Ep #266: Why Change Is Hard
Posted on May 2, 2019
The reason why we don’t immediately embrace change, and turn into better versions of ourselves, is because change is hard.
We don’t want to be uncomfortable.
Whether you’re trying to make a million dollars in your business, or you’re trying to lose weight – if it’s something different than you have now, it’s hard.
Change is hard on purpose.
Change makes us stronger.
On this episode, we explore the topic of why change is difficult and how to make sense of being uncomfortable on purpose. Tune in to find out why the 50/50 (negative vs positive emotions) of growth is tremendously better than 50/50 of beating yourself up and seeking false pleasures.
Listen in to discover how to be at peace while inviting that discomfort into your life in order to reach your ultimate goals and dreams.
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It’s the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!
What you will discover
- The importance of finding a way to make discomfort part of the pleasure you enjoy in your life.
- Why I recommend embracing discomfort and growth.
- The discomfort of growth vs the discomfort of punishing yourself for not being where you want to be.
- How to get “comfortable” with your discomfort and blow your mind.
Featured on the show
- Learn more about the Self Coaching Scholars program.
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.
Well hello my friends. How are you today? You guys loving yourselves? You feeling empowered? Are you feeling good? I hope so. I hope you are not taking your life too seriously, even the 50% of it that sucks, I hope you recognize that's just part of being human.
So today, we're going to talk about why change is so hard. All day every day I coach you all, I talk to you and coach you, and a lot of the time, we spend whining together and complaining together about why change is so hard. Whether you're trying to make a million dollars in your coaching business, or you're trying to lose weight, trying to stop drinking, or you're trying just to get your first client.
No matter what it is, if it's different than what you have now, most likely it's hard. And about - I think it was six years ago, I did a master coach training and my students bought me this beautiful wood plaque that says we can do hard things, and I have it up in my house and I see it all the time. And I remind myself that change is hard on purpose. Just like our workouts are hard on purpose because they make us stronger.
The reason why most people don't change, we don't turn into the better version of ourselves is because we don't want to do hard things. We don't want to be uncomfortable. What's the point of being uncomfortable when you can just stay the same?
I've been studying a lot about business over the past three years. I have been studying for growing my own business and for my students who want to grow their businesses, for a program that I'm creating called Entrepreneurial Management, of managing businesses and helping other people manage their businesses.
And one of the things that I read about on the regular in all these business books is how businesses so often get to this place of complacency, where it's a lot of hustle and it's a lot of growth and a lot of excitement, and then they make a certain amount of money, they get to a certain place, and then there's this complacency that sets in, the success settle that sets in, and we just don't want to be uncomfortable anymore.
And so how do we reconcile that? How do we make sense of being willing to be uncomfortable and also being at peace and being happy in our lives and inviting that discomfort in? And someone just asked me this question in Scholars actually, and one of my answers is you have to find a way that discomfort actually becomes part of the pleasure you enjoy in your life.
That sounds totally opposite of what could be true, but for me, it has become the answer, literally to living the most fulfilled life. It's almost like when you first start lifting weights and it's awful. If you haven't been lifting weights or you haven't been to a yoga class or you haven't gone to an aerobics class, it's awful.
It's so uncomfortable, it doesn't feel right, there's no result, like you lift for like an hour and the only result you have is pain. You don't even look any better, believe me, I've checked. And you just want to quit immediately. You're like, what is the point of doing this heavy thing that makes me uncomfortable, doesn't make me look any better, and I have to lay on the ground or take an ice bath for the next three days? That doesn't make any sense.
But it's almost like the more you embrace the discomfort of it, the more you plan it, the more you embrace it, the more you know that it's part of the deal, then it's almost like you start looking forward to that hard workout that's going to hurt so good. Once you get into shape, you're like, "I'm going to go lift heavy today. I'm going to be sore tomorrow."
And there's an ounce of pleasure in it, even though it's hard. And that's what life is like when you start focusing the value of your life on becoming the next version of yourself, on becoming someone who grows and takes your potential to where it can go.
Now, people misunderstand this a lot. They think that when I say hey, go to the next best version of yourself or challenge yourself or grow or set bigger goals, that I mean do that so you'll become more worthy, do that so you'll become more acceptable. That is not what I'm saying, my friends.
You are 100% acceptable the way you are, 100% worthy the way you are. The reason why I recommend that you embrace discomfort and growth and see what you can do in this world is because it's so much more fun than sitting on your ass. Showing yourself what you're capable of is the biggest thrill in the world. It is better, my friends, stay with me, way better than Game of Thrones.
I know, I'm going to get hate mail about this. But going out there and being who you want to be in the world is a huge thrill. It's way more exciting than watching someone else have an amazing life on TV. Amazing. But there's a price to pay, of course. You have to pay the price of discomfort.
So it's just like the workout. You know that run's going to be hard, you know it's going to be hard to write that book, you know it's going to be hard to lift those weights, but you look forward to the discomfort because you love what's on the other side of that, and that becomes your new thrill in life.
Now, why is that so challenging for us? We understand that with our prefrontal cortex, right? We understand that it works that way, and yet when it comes right down to it, we are really challenged because we still have that primitive brain. Our primitive brain is a powerhouse between our ears. It is as powerful as our prefrontal cortex. It's just not as smart, but it's got a loud voice.
So you have to know who to listen to and when and why. Sometimes you really want to listen to that prefrontal when it's telling you to run away from the guy with the knife. It's time to listen. But most of the time, that primal brain is misinformed and scared for no reason.
Our brain loves what's familiar because what is familiar is safe. We like to rinse and repeat the things that work that are safe. That's when we feel comfortable. Familiarity feels comfortable to us. We love the instant gratification. Our brain is wired for reward. It's wired to avoid pain.
So we have all these pleasures, all these rewards around us all the time. Of course, we want them, that's what we're wired for. That's so much more compelling in the moment than the long-term goal. It's so much more compelling to lay on the couch right now than it is to lift a weight because lifting that weight's not going to give us anything good until about six weeks from now.
And laying on the couch eating bonbons is super pleasurable right now. Our brain has a bias to right now. Let's take care of what we want, which is comfort and pleasure and avoidance of pain right now.
So we disempower ourselves by disconnecting from our emotions, by disconnecting from our body, which has us then becoming mini little hedonists who just want to solve pleasure, pleasure, pleasure. Now, what some of us do is we do all the pleasure, we do all the instant gratification, and then that's not enough for us to ruin our lives.
Then we beat ourselves up for doing it and feel terrible about it, and that causes us to go seek more pleasure. So the 50/50 of our life becomes beating the hell out of ourselves and then seeking false pleasure. Beating the hell out of ourselves and seeking false pleasure. That's our 50/50.
What I'm suggesting is that you change that, even though it's hard. You change your 50/50 from buffering and beating yourself up to discomfort of growth and achieving your wildest dreams. It's still 50/50. It's just a different flavor of 50/50. The discomfort that you have when you're growing is different than the discomfort you have from not fulfilling your potential, not doing what you most want to do because you're in the instant gratification.
I want you to think about change from this perspective. In this moment, all the possibilities for your life exist. Now, stay with me, this is weird, but you need to grasp it. In this moment, your huge potential for all your dreams exist right now in this moment. The body you want to be in, the money you want to make, the person you want to be, the person you want to be with. All of those potentials exist.
There is so much excitement that you can get from the potential of your life, the possibilities of your life in this moment are extraordinary. And if you haven't taken the time to consider those possibilities, I want you to make sure that you take that time. What is possible for your life?
I'm not saying you have to go and do it. But of all the possibilities available to you, I want you to consider your options. You have so many. Now, when you start to do this, when you start to consider change, when you start to consider possibilities, you will be pulled by your brain into the present past, which what I mean by that is no, stay focused, your brain will say stay focused on what's possible based on the past. Don't think about what's possible based on the future.
Your brain is programmed to get its possibilities from the past. From that primal primitive brain that wants to keep you safe. But that brain portion on top of that primitive brain has the ability to create possibility from the future, and that's where I want you to go. So if I ask you what is possible for your life, don't tell me about your past. I don't care where you went to school, what you did, what your current results are, where you live, how much you weigh.
None of it matters. None of it. All that matters right now is what's possible for you in the future. And if you're willing to go through the process of change, which is very difficult, you can proceed with your life from your future possibility, and that's what will blow your own mind.
So one of the things that I've taught you on the podcast, one of the things that's kind of interesting to consider is to pre-experience your success, to visualize and be present in your possibility of success now. To be the person who is that. Not the person who will be that, but the person who is it now.
I'm going to tell you that this is a practice and an art that I have been spending really a lot of time probably for the past three years doing. And that is being the possibility of my life before it's manifest in reality. Stay with me. Stay with me, my engineers. I want you to think about it.
If you imagine yourself in your dream life, in where you could be, all you're doing is thinking the thoughts of that life. So think about it. What will be the difference when you're actually there? Nothing. You will still be thinking the thoughts of that life, unless you're like me, and then you'll be onto the next thing.
The only difference is the world needs to catch up and manifest, but you're already living there. You're already in that place. There is no doubt, there is nothing that can sway you off it. So I'm already living in my 100-million-dollar world. Is it a fantasy? No. It is my life, it's who I am.
Now, when I go to take action from that place, I already have access to the thoughts that are going to create it. See, when you think about your brain and you believe that your thoughts create your results, and you look at what your brain is thinking in order to see what results you're going to create, it's almost like looking at the menu of your life when you look at your brain.
This is what's on the menu today, this is what we're serving up in the very near future, my friends. Coming to a life near you, here's what's coming. So when you look at your life, how much time are you spending thinking about your past? Because that's what you're going to recreate. How much time are you spending complaining about your present? Because that's what you're going to create.
Those thoughts are all optional. But when you spend a lot of time thinking about the future you are creating in this moment, then that is what you create. And it takes practice, and it is uncomfortable, but we need to spend more time thinking about possibility and less time thinking about what is and what is our past if we want to change.
Our brains are filled with records from the past instead of dreams of what could be. The more we use our physical senses to determine our reality, the more our physical sense determine our reality. So the more we look at what is, the more we interpret what is, the more we get more of what is.
Possibility happens when we're willing to let it all go. So here's what's true, my friends, and this is why successful people oftentimes don't get more successful. You have to be willing to sacrifice your life right now. All of it. And if you're crazy successful, sacrificing your life for a different life is extremely difficult because you're comfortable in this current life, except the part of you that wants more, except the part of you that's discontent inside of you that's urging you forward for more.
But you have to be willing to give all this up. You have to willing to crush your current identity, all your current belief systems. Everything that you believe right now, you have to let it go. So when I have students that say to me, "But I believe this, this thought is working for me, this thought feels good," I say, "But this thought, this belief, this thinking is getting you this life and you told me you want a different life."
You can't have it both ways. You can't hold two contradictory thoughts at the same time without having that dissonance. You got to be willing to let one go. And when you've had the same thought for a long time and that thought is familiar and that thought feels good to you and you've relied on that thought for so many years, letting go of it is like letting go of a friend. It's like letting go of your own little wubby, your own little stuffed animal.
Don't underestimate how hard that is. You have to give up being a person that makes a million dollars in order to be a person that makes two million dollars. Letting go of being a person that makes a million dollars is challenging. Just like letting go of being a person who has a full-time career, quitting your job and re-identifying yourself.
Everything in your brain's going to scream and tell you to go back to being the person who was comfortable and familiar in the cave. So you must study yourself to truly get to know yourself. From this awareness, you can determine what you want and what you don't want. Then you can go about the deliberate discomfort of changing your life on purpose.
Delaying gratification is the secret to overcoming your primitive brain. You have to use your prefrontal to believe beyond your current results. It's tempting to get caught up in the current evidence and let it define you, but you have to define yourself from the person you want to be, from the next version of yourself. If you keep defining yourself by who you already are, you're going to keep getting more of who you already are.
So I say to people, "Hey, are you ready to have another identity crisis? Let's have one once a week." No, I don't want to have an identity crisis, I want security, I want to feel like I know who I am. And so many of you are defining yourselves by the world out there, by your current results, so that's how you're going to keep defining yourself.
That's how so many people come to me and they're like, "I'm a victim and I'm someone that struggles with their weight." I said, "Are you willing to give up being a victim? Are you willing to let the villain go? Are you willing to stop struggling with your weight?" You would think that they would say yes, yes, and yes, but that's who they are.
Who are they if they're not - I know this personally. I had villains. I wanted to keep them as villains. I had this struggle that defined my life. It was very challenging to let it go. Change requires believing in something beyond evidence. You have to keep your thoughts, feelings, and actions on the result you want and not the result that you have.
Now, when you're in tremendous pain and you're creating a lot of results that you don't want, it's very easy to identify the difference between those two thoughts. When you're already successful, when you already are creating good results in your life and you just want next level results, this will be more challenging.
You have to examine what is the model that's creating this life and am I willing to let it go to create the life that I want. And sometimes the answer will be no, and that's okay, but just be conscious of that.
One of the things that creates, I think, the fastest transformations is the willingness to take full responsibility, to understand that every single result you have in your life is the bottom of the model where you had a thought and a feeling and took some action. You will resist this knowing, you will resist owning a lot of your results because you will see that the circumstances caused it, or you will see that you had no control.
But when you put the R, the result that you have in your life in the R line and then you trace it back up to your thinking, and you take responsibility for that, that agency, that authority, that responsibility will make you come alive. Because if you see your life being at the effect of what is happening out there in the world, you will always struggle to try and change the world.
And that shit does not work. You do not change the world and then change yourself. You change yourself and then the world changes. That's the only way it's ever worked. Your thoughts are never a secret. They're manifested in the results of your life.
If you want to know what someone's thinking, look at their life. If you want to know what you're thinking, look at your life. So when people come to me and they tell me, "Here's what I've been thinking," I always say, "No it's not. I know that's not what you're thinking. You know how I know? Look at your results."
They're like, "This is what I believe." That's not what you believe. You believe the opposite of that. Look at your results. So then they want to beat themselves up for not believing correctly. It's just simply math. Don't beat yourself up over a math problem. Just notice the reality of it.
What I believe right now, my capacity for believing something right now is evident in the results I've created. It's a beautiful thing. It's a great thing to know. You must examine your mind. You must become aware of what it is thinking about. You must supervise it; you must direct it.
Because if you don't, it will take you on a wild carpet ride based on old evolved ideas about what's out there in the world. You have to educate it and train it in a way that serves your highest purpose. You must look into your mind because it's always the map of where you're headed. When you see what you think about, you see where you're going.
It's almost like looking at the GPS. You want to know where you're going, look at your brain. It will tell you. What do you think about all the time? It's the thought factor. You can't escape it.
So you may say I have this goal but all I do is think about how hard it is, think about how I can't accomplish it, think about how uncomfortable it makes me, that's not going to work. You can't think about your goal in terms of how you can't there and expect to get there. You have to think about your goal as if you are already there. And then you have to go out in the world and lift the weights to be strong enough to step into it and manifest it.
I like to think about my own life in terms of a completed thought, which means there was a time where I believed something that hadn't yet manifested. For example, I believed that I would marry a wonderful man. When I aligned my model with that result, that thought was complete, that thought was manifest in my life.
I saw the power of having thought that thought and then created that result. That's a completed thought. So there will be times when you are in the midst of that completed thought or that completed model hasn't actually manifested yet. So for example, right now when I think about making 100 million dollars, that thought has not completed. It has not shown up yet visibly to y'all.
It's completely visible to me. It just hasn't manifested yet. So I'm thinking it, I'm feeling it, I'm acting it. The result isn't there yet. It hasn't fully been completed yet, but I am in that thought process. So I think it's useful sometimes to look at thoughts that were once in the past that have now been completed, that have now been fully aligned to see the power of hey, I remember when I first had that thought and I remember now when that thought result was manifest.
Because when you see all the evidence, there is no evidence against it, when you see all the evidence in your past about how your thoughts created the results, look at all the results in your life, find the thought that caused it. It is magnificent to see how powerful you are.
And then you really get nervous about wait a minute, what are the thoughts that I'm thinking now because I'm going to see them be manifest? I'm going to create them in my life, I'm going to have that result in my life so I need to think about it.
So change is hard because it requires us to be aware, it requires us to be uncomfortable. It requires us to give up and sacrifice the life we have now, the thoughts we have now, the beliefs we have now for the life we want to have, which means we have to completely obliterate our identity over and over and over again.
The core of who you are will always be worthy, but this game of humanness is ever evolving. And you're either moving towards more of what you want or you're just repeating more of what you don't want, or more of the same if you don't want to grow.
And I'm not saying that one is better than the other for you. I don't know for you. I just want to make sure that you make that choice consciously. You decide on purpose that you're going to grow or that you're not going to grow. Your life's still going to be 50/50. You're going to be uncomfortable either way.
So you know what I say, if you're going to be uncomfortable either way, you might as well see what the heck you can do with this lifetime. Might as well blow your own mind and be super proud and see the power of your mind take hold. Make the change that you want to see. Be that change, really, be it right now because why the heck not?
That's what makes life so magical to me. Not because we're humans just suffering on the planet but because we're humans creating our experience in life. Experiencing life is about creating life. Creating our interpretation of what is and then creating the possibility of what can be.
So change is hard but who cares? Do it anyway. Alright my friends, have a beautiful week. Talk to you next week. Bye-bye.
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