in my classes is that your ability and your willingness. Think about both of those, your ability and your willingness to be uncomfortable, to feel negative emotion, to go towards it when that's the last thing that you naturally are going to want to do. Your ability and willingness to do that will determine the amount of success that you have in your life. Because if you are only willing to feel the comfort of now and you're not willing to go through the discomfort to get to your future, your future will be your now. You guys have seen these people. They just keep repeating the same things. They have the same thoughts. They have the same feelings. They take the same actions and they get the same results year after year after year after year.

When you see someone that has changed their model, that has changed their thinking, that has changed their feeling and their actions and the results and you go to them and they say, "It was hard work. It was challenging. I made a decision and did it differently." Very rarely where you'll see someone that's lost 100 pounds and was like, "That was a breeze. I don't really have to do anything. It was just nothing." Even someone that gets surgery. It's such a huge change in the thinking and the discomfort and the regularity of the life. I think a lot of times people will think that allowing themselves to be comfortable, allowing themselves to stay in the familiar is a way of really caring for themselves, is a way of being gentle with themselves. I think that's a huge mistake. I think that as long as you are what I called dwelling in comfort, you are not creating your results with intention, with deliberateness. You are not evolving. You aren't taking yourself to the version of yourself that you could be. You are stalling out. You are waiting.
Now, I'm not saying that that's not a nice temporary thing to do. You got to stop and enjoy. You got to stop and smell the roses, but the difference between knowing if you are stalling out and evading your life by dwelling in comfort is when you look at the results in your life, are they the results that you want? Are you creating your life on purpose or are you just taking what you've created from your past? Are you just reliving something that you've created in the past because it's familiar? Don't be confused and think that you're not the one that has created your life because you are. You just may be reliving a life that you created. I mean, some people, I think, they are living a life they created when they were 22, when they were 25. They haven't made any changes in their life.

Now, again, if you don't want change, it may be because you're just comfortable with the familiar and if you are conscious of that and that's what you want in your life, then rock it on. So many of the people that come to me want to feel better than they do, but they are unwilling to be uncomfortable and feel "less better" until they actually get to the other side where their new normal, their new comfort, their new familiarity is something that they ultimately want in their lives and they have aligned up with that. Really understanding what you want in your life and how that's going to feel and that you're going to have to give up who you are now and the familiarity and the comfort of who you are now in order to become that new person. In order to evolve and to understand that there will be some awkwardness, some uncertainty, some unknowing, feeling out of control along the way I think is the most important thing that we can ever remember or that I can teach you.

Be willing to be awkward. Be willing to be a beginner. Be willing to suck at it long enough so you can get to the other side. It's not supposed to feel amazing the whole time. It's not supposed to feel comfortable. What you need to feel in order to get what you want is worth it. It's worth it. There is no feeling that you are unable to feel and there is no neural pathway that you can't create as long as you are committed to practicing the new way of thinking, the new way of feeling, the new way of acting and ultimately your new normal result which will, at some point, then become familiar to you. Let me know what you guys think about this in the show notes. You can go to thelifecoachschool.com. Go to /96. Go to the comments. Let me know what you think about this concept. In the next couple episodes, I'm going to be doing a Q&A episode. If you have any questions for me, make sure you take them to the comments. I will answer each and every one. Have a beautiful wonderful week everyone. I'll talk to you 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 this 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.

14 Comments

  1. So I just got done listening. I’ve been listing to you ever morning for my 30 min “wake up time”. Affirmations…. I need to work on. I’ve lost 60 pounds by changing my diet and eating “clean”. I’m 5’1. I was over 200 pounds. I’m down to 140. But I still see the same fat girl steering back at me in the mirror. I need to practice telling that girl she’s no longer fat.

    1. Hi Randi,

      Congrats on losing 60 pounds! That’s no easy feat. Brooke will address this for you in an upcoming Questions & Answers podcast, so stay tuned!

      Carina

  2. Brooke! I just discovered your podcast and I am LOVING it! I have listened to them all over and over the last 2 weeks and had to let you know how much my life has changed in such a short time. Thank you for your smart and down to earth advice – can’t tell you what it’s meant to me!

  3. While listening to your podcast this morning and taking notes it made me think about how I don’t “feel myself” on vacation. It made me start to think that maybe that is because I don’t have the familiarity I like and thus out of my comfort zone and then feeling weird. For example we went out of town for a night a couple of weeks ago. I normally at home get up almost every am early before everyone else and meditate, do some reading or listening to Podcasts and then get some exercise in. This sets me up for a successful day but getting some me time, learning and sweating it out. Well when we go on vacation we normally have one room and our 5 year old is in there so there is no place for me to go and do this and I feel and think if I don’t get this start my days isn’t as successful and productive. I end up beating myself up for not getting these things done. I want to learn how to go out of town, over a friends house for the night and feel “good, happy” and not that I haven’t lived up to my expectations. Side note…I am the type that thinks I always need to be doing something so I have started using a neutral thought when I think this…”I am doing” and that is helping me not get overwhelmed. Thank you for reading this. I am just so excited I found you last year by listening to Jess Lively because you just speak to me I feel…I really connect with you and your voice and am so grateful for you!

  4. Hi Brooke,
    I have been listening to your podcast since the beginning and I am in love! :o) Thank you for being here, I truly appreciate! This episode really resonated with me, I can’t say I am overweight but I do have to be careful with what I eat, I am currently 10 pounds over where I would like to be but most importantly, my hormones level are flirting with the pre-diabetic range, thus the need to really be mindful about my eating habits! You mentioned in your podcast the desire to stay in known comfortable territory that prevent us from growing, it is amazing that I always saw that as a fact when in comes to my career (I read somewhere the tight rope walker analogy, when you still have a foot well on stable ground and the other on the rope, letting go of the wall can be tough!) anyway, it always made sense to me but silly me, I never thought of that concept when it comes to eating!! In any case, you have no idea how this simple concept has helped me deal with dailies temptations, I have made the commitment not to eat them and I know now that being uncomfortable is only the walk on the tight rope to the other side. The whole things seems much more easier all of sudden.
    thanks again for that awesome podcast!

    1. Hi Caroline,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback with us. So happy to hear you are getting so much from Brooke’s podcast.

      Carina

  5. Hi Brooke,
    I just want to let you know how much you have impacted my life for the better with your podcasts. You’re words are so inspirational to me as they allow me to break through ideas and beliefs that I have had that don’t serve me and don’t allow me to grow. I have overcome these beliefs now and I feel that my possibilities are endless with the tool kit you have given me through your podcasts. You’re by far my number one teacher now as you are so easy to understand by keeping things simple and your speaking voice is so easy to listen to. But most importantly your insight on different life circumstances is so insightful, refreshing and life enhancing. I am a huge fan and I support what you do to the max!
    In short I just want to say thank you!
    Joshua Whelan

    1. Hi Joshua,

      Thank you for the feedback! Brooke certainly appreciates it. So happy to hear the podcast resonates with you and that you are benefiting from it.

      Carina

  6. Hi,

    I listened to this podcast because I have a huge life decision to make – whether to sell my house and move myself and my two cats across country for a new job. I am very comfortable where I live as I have lived in this city since college (and I’m 52) so the idea of making this big of a move at this stage of my life is absolutely terrifying! Also the state I’d be moving to is not exactly one that I would naturally want to move to. If it was a tropical beach front type of place the decision to move would be more appealing. My new boss would be a boss that I’ve had in the past (he’s the one recruiting me). This is the only reason I am even considering this. Is here an episode more aligned to this type of decision? Thanks! Stacie

  7. Hello Brooke and Brooke’s team 🙂
    I discovered your podcast a couple months ago now and I first started listening to a few episodes here and there and fell in love, and decided to do his the proper way : for a few weeks now I have been going from the first podcast you produced and onwards. This episode particularly impacted me for some reason. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your wisdom so widely. You truly are transforming lives. You’ve been rocking mine and people are noticing ! I’m so excited to see what’s coming for me and the results I’m creating. Thank you, a thousand times !

    1. Thanks for sharing, Oriane! Glad you found Brooke’s podcast and are enjoying it. –Brecklyn

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