Ep #327: How to Enjoy Yourself
How many people do you know that truly enjoy being themselves? It’s a disappointing number, right?
Most of us want to be different than we are, better than we are. So we miss out on the extraordinary experience of being ourselves and never truly learn how to enjoy life.
When you aren’t enjoying your life, yourself, and the world, you’re denying yourself the amazing experience of being alive.
My goal is for you to be able to wake up in the morning, excited and happy to be who you are right now. It's important to me that you learn how to enjoy life, but know it will improve your relationships with the people you’re closest to as well. Your entire world will change.
This week, I share the first part of my lesson on how to enjoy being you from Self Coaching Scholars in hopes that I can help you let go of the idea of how you think your life is supposed to be, and enjoy it as it is. Challenges and disappointments included.
And, make sure to stay tuned to the end of the episode for a clip of my private podcast interview with one of my very close friends, Todd Herman.
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!
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What You will discover
- The extraordinary value of enjoying yourself just the way you are.
- Why it’s not narcissistic to enjoy yourself.
- How your struggle to enjoy yourself is exaggerated when you make comparisons.
- What happens when you let go of the idea that life is supposed to be easy.
- How to know you are liking yourself properly and setting the right boundaries.
- What your true desires are and how to honor them.
Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode number 327.
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.
Hey, before we get started today, I wanted to let you know that, at the end of this podcast, there’s a little clip teaser of my podcast that I did with Todd Herman, one of my very good friends. I actually consider him a brother.
And we did an entire discussion, private podcast together that’s about an hour long that you can find in Scholars. If you’re already in Scholars, it will show up in your private podcast feed. If you’re not in Scholars yet, you can join and go to the private podcast.
Make sure you’re subscribed to it so you get all of these chats that I had with my friends. We have many of them recorded that we’re going to be sharing with you. But, in the meantime, enjoy a clip of me and Todd at the end of this podcast. Enjoy.
Well, hello, my friends. I’m really excited today to bring you this podcast; How to Enjoy Being You. I think a lot of us are having a hard time enjoying being ourselves right now, for good reason. And I created, in Scholars, a lesson called How to Enjoy Being You. And it includes an entire workbook.
And I taught a class on it last month and it was really powerful. It’s really, a lot of the work I have been doing most recently is reminding people that they can enjoy themselves, they can enjoy their lives, even when the things are hard.
And so, I wanted to share with you the first part of the workbook. And that’s what this podcast is going to be, the first part of the workbook, How to Enjoy Being You from Scholars. If you’re in Scholars, you can access the workbook by going into the study vault and going under Coaching Tools. Decisions is the first coaching tool. And then, the next one will be How to Enjoy Being You. And you can get the full workbook and all of the exercises in it when you join Scholars. Or, if you’re already in Scholars, you can access it there.
But I think the message is really important. And so, I know a lot of you listen to podcasts and listen to them repeatedly, as I do many of the podcasts I listen to. So, I thought this might be a good reminder, when you find yourself not enjoying your life, yourself, your world, wanting it to be different than it is and feeling a lot of resistance with who you are. I think this is a good message for us to remember.
Who you are right now. How many people do you know who truly enjoy being themselves? It’s a disappointing number, right? Most of us want to be different than we are, better than we are. So, we miss out on enjoying the extraordinary experience of being ourselves.
This month, I want to change that. I want to teach you the value of enjoying yourself and your life right now. I want you to learn to wake up in the morning and be excited that you get to be who you are right now without any changes. I want you to be able to get a kick out of yourself in this moment, just because it’s an amazing experience to be alive.
This is not so you become a narcissist or someone who thinks you’re better than other people. It’s so you can appreciate all that you are just for the fun of it.
The easiest trick I have found to do this is to remember that I didn’t create myself. I was created. It’s not my place to judge the creation. It’s my place to marvel at it, enjoy it. There’s never been a human made exactly like me. I wonder why not. I wonder, why me? Why this way? Why now?
It’s important that I’m exactly the way I am and that my life is exactly the way it is. It is for me and for the world. So, why is this so hard for us to do? Why do we end up thinking our lives have gone wrong or something about us is off?
Have you heard your brain tell yourself things like, “You should be better looking, you should be smarter. You should be more athletic. You should be more outgoing. I’m too fat, lazy, tall, short, awkward, skinny. I should have had different parents, different friends, different teachers. Something’s gone terribly wrong with my life.”
It’s so much easier to believe these things than it is to celebrate all that it is, as if it were meant to be that way. We’re supposed to be just as fat or ugly or smart or dumb as we are. That is exactly what we can delight in.
The problem. All humans have the same problem. We all have an idea of how it’s supposed to be right now. We have an image of how we’re supposed to look. We know how the world should work. We know what should be going on with our lives. We believe the good should increase and the bad shouldn’t be there.
We spend a lot of time upset that our life isn’t matching up with the version in our heads. I watch it happen consistently with my clients. They have an image in their mind of how their parents should have raised them and they spouse should treat them and how the government should be different and how everything is ruined. Ruined compared to what? To the idea of what life should be and how we should be.
We’re going to dive into this and it will blow your mind. You will see how many of these beliefs you have that argue with the reality of how life really is. You will see how this makes you fell off and wrong, when everything is really exactly right.
You will often see this exaggerated when you compare your life to other people’s. Often, you will have the story that their life is better than yours. You will think that because they have the things or the look or the family or the business, they are doing their life right and enjoying their life more than you are. This is completely false.
I’ve learned this through direct experience and through the experiences of my colleagues and clients. We think it’s better there, but really, it’s the same as here. It’s always 50-50 balance. The topics change, but the misery is still there.
No one has a better life than you; no one. No one is doing it right. No one is doing it wrong. I wan you to consider these concepts as they will let you start enjoying yourself now and stop waiting for a better version of yourself for your life when you can think or be happier.
All my dreams have come true. I have literally created the life of my dreams and I still woke up today filled with anxiety. 10 years ago, I was worried about money. Now I worry about my employees. I still feel sad and frustrated and worried and bored. I’m still having a human life.
The only difference is that now I enjoy all of it, even the parts that aren’t happy. I enjoy being myself. I especially appreciate life and enjoy being me when things are hard.
Let me explain. I taught master life coach training. 20 coaches came to the Grand Cayman to learn to how to master the model. They knew the training was going to be hard. They came ready. And it was hard. There were lots of tears and frustration and anger and doubt. But they all loved it.
At the final dinner, I went around to all the tables and everyone told me the same thing; this was the best training ever. Later, I thought about this for a long time. It was the hardest training most of them had done, and yet they enjoyed it so much. They had expected it to be hard. They had wanted it to be hard. And when it was, they loved it and used it to learn and grow.
What if I could teach everyone to do this with their lives? What if we let go of the idea that life is supposed to be good and kind and easy and instead expected it to be hard? What if we, like our master coach students, could enjoy it being hard?
What if we stopped arguing with the way it is and started enjoying the way it is? What if we stopped rejecting the way we are and started just simply delighting in ourselves? It sounds so simple. And it is. And it truly changes everything.
Listen, as far as I can tell, life is supposed to be kind of hard for everyone. What if we stopped being mad about this and stopped trying to change it? What if we just said yes to it? If we came to life and had perfect parents, a perfect body, a perfect face, and won the lottery every day we still couldn’t escape misery.
Misery is one of the parts of being human. No one is immune. Famous, rich, talented, beautiful people kill themselves with drugs often, seriously. This is not a rare occurrence. People who live in poverty laugh and delight and love with an intensity often. Seriously, it’s confusing to those of us who can’t relate, but it happens.
So, the question becomes, why do we even bother to improve our lives if we won’t be any happier? I love this question because it reveals the belief right in it. The belief is that the only reason to do things is to be happier.
But what if we did new things because they are hard, because we want to grow and be uncomfortable? We want to change the world. What is the point if life stopped being happy all the time and changed to growing all the time?
What if enjoying what is made it even easier to change what is, and we don’t change it to be happier, but just to see if we can? Then and only then do we stop comparing our lives to the lives we’re supposed to have. Then and only then do we stop comparing our lives to others. Then we start enjoying ourselves and the life we already have.
People-pleasing pain. The first step to enjoying yourself and your life is basic. You have to like yourself. Not easy for most of us. I’m not talking about liking ourselves passively. I’m talking about actively choosing to like ourselves on purpose.
This means listening to what you want, telling the truth and saying no sometimes, knowing your dreams and desires, taking care of yourself for the long run, working on your behalf. You will know if you aren’t liking yourself properly if you have a lot of people-pleasing pain.
This is caused by spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about what other people think of you, trying to get them to like you by doing what you think they want. You will do this at your own expense, at the expense of what you really want.
You will feel resentful and frustrated when people don’t do the same or appreciate the sacrifices you’re making. This is the opposite of enjoying being yourself. This is not joyful.
When you ignore yourself, you send yourself the message that you don’t matter. And then you act on this in your life and create situations that seem to prove this true.
The answer is to start paying attention to what you are thinking and what you are genuinely wanting. Often, my clients will be afraid, if they only pay attention to what they want, they will be selfish. But the truth is, as humans, we have an intrinsic desire to give. When we pay attention and give to ourselves first, we increase our capacity to give from the heart and not in an attempt to get people to like us.
One of the first steps we take to pay closer attention is to make amends to ourselves. If we have been disliking ourselves and people pleasing, we have most likely done some pretty cringy things we would rather ignore. Part of the process is to bring those things to the surface and then let them go. We will do this completely this month.
The other part will be learning the process of letting others think what they want to think about you. This is difficult for most of us if we’ve become dependent on other people to try and feel good.
The truth is, we can’t control what they think, even when we try. They will always get to choose what they want to believe about us, what they believe is about them, not us. When we show up in a way that is authentic, we can see who the people are who like us for us and not for the people pleasing that we have been doing.
The lie of buffering. People-pleasing relationships are difficult to tolerate. Buffering is how you manage. Buffering seems to make it okay. But buffering away the pain is how you lie to yourself. You miss yourself, deny yourself, and pretend you are different than you are. Your true desires get lost in your false desires and pretense. Eventually, you can’t access yourself anymore.
People pleasing and buffering feed on each other, Buffering is how you people please yourself. You create a false relationship with yourself where your true desires aren’t acknowledged and the pleasure hit is substituting for true joy.
When you stop the lie of buffering, your tolerance for people pleasing will decrease dramatically. At first, this will feel terrible. But ultimately, it will cause you to change. It will help you listen to yourself, hear yourself, be yourself, and ultimately enjoy yourself and the life you create.
Our false desires that cause buffering are threefold; seek pleasure, avoid pain, do what’s easiest. Our true desires that create an authentic experience are, honor long-term desires, embrace discomfort, let it be hard.
This doesn’t mean we beat the heck out of ourselves and wear ourselves out and force success. I see too many type-A people calling this type of activity, “Enjoying life.” And it is the opposite.
True power is created by listening and caring for yourself using power not forced to do the hard things, that are true desires. It’s having your own back when it seems difficult. We don’t get stronger by doing the easy thing. Unfortunately, our brain is programmed to do the easy thing for survival. Our brains are wired to survive, not thrive.
We buffer and people please because our brains are literally wired to do this, not because anything is wrong with us. We have to consciously move out of survival mode and into thriving if we truly want to enjoy the experience of being alive. We need to embrace seeking discomfort in order to make all of our dreams come true.
I am having a great time with my life. I truly enjoy myself. This includes all the cringy things I’ve done in the past, the mistakes I continue to make, and the people I sometimes disappoint.
I have found that the only true way to enjoy being myself is to actually be myself. The 50-50 that is me, I embrace all of it. I let it be hard. I know that challenges are the point and not that something has gone wrong. This is what makes life amazing; enjoying the human who I am. Try this. Trust me.
Brooke: So, here’s my thing I want to learn from you around this. Because you do have a lot of friends. I feel like, because I’m an introvert, I have a few very close friends. So, my best friend, I talk to every day, usually for about an hour. My really close friends that we have very intense relationships. We see each other a lot.
But now that my kids have gone away to college – they’re unfortunately here now because of COVID, but they’re going to go back to college. Let’s all say it together, they’re going to go back to college. It is going to be okay. And I feel like the rest of my life is now in front of me without this family life. That’s how I met people and that was kind of where I build relationships, right?
And so, now I’m kind of, like, 47 years old, trying to figure out, “Okay, how do you make friends?” I just bought this place in Austin. I’m like, “How do you get introduced to people?” Especially as an introvert. And so, I’ve been really motivated to learn this skill. And I think it is a skill of friendship. And not be a weirdo. Can you tell me how to do that?
Todd: I don’t know if I have the best model for how to do that.
Brooke: Are you a weirdo?
Todd: Yeah, well I’m just so much a – like, I just boss people around because – so, a perfect example of this is because you and I were talking, most people who know of me know that a big part of who I am is the fact that we live in New York City. I’ve been there for 13 years. I was a farm and ranch kid. That was the place I always wanted to get to. And I finally realized that lifelong dream.
And I’m a New Yorker. It’s part of my identity. Now, based on the current situation though, the last place that is a good place to be when you’ve got three little ones like we do is New York City, plus we were some of the people in New York to get the coronavirus.
So, we went through it early on. And keeping three little kids that we have all locked up inside an apartment building is just not a cool place to make that happen. So, I reached out to one of my closest friends, Gary, he’s in Eden, Utah, which is this beautiful majestic area, lake, in the mountains of Utah.
And I said, “Hey, don’t answer right away because this is a big commitment on your side of things, or a big something to say yes to.” But I said, “I’d like to get my kids into nature, because I think this is going to last longer. And I’m not ready to go buy a place in the suburbs or something like that yet, because I just don’t want to make a rash decision like that. I have a very methodical decision-making process that I kind of use with stuff. But you’ve got a big place. You’ve got a lot of acres. Would you consider…” And we wouldn’t even let the words get into my mouth when he was like, “Absolutely.” And I’m like, “No, no…”
Brooke: Would you consider our family of five coming and living – is he single?
Todd: He’s a single guy.
Brooke: Oh my god. You have good friends. I would never let a friend do that.
Todd: Yeah, well he wasn’t going to be able to say no anyway, even though I was saying those words, I was going to be like, in the end, you’re 100% saying yes. My point about that is though that most of the time, I just – because I have a fundamental belief about most human beings that human beings hate decisions. You know this, right?
Look at the work that you do, Human beings hate decisions. So, knowing that to be true about most people, I’m going to make their decision for them. So, that’s how I just boss my way…
Brooke: Out of a kindness.
Todd: 100%, yeah, 100% it is. I know what’s good for you. I know you well. And so, I’m going to take this decision off your plate and you’re coming over to our place for a barbeque on Saturday. Cancel whatever you’ve got going on because that’s not going to be as enjoyable.
Brooke: I love this. I think I could do that.
Todd: You could 100% do that. I’ve seen how you operate, Brooke, you could 100% do that. And again, the other side of it is most people are leading fairly boring lives and, you know, you’ve got an above average personality. Let’s just say that. People are going to enjoy some time around you, you know. Give it 60 minutes and maybe it will start to dissipate…
No, that’s just my approach is I just – I love human behavior. This is why we both do what we do. And I just take that approach to life. Most people don’t like decisions, so I’m just going to help people make decisions. Honestly, that is part of my framework.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.