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You’ve likely heard me talk on the podcast about your lovability, that you are 100% loveable all the time. No matter what.

I expand on that concept today by taking us to the other side of the spectrum. When we are the ones doing the loving.

How good are you at loving? What about when it comes to loving yourself or that really difficult person in your life?

Loving is a skill that you can build and master, and I want to help you develop it.

In this episode, I show you how to increase your ability to love starting with yourself. Learn how to measure your love ability, how I suggest you practice this skill, and how to apply this practice to your work as a coach.

When you love hard, you get to experience that level of love in your own body. And I want that for all of you.

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

  • How to develop the skill of loving.
  • Why this skill is worth developing.
  • What happens when you love everyone in the world.
  • How to hold clean, loving space as a coach.
  • What unconditional love is and how to get there.
  • How to generate love within your body.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode number 390.

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. How is everyone? I am back in Austin after having gone on a whirlwind of trips. But the most recent one was to Miami with my son Connor and five of his friends for his 20th birthday. We had an amazing time and it’s fun to have adult children. My kids are the best; most awesome kids ever.

And we had some touching moments, Connor and I, during his birthday weekend. And it just was, like, so fortifying and loving and amazing and he had an amazing time. We had so much fun. We went out on a boat on the ocean. Super exciting, good time. And he has such an amazing group of friends that all love hm so much. So, it was just an amazing time.

Christian wasn’t there because he was golfing. Golfing very well, I might add. But he wasn’t able to hang out with us. So, I’m now back in Austin. I’m here for about a week and then I’m heading to Columbia. So, I’ll have to tell you about that trip. I’m doing a girls’ trip with five of my girlfriends to Columbia. I’m very excited about it.

So, today I want to talk about love ability. And I’m going to kind of be repetitive in some ways because I’ve done, obviously, podcasts on unconditional love and lovability before. But I want to talk about your love ability.

And when I say love ability, the way that it sounds is that it’s one word, right? So, “How lovable am I?” is what most people think. “I’m not lovable. My lovability is low.”

But as you know, the concept that I teach is that you are 100% lovable at all times in your life, 100%. No matter what you’re doing, no matter the mistakes you’ve made, no matter how you show up, you are 100% lovable.

Now, you may be difficult to love by someone else at that time because of the way you’re aching. But depending on their love ability with you, they can still love you or not, depending on what’s going on with them.

And I think that that’s a very challenging concept for people to understand. And it’s a concept that has completely changed the quality and trajectory of my life. And so, I want to encourage you to try it on and to adopt it just for a while and see what you think.

Now, this isn’t something that is required. This isn’t something that you should use to feel bad about yourself in any sense of the word. As with all of my tools, this is a concept that you want to explore and apply to your life and then see how you feel, see how it affects you.

So, when we talk about our ability to love, in the previous podcast we talked about your lovability. I’ve talked a lot about you being 100% worthy. And I know for many of you, that has changed how you show up in the world, how you treat yourself.

Because if your lovability is 100% and it’s dependent on the other person’s ability to love you, then you don’t have to try so hard to be lovable. You just are. You’re lovable, always. But what about when we’re on the other side of the spectrum, though? We’re on the other side of the love spectrum where we are the ones doing the loving?

What is our love ability? What is your ability to love other people? How do we determine that? And the question really, another way to ask it is just to ask, “How good are you at loving?”

Think about it. How good are you at loving? Now, some of you may say, “I’m amazing at loving. I’m such a good lover. I love my children. I love my family. I love my community.” How about loving yourself? How’s your love ability when it comes to loving yourself? And how good are you at loving yourself?

I love this question because it makes me think, like, how do we measure our love ability? How do we love better? Is there a way to learn how to love better?

And I believe that loving is a skillset. Loving well is a skillset, is a muscle that we can develop. And one of the best ways to develop your love ability is to love someone who is difficult for you to love.

So, when people say they’re in challenging relationships with their parents or challenging relationships with their spouses, I always say, “What an opportunity for a curriculum to learn how to love.”

And one of the things that I’ve talked about a lot on this podcast is developing the skill, in my own family, to be challenged to love harder and better when the objects of my love seem to be triggering me or seem to make me unhappy.

And I was able to do this in my marriage. I was able to do this with my mom when I was going through difficulties with them. And one of the things that I think we all need to recognize is that our ability to love is something that can get better, and something worth developing, something worth getting better at.

And here’s why. When you are in a relationship with someone that you find challenging to love, it’s really important to understand that has nothing to do with the other person’s lovability. The other person is 100% lovable.

We are challenged to love them by how they behave, by them not doing what we want them to do, by them not showing up for us in the way we want them to, the way they talk to us, whatever. Their presence may be triggering to us. The way they act may be triggering to us. But that’s on us if we are willing to accept responsibility for that and use that as an opportunity to develop our loving skillset.

What I have found is that love, when brought into any situation, always makes it better; always. If you can be in true love – not pretend love, not resentful love, but actual love, being able to someone. And the other benefit, the best benefit is that when you love someone, especially someone challenging for you to love, you get to experience that feeling of love.

And so, I was very committed to getting good at loving. And I practiced loving people who were challenging for me to love. And I must offer that the most challenging person for me to love was myself. It still is. I’m guessing it always will be.

Loving myself is challenging, is difficult for me. And the better I get at it, the more I develop my ability to love, the easier it is for me to love everyone else in the world. And when you love everyone else in the world and you love them hard, you experience more love than you can even wrap your mind around.

Think about it. If every person you ran into you chose to love them, think of how loving you would feel. When people challenge you, when people don’t show up the way you want and you love them, it allows you to stay in the space of love when there are so many other avenues, so many other places, so many other ways that you could go.

When love is the first and best answer always, there are so many things that you avoid feeling because you’re choosing love.

So, as I developed this skill in loving myself and loving other people that I found challenging to love, I got better at showing love to everyone. I got better at loving everyone.

Coaching is one of the areas where that became ridiculously important. As we are coaches, as we are coaching someone, it is very important that we hold space for the other person, for the client to be able to explore their own mind and their own emotions and their own behaviors without judgment.

And one of the things I tell all of my students is if you can’t love your client, you have no business coaching them. And one of the challenges for brand new coaches is judgment.

Our human brains are designed to judge. And when we are judging, whether it’s positive judgment or negative judgment, we’re unable to hold what we call clean space. And when we learn how to love, we recognize that one of the things that we’re going to have to stop doing is judging negatively, because that will always block our experience of loving that person.

And it’s important to understand especially when you’re coaching clients, you will love them and hold loving space for them, but you won’t necessarily be acting out that love in any kind of deliberate, direct way. And that’s true for many of the instances where you are developing your love ability.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re telling the person that you love them or that you’re showing them acts of kindness or that you’re showing them loving behaviors. That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about experiencing the emotion of love because you’re able to develop the ability to feel love more often than not.

So, when you ask the question, “How do I love?” it’s important to recognize the flipside of it, which is everyone is 100% lovable, first and foremost. And everybody was created in a way that is 100% worthy.

So, for me, reminding myself of that is the first step. And often, I will think about it in a way where I imagine them as a small child, a small innocent child, especially if they’ve just done something horrific to me or said something or whatever, I imagine them as a small child, in the perfection of that human being.

And that helps me drop into the space of shared humanness and shared fallibility and all of the different experiences that we’ve all had that cause us to show up in a different way than maybe we would want that person to show up.

And because I have such direct experience of effing up my life in so many ways and treating myself so terribly, it’s easy because I have practiced non-judgment with myself, it’s so much easier to practice it with other people.

I’ve developed my ability to love by going through and unraveling the judgments I have about myself until I can drop into loving myself and loving myself for my flaws and my mistakes and my misdeeds and my misspeaking, all of it. Just holding space for me to be human with myself and loving myself so much.

So, one of the things that has become clear to me as I have been dating and showing up in romantic relationships is, because I have such an intense ability to love, when I’m in situations that have intimacy in them and have love in them, my love is intense for people.

Like, they feel that love because I’m very good at it. I’ve practiced it a lot. It is like one of my crafts. And so, when I show up and I love on people, they experience it as a unique experience and an amazing experience.

And I’ve had more than one person say, “What in the heck is that about? What is going on when I’m with you that I feel this intense love? It’s amazing to me.”

And I explain, you know, “I’ve had lots of practice. It’s been my craft. It’s been my sport. I have shown up in the most challenging situations and found a way to love, and therefore these situations that are, you know, brand new, like dating situations, it’s a piece of cake to love someone and to express that love in a way that is appropriate and kind and true.

And so, I think it’s important to ask yourself, who could you practice loving that would make you better at loving? Find the most challenging person for you to love. And notice how you show up, for yourself, for them. Are you able to find love on a daily basis? If you were to choose to love hard on purpose daily, how might your life change?

I recently was dating someone who is in my 90-day relationship. And one of the things that I kept saying was, “I want to love him more than anyone has ever loved anyone.” So, you know me and impossible goals…

And it made my mind explode with possibility and growth and opportunity. How do I love someone when I’m trying to love them more than anyone has ever loved anyone? What does that feel like? What does that look like? How do I do that in a bigger way?

And it was kind of like my meditation question on the relationship and it made me really evaluate my potential as a person who loves. And I realized, I had so much more opportunity to love deeper, to love better, to feel that love and to show up in a way that helped the other person understand what I was doing.

And so, I feel like just making that commitment was so profound. So, is there someone in your life that you might want to play around with that with? Is there somebody that you want to love more than anyone has ever loved anybody? Maybe it’s your kids. Maybe it’s your mom. Maybe it’s your aunt. Who knows?

If we are willing to commit to such a big goal, may we then expand our capacity to love? Where is your capacity? Think about this. On a scale of one to 10, where is your capacity, do you think, to love right now? And how could you expand it so you could love more, deeper, harder, better? What would need to change for you to be able to love more?

And again, practicing on your own self first, what if you loved yourself more than anyone else had ever loved you? How would you show up for yourself in such a loving way? And obviously, the benefits of that are so obvious because then you become the creator of the love and the experiencer of the love, but also the person at the effect of the love.

Which I have found that people love love, especially when you’re loving them. And I recently had a friend tell me that. He just said, like, “You, right away as a friend, brought me the experience of what it’s like to be loved by how you showed up and what you said and who you were.” It was really kind of a cool compliment, I think.

So, when we love, when we’re practicing our love ability and we’re doing it with non-judgment, we end up in unconditional love. So, we love ourselves no matter what we say or do. We love ourselves just for being alive on the planet.

And we get to the place where we can love ourselves unconditionally, and then we start practicing loving other people unconditionally, even when they don’t do what we want, even when they don’t show up in a way that we would like them to show up. We love unconditionally.

Now, that requires strength. It requires knowledge. It requires tenacity. And that is why you build that skillset. Because you can come up with lots of reasons not to love someone. And if you practice with yourself, what are the reasons why you don’t love yourself more?

Write them down. What are the reasons why you don’t love that other person more? Write it down. What is holding you back? And then, when you identify those obstacles to loving someone, then you can overcome them.

You can see, “Okay, what would I need to do in order to love this person more? How could I get over this one obstacle that’s in my way to turn that into love?” That is the opportunity.

Now, here’s a caveat that I want to offer to you that was something that happened to me that I didn’t actually know what to do with. And it’s something that you just want to be aware of.

When you are good at loving, when you have expanded your capacity to love, you will experience so much love within your own body, within your own nervous system that you will want to put it on someone. You will want to project it out, either into the world, into your community, into your friends, into your loved ones.

You won’t be able to help yourself. It’s like it spills out of you. And you want to be conscious of how you act out your love. You want to be conscious of loving people out loud against their own will.

So, what I’m not suggesting here is that when someone is resistant to being with you, that you are like hammering love on them. That is not what this is. This isn’t even about that other person even knowing that you’re loving them. It can just be about you experiencing that love for them.

And this isn’t something about loving someone else and then having them, or wanting them to reciprocate, wanting them to come back and say that they love you too or to express it back to you. That’s very manipulative. That’s not what we’re doing here.

It’s being able to, no matter what the other person does, find a way to feel love for them. And when you have so much love because you’ve built up the skillset and you’ve built up your capacity, you have to actually be aware of how much you express it out loud and how much you actually act it out.

And I definitely encourage you to be discerning in that decision and to express love, because that’s fun for everyone involved. But you also want to be aware that, as you develop this capacity, you may be like overflowing with love and wanting someone else to feel it and experience it, like, “I’m loving you. Can’t you tell I’m loving you?” Just be aware that that is not what I’m suggesting.

You can pick an object of your love. So, for some of you, that will be yourself. For some of you, it will be somebody else. And then even just meditate on the idea of them and notice what comes up that’s blocking your love.

So, the object of your love may be your husband or it may be your wife or your partner. It may be our best friend. It may be a colleague. And so, you get the object of your love. And then anything that’s preventing you from loving them will come up, and you can work on it.

But then also, when your capacity to love is huge, you want to be careful on how you actually demonstrate it. You want to be appropriate. You want to be in a space where the person can actually receive the concept of it in their own brain and they’re not, like, freaking out because you’re doing a lot of loving in a way that’s maybe external, that’s maybe not focused on how you feel inside, but it’s much more focused on how the other person may or may not receive it.

So, just be aware that all that love you have to give does not have to be demonstrated. It can just be felt by you.

When you are practicing loving more, loving harder, loving more purposefully, one of the practices is actually generating love within your own body. And the way we generate love is the way we generate any emotion. It’s by our thoughts.

The more thoughts we have about loving someone and how perfect they are to love and how much we want to love them, the more capacity that you’re actually going to have for that love, the more ability you will have to generate it until you are literally just flowing over with it.

So, how do you generate it? It’s by finding an object, removing any obstacles that’s preventing you from loving that person. And then also coming up and being creative about ways to increase that love feeling, focusing on what is positive, focusing on what you love about that person, focusing on the experience of expressing it to that person. That will help you learn how to generate more and more love.

The next point I want to make is that so many of you will come to me and say, “I can’t love this person,” or “I don’t want to love this person.” And obviously, as an adult person in the world, you can do whatever the eff you want.

But one of the things I want to offer you is that if this person is difficult to love, you may be telling yourself you can’t or you don’t want to love someone, that you want to push them away, that you don’t want to keep communicating with them.

And I want to challenge you that that may or may not be a good idea. That may or may not be what you want to commit to doing. Because when you choose to love someone even when it’s challenging, you get stronger at loving. It makes you a stronger lover.

So, there is this amazing thing that happens when you love someone, is you get to experience that love. And when you remove the expectations of the person and you don’t have a manual for how they should behave and you love them unconditionally no matter what, you are literally in a love fest. You get to experience all the love.

So, I want to encourage each of you to increase your capacity to love by loving people who are hard to love and starting with yourself. What would loving yourself unconditionally all the time feel like and look like? And why aren’t you there yet? What are the obstacles for you achieving that? And then, apply it to someone else in your external life who is hard to love.

I want to help people develop their abilities; their coaching abilities, and their love abilities. This is just a taste of that. This is just a piece of that to help you start seeing your life in a completely different way.

When you’re focusing on, “How can I find people to love? How can I practice loving? How can I get stronger at loving?” you will start to see them everywhere; the really annoying ones, the ones that cut you off in traffic, the ones that yell at you. Those are going to be the ones that make you the most strong if you can bring yourself into actually experiencing love for that person.

The practice of it is not difficult. But all of the belief systems around it, all of the things that maybe you have thought about as it applies to love may be preventing you from going all the way with it, from developing a lovability that’s at the highest level.

So, start with yourself. Do that practice with yourself on a day-to-day basis, and then switch to other people and keep practicing that. And before you know it, you’re going to show up in an experience with someone else where they will be like, “Whoa, what is that? Why is that affecting me so much?” That is, I think, the privilege of a lifetime.

I think loving people in the biggest possible way and maybe loving them more than anyone has ever loved them before is such an honor. And it has the added benefit that you personally get to experience that love yourself as you’re doing it.

Alright, my friends, have a beautiful week. Go out there and practice loving and increase your love ability. I’ll talk to you next week. Bye.

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