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It’s that time of year when everyone wants to start fresh.

Maybe you want to become someone who works out every day, or does some other action that will lead to the result you want.

You don’t need to wait until January to let go of your old identity.

You can step into a new identity any time you want.

What matters most is your desire to grow and evolve. To shift into the next best version of you.

Not because life will be better over there. But because you know that life is always 50-50, and you’re ready to step outside the safety of staying the same.

In this episode, hear what it takes to create a fresh start and some insights to keep in mind as you shift into your new identity. Learn how to let go of the past, recommit to the parts of your life you love, and why failure is part of the process.

What you will discover

  • Why you always have the ability to change your mind.
  • How to keep evolving and growing.
  • Why staying the same is so compelling.
  • How to let go of the past.
  • Two things you can do with failure.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo episode number 455.

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 beautiful friends, how are you? I'm in Hawaii. There has been a whirlwind of events with my son, Christian, playing in this PGA event in Hawaii. And so we all jumped on a plane to come to Oahu to watch him play. So it has been great, amazing holidays, lots of fun and now we're here to see what this man can do on a golf course. So I am very thrilled.

I am also wanting to give a shout out to Pavel who does my podcast recording because this podcast goes live tomorrow and he's having to edit it and handle it all today, very last minute. Pavel's been doing every single one of my podcasts for 455 episodes. He's never missed. I wish everyone that listens to this podcast could give you a huge round of applause, Pavel, and you could take a bow. So I appreciate you and I appreciate you handling this with such last-minute recording.

But I want to talk about new starts today. I want to talk about this opportunity we have with the brand-new gorgeous year ahead of us and the past completely behind us, and the choices that we get to make when we have a new start. Now I want to be clear, we have a new start whenever we want. We can have a new start in the middle of the year on Tuesday. We can have a new start at the end of a year, on a Thursday.

You have so much more control over your life and the parameters and the constraints of your life than you may allow yourself to think and believe. And so I just want to start by saying we create structures so we can feel secure. We create rules and parameters and constraints in our life so we can feel like we have some sense of where to go, when to go, how to go.

When we have some sense of our identity and who we are and what we can expect from our own selves and what we can expect from other people. But all of that is just arbitrary. All of that is just created in our mind and confirmed by all the other people in our life and the social experience we call life.

And they agreed upon things that we do when we live our lives. For example, work eight hours a day, have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, buy a house, go to college, right? These structures that we've set up for most of us as kind of like, this is how the world works and this is what is normal.

And if you've been listening to this podcast for a while, you know that I am always trying to keep the constraints that work for us and enhance them and get rid of any of the ones that don't, any of the constraints that don't work for us. I taught a class last year called Reinvention and we spent a lot of time in that class kind of breaking down all of the false structures and false expectations and false beliefs about what is possible in our lives and what we can do.

And a lot of people who took that class genuinely reinvented their lives last year and have completely different lives today because they questioned what they'd always been taught to be true and decided what they wanted to be true. And so with this podcast, I want to share some ideas as we go into this new year, but also as we make any decision about our life at any time that you can truly have a new start and you can define what that new is anytime you want.

One of the first things you have to know is that you have the right, the ability, and the privilege to change your mind about anything you want to change your mind about for any reason at any time. Now, you want to make sure you're doing this as a way of sourcing your own power and not as a way of sourcing your own defeat. You want to make sure you're making decisions and sticking by them and committing to them if they are going to create the life that you want and that you're not changing your mind in order to defeat yourself. But that being said, you get to re-decide your life. You get to recommit to your life whenever you want.

So as we go into 2023, I want to invite you all to go on a short little journey with me to re-decide. To have a brand-new start with your life. To recommit to the things that you really want and to let go of the things that you don't.

One of the ways that I keep my life so fresh for myself and I keep evolving and I keep growing is that I'm always re-deciding and I'm willing to change. I'm willing to not be stagnant. I'm willing to not people please. I'm willing to keep the freshwater flowing, as we say.

So when you look at your life, think about what are the things in your life that are default things, things that you just take for granted that you already have in your life. There are things that you want but that you already have so you've stopped actively wanting them and you've just kind of been like, “Oh yeah, I have that and I have this and I have that. That's all part of who I am and that's all part of my life.”

And you can evaluate this with the things externally in your life and also the things internally. You can question who you are as a person and your identity, but you can also question externally. So for example, if you had to re-decide everything again, you had to go back into your life and wipe the slate clean so you had nothing in terms of an identity and you had nothing in terms of any things in your life, what would you choose first and what would you choose again?

So think about that in terms of your relationships. All of a sudden, all the relationships you have in your life, your family, your chosen family, your friends, everyone, your acquaintances, the people you see every day, all of a sudden they were all moved to the side and you had a clean slate. Who would you put back in and why?

And then even further, if you choose to have someone back in your life, how would you be with that person? Now, maybe some of you will just decide, yes, I would pick this person and I'd be exactly the same as I am now. That's a beautiful thing. You've re-decided your life on purpose and consciously and you have what you want in your life.

But maybe some people you don't want in your life anymore. Maybe some people you know the relationship is complete. Maybe some people you know you're not bringing out the best in each other. There's just a lot of old convenient energy and you're bringing each other down. Maybe you have people in your life that you have really negative habits with. And when you hang out with them, you do a lot of things that don't make you proud of your life or who you are.

I don't know what it is for you, but when you re-decide this person - I want to spend more time with this person. I want to spend less time with this person. I don't want this person in my life. I do want this person in my life. I think sometimes when we're making these decisions, we have to be clear. Like we don't need to delete people out of our lives in order to be who we are. But we also don't have to keep people in our lives just because they've always been there.

And sometimes people in our lives aren't even really actually in our lives because we haven't re-decided and recommitted to them. We haven't really shown up for the relationship. So when you re-decide for a relationship, sometimes what's beautiful about it is you can re-decide for the relationship and invigorate it and start showing up for it in a way that makes you feel more of who you are.

We can also do this for our behaviors, taking all the things that we do on a regular basis. What are the things that you do that you love, that you do that you're proud of what you do and you want to keep doing? Maybe it's working out, maybe it's going for a walk, maybe it's reading, maybe it's working really hard at work, taking care of your family. What is it that you're already doing that you want to recommit, to re-decide?

And what are some of the things in your life that you want to start doing? Maybe there are some other things you want to stop doing. You can decide again right now. Think about it with your living situation. Would you buy your home again? Because you really are buying it over and over and over again every single day by living in it. Would you decorate it the same again? Look in your closet, would you buy those clothes again? Look in your pantry. Look at your dishes.

When I went on that trip with my family several years ago - we sold everything in our house and went on a trip around the country - and coming back and being able to buy everything new, all new plates and glasses and really deciding what we wanted in our home was such an amazing identity revealing experience. So we can do this on a small level. Are those the socks you want in your sock drawer? Are those the underwear you want in your underwear drawer? Are those the shoes you want to wear?

This is also true for our jobs and our careers and how we make money. Are we in the job we want to be in, in the career we want to be in, in the business we want to be in? What if we could start all over again, and we can, would we choose that again? And if we would choose it again, would we choose it the way we're doing it now again? Or would we choose it in a different way? Would we show up differently?

What about money? Would we choose to have the money that we have? Or do we want more? Do we want to earn more, keep more, spend more, show up more? Really sit down and start fresh and say yes to what you want and maybe no to what you don't want. And notice what comes up for you. What are you afraid of? What scares you? What excites you? What makes you a little bit nervous but you feel like would be amazing for you?

Now, sometimes when we do this exercise, we come up against this challenge where we're going to have to disappoint people. And if you follow me on my personal Instagram, you'll know that I have a quote that says, ”If someone's going to be unhappy about your life, it shouldn't be you.” A lot of us are running around being unhappy in our lives because we don't want to disappoint other people. We want other people to be happy about our lives.

But I believe you are meant to be happy about your own life. Not all the time, just 50% of the time, but the choices that you make are for you, for your life. And people may call you selfish because you make choices based on what you want in your life and not what they want in your life. And so it takes a lot of courage to be willing to let people be disappointed, to let people be upset, to let people be mad at you because of the choices that you're making in your life.

And that I think is some of the most important work that I have really ever done, was make the choice to stop disappointing myself and just start really choosing what was in my heart and what I felt my destiny was and not drag people along with me if they didn't want to come to where I'm going.

The people pleasing work that I have done is recognizing that other people's opinions and other people's judgments about my life are okay. It's okay for people to be wrong about me. It's okay for people to judge me. It's okay for people not to like me. I don't want to disappoint someone on purpose, but I don't want to disappoint myself on purpose anymore either.

And so many times, because of our literal biology and our need for connection and our need to be part of a group, it is super challenging for us to separate from a group of people who have seen us a certain way and expect us to act a certain way and want us to live our life in a predictable way so they can feel comfortable and safe. And a lot of times you'll get exposed to an idea or an opportunity and you'll want to take it, but you won't because somebody in your life is afraid of you disrupting their life. Of you failing. Of you maybe not staying the same.

It's very compelling to stay the same. It's very compelling to actually become pretty stagnant because on some level that predictability feels safe. And it feels like as long as I'm doing this, I will survive. And we end up living a life where we're barely surviving instead of truly living that 50-50 thriving up and down amazing experience.

It's important to remember that change in your life will not change the fabric of your experience of life being 50-50. There is no there that is better ultimately than here. But there is a there that will keep you evolving and growing. There is a there that will ask you to show yourself deeper and more interesting parts of yourself. And for me, and for many of my students, that is what we want to keep doing. There's not going to be a spot where you're going to get more money or the right person or the right children and, oh, I've arrived now, now I don't have to have a 50-50 life experience now. I'm a hundred percent happy all the time.

And when you start chasing that, when you start thinking that there's a place where you don't have to actually be a human being, you will do things at your own expense. You will get into this hustle culture, you'll start working yourself too hard, you'll start doing things that compromise who you genuinely want to be in your daily life. So don't get it twisted. We're not doing change, we're not re-deciding things because we have to get away from who we are now and towards who we want to be. That we’ll be better in terms of worthiness. That's not going to happen.

But what can happen is you can start seeing sides of the life that you want in a way that you haven't before and having experiences in a way that you haven't before. And that, I believe, is the opportunity for us to grow when we're constantly seeing the same people in the same ways at the same times. And no one in our group is really growing or changing or failing or succeeding, or we're just sitting around watching other people do it. We miss the opportunity to, I believe, truly see what our own capacity is, truly see what we can be and what we already are.

It's important as you go through this new start experience that you learn how to let go and letting go means you let go of how you've always been. You let go of the parts of your identity that you are done with, that you don't want anymore. And like I said, that's challenging in some ways because people want you to stay the same and people will remind you of who you've been and they'll define you by who you've been.

And so for you to change, I am a person who does this now, right? Wait, who are you? Sometimes I say that. I've been saying that to my friend Kris, “But who are you? What have you done with my friend? I don't even recognize this part of you.” She has some new starts going on in her life, right? We have to be careful as friends, not to be like, “Hey, you know, this is how you are.”

No, this is how I was. Now I'm going to let go of that and I'm going to move on to something new. I'm going to be a person who now works out every day. I'm going to be a person now who does this thing every day or every week or every month. I'm going to date this person now. I'm going to do this career now.

In order to truly step into a new identity, we have to let go of the old one. And that's not easy because it's comfortable and it works. You know, Jim Collins, in his book, he says, “Good is the enemy of great.” You have to let go of good sometimes to embrace great with the opportunity to fail. So how good are you at letting go? Really letting go of the patterns and the habits in your life and changing them.

A lot of times people say it takes 30 days or it takes a certain amount of time to stop doing certain things. But I also think when we make a true committed decision in a moment, that's how long it can take. There are many instances in my life where I made decisions - I'm no longer eating that. I'm no longer drinking that. I'm no longer seeing that person. I'm no longer going to be in this job. I'm no longer going to be in this career. I'm no longer working with this person - and I released my power in that one moment, in that decision, and just never looked back.

One of the most powerful decisions I ever made in my entire life was, I would never say a negative thing to myself about my body again. Period. I decided in that moment. It didn't take a long time to stop doing it. It didn't matter how long I had been doing it in my life, I just stopped that moment. I made a decision, I made a commitment and that was it. People do this with smoking cigarettes. It doesn't mean it's not hard, but you can just decide, I will no longer do this.

I've told this story before, but my mother-in-law who passed, who, my ex-husband Chris and I took care of while she was passing away, had tried to quit smoking for like 20 years. I'd watched her try to quit and then when she got a diagnosis of cancer, she quit that day. Never picked up another cigarette. And watching the power of decision and thinking, “Is it really hard to quit smoking? Because for 20 years she couldn't do it.” And then she did it in one instant with one new thought. Done. Never did it again. It's so fascinating to watch, right?

So what is it you need to let go of, now and forever done? I'm just not going do it anymore. I'm not going to fight for my limitations. I'm not going to say that it's hard to stop doing that. I'm just going to let it go and I'm going to let go of that person that keeps harming me in terms of trauma responses and toxicity and all the things that we get in our head about other people.

Maybe there's a grudge that you need to let go of. Maybe there's some anger that you need to let go of towards yourself, maybe towards other people. This is a new start, a new opportunity for you to let go and be like, “I'm no longer mad at that person. I'm no longer upset about what they did. I'm no longer going to hold that grudge. I'm no longer going to choose to be annoyed by people.” Or choose whatever it is, whatever it is you don't want in your life anymore.

And I'll leave you with this on your new start as you step into this new year, this new life, this new opportunity, is don't give up. I've been talking to a lot of colleagues about their businesses and so many of them will say, “I have a weight loss program, but I'm not going to really introduce it until the end of January because the end of January, everyone will have already given up on their New Year's resolutions.”

And I think this is what happens. I think people set goals and set resolutions and then they're not perfect, so they just give up on them. It's like this all or nothing thinking. And I just want to recommend, whatever your goals are, whatever your words are, whatever your commitments are for this year is that it's not going to be perfect. Sometimes it's okay. It doesn't have to be just “no matter what, stick to it.” If you've made a resolution and you've already - maybe your resolution was, I'm not drinking alcohol all year and maybe you've already had something to drink, doesn't matter.

We start again today and maybe we get through the whole day. Maybe we get through the whole week, maybe we get through the whole year, but we don't choose to see our failures as opportunities to quit. And I would say that is one of the most important lessons that I could teach Anyone who wants success, who wants something different in any area of your life, the failures are part of the process.

Don't be confused when you fail. It doesn't mean quit. Quitting is not going to get you there faster, but failing actually can get you there faster if you take the opportunity to learn from the failure. There are two things you can do with failure. One is you can beat yourself up and quit. Two is you can utilize it, put it into the building block of the goal. When I look at all my successes, there are so many failures that are holding up the house.

So as you go through this year, as you go through any new start that you have, be willing not to choose failure because that's not going to serve you. But if it happens along the road, learn from it. Don't do it twice, don't do it in the same way. Find out what is going on, dissect it, explore it, love yourself through it and move forward.

2023 is going to be the best year of my life. I have committed myself to that. So far, it already is. I'm in Hawaii with my son watching him golf. This is the true priority and passion of my life. And while I wait for his tee time, I'm recording a podcast for y'all. I'm looking out at the ocean right now. We have 10 of us here, all of Christian's friends, my chosen family here to celebrate him and golf and life together. I can't imagine anything better.

And this year is just going to keep getting better. It can be the same for you. And to have the best year of your life does not mean you're not going to experience it 50-50. You are. That is part of it. So cheers everyone. Let's get it this year. Let's learn everything we can. Let's grow as much as we can. Let's evolve as much as we can. Let's live as hard as we can.

Have a beautiful week everyone. I'll talk to you next week. Take care. 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 Make sure you type in the I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.

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