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We’ve been teaching a lot about relationships inside Self Coaching Scholars lately, and there’s one topic in particular that keeps coming up: Desirability.

It seems like there’s some confusion around knowing what we desire and our desire to be desired. This confusion can affect how you show up in the world and what you attract in relationships.

Women especially are conditioned to desire being desired, so much so that sometimes we place being desired above what our true desires are.

In today’s episode, I break down what it means to desire something and how to understand what your true desires are deep down. Chances are, they’re similar to what a lot of us want. I also share what happens when you show up as a facade instead of your whole self, and how to start attracting people who desire you for exactly who you are.

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 difference between what you desire and being desirable.
  • What we all truly desire and what happens when we don’t seek it.
  • Why pursuing what you truly desire will sometimes result in rejection.
  • What happens when you get caught up in trying to be desirable.
  • How to do a journal history of when you’ve tried to be desirable.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode number 360.

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 beautiful friends. I just had the most amazing day yesterday. We did an in-person COVID-safe event at my home and it was amazing. I haven’t done a small group coaching day for a long time. And it was very nourishing for me.

I was missing people, I was missing seeing people, and so we all got together in the penthouse and had the most amazing coaching, life-changing, vulnerable day. Rahul and I created a day that - at the end of the day we were both like, that was amazing.

In case you’re wondering why maybe you weren’t invited to this day, we offered this opportunity to our Scholars only for this first one and we actually only had eight spots. We oversold it by 37 people because my team couldn’t turn off the order form fast enough. It sold out in like, four minutes.

So we have these scheduled out for the next several months. But once we’ve completed those, we will be opening it again and we will open it to Scholars first, and then if there is space, we will offer it to all of the podcast listeners.

We also want to do a men’s only group. So if you are interested in being part of that, you can - why don’t you email my assistant, emily@thelifecoachschool.com if you’re interested in being part of a small men’s only group that we will do for one day as well. We’re really excited about working with men only because there’s lots of different issues that men are struggling with and women are struggling with their men with that we’re interested in coaching. So let us know if you’re interested in that.

But today, what I want to talk about is desirability. And one of the things that has been coming up a lot in the relationship classes that we’ve been teaching is the difference between desire and being desired. And this is especially for women who have grown up in our culture where we are taught consistently how important it is for us to be desirable.

And we’ve been taught this so much that it’s almost confusing when we’re trying to figure out, do we desire to be desirable? And if so, why? And what do we desire beyond being desirable?

And so I want to talk about this because it’s very important that you understand the difference. As a woman, you see lots of messages, you see lots of celebrities, you see lots of TV shows that are teaching you how important it is to be desirable, to dress in a way and be in a way that makes you desirable to other people.

And when you think about that, when I think about that for myself, when I think about how much time I have spent in my life trying to be desirable, it makes me weep inside because as a young woman, I was obsessed with trying to be thin enough so I would be desirable, so I could get attention, thinking that that is what I most needed and wanted.

And if could just be pretty enough, if I could just look like someone on TV enough, then that yearning inside of me would be desired and then once I was desired, that yearning would be fulfilled. And that is not how it worked and in fact, that led me to a lot of very self-destructive behaviors that caused my neediness, my yearning, my desire to be desirable to be on steroids and made me actually hate myself because I wasn’t desired enough.

So the very thing that I wanted was to be desired because I thought that was so important. I was repelling anyone that wanted to desire me with my own neediness for that, that surface level. And I’ve been thinking so much about this lately because when I talk to people about dating or I talk to people about being in relationship, one of the things that I notice that many women are talking to me about and doing is lying.

And showing up in a way that isn’t true to them in order to be desired. In order for someone to pay attention to them. And what I’ve been teaching and what is important for all of us to know is that if you put up a facade, if you focus on shallow things in order to be desired, you will attract someone who wants shallow things.

So when you are showing up and presenting with your body, or presenting with your clothes, or presenting with what house you’re in, or what car you drive, and you’re getting attention based on those things, it’s like T-n-A. You’re getting attention based on how much you’re showing basically, then you will attract people that that’s what they desire.

And so many women are doing this, they’re pretending that they’re not emotional, they’re pretending that they’re not yearning, they’re pretending that they’re not ambitious, successful, they’re showing up with these very shallow surface things in order to get the desire. And then they’re very unfulfilled once they are in those relationships.

But it’s almost like a bait-and-switch. And I’m not saying it’s your fault because I think we’ve been conditioned to do this but it’s important for you to understand. There is a huge difference between being desirable and trying to be desirable to someone else and knowing what you desire and telling the truth about that.

And if you don’t know what you personally desire and you’re not telling the truth about that and that you’re not seeking to fulfill that, you will always feel empty. Because if someone desires you simply for your body or your money or your face or your hair or your shoes or the car you drive or the house you live in, you will never fully be seen.

And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past several months is that we want to be seen and known. And we are starving for it. But we can’t be seen and known if we don’t show who we are. And we can’t be seen and known without getting our heart broken. Because what it means to be seen and known means to show up and get rejected if somebody doesn’t want to see and know us, if someone doesn’t want all of us, doesn’t want to see all the parts of us.

When you find someone that only wants to see the illusion, that only wants to see the shallow part of you and you show up as the full version of yourself, that person will reject you. And I say amen. Let that person who doesn’t want to see the whole of you move on to something else that’s more shallow. That’s not your person.

But you’re going to have to open yourself up to be exposed to being desired for something much deeper than just how you look and just how you’re perceived. You’re going to have to open yourself up to your full humanity, to all of who you are, to all of your so-called flaws, to all the parts of you that you don’t love. Are you willing to show that to someone and say, “Interested?” And have them say no.

Because what I want to share with you is that when you do that, and you find someone that you desire who says yes, I am interested, then we have a game plan. Then we have growth. Then we have an opportunity for evolution.

When you’re only showing up and pretending to be something other than you are, and that person is showing up pretending to be something other than they are, and you’re constantly judging each other for how tight your abs are or how good your ass is or what your face looks like or how young you look or how beautiful your hair is, you are lost in the loop of trying to be desirable.

And in order to gage whether you’re desirable enough, you will start looking in the other person’s eyes for your own truth. And you will miss what you desire. When you’re so focused on being desirable, you’re very focused on their shallow desires and trying to pretend that you are that person.

When you’re focused on your deepest desires, what you most want, for many of you, that is to be seen and loved for all of you, for all the parts of you, for the truth of you and to be able to grow from that place. And many of us, what we desire is to be with someone that we can grow with, that we can tell the truth to and whom we can love unconditionally.

I know that was true for me and so many of you have reached out to me and told me that’s what’s true for you. So if that is your true desire, you can’t get locked up in trying to bait-and-switch. In trying to be desirable by wearing the right clothes or the hair or all of the things.

That is not to say that the physical doesn’t matter and that’s not to say that attraction doesn’t matter. It’s simply just one small piece of the whole. So one of the things that I want to invite you to do here is to think about what do you really want in your relationship? What are you willing to have your heart broken for?

You want it so much that you’re willing to try and have your heart broken several times before you get it. What is your deepest yearning? What do you want in a relationship?

Now, if what you want in a relationship is companionship or what you want in a relationship is someone to look good on your arm, someone to impress your friends with, someone who will make beautiful babies with you, if you are on that, tell yourself the truth about it. Make sure you like your reason. Nothing wrong with it.

But if your truth is something that is beyond that, that is a deeper connection beyond the surface of what you look like, is beyond just the emotional dance and the game playing, and it’s something that you want to dive in deeper with someone in order to advance your own life and your own spiritual growth because in relationship you can do that so much faster than alone because you have someone else’s perspective and you have someone to dance with, in that evolution, then you’re going to have to show up as yourself, which may not be desirable.

So it’s almost like a complete identity death that you have to go through in order to find yourself in a position to be open enough to be seen. And the work that we did in this workshop yesterday was all about finding that love within ourselves first. Creating our own lovability, which means we have the ability to love ourselves and to also receive that love from ourselves.

Because when we have that base to come back to, that home base to come back to, then we can venture out and expose our desires, our truths, who we are really are to potential relationships. And it won’t destroy us if we’re rejected because we are seeking our own desires at the expense of desirability instead of the other way around, which is seeking to be desired at the expense of our own desires.

So make a list, my friends, of what it is you desire. Think about what it is you most want between now and the end of your life in your relationships. Where do you want to go whether you’re in a relationship or you’re seeking a relationship? Do you want to be desired because you have a great body? And if so, where will that take you?

Or do you want to be desired because somebody wants to grow with you? Somebody wants to see you, understand your humanity, your spirit, help you grow to the next version of yourself. Do you want to be with someone who shares the trajectory of where you most want to go? Or do you want to spend your life trying to figure out what this person wants to look at every day and then trying to live into that six-pack abs or that definition in your arms?

That will leave you wanting and never being satisfied because true desires for most of you listening to this podcast are much, much deeper. We want to be seen, most of us, for what’s in our hearts and our spirits and our desires and our values, our connection to the spirituality that we believe in. And we inadvertently block that when we forget about what we desire and we start focusing on our own face and what that looks like to our partner.

One of the things that you can do is a journal history of what your life has been made up of. And if your life is anything like me, it’s been made up of trying to be desirable, trying to be pleasant, trying to be beautiful, all on the surface, so someone will want you.

And write down what you’ve done to do that. What did you learn? When did you learn it? And then look at that effect in your life. What has that caused you to block and miss because you haven’t been open to the full view of who you are? Because you’re afraid of being judged, you’re afraid of being rejected because no one taught you about that possibility.

And notice, like so many of the women have told me notice if that blocking your ability to love. Because what I’ve heard from most of you is that your desire is to love unconditionally, to love at the highest level that you’re capable of loving another human.

And when you’re caught up in trying to be desirable, you end up lying and pretending and blocking the fullest version of yourself. The fullest expression of your love. Because you’re afraid too much love coming at someone might be undesirable to them, even though it’s in your heart.

And so you’re restricting that love for yourself and for other people so you can look like a commercial. You can pretend that isn’t the fullest expression of yourself. So once you’ve done those two things, you’ve done this history of trying to be desirable and how that’s shown up, and for men, it’s been typically - I’m totally generalizing, has been more about how much money you make. And for women it’s been more about how beautiful you are.

But it could be any range of those things. So write what’s true for you. And then look at that list of what you actually desire and see how in conflict they are, and see what you can do moving forward to be more focused on what it is you most desire and why.

Because if you feel like your desire is to be thin so you can be more desirable or to be beautiful or to be prettier or to be sexier so you can be more desirable, I want to encourage you to go to the next level of that. Why do you want to be desirable? What is that yearning in your heart about? What do you most want for yourself?

And where do you have to be willing to expose your vulnerability, expose who you are, show up as the truth of you, be willing to be rejected in order to have that true desire met? The opportunity for it to be met by someone else instead of hiding and pretending behind some version of yourself that you think is more acceptable.

Enjoy your week everyone. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye-bye.

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.

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