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When someone tells me that the thing they want to do is hard, it doesn’t mean anything to me.

Seriously. It’s irrelevant.

Hard things are what make us stronger. You can’t become the person you want to be on Easy Street. Taking the easiest path isn’t impressive, my friends.

Doing hard things is a skill you can learn and practice, and when you do, you will be amazed at what you can achieve.

Listen in today to find out the secret to doing hard things, all the benefits doing hard things will bring, and how to generate motivation to do the hard thing right now. You are already extraordinary, and getting good at doing hard things lets you experience it. Go do some hard things.

Check out 5 Pounds Stronger inside Self Coaching Scholars.

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

  • Why you want to get good at doing hard things.
  • The strategic benefits of doing hard things.
  • What to do when you don’t feel motivated.
  • When asking yourself “why” isn’t useful.
  • How to create long-term success in your life.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode number 375.

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.

Hello, my friends. Okay, I might have a little rant. I might have a little talking-to today. You telling me that things are hard doesn’t mean anything. What does it mean that things are hard? It’s an irrelevant thing to say.

People say things are hard to me as if that’s a reason not to do them. That is the reason to do them. Hard things are what make us stronger. We can’t get stronger if we don’t do hard things.

So, if you come to me and you say, “But it’s so hard...” I don’t know what you mean. It’s like when people say to me, “But it’s so expensive.” Of course, it’s expensive. Of course, I charge a lot for what I do. It’s so valuable. Of course, it’s hard. It’s going to make you into who you want to be.

You can’t become who you want to be on easy street. You can’t make things easy and then expect yourself to grow from doing easy things. You don’t want people to go, “Oh, she always takes the easy road.”

When you hear someone talk about someone else like that, it’s not impressive, my friends. And yet that’s how so many of us want to figure life out, right?

We want to figure out the easiest things to do. Because when we do easy things, we get things done. We have some sese of accomplishment, I guess, because it’s completed. But you haven’t had to change in the process. You haven’t had to become more evolved or a different version of yourself or to get stronger.

So what I want to recommend that you do is hard things. And don’t complain about them. Don’t complain about doing hard things. If you just follow those two pieces of advice – and we’re life coaches. We’re not supposed to give advice. But I’m giving you some serious advice here. One, do hard things. Two, don’t complain about it. That’s it.

I notice for myself, just starting doing this Five Pounds Stronger, like the rhetoric in my brain, the complaining in my brain, the excuses in my brain, the thoughts in my brain, it was all activated, making me feel a certain way.

Now, I didn’t use that as an excuse not to do it. I didn’t listen to my brain and say, “Oh, this is too hard.” But I paid attention to how it was making me feel. And when you know that your thoughts create your feelings, you know you can change them. And the more you change your thoughts about something, the better.

So, instead of me trying to change the circumstance to make it easy so then my thoughts would change, I decided to change my thoughts, and this is the most important advice I can give you. Do not quit, do not change the thing that you’re attempting to do to make it easier so your thoughts will change. Change your thoughts so you can do the harder thing to become stronger, to do the thing that will make you grow, to do the thing that will make you accomplish something that you will actually be proud of on the other side of it.

So, Rahul and I had a retreat here, our third retreat we had here at the penthouse. And we were coaching people on all the different things. And one woman I was coaching was on weight loss. And she was saying that she wanted to make it easier to lose weight.

It sounds like such a valid thing to do. It sounds like an important thing to do because the easier it is to lose weight, the more likely you are to do it. But here’s what I want to say. Stop trying to make it easy.

If you want to lose weight, let it be hard. Let it be hard to lose weight. What’s hard about losing weight? Feeling your feelings. That’s it. Because when you’re not overeating food, you’re left with you and you’re left with your emotions, you’re left with your urges, you’re left with your hunger, you’re left with your emotional deprivation. You’re left with all of it.

And if you are left with all of it, if you’re left with all those emotions and you learn how to feel them and you learn how to process them, that is what you will get good at. And when you get good at that, you’re getting good at hard things.

Now, do you want to be good at hard things? Yes. It’s what will set you apart. It’s what will set you apart from people who aren’t good at hard things.

One of the things I was talking about in the Five Pounds Stronger, some of those behind-the-scenes videos that you guys have seen is one of the things that I said in there is that I don’t believe that there are average people. I think everyone’s extraordinary.

I think the difference is people willing to do hard things get to experience how extraordinary they are. That is the only difference; discipline. The willingness to feel negative emotion on purpose in order to grow. That’s it. Are you willing to feel negative emotion on purpose in order to grow?

When you sign up to put on five pounds of muscle, do you know that’s going to hurt physically and emotionally. Yes, I knew that. I signed up for it. My brain complained about it. I felt sorry for myself. I’m still feeling sorry for myself, back and forth, all over the place.

And we go, and we go again, and we lift it up, and we run, and we do all the things that are hard because, at the end of 90 days, I will be high-fiving myself because I’ve accomplished a hard thing.

Now, listen, at the end of putting on five pounds of muscle, at the end of working out every day, at the end of this whole process, here are the benefits. One, I will have five pounds of muscle on my body. Some of you will have lost weight. Some of you will have increased your cardiovascular system. Some of you will be 10 times healthier than you were when you started. So many of you are on this journey with me right now.

It’s so fun to watch y’all do hard things. But the actual goal is just the first part. There’s all these strategic byproducts that come from doing hard things.

My discipline will be increased. My ability to feel my emotions will be increased. My momentum towards success will be increased. My ability to trust myself and to have integrity with myself and to honor my word will be increased, not just the one accomplished goal and the result that I create, but all of the benefits of having told myself the truth, shown up for myself, felt the pain and to have done it anyway.

This is what I want for you. I don’t want it to be easy, because then you don’t get any strategic byproducts. If I give you a pill that helps you gain five pounds of muscle, you have evolved nowhere. If I give you a drink to help you feel better, you don’t know how to feel better on your own; you have to rely on that drink. If I give you food to help you buffer your emotion, you haven’t learned how to process your emotion.

What I want you to be able to do is process your emotion and do hard things without relying on anything external, relying on yourself, the support of yourself, then everything else is a bonus.

Listen, I love the support of other people. I’m doing all these workouts with my boyfriend. It makes such a difference to have him there. But I know I would do it even if he wasn’t. And that’s important for you all to know. And there are some days when he can’t work out with me and I go to the gym and I work out by myself because I’m willing to experience the emotions that are going to come up on my way to creating the life that I want.

Now, those of you who say, “I don’t have any negative emotion.” It’s because you don’t have a hard goal in front of you. You aren’t doing hard things. When people tell me that they aren’t doing hard things, I feel sad. Life’s good, nothing new.

I like it when someone’s like, “I’m working on this new funnel. It’s so hard. So good. I’m putting muscle on my body. I’m losing weight. I’m quitting drinking. I’m growing a business. I’m starting a non-profit.” Whatever it is that is hard that you are doing, that you’re creating for the world and for yourself is the point, in my opinion.

If you say you don’t like to do hard things, it’s like, “I don’t like to accomplish. I don't like to grow. I don't like to get stronger. I don't like to see what I’m made of.” That’s fine. It’s just not as fun.

Let’s talk about activated thoughts. Talking about Abraham and this idea of a thought that is activated. And I want you to really pay attention. This is something we were talking about on the retreat that I want to make sure you’re all aware of.

A thought that you think doesn’t have any effect on you unless it’s activated, which means it’s causing the emotion. So, if you want to believe, “I can accomplish something,” or, “I’m going to be a millionaire,” or, “I’m going to find the love of my life,” or, “I’m healthy.” If the thought hasn’t been activated to the point where it creates the emotion inside of you, physically creates the vibration inside of you, it’s not activated.

And alternatively, there are thoughts that you’re trying to ignore that are still activated because you can feel them, you’re just not paying attention to them or they’re unconscious. So, these are the two things that I want you to pay attention to.

On the one hand, are you feeling emotions that you don’t know where they’re coming from because you have activated thoughts you’re unaware of? Pay attention to those. And are you trying to believe new thoughts but you’re not feeling those new thoughts because they aren’t activated?

So, the way that you do this is you tune into your body and you see how you’re feeling. Based on how you are feeling will determine whether you have awareness of your thoughts or whether you have activated a thought that you want to believe.

Here is the other piece when you’re doing hard things. You want to make sure you’re thinking thoughts that are creating emotions that will drive actions to overcome hard things. If your thoughts that you’re activating are creating peace and relaxation and love, that’s fine. But is that the energy you need to overcome the obstacle that is your hard thing?

I know for me, I need determination, motivation, excitement. Those are the emotions that I am trying to create for myself as I accomplish this goal. They’re very different thoughts than thoughts that create peace, love, and tenderness.

I’m not saying you can’t do both, but you need to pay attention to if you don’t feel motivated, if you don’t feel disciplined, if you don’t feel determined, it’s because you don’t have the right thoughts. It’s not because you’re not a good person or you’re not a determined person or you’re not a disciplined person. It just means you’re not thinking the thoughts that are going to activate the emotion you need to overcome.

So, if you’re sitting here and you’re like, “I really want to do this program with Brooke. I really want to follow her along as she puts on five pounds of muscle. I want to make money,” or, “I want to lose weight,” or, “I want to quit drinking. I’m going to use her motivation and her determination. I’m going to witness that and be inspired by it and create that for myself. So, what is the emotion I need to generate in order to follow through like she is?”

And answer the question very specifically; determination, discipline, motivation, excitement, whatever it is. And then, your first order of business is to generate thoughts and then activate them so you can feel the emotion and practice them.

And as you feel that energy – you can borrow some of mine too. If you watch the videos or come to the calls you can borrow some of mine because I’m doing a lot of generating of that energy, in order to overcome the hard thing that is the weight that I’m lifting up, the treadmill that I’m running on, the bike that I’m pounding it out, the food that I’m asking myself to eat, the attitude that I want to create, all of it. So, for you, don’t make it any more complicated than that.

One of the things I’ve seen a lot of lately especially is people coming to me and asking me, “Why do I think this thought? Why am I not losing weight? Why am I choosing to eat food that isn’t on my protocol?”

Now, asking why in certain instances is useful. And you will know it’s useful because it will help you change and create a result you want. But many of you are trying to discover the reasoning behind your inaction instead of just taking action.

You’re using thought work as a way to loop yourself into not having to take action, into an excuse. And someone at the retreat was doing this and I’m like, “Hey, don’t be using my Model against yourself. Use it for yourself.”

Don’t use it as a reason not to create your dream like, because you’re trying to figure out what thought you’re thinking and why you’re thinking it. Just activate a new emotion. Be aware of the ones that are there but activate a new emotion to create the energy that you need.

One of the coolest things about being a human is you can generate energy with your mind. You can generate emotional energy with your mind. So, as you’re thinking about the goal you want, as you’re thinking about the dreams you have, as you’re thinking about the things you want to do with your life, you can generate motivation, discipline, excitement.

This is just a skill that you have intrinsic to you. You have to practice it to get better at it, but it’s something you can do. If you think about people you love, you’re going to generate the emotion of love. If you think about a goal that you really want to create and you get motivated, you’ve generated motivation for yourself.

And the better you get at that, the more your dreams come true, the better you get at doing hard things, the more hard things you accomplish, the better life you have, in my opinion.

And it doesn’t have to be money and it doesn’t have to be physical. It doesn’t have to be your health. It can be helping other people. It can be whatever it is you want. But anything worth doing is probably going to be a little bit hard. And I’m happy that it is because I want it to be hard so you can become stronger.

As you’re going down the path of your goal, I want you to think about it just like that. I want you to think about it as a pathway. And almost like you’re in the jungle.

And as you’re walking, you’re going to hear noises in the jungle. You’re going to hear animals making noises at you. That’s just your brain. And your brain is going to say things like, “You’re not good enough. You can’t do this anyway. This doesn’t matter. Look at how fat you are. Look at how stupid you are. Look at that mistake you made.”

Often, I’ll ask you to pull those thoughts out of the jungle and work on them. But sometimes, especially if you’ve already done work on those thoughts, I just want you to keep walking on the path and hear the noise in the jungle without having to stop and look at each one noise to figure out what it is.

Know that your brain is always going to be making noises in the jungle. It’s always going to be snapping at you and howling at you and chirping at you and telling you all the things that it likes to tell you, that it’s been programmed to tell you through society, through our primal history, through all of it.

And you just keep your eye on that path. And you can listen to the noises and you can notice that they’re there. But don’t’ stop walking. Don’t stop for every little noise, to obey it, to look at it, or to do a Model on it.

Sometimes, there’s just going to be Models in the periphery, they’re going to be creating and activating negative emotion, and you are just going to keep walking.

Do not use negative Models, do not use unintentional Models as a reason not to achieve your dreams. Pay attention to them, see the effect they’ll have if you don’t pay attention to them, or if you believe in them, and then keep moving.

Keep focusing on the activated thoughts you want to create. Notice the noise in the jungle and keep moving.

A lot of you tell me that my suggestions are boring. Calendaring every single minute of your day; boring. Eating food that’s simply fuel; boring. Getting up, recording a podcast at the same time every single day; boring.

And I started thinking about this, that we feel entitled to be entertained. We feel entitled for things to be interesting to us, to create passion outside of us. My friends Leyla and Alex have a sweatshirt that says, “Do the boring work,” on the back of it. I’m like, I need one of those sweatshirts immediately. I love this sweatshirt.

Do the boring work. The boring work is what makes you rich. The boring work is what makes you thin. The boring work is what makes you stronger. Going to the gym and doing the same workout over and over and over again for 90 days is boring. It’s okay because if I keep doing it, I will get stronger. If I keep doing it, I’m going to be able to get to the goal and have all of the strategic byproducts that I want.

Being boring with yourself and honoring your word is one of the secrets to having an amazing relationship with yourself. You want to ask yourself the question, “What are you using your brain for? What do you want to use it for?”

Do you want to use it for thinking about candy and pretzels and food? Do you want to use it for scrolling through social media? Do you want to use it for watching TV? Or do you want to use it to create the most epic life you’re capable of?

Look at your time. Look at your energy. Look at your brain. What are you using it for? It is designed to be used for whatever you choose. That’s what free will is with your own brain. It’s like an employee. What do you want to put it to work doing for you?

Everything you do, ask yourself this question. Every A-line that you do in your day, ask yourself this question, “Does this get me long-term success or short-term pleasure? And how do I want to define my life? Do I want to define it on short-term pleasure or long-term success?”

Because I want to tell you something; long-term success is the best pleasure I’ve ever experienced. Go do some hard things, my friends. I’ll talk to you next week.

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