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Our brains are adverse to change.

Once you find a job, relationship, or location that feels safe, your brain will resist changing it.

This makes sense; your brain wants to keep you safe.

But what kind of life are you missing out on by staying safe? What new experiences or even new identities are you denying yourself?

New experiences can bring so much fun, excitement, and fulfillment into your life. If you want to have them, you just have to decide.

In this episode, I explore all the benefits that come with increased experience in your life. Learn why intentionally increasing your experiences can lead to an even more amazing life, and how to consciously choose something new despite your brain’s resistance.

What you will discover

  • One of the common traits of successful people.
  • Why the brain resists change.
  • How the satisfaction of trying something new differs from achieving your goal.
  • Some examples of new experiences you could have.
  • How to re-decide what you want for your life.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo episode 485.

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.

Hey, beautiful friends. So quick story. I already recorded this podcast once and I didn't have my mic turned on. So I sent it in, was all done with it, and Pavel told me that there was no sound. And so I'm rerecording it.

And I just want to offer - the reason why I'm telling you this - I want to offer, Rachel Hart told me something once that changed my life. She told me about a story where a professor had told her, “Anytime you have to redo something, never be upset about it because it's always, always, always better the second time.” And so I'm going to go with that and we're going to re-record this podcast, and it's going to be even better than the one I previously recorded for you, which was also fantastic.

So I just got back from Lake Tahoe with my family for my 51st birthday. We had an amazing time. It was pickleball and boating and dinners and games. It's heaven. It was heaven, heaven, heaven the whole time. I love being with my boys.

Now we are on our way to Chicago to watch Christian play in the Western amateur event. I'm so excited for him. He's playing really well. All of us are going. So there's going to be a huge crew out there on the golf course celebrating him and really enjoying everything that is Christian and golf.

So what I want to talk to you about today is increased experience. And one of the things that I think about a lot is how much I enjoy change. And I've read in many business books and many success books that that's one of the traits of successful people is that they embrace and enjoy change and adapting and evolving.

And I love this about myself. I love that I love change because I think it's given me an amazing life with what I'm calling increased experience. So I feel like because I enjoy change and because I allow myself to change a lot and I allow myself to have many different renditions of myself and my life, I've had an increased experience of life.

So I often think about the time of this time in the world that I was born or in the time span of life that I was born is really beneficial to someone like me who wants to try a lot of different things. Because I feel like back in the day, it was much harder, and there were much fewer options for things that we could do with our lives and especially within one lifetime.

Typically, you were born into a certain kind of life and there wasn't a lot of mobility out of that life. Maybe up if you had that opportunity or the privilege to do that. But very rarely were you able to just completely change your entire life by flying to a new country and living there or meeting new people and deciding to change the experience of your life.

And in my life, I've had so many different identities already. I've been able to enjoy many different places to live, many different homes to live, many different relationships with different people, different places, different ways of showing up in this world. And when I turned 50, something happened for me in my identity. I felt this huge shift.

I don't know if it was making $50 million in the same year that I turned 50. I think that was a pretty profound catalytic event for me that kind of shifted my identity about who I am and how I want to see myself. And since then, I've really been exploring kind of the second half of my life and what options are available to me and what I want to do in my life, what I want to do with the money that I've accumulated, the time that I now have, the friends and the family and the relationships that I have in my life. And who do I want to be as a contributor to the world?

And one of the examples that has been coming up for me a lot is pickleball, and I'm going to talk more about that throughout this podcast because it's something that I never even knew about, right? I never even knew about the sport, and now it's a sport that I play every single day and it's part of my identity that has opened me up to a whole different group of people, a whole different lifestyle, a whole different focus that I didn't even know was possible for me or that would even be interesting to me.

And it's introduced to me so much more self-awareness than I thought it would. When I was in Tahoe and I was with the boys, it's very interesting because it's my sons, my godsons, my bonus sons, everyone’s there. So there’s 10 boys that have just really graduated from college. And they're at this place and they're all very ambitious. They're at this place in their life where they're really hungry. They really want to go to that next level of their life. They can't wait to succeed at this new thing that is their career outside of college.

And I was talking to them a little bit about how there's a part of me that's envious of what they're experiencing because there's a very different feeling that comes from being ambitious and excited and hungry and curious about your ability to achieve success, versus kind of where I am in my career, in my life coaching career, which is kind of at a level of satisfaction and in some ways completion.

In some ways, I've kind of done the thing. And they're both delicious feelings, but they're very different. And I was telling the boys, I'm like, “Don't underestimate how amazing this place where you're at right now is because sometimes you feel like because you haven't achieved the thing yet that nothing great is happening yet, but you're missing out on the pure joy of adrenaline and ambition going through your veins, and that hunger and that energy.”

I was talking to Christian, he’s my older son that is going to be playing golf and wants to go pro. He's going to be playing golf this week and wants to go pro, and I was telling him the same thing.

I said, “Hey, I hope you're not missing out on where you're at right now. The having not yet achieved the thing yet, the hunger for the thing, the desire for the thing, the failing to get towards the thing. I want to make sure you enjoy this process, and I don't want you to think that it's just a cliche.

I don't want you to think that I'm just saying that because I want you to feel okay that you're not there yet. That is not it at all. There's going to be a day where you will arrive. You will achieve your dream. And I really want you to consider that that feeling will be amazing, but it won't be any better than the feeling you have now. Both of these feelings are great.”

And I was telling him a little bit about the feeling of satisfaction and completion and accomplishment that I have, and how it's a much more calming feeling than the feeling of ambition and desire and hunger.

And he said, “Do you think that's why you're so into pickleball? Do you think that you started doing pickleball so you could have that feeling back? To have the thing that you're not yet good at? To have the thing that you struggle at? To have the thing that you're curious and ambitious?”

And I hadn't thought about it in that way, but I was like, “Yes, that absolutely is what's going on.” I want that next thing to make me feel curious and hungry, and also the thing that makes me feel vulnerable and inadequate and not quite there yet.

And so for any of you who are, first of all, in the throes of a brand new adventure and are feeling inadequate or feeling frustrated or feeling like you're never going to make it or it's never going to work, I know it sounds, I don't know, maybe patronizing to say that, but enjoy that. That's part of it. That's part of the experience.

And for those of you who are listening who are afraid to try that new thing, are afraid to switch your identity up, to increase your experience by trying something new, I want to offer to you that that's okay.

You don't need to have a variety of experience in your life to have an amazing life. You don't have to have increased experience in your life to have an amazing life. I just want to offer that this as an option.

For me, my purpose in life is to be an example of what is possible and to kind of share that experience with everyone. I have had a life where I haven't had any money, and I have had a life where I've had a lot of money, and I've had a life where I've had so much of debt, and I've been trying to get out of debt, and I've really been kind of in the paycheck-to-paycheck mode.

And I'm thankful for every one of those experiences. I'm thankful for having worked at Hewlett Packard in corporate America to understand what it's like to be an employee in a large corporation. I've worked for Buck Norwood ranch. For many years, I worked as a ranch hand there where I was shoveling manure and cleaning saddles and saddling horses and taking people on trail rides, and that experience was so enriching.

And it was my identity as kind of a cowgirl and being out there in that world. And then I started riding three-day event equestrian and that was a completely different world, a completely different experience traveling all over the country and jumping cross country and riding dressage and having that whole group of friends, right?

And then doing martial arts and experiencing what that was like and then getting involved in a crazy cult and experiencing what that was like and having this intense compassion for anyone who has a crazy experience like that.

So for me, as I sit here now and I consider kind of this next phase of my life, this next identity shift and increased experience, I'm thinking about where I want to live. I don't want to live anywhere that I've ever lived before. I want to live in a new place - and where I want to travel. I want to try new travel.

And the people that I want to meet, and the experiences that I want to have, and the focus I want to have on pickleball and getting better at that, and maybe playing in a tournament. It's all very invigorating and delighting. And for those of you who struggle with this, I think part of it is because our brain traditionally and primitively is adverse to change.

Once we find something that works, once we find something that is safe, once we find something that keeps us alive, our brain would like us to stay there and to remain alive and survive. That is its only agenda.

And our up-leveled brain, our prefrontal cortex has to communicate with that primitive brain and say, “No, now we need to take this brain and this life and we need to contribute to the evolvement of humanity, to the evolvement of technology and mindset and creativity and ingenuity.”

And so you understand the resistance to change being real but also unnecessary might help you to consider the following questions. Are you interested in living many different lives within one lifetime? Would you like to experience what it's like to be rich? Would you like to experience what it's like to be a nomad and do what I did and sell everything you own and drive around the country with your children in a minivan?

Would you like to experience what it's like to live in a big fancy suburban house on a golf course in a gated community? And would you also like to live in a penthouse on the 52nd floor? Would you also like to live in a very small one-bedroom tiny home in Montana?

These are all opportunities that are available to us if we work towards them and create enough value to generate the money. And there's so many other things, other lifestyles, other identities that we can experience that don't cost any money.

Playing pickleball doesn't cost money as soon as you buy the paddles. All of the parks are free. You can go and learn. There are so many people that are out there at these parks that are willing to teach you how to play. You don't even have to pay for lessons. You can look online at YouTube and have a whole new identity as a pickleball player.

You can start running and become a runner. You can start hiking and become a hiker. You can start going to yoga and become a yogi, all within this one lifetime, even if it hasn't been something that you've considered before.

So I woke up on my 51st birthday, and I asked myself these questions. Who do you want to be? Where do you want to go? What do you want to experience? What is that next level for yourself? I've done podcasts before and one of the podcasts that I've done, the 5 Questions To Ask Yourself, really got me into traveling this year.

And I've been traveling all over the country this year, working and traveling. And it's really shown me a whole new side of not just the world, but a whole new side of me in the world and who I am. And I've noticed literally my personality changing, my feelings about the world changing. I'm just allowing myself to evolve. I'm not tied to anything in the past. I'm not attached to any goal that I've ever had.

I'm not attached to any people that I've had or houses that I've had or identities that I've had. I'm open to the experience, and I want to encourage you to explore the possibilities of your own life because they're so extraordinary and so vast.

Remember that you're going to prefer what is familiar. You're going to prefer what is safe, but you can reinvent yourself on purpose, re-decide yourself on purpose at any time.

I once heard this quote that said, “You have to be willing to sacrifice this life for your next life.” You have to be willing to give up your identity. You have to be willing to go through an identity crisis. You have to be willing to go against everything that you ever have been in order to be everything that you could be.

And a lot of times, what we don't understand is that we have belief systems around our current life that are hard to let go of. And so we tell ourselves the next life is impossible, or we can't do it, or we're not capable of it, or only other people can do it. Because we don't want to give up those belief systems because they're familiar and safe, but we need to be willing to let go of them.

The people that have the fastest transformations, and believe me, I've watched lots of people have very fast transformations, are the ones that are unattached to their past and they're willing to fail. It's one thing to give up your life if you're hating it and if you're doing terribly at it and if you're not successful at it.

But what I also want to have many of you consider who already are successful at your current life, that doesn't mean you have to stay in it. You may want to hold a different version of yourself in a different successful life.

I've coached so many doctors who have wanted to become life coaches. And it's so challenging for them because they are so successful at being doctors. They have gone to school for so many years. They've been so respected and so powerful as doctors and changing lives and literally saving lives.

That is very challenging for them to give up that whole identity that they've had for so many years to then become another type of healer, another type of contributor in their life. But so many of them, when they've had the courage to do it, have been able to experience a whole new side of themselves, a whole new life for themselves.

It's a really powerful, amazing thing to watch the increased experience. You could have an entire life where you've had seven different careers. Really fulfilling, successful, awesome, amazing experiences. Your life is not an effect of the world. You don't have to be, especially now in this time of day, at the effect of what is presented to you, at the effect of being fired or being hired or being told what you can and can't do. You don't have to be at the effect of your past and what you've studied in the career that you've built.

A lot of us get afraid of these sunk costs that we have, right? We get afraid of the money that we've already invested, the time we've already invested into one life that were afraid to experience the next version of that life. And I want to offer, do not live your life chasing after a past.

Do not try to continue something that you've started just for the sake of continuing it. Re-decide every single day. Do I want to do this again this year? Do I want to be here again this year? If the answer is yes, carry on, my friends. But if the answer is no, what do you want to consider for yourself? What do you want to experience for yourself for that next version of you? For the increased experience?

And it doesn't have to be a huge upheaval in your life. It could be like me. You just try a new sport. You try something you've never done. So many people say, “Well, I've never done that before.” That's the reason to do it. Not the reason not to do it.

Become a body builder. Become an ice skater. Become a volleyball player. And, yes, listen, in the beginning of anything that you try - I watch this happen with life coaches all time. They go through the School, they become life coaches, and they get out there, and they're just terrible at it.

It's just like when I first played pickleball. I was terrible at it. It's just when you first start anything, you're terrible at it. You're new. We don't like that discomfort. It doesn't feel safe to us. We don't like the way it feels not to already be successful, especially when we can go right back to the thing that we feel successful doing. Why not just continue to do that? That feels so much better. Because you don't have the increased experience.

There is something very powerful about putting your brain through something new that it has to figure out again. It has to, especially something physical where your body has to adjust to it. When you're in new environments, when you're in new places, when you're meeting new people, you get to have the increased experience of life.

And people ask me all the time, “Well, is it the quality or the quantity of the experiences?” And I say it's both. I want to have as many quality experiences as I can. I don't want to just keep doing the same thing over and over and over again if it doesn't increase my experience of life. I want to constantly be seeing the world from different vantage points. I want to be constantly seeing myself from different vantage points.

So ask yourself these questions, my friends. One of the things that we did in my Reinvention class is we said, “Consider the options you've given yourself for your life, for your career, for where you live, for how you live.” Most of us just follow in line with what everybody else does.

And I use the example of colors. How many colors have you given yourself the option to color with? Probably about five or six. But there are a decillion colors in the world. There are a decillion options for what you can do with your life. And it's not just one option per one life. It's hundreds of options per life. Many different lifetimes within one life.

If you were going to start over today, and you can, which ingredients would you include from your past and which new ingredients would you add? I'm so excited for my life now. I'm so excited for all the possibilities and options. I started reinventing myself last year and it's just been a very fast train ride.

It's been the most exciting, exhilarating, awesome ambition that I’ve felt for this new life, while also at the same time experiencing the abundance and the satisfaction and the completion of the first 50 years of my life. And I want to invite you each to do the same. Increase your experiences, my friends.

Have a beautiful week. Maybe just pick one increased experience this week. One thing that maybe you hadn't considered before, and try it out. I'll talk to you next week everyone. 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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