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We all make mistakes, fail, and show up in ways we wish we hadn’t.

Sometimes we say things that hurt others, we don’t fulfill our promises, and we want to blame the oversight on someone else.

Our actions have consequences that can include others being disappointed and angry at us.

Instead of hiding from this, I challenge you to take full responsibility for who you are and what you do.

This week, learn what accepting responsibility and acknowledging your mistakes does for your experience as a human. I share how to own your behavior, hold space for those you hurt, and use their feedback to improve.

It’s okay to agree with the haters. It’s okay to acknowledge your wrongdoings. And it’s okay to forgive yourself.

What you will discover

  • How to deal with undeserved hate.
  • Why there is no upside to beating yourself up.
  • How to deal with deserved hate.
  • Why you don’t have to forgive yourself (but why it benefits you to do so).

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo episode 487.

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. Today we’re going to talk about a very uplifting, lovely subject called - what I’m calling deserved hate. I just went on a long walk in Chicago and I was talking to my very besties on the phone, and we were having some great conversations about what it means to be human, and the human experience and human suffering and human pain.

And I just love these conversations about what it means to be alive. And sometimes it’s very easy to think that everything should be smooth sailing and everything should be lovely and we shouldn’t have any problems, and that’s just not the case.

So normally, when we talk about haters, and I’ve done a couple podcasts on haters and I’ve talked about haters before. I’ve talked about being a hater, when you’re hating on someone for something that they’ve done and also for troll haters online that are anonymous, just bored people trying to hurt other people.

And I’ve talked about it when it comes to putting yourself out there and being afraid of being hated because you’re showing up in the world very big and you will get criticized and you will get hated on. And I’ve never really talked about the other side of it, which I’m going to call deserved hate, and that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

When the hate is something that you’ve earned, basically, it’s something where you have made a mistake or you have failed at something that affected someone, or you’ve said something hurtful about or to someone else, or when you’ve just gotten it completely wrong and it’s had a negative impact on other humans in the world.

And how do we deal with that kind of hate? How do we deal when someone is genuinely hurt or genuinely furious at us for very good reason? How do we deal with that? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

But first, I want to summarize the work that I’ve talked about before, which is how do you deal with haters where it’s undeserved, right? And I just kind of want to recap my thoughts on that because it does apply here as well.

And the first thing is you have to allow people to be wrong about you. This is a very tough one. People will say things about you. People will interpret your life. People will comment on your life. People will judge you, people will have opinions about you that aren’t based in reality.

They will be assumptions that are just not true. And if you try to spend your life correcting judgments or correcting assumptions or correcting all of the negative things that people say about you, you’re going to be miserable because you can’t control how the world thinks, and it’s not your job to make everybody like you.

So that is the first thing. Learning how to let people be wrong about you and live in a world where people will be wrong about you for how you look, for what you say, for what you do, for what you believe, they will have opinions about the type of person you are, the kind of person you are, and they will be wrong. And that’s okay.

The second thing that I encourage so many of my students to do and so many of my clients to do is to just simply ignore it. Don’t read it, don’t spend time on the negative comments on Amazon if you’ve written a book, don’t engage in it, don’t go to the place where anonymous people are saying things about you in ways that aren’t productive or constructive.

The next one is to really love them and to love yourself. If you can learn to love the haters - there’s two things that I often teach to my students. To learn to love people that you currently hate, to practice loving on them, and to love people who hate on you I think is one of the highest spiritual activities that we can do and that we can practice that can tap us into who we really are, I think, as humans.

And remember, finally, that life is 50:50, that if you’re going through a negative experience, an undeserved comment on a post that you made, or an undeserved comment in person to your face, or something that maybe even someone you love or care about that’s really close to you has said, just remember it’s all part of this experience.

It’s supposed to be happening. We’re supposed to have the ebb and flow of negativity and positivity. It’s all a beautiful thing. It’s all part of the human experience, and the more we can embrace it, the less we will resist it.

And that leads me right into what do we do when we actually deserve the hate? And I know that I’ll get lots of comments, “No one ever deserves any hate.” And I agree with that, but I also kind of want to use this terminology because I think it’s useful for this case.

There are times, there have been so many times in my life where I have gotten it wrong, where I have done something that doesn’t matter if it was well-intended or not, that let someone down or hurt someone or affected someone negatively. And they were upset with me and they were mad at me, and they were maybe yelling at me, and they were maybe saying strong words to me.

And when I can be present in those moments and accept responsibility for what I have missed the mark on, for what I have not gotten right, for where I have maybe been ignorant or maybe overreacted, when I can sit there and accept responsibility and not resist any of the hate coming my way, I have a much more compassionate experience with the world.

And I want to offer that to everyone in this world that will also experience the same thing. And maybe you’ll experience it on a small scale, maybe you’ll experience it on a huge scale, where you watch - I’ve watched so many celebrities, so many people in the media get attacked and I’ve watched so many small transgressions happen on the street.

It’s for humans. This experience of life is for humans. And when I can take full responsibility and say, “Yes, you should be mad. You should be disappointed in me. You should be upset with me. I got this one really wrong. I built this thing up in your mind and then I crushed it. Or I said this thing that really hurt your feelings. Or I showed up in this way that was embarrassing to you.”

And I’m thinking of real examples in my own life where I think about these situations and I just cringe. And I know for me that some of the examples that I think about are with my friends. Sometimes I make a comment, or I’m sarcastic in a way, or I joke in a way that really hurts someone. And my personality is very much like that.

So I end up experiencing that crushing feeling of someone being upset because of something that I did, and I have to go, “Yeah, there it was again. There it was.” And own it, and not resist it, and allow there to be space for someone to hate on me, and be upset with me, and let them tell me how they feel, and let them express and give me feedback.

It is such a better feeling than blocking and being defensive and trying to make it right right away. It’s like, no, you should be mad, you should be hating, you should be upset, and I’m here for all of it.

And for many of us who are prone to hating ourselves and prone to beating ourselves up, this is a very fine line, and I want to warn you to be careful here. If you are willing to go to this practice where you’re open to allowing people to hate you, if you’ve earned their hate, so to speak, that you don’t end up hating yourself as a person.

You can hate something you’ve done, you can hate something that you’ve failed at, you can hate something that you’ve gotten wrong, something that you’ve said to someone, a way that you’ve shown up, maybe a way you were with a family member, you can hate the behavior and the thing that happened in the world, but I want to strongly advise you against hating yourself as a human.

Because there is no upside to that. To beating yourself up, to attacking your own humanness. Look at your behavior, look at what you’ve done, try to prevent it from happening again, try to apologize if that is necessary. Try to fix what you can if that’s what feels right to you.

And sometimes you can’t, and sometimes you just have to be present with the responsibility of having upset someone, or having hurt someone, or having gotten it wrong. And also, in those moments, recognizing that you’re human, you’re fallible, you are responsible and you are lovable and worthy no matter what. That is very important to remember that about yourself.

And to also use every single opportunity where anything negative has happened at your own hand to learn about yourself and what works and what doesn’t and where you got it wrong. And notice if you try and blame.

So I’m going to give you some examples. I had a situation one time with a friend where I felt myself wanting to blame them for something that I had done. And I had done something that was hurtful and in reaction and it came from very negative emotion.

And I really did this thing with this friend because I was upset about them. And so I wanted them to be responsible for my behavior. And that’s never the case. That’s never the case for anything. That’s true for me in my business too, right?

So as a woman entrepreneur, as a founder of a company, I hire people that work for me and I am responsible for all of it. I’m responsible for hiring, I’m responsible for all the activities that happen in my business. That is my ownership there.

And so if something goes wrong, if something doesn’t work out, if something fails, it comes to me. And I find that sometimes I don’t want to. I don’t want to take responsibility. I want to blame. And I pull that back and I say, “No, this is on me. This is on me.”

I had another example with a family situation where I showed up in a way that I wasn’t proud of at all. And I heard myself saying, “Yeah, but the reason why was because of this, that, or the other thing.” No, that is not the reason why. The reason why is because I made a choice and it was the wrong choice for me, and it ended up hurting other people. And I will own that.

And the more responsibility I take laced with love and compassion and understanding for myself, the more I learn. And the more I learn, the better I can do next time. When you know better, you do better.

And it doesn’t mean that because you take responsibility, or because you allow for someone to be upset with you, or you have compassion for yourself and the other person that it’s going to be a good situation. It’s probably not going to be a good situation. It’s probably going to be a very negative situation for you. And that’s part of it too.

I had a client recently who was devastated by something she had said that was overheard by someone else. So she was having a private conversation about a person and that person overheard what she was saying. And this was not something that she wanted this person to hear, it wasn’t something that she ever would have wanted to say in the way that she said it to this person’s face.

But in that moment, she caused so much pain and so much upset. And in that moment, it was very easy for her to, “Well, she shouldn’t have been listening and she shouldn’t have been in there and it’s her own fault,” and all that. But at the end of the day, what really mattered to her was that she had done something that had hurt someone else and it felt terrible to her.

And by helping her see that, “Listen, you didn’t do that on purpose, but it doesn’t matter that you didn’t do it on purpose. You did it. You must own that if you want to be free because otherwise you’re going to resist and blame and complain.” And in that moment there’s freedom in accepting that truly, you are going to get it wrong sometimes and you will have consequences in your life from getting it wrong, and that’s okay.

So I can already hear many of the questions and many of the complaints about what I’m saying here, and there are times when we have done things that we can’t forgive ourselves for. I have coached many clients on things that they don’t even want to forgive themselves for, things that they have done in anger, reaction, frustration that have caused pain that they can’t cope with.

And I understand that. And I am not going to tell anyone that they have to forgive themselves or that they have to have compassion for themselves because that’s our own personal choice for ourselves. But I do want to encourage you to explore the benefit of accepting your fallibility as a human being and being in this world as someone that isn’t perfect, and that being okay.

So maybe that may not look like forgiving yourself but it may look like you having compassion. And I want to encourage all of you to think about this in this way because it helps you have so much more compassion for other people who get it wrong too.

When we hate on ourselves and we cannot love ourselves and we can’t understand what it means to accept our own failures, it’s very hard for us to show up for other people in the same way because we will end up having that resentment. We will have the resentment towards other people that we hold dear to ourselves.

So if you are someone that is going through this world right now and you are a human being and you are dealing with your own deserved hate, you’re dealing with letting people around you down, you’re dealing with getting it wrong and failing at it and trying your best and not winning and struggling with that, I want to encourage you to take a deep breath and just be present with it. To accept it and to stop fighting it, and to allow it to be there.

It’s okay to agree with the haters sometimes. It’s okay to acknowledge. I think that there’s a lot of talk about we should all be kind to each other all the time, and we should all be pleasant, we should all be constructive all the time, and we shouldn’t raise our voices and we shouldn’t be upset when people do us wrong.

And I think it’s nonsense. And I think it goes both ways. I think there’s a time for all the negativity in our life and there’s a time for all the positivity in our life. And if you can learn to be present with both, you are going to have a life of increased experience. You’re going to have a life that is powerful, and you’re going to have a life of ups and downs and wins and losses, and embracing that will help you keep showing up.

Because otherwise, the only other alternative I can see is hiding and being afraid of life and not wanting to show up for the good or for the bad. The bigger you get, the more you do, the more you create, the better things are going to get. And also the worse things are going to get. That is life, my friends.

Show up for your life. Open up to each and every 50:50 experience that is there. And sometimes that’s going to look like opening yourself up to the hate, and opening yourself up to taking full responsibility for who you are and what you’ve done and moving on.

And I encourage each and every one of you to keep showing up, to keep embracing who you are as a human, to keep being willing to get it wrong and to fail because the good I feel like that you get from that will help you evolve into the most fullest version of yourself.

Here’s to hate, everyone. I’ll talk to you next week. Bye-bye.

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