Got Goals? Join Brooke's brand new Big Goals Workshop here.

No matter what you want to achieve in life, you are making a conscious decision about it right now.

You are deciding to pursue it.

Or, you are choosing to delay or deny it.

When you make the decision to go after what you want, you will be challenged. You’ll be faced with dread, shame, procrastination, doubt, embarrassment, and stress.

It’s how you handle those challenges that determine how and when you get what you want.

In this “Best Of” episode, hear some of my best advice on handling these challenges. I share the skill of shame resilience and how to grow it, how to use dread sprints to get what you want faster, my tips for processing emotions, and more.

Achieving your goal isn’t supposed to be easy.

But if you do the work of managing your mind in the process, the long-term success you achieve is so much better than the short-term pleasure of delaying or denying what you want.

What you will discover

  • Why the purpose of your goal isn’t to create pressure.
  • What shame resilience is.
  • How to show up when you don’t feel like it.
  • What happens when you see dread as an invitation.
  • My top tips for enjoying the hard parts of life.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode 467.

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.

Hi everyone, Pavel here, Brooke’s podcast producer. It’s time for another episode of the best of the podcast. For this week’s show, I put together a collection of some of Brooke’s most inspiring episode segments to offer you a boost of motivation.

From figuring out what you really want, to doing dread sprints and learning how to love the hard things, this episode will help you reach your goals and achieve success no matter what you’re working on. Without further ado, here’s Brooke.

What do you really want? In a perfect world, if you could have whatever you wanted, what do you really want? Be very specific on what is the quality, what is the energy, and what does it look like in the world specifically.

How would you know if you had it? What exactly would it be? As you become more self-aware of your wants, you start to know yourself on a deeper level, and you see your relationship with your own desire. And most of us, our relationship with what we want brings up so much fear and doubt.

So we don’t want to deny ourselves that self-awareness because we’re afraid of negative emotion. We want to encourage it to come up. Knowing what you want is scary. I think on purpose.

It’s like, this is your mission, should you choose to accept it. This is your want, should you choose to go after it. This is your desire, the map to your destiny. Are you courageous enough to consider it? Have you heard yourself tell yourself the truth?

And when that fear comes up, I actually want you to expand it. I want you to breathe into it, to allow it, to have it fill up the entire room. Because when you avoid the fear that’s associated with your desire, you start to deny what you really want, and that will show up in urges in your life. What is the truth of what you want? And let it be scary.

And once you’ve done the self-awareness and you’ve told yourself the truth and you feel that fear, the next step is to make a choice. You will make a conscious choice in your life whether you will pursue the want, delay the want, or deny the want.

And from that decision, you will be powered by it. You will release power into your life by making a decision. Even if you make a decision to let the fear overcome you and not pursue the want and as a conscious choice, “I’m too afraid to go do that, I’m too afraid to leave my marriage, I’m too afraid to get married, too afraid to have children, I’m too afraid to start my business, I’m too afraid to write the book, even though I really want to, I’m afraid,” make the statement. Tell yourself the truth. Make the decision.

And in that decision, your power will be released. And it doesn’t mean that’s the decision forever. But I do want to encourage you that when you make decisions to follow your true desires, to go after them, you will be challenged. You will be set up to fall on your face and not accomplish that desire in the beginning. And do you have the courage to continue to make the choice because your desire matters to you?

If you’re a person who is trying to find purpose in your life and you’re not taking action on your true desires, you are always going to be left sad and denied and most likely buffering your pain. If you’re willing to become aware of your wants and to live your life in accordance to them in truth, you will always be growing.

You will always be getting better at accomplishing your true desires. I wish this for each and every one of you. I have accomplished so many of my desires, so many of my true extraordinary wants I’ve created for myself. And I have so many more to go.

So many things that I don’t quite yet believe I can have that bring up fear in me. That’s why I feel alive. That’s why I’m constantly growing. That’s why my awareness brings me purpose in my life.

I follow the direction of my heart and my soul and the deepest part of my mind that has a consciousness to understand, yes, this is what I want, this is why I want it, and now I’m going to make the choice to change to go after it no matter what anybody thinks about me, no matter whether I succeed or fail, and no matter if I’m afraid. In fact, especially if I’m afraid.

Now, I want to be very, very clear. You never want to use your goal against yourself, to beat yourself up, and call yourself lazy and that you didn’t accomplish anything, and then you give up. But you also never want to use that goal to put pressure on yourself to make yourself work long, ridiculous hours, to have hustle energy, to have stressful energy, to have painful energy of inadequacy and unworthiness and all of that.

People sometimes change their goals so they don’t feel the pressure of their goal, but that is ridiculous because a goal doesn’t cause any pressure. It’s your thought about that goal. And remember, the goal is there to make us feel great, to make us feel excited, to make us think better, to make us evolve.

If we use that goal in our C-line as a reason to feel inadequate or upset or pressured or stressed, we are missing the point of what a goal is there for us to do. Do not change that goal for any reason. Simply change your thoughts around that goal.

If you are coming up on December and you are $500,000 short of your goal, do not change it. You know what you ask yourself? You say, “How do we make $500,000 in a month?” That is an amazing question. And whether you actually make the $500,000 is not the relevant point. It’s that you asked yourself to think in such a bigger way, you asked your brain to think in such a higher-quality, higher-producing, higher-functioning way.

Instead of saying, “That’s impossible, nobody’s ever made $500,000 in a month,” or have they? Or could I? What would need to happen? What would I need to do? How many leads would I need? How much conversion would I need? What kind of irresistible product would I have to have? What would be the price?

Notice, all of a sudden, we’re in this high-functioning thinking creative mode versus, “Well, guess I’m not going to meet that goal, so I might as well just take December off.”

Now listen, sometimes you do want to take December off. Sometimes that’s the plan. But don’t take December off because you’re so exhausted from beating the crap out of yourself in November. Take December off because you want to, because that’s your choice. Not because you’re exhausted from your own brain beating you up.

This is a process. I go through this myself all of the time. I ebb and I flow in my belief. I believe that it’s going to happen, and then I don’t believe that it’s going to happen. I believe that it’s going to happen, and I don’t believe that it’s going to happen.

And then I try a bunch of new things and half of them work and half of them don’t. And then I think up a whole ‘nother layer of things. And then I get creative, and I get excited about my creativity, and then I have to step more into myself, and I have to work harder, and I have to work smarter, and I have to show up better.

And no matter whether I hit that $100 million goal or not, I am so much better, smarter, creative for having it. I have lived into that $100 million goal, even before it has been manifested in my life. And I will never sit here and think about how far away I am from it, and how inadequate I am because I’m not doing it.

I will think about what I have done, and I will always celebrate my accomplishment and feel amazing about myself, and then ask for more. Ask my brain for more, ask myself for more. Let’s see what we’re capable of, let’s see what we can do.

When I really think about why is it that I am personally so successful is shame resilience. I have an ability to open myself up to the possibility of shame and then process through shame when I experience it. Shame is an emotion that is created with our own brains, and so a lot of times, we think that because we can control our brains, that we can somehow control our shame.

That has not been my experience. I would say that I have a very solid mastery of thought work and I am unable to control thoughts that produce shame, often. So instead of trying to be tricky and trying to be over-intelligent about this and anticipate thoughts of shame and try not to think them, or when I do think them change them immediately, I instead have embraced the notion that I will be experiencing shame on the regular if I want to have an extraordinary life.

And this gives me an incredible sense of freedom and control over what I decide to do with my life. Most of us do not experience our true potential as human beings. Most of us do not try and do the biggest thing we’re capable of because we are terrified of shame.

And I just want to offer that if you can open yourself up to experiencing more shame and having shame resilience, being able to get through it, being able to process it, not deny, not push it away, not resist it, but actually experience shame, you will have an extraordinary life.

I tell this story a lot about when I really first started learning how to process shame. I was on a trip in Mexico with my kids and I was experiencing so much shame. It was crazy. And I knew that it wasn’t logical, the thought that I was having wasn’t logical that was causing the shame, but I couldn’t get myself out of it.

I was in a shame spiral. And so I put myself in this place where I was just going to experience it. I was just going to allow it. I was just going to let it be vibrating throughout my body for this whole trip. And it really did take a long time to process it, but once I had consciously processed it that way once, I knew my life was going to change.

I knew I was no longer afraid of feeling shame. I was no longer afraid of thinking that there was something really wrong with me, or that I had done something so wrong that there was something wrong with me. And if you can figure this out, my friends, it’s a game-changer.

Because if you think about why you don’t set bigger goals, or go after bigger things, or put yourself out there more, my guess would be ultimately that you’re afraid that on the other end of that is some shame.

Showing up consistently is how you become successful. It’s not figuring out complexity, it’s not solving really difficult problems, it’s not being super charismatic, it’s not hustling all night long. It’s showing up when you told yourself you’d show up, and doing the work that you told yourself you’d do, and making the offers that you said you would make, and writing the podcasts, and the articles, and being there for your clients, and teaching the courses, and coaching.

Showing up when you don’t feel like it is the secret to success. And just like overcoming shame, the emotion of shame in your own mind, and being deliberate about that, overcoming your desire to be stagnant, your desire to procrastinate, your desire not to do the work that you’ve told yourself you would do is a mental skill worth pursuing.

Because your brain will bully you into the motivational triad, which is seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, and exerting as little effort as possible to survive. That is the natural state of your brain. So if you aren’t strong in overriding and understanding your own brain’s tendencies, you’re going to be constantly challenged to be successful, to grow.

I allow myself to feel panic and stress, and when I do panic and stress, I utilize that energy to keep moving. And I think a lot of people when they panic and they feel stressed, they shut down. I think that one difference is the difference between seven and eight figures, for sure.

Because I think a lot of people start to panic and stress, and they try to resist it and they try to hide from it, and then they get exhausted and then they give up on it. But if you can utilize that energy, that panic and that stress is coming from the desire to win. If you can utilize the energy that comes from panic and stress to get your work done and not in a beating-yourself-up way, and not in a hustle way, not in a way that keeps you working long, crazy hours…

What I’m talking about is when you wake up and you’re worried and you’re panicked and you’re stressed, that you do not use that as a reason not to get your work done. You use it as a reason to get your work done.

On that same note, I never hustle at my own expense. I just don’t. We work hard and we hustle, but we never do it to the point where we can’t take care of ourselves. This has to be fun, or we’ve got to forget it.

I just read this book and it was talking about how the speed of implementation is so important in a company. The ability to have an idea and implement it. So that causes a need to hustle, to move quickly. But we never want to do that at our business’s expense or at our expense so people just aren’t functioning well or people aren’t taken care of.

And there is a fine line. Because at The Life Coach School, we work hard. Everyone on our team is hustling, but never at the expense of our company and never at the expense of ourselves. And if that does happen, we try and eliminate it immediately.

I think one of the reasons why we’re able to do this is we have the perspective that it’s not better there than here. There’s no hurry to get there because we’re still going to be 50:50 and it’s not like we’re going to get to this place where all of a sudden we’re no longer going to have to hustle.

So whatever we’re doing now, we’re just scaling that. So we need to make sure that we take our foot off the gas when we have to, and I never want to. It’s only when we have to that we do. So a lot of times I’ll ask my team, “What do we need so we can keep moving fast and people aren’t getting burnt out?”

So, dread is a big part of anything that requires delayed gratification, learning new things, putting yourself out there, risking rejection, any kind of tedious work that needs to get done, any kind of difficult problems that need to be solved.

We’re always pushing off because of dread, not wanting to do those things. And one of the things that I have become very good at doing is recognizing when I’m feeling that emotion of dread and moving towards it. And seeing it as an invitation because as soon as I do the thing I’m dreading, the dread goes away and I get a dopamine hit.

If you prolong doing the thing, you’re prolonging the dread and prolonging the time it will take for you to get that dopamine hit. So the dopamine hit is the same whether you experience a little bit of dread or a lot. And what determines whether you experience a little bit or a lot of dread is how long it takes you to actually complete it.

So what I have found is the minute I’m feeling dread, if I do that thing immediately, the dread is shortened and the dopamine is still just as delicious. If I prolong the thing, I am encouraging dread to stick around longer than it needs to, and the only benefit I’m getting from that is the same exact dopamine hit that I would have gotten had I done it sooner.

So the magic of doing a dread sprint is you do it right now and you do it as fast as possible. You’re willing to befriend dread and get the thing done now. So it’s not like you’re just getting good at experiencing dread; you’re getting good at experiencing dread quickly, and let’s call it shortly. And when you get good at that, everything starts to explode.

I get so much more done than other people because I don’t waste any time dreading. I just take the dread with me and get it done. So think about things that take a long time for you to do. The reason why they take a long time for you to do is you spend time dreading and avoiding, instead of dreading and sprinting.

Dread sprints, my friend. The minute you experience dread, get that thing done. Don’t spend time belaboring it, procrastinating it, thinking about it, trying to get out of it, or avoiding it. The minute you experience, get it done, it’ll be over, you’ll get a hit.

And you will be rewarded. It’s like a great hack. You will be rewarded for moving towards dread. And the more rewarded you are for moving towards dread, the more you will move towards it.

We do a lot of work in School with thought downloads. So we’re going to the mind to understand what our mind is thinking and the feelings that our mind is creating. And one of the other approaches that I highly recommend if you are someone who has a fear of emotional pain, you feel like that pain will kill you is you just want to practice being mindful of your body.

What am I feeling? What is my now feeling? What does it feel like to feel this? Don’t be tempted to go, “What is the thought causing it? Let me get the hell out and dodge. This feels terrible and I’m afraid of it,” because you’ll miss the opportunity to process it.

Let’s say the feeling is lonely. I feel lonely right now. What does lonely feel like? What is your experience of that in your body? Are you afraid to feel it? Why? What is so scary about an emotion that just vibrates in your body? Why are you trying so desperately to do everything you can, to eat, to avoid, buffer, to stay away from that emotion?

And how might your life be different if you allowed yourself to feel it? Do you think if you start to allow yourself to feel it that it’ll never end? If you start to feel lonely you’ll be lonely for the rest of your life? If you start to feel unworthy that you’ll think you’ll be unworthy for the rest of your life? Not approved of? Are you afraid that once you let yourself feel this emotion all the way through that somehow you’ll never stop?

I want to promise you the opposite is true. When you try to prevent an emotion because you’re afraid, “Oh my gosh, if I think that thought and feel that way then I’ll act of it,” that’s not the case. When you understand the Model as an awareness tool, what’s beautiful about it is you can stop and pause the Model right after that F-line.

You can simply process that emotion without reacting to it. You can allow it to be there. You can embrace all emotions and what you’ll see is that as you do this, your life will open up. Opportunities will open up. You’ll be much more willing to have goals. You’ll be much more willing to push yourself into the fullest expression of yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks.

Because the worst that can happen is an emotion. That’s the worst that any of us is ever going to experience is an emotion that we’re causing ourselves. And just because we’re causing it doesn’t mean we don’t want to cause it. Some of the times we want to be devastated, we want to be disappointed, we want to be frustrated. That’s the experience that we’re having.

So how do we show up for those emotions without being afraid? And I want to tell you the best way that I’ve learned how to do that for all the emotions in my life, the ones I’m most afraid of, is by actually experiencing them, processing them, making it to the other side of them, and becoming stronger because of it.

When we hide from our lives in order to hide from emotions, we do not ever start to understand that there’s nothing to be afraid of. That at the end of our lives, we want to have experienced negative emotion. We want to have experienced all of the emotions in the biggest way because it means we’ve lived our lives in the biggest way.

When we avoid negative emotion, we get to experience another one. All we do is experience fear. When we avoid pain, we get fear instead, and then we have to buffer, avoid, react, blame, and try and change the world to fix our emotional life.

The mistake that I see, the unproductive thing that I see is people trying to change their thoughts to feel differently without feeling the original thought from the unintentional Model. So what happens is you will discover a thought that’s causing a certain amount of pain, or a certain amount of negativity, or a certain amount of frustration.

And you won’t want to experience that emotion. You won’t want to look at it, you won’t want to experience, so you’ll resist it, push it away, or buffer it and try to replace it with a new model without having felt through that first emotion.

So for example, let’s say that you are feeling unmotivated. And you find out that the thought is, “This work is too hard, I don’t have time to do it, I’m not good at it.” So you’re feeling unmotivated, and then your action line is procrastination.

And you discover that you’re feeling unmotivated and you discover that you’re feeling frustrated, and instead of being present with that emotion and opening yourself up to experiencing what that emotion is and processing that emotion through, for as long as it takes, sometimes it’s a minute, five minutes, 10 minutes, whatever, just really being in that emotion instead of resisting it or buffering it away, you will be able to release it and then find a new thought, then find a new approach.

But if you are resisting it and trying to work through it and trying to push that emotion away, it will still affect you. Just because you’re putting it into an unconscious place into your mind doesn’t mean that those vibrations won't still be coursing through your body.

You’ll notice this happening because the feeling will just keep coming back. The thought and the feeling will just be coming back if you haven’t fully processed the emotion. So it’s kind of like if you’ve lost something and you need to grieve it, or somebody said something and you felt hurt or disappointed or frustrated or like we said, unmotivated.

If you don’t just give yourself a minute to breathe into that emotion, feel what that is like inside of your body, allow the discomfort to be there, open yourself up to it, walk into the room of that emotion, really be present with it, be unafraid, be courageous with that emotion, see the thought causing it but stay with it long enough for that emotion to process through, and then maybe attempt to feel something different and do something different by thinking something different.

But don’t try and rush that emotion or resist it or buffer that emotion before you’ve had a chance to fully process it. One of the superpowers when it comes to thought work is the ability to stay present in your own awareness and stay connected to your own emotions.

When you are willing to feel any emotion and process it and understand it, it will lose its power to control you. When you try to resist it, push it away from you, it makes it bigger. And that’s when we react, and that’s when we overcompensate, and that’s when we buffer, and that’s when we run away from ourselves.

We want to be able to stay in, breathe in, be one with ourselves, be mindful about what we’re thinking that is causing that emotion, and be with it for as long as it takes to let it actually process through and let go of you. Don’t be in a hurry to get to a new thought until you’ve processed your first emotion from your unintentional model.

So the secret to accomplishing hard things, first and foremost, is to enjoy hard things. And the secret to enjoying hard things is to get strong. So, I’m going to give you some tips on how to enjoy the hard parts of life.

First, don’t try to make your life easy. You can’t get strong with an easy life. And an easy life will not encourage you to grow, it won’t encourage you to understand yourself, it won’t encourage you to get to know yourself in new ways.

What is the most challenging thing that you’ve taken on lately in your life? Is it a worthy enough challenge for who you are and where you are? Are you just taking on little baby challenges and just getting baby strong? Or are you really stepping up to the plate of your own life and trying to hit that home run with the challenge that you’re putting in front of you?

And are you giving up too easily? Or are you coming back for more knowing that the hard thing is making you stronger? Knowing that every time you fall down, you’re building the strength to stand back up? That’s what makes it fun.

When you believe that you already are strong, or that you have the capability and the capacity to get strong enough to handle the challenge and the next challenge and the next challenge in front of you, you start looking at your life in terms of what are the things that I can do to make myself stronger? What are the things that I can do that can make me more of who I am?

And do you know what the answer is? Hard things. The hard things in life, the goals that seem impossible. In order to achieve an impossible goal, you have to completely give up who you are so it is no longer impossible.

An impossible goal is only impossible to the person I am today. It’s not impossible to the person I may be tomorrow. But I have to change who I am to make that thing possible. It doesn’t work the other way around.

So when I look at my goals and I think, what is it about me and the way I’m being that’s making that impossible, and I solve for that, it’s always a hard thing I need to overcome, a challenge I need to get through.

So the question becomes, how do we enjoy not just doing hard things but starting hard things? Jumping into hard things, saying yes to a hard thing, deciding to do the thing that is so challenging you know it will produce strength in your life, you know it will produce growth in your life.

And it’s not even in the achieving of it that you achieve and enjoy it. It’s in the process of growing, the journey, the strength, the lifting that we learn how to enjoy as part of the process of continually growing. If you are a person who feels like you have arrived somewhere and that you are somehow done arriving, you will stop looking for hard things to do. And that would be such a shame.

The harder the thing you’re willing to start, the stronger you’re going to be, the more growth you’re going to have. The tendency is to lay on the couch and to eat and to buffer and to hide and to give up and to quit and to ridicule and to complain. That’s what comes naturally to us.

That’s what’s easy. It’s much harder to support ourselves and love ourselves and push ourselves to do hard things. And not hard things at our own expense, but hard things at our own benefit.

What is the hardest challenge you could take on that would serve you at the highest level? I’m not ever suggesting you take on hard things and then beat yourself up over them. I’m recommending you take on hard things, and enjoy them, and support yourself through them, and use them to grow.

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.

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 Make sure you type in the I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.

Get Coached in Self Coaching Scholars Today