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One of the best ways to build emotional strength is through entrepreneurship.

There is just something extraordinary about the emotions you experience as an entrepreneur.

By intentionally experiencing them, you become unstoppable in business and in life.

You start doubting your doubt.

You develop the courage to do hard things.

You find the purest sense of obligation to contribute to the world.

And it all starts with feeling your feelings on your entrepreneurial journey.

Listen in this week to hear the four most important negative business emotions to feel and the four most important positive business emotions to generate. Once you can master these emotions, your level of self-love, emotional strength, AND business success will amaze you. Tune in to find out how.


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What you will discover

  • 4 positive emotions you need to be successful in business.
  • 4 negative emotions you are most likely to experience in entrepreneurship.
  • How to counteract the negative emotions.
  • The most important assets to create in your business.
  • Why it’s important to pick the right emotion for the job.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo episode number 516.

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. Welcome to the podcast today. I’m kind of excited, I’m doing a twofold podcast, meaning I’m recording this podcast for you, all my podcast listeners, but I’m also recording it as a video for my coaches as part of their most recent business curriculum.

This year I am redoing all of my business videos in a series to help them build their businesses from the ground up. I wanted to recreate everything because I’ve learned a lot over the past few years about business building and what it takes and what I know from the hundreds of people that have succeeded and what I know from the hundreds of people that haven’t succeeded, what the difference is, and how we can close the gap.

One of those areas is what I am calling business emotions, and that’s what this podcast is about today. And it’s about managing your emotions as you’re building a business. My business is based on really understanding the human brain and human emotion, and it’s also built on understanding marketing and how to build a company.

So I have a tremendous amount of tactical knowledge in terms of the technology required, the marketing required, the narratives that we need to create for our customers, how we can overdeliver, how we can give them the highest quality products in the world. And then I also understand what it’s like to be a business owner, to be an entrepreneur and to deal with all of the obstacles and complications and frustrations and emotions that happen as a business owner.

So as I’m teaching all of my coaches how to learn the tactics of being an entrepreneur, how to create a narrative for your customer, how to pick a niche for your customer, how to run Facebook ads and do social media, and how to create the online programs that we need to create in order to help them, it’s so important for me to talk about emotions. Because I could give you all the tactics in the world, but if you don’t do them, if you don’t apply them because your emotions are holding you back, you’re never going to see the results that you want in your business.

So I want to remind all of you that business emotions are the same as any type of emotion. There’s going to be a balance of positive and negative. On your business journey to success you are going to, on purpose, be experiencing positivity and negativity in a balance.

Now, the balance might not always be exactly 50/50 every day, but in the journey of the experience it will balance out in terms of positive and negative. That’s true for the external world, when you look outside you see the balance of positive and negative. And when you see your internal world you see the balance of positive and negative emotion.

And when you approach your journey to becoming an entrepreneur with this in mind, you’re not going to freak out when you fail. You’re not going to freak out when you have a negative emotion. You’re not going to freak out when something doesn’t go right or you get emotional or you get some intense experience within your body. You’re going to go, oh, this is part of that 50/50 experience.

So the way that I’ve broken this down for you today is that we’re going to record this, we’re going to document this in terms of negative emotions that you can plan on experiencing and positive emotions that you can plan on creating. You don’t want to plan on the negative ones, they’re going to come automatically.

And the reason you’re going to get these negative emotions is because of that primitive brain that literally thinks entrepreneurship might kill you. That’s what you’re working against, is your primitive brain thinking that positivity might kill you, right? It positively will be the death of you if you go out there and try and change the world.

And so knowing that, it’s important to know that just because your negative emotion isn’t something wrong with you. It’s something that your brain is trying to do to preserve you, literally.

So I want to share the four that I picked that I experience most in terms of negativity and the four that I picked in terms of what I create positively. And also, I think these are pretty consistent with my clients that I’ve coached. I think most of them are pretty familiar with these emotions.

So the negative emotions that I think most entrepreneurs are going to experience are doubt, fear, frustration, and embarrassment. Those are going to appear without your consent. They’re going to be involuntary, and they might be pretty consistent throughout your entire career. So welcome to being an entrepreneur.

The positive emotions that you will need to create in order to be successful are courage, determination, positivity, and obligation. And I’ll talk to you more about those emotions in a minute, but there are other ones that are sprinkled in.

One that I see in my clients that I don’t have a lot of for myself consistently is like self-pity, feeling sorry for oneself, and like terror. Some of my clients are just terrified of being in the public eye, dealing with a negative comment, dealing with rejection. So I’m not going to go as into detail with them because I think these are all similar flavors of the same kind of experience that you may have as you navigate becoming an entrepreneur.

So let’s talk first about doubt. Doubt is one of the things that’s going to happen as soon as you venture off into this journey, and as soon as you start creating plans, and as soon as you lay down goals. Your brain is going to say you can’t do that, that’s not going to work, that’s going to hurt you, that’s going to cause problems, you’re going to embarrass yourself. Like so much doubt about your own success will come.

And doubt pretends to be necessary. Doubt wants you to listen to it so you don’t go out there and do a bunch of stuff that could hurt you. And if you know doubt is coming, if you know that it’s going to appear, you won’t take it seriously. You won’t obey it. You won’t believe it. You will have an answer for it. So just know doubt is coming and have a plan for how you are going to deal with doubt.

One of the most important things to remember is that the more you overcome your own doubt, the more you doubt your doubt. This is really real because every single time I venture onto something big and something new, I have so much doubt about whether it’ll be successful. And then I win at it, I succeed at it. Even if it takes me like 50 fails, when I ultimately succeed at it, I know that that doubt was wrong. I know that that was a thought error. And so it’s easier for me to doubt it when I hear it the next time.

The second one is fear is very, very normal. I was just talking to a student the other day about her fear of investing in herself and in her own company. And I told her, I said, fear wants you to pay attention. Fear wants you to slow down. Fear wants you to be careful. And if you listen to it too much, you won’t ever leave your home. So fear is important. We definitely want to acknowledge it, and we want to pay attention to it, but we don’t want it to determine our outcomes.

The thing about these negative emotions, they will be created by the thoughts we think, we will feel them, but we need to be so aware of them that we pause and we stop before we take action with these emotions. We do not want these emotions dictating our results. We want to experience them, we want to process those emotions, but we want to make sure that they’re not the emotions creating the results, because the result of doubt and fear is usually quitting or blaming or giving up.

The third one is frustration. If you are a business owner, you will be frustrated. Tons of stuff will not work. You will not know how to do lots of things. You will not understand how other people can do things and you can’t. You won’t understand why people aren’t signing up. You won’t understand why they’re not saying yes. You won’t understand why more people aren’t reaching out to you. You will be constantly frustrated.

You will put so much effort into so many things and not get the results that you want. And if you allow yourself to feel frustrated, which I think you should, because we really want our effort to pay off every time. And when it doesn’t, we should allow ourselves to be frustrated by that, but we keep going. It’s like a little kid learning how to walk. The frustration can’t stop us from actually learning how to do it. We’re going to experience it.

No little kid ever learned how to walk without getting frustrated. But they also, and this is important to remember, when they learned how to walk, they didn’t just learn how to step. They learned how to overcome their own brain to make something happen. And that’s what entrepreneurship does for us. It gives us the emotional strength to override our survival emotions.

The last one is embarrassment. And this is a really important primal emotion that is built into us to keep us part of the crew, to keep us part of the group, right? We are going to survive so much better if we don’t wander off by ourselves and if everybody is kind of approving of us and we all kind of look the same and we all kind of look good in each other’s eyes. As soon as we step out of that group and do something that not everyone else approves of, not everyone else does, we may feel some sense of embarrassment, kind of in an isolated way.

So it’s kind of like, I want you to imagine you’re in a big group of people and you’re like, hey, I’m going to go check out what’s behind this rock or behind this tree or behind this bush. And everyone’s like, oh yeah, whatever. And you go back there and there’s nothing there or you fall down or you get hurt. Then all the people in the group together are going to maybe see you in a certain way or maybe comment on your post in a certain way, to bring it more to modern times.

You’re going to have to be willing to experience embarrassment to process it, to let it be there. I would say 75% of the embarrassment we feel is false. We imagine people are thinking things. We imagine people are saying things about us. We imagine people have opinions about us that they don’t have.

But 25% of it is real and they will comment and say it to you. And it will create thoughts that generate embarrassment. So you’re going to need to be willing to experience embarrassment on purpose.

Okay, so if I said to you the price for success as an entrepreneur is doubt, fear, frustration and embarrassment, you need to feel them, you need to process them, they will repeat, they will get intense, but you will also get stronger at being able to manage them. That’s what you’re signing up for.

One of the best ways to counteract these emotions is not to get rid of them, not to pretend they’re not there, not to avoid them, not to buffer them, but to give equal airtime, equal opportunity to the positive emotions that you create. And the positive emotions that I think are the most important assets, if emotions were assets for you to create for yourself, to carry you through, would be courage, determination, positivity and obligation.

So courage is obvious. We need courage because we’re going to have fear, doubt and frustration and courage is what gets us through there. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the ability to take action while experiencing fear. So you will hold them in place at the same time. You will be moving forward and creating, while you’re carrying that heavy purse of fear with you.

Courage is acting despite fear. So a lot of people will say, how is it possible that I can feel fear and still create positive results? Courage. When you don’t take action from fear, but you take action from courage, if you think about the Model, you take action from the emotion that you want, that’s how you get the result you want. You’re going to experience both feelings, but the action you will generate is from courage.

Determination is just the willingness not to quit. It’s the willingness to continue to believe in yourself when there’s all evidence to the contrary. It’s your willingness to keep trying even when you fail, even when you’re embarrassed, even when you’re frustrated. Determination is, nope, I’m going to do my very best to keep going.

I’m recording a podcast coming up that I think it’ll probably be the next episode called Try Harder. And I’m inspired by this idea because so many people come to me and they’re like, well, I’ve tried. Well, I’ve tried. Well, I’ve tried. Well, you’ve tried without determination because when you try with determination, you never say it in the past tense. You always say, I’m trying. I’m still trying. I’m still doing this. Try harder. Determination will always make you try harder.

The third one is positivity. You have to keep your mind positive. Your brain will be spewing so many negative thoughts that will create so many negative emotions. And if you don’t put it in your to-do list to generate positivity, you will get completely drowned out by your negative thoughts and emotions because those survival thoughts are strong and they create a lot of intense emotion.

Positivity is you taking the time to consider what your assets are. To consider how capable you are. To consider the opportunity that you have. To consider the best case scenario. To consider what it would be like if you win. To consider your true capacity as a human. To consider how much you’re learning even when you’re not winning. To talk about your business, yourself to other people in a very positive, wonderful way on purpose. To have positive thoughts about money, positive discussions about money, positive discussions about business and profit.

If you are constantly putting other people down, constantly being mad at the government or at your country or at taxes or at laws, you are going to be generating undue and unnecessary negativity. So you have to be very conscious about feeling positive by creating very positive thoughts and conversations.

And the last one is a really interesting one for me that you might want to try. And I was just talking about this on a coaching call and it reminded me how much this emotion serves me. When I was first starting out and I was struggling so much, I remember in my mind thinking like if I figure this out, I’m going to share the answer with other people. I’m going to help other people get through this pain.

And when I was writing books and freaked out to put my books out there and freaked out that no one would hire me and that people would judge me and people would write negative comments about me on Amazon about my book, all of these things, I was so freaked out about it in the beginning. I reminded myself of my obligation to the people whom I could help.

And now that I’ve literally helped thousands of people, it’s so crazy, tens of thousands of people, I see that I did have an obligation to them. The fact that I was able to help them and did makes me so proud. If I could have helped them and didn’t, I would have been devastated. And so I do have an obligation.

And so you might want to consider what could you help someone with and do you have a sense of obligation to help the world, to make a contribution, to help these people progress in the area where you can coach them and you can help them? I think if you do have that sense, it will get you through a lot of things.

There’s a lot of times where I don’t want to go on stage or I don’t want to put myself out there. I don’t want to talk about certain things. I don’t want to share my story. And I just remember I’m obligated to the people whom I can help. And I remember when I wrote my book, If I’m So Smart, Why Can’t I Lose Weight? I was so freaked out that I was going to miss a typo or someone was going to say that the grammar wasn’t any good.

I had like PTSD from being in an English class where I always used to get an A for content and like a C in grammar. And there were so many grammar police people on the internet that were telling me that I was doing my English wrong. I was so freaked out about that. Now it seems so silly, but then I was just so freaked out about it.

And I remember getting a letter from a client who had lost so much weight from that book and it had really helped her become free of her compulsion to food. It was this very long, beautifully written letter to me. And I remember thinking like, Brooke, how dare you consider not publishing that book because of the grammar, when you’ve completely helped this woman – Rondi was her name – completely helped Rondi change her life by the words that you shared with her.

And so it’s worth thinking about for yourself what might be your obligation. And maybe your obligation isn’t to your client, maybe your obligation is to yourself. I’ve had clients that they’ve told me before they signed up for coach training with me or before they signed up for college, they felt like they had an obligation to make the education worth it, to get a return on their investment. Or maybe they borrowed the money from someone in their family, or maybe they feel like they have an obligation to their children or the people in their family to generate income for them.

Whatever you can use for your obligation, and nothing to mean that you would feel guilty if you didn’t do it. That’s not what I’m talking about. But just a sense of genuine, pure, amazing obligation to make a contribution to the world has gotten me through some really rough failures and growth, especially in the beginning of my business. It really helped me get through so much of that hard work.

Your emotions are what will determine your success. And your emotions, if not done consciously, will mostly be negative as you’re going on this journey. But if you’re conscious about them, and if you sign up to really pay attention and process your negative emotion and actively create and generate your positive emotion, your capacity for success is 10 times what it would be if you didn’t do it otherwise. Maybe 100 times.

Do not obey those negative emotions. Listen to them. Find out what’s causing them. Process them. But then, and most importantly, generate the emotion that you need to get you through to the result you want. When I first started teaching these concepts to my students, I would ask them what their four emotions were, what they wanted their emotions to be. Like, maybe they didn’t want them to be courage, determination, positivity and obligation.

But when I would go to them and they would say, love, and peace, and relaxation, and joy, I would tell them, like, listen, I want you to think about if those emotions are going to counteract all of the negative emotions. Are they the right emotions to get you through business? It doesn’t mean you don’t want to experience those emotions, but are those the ones you’re trying to generate to counteract the negative ones?

And I’m doing another podcast on peace versus growth and how difficult it is to try and generate peace while you’re growing. Like, it’s just not the right emotion for the job. And so as you’re considering what it is you’re trying to create, the result you’re trying to create, make sure you have the right emotion for the job.

Peace is not going to create extraordinary growth because it’s going to perpetuate so much discomfort. So in order for you to counteract discomfort, you’re not going to overcome it with peace. You’re going to overcome it with determination. You’re going to overcome it with courage. You’re going to overcome it with grit, okay? So just make sure that the thoughts that you’re thinking are activating you, energizing you and moving you to create the results that you want.

Business emotions, a really important concept, a great way to focus on your own emotional life. As you all know, entrepreneurship, to me, is the best self-development course you can ever take. You don’t even need a teacher, you just jump in and start learning and start creating. I think it’s one of the best ways to build emotional strength. And it’s one of the best ways to perpetuate self-love through showing yourself what you’re capable of.

I am rooting for you. I know you can do this. Find out what your four emotions are that are negative, find out what the positives are, and then get to work. All right, have a great rest of your day, everyone, talk to you soon.

Hey, if you’ve ever wanted to work with me as your coach, now is the time to do it. You can join me in Get Coached in Scholars by going to This is going to be the best year ever. It’s your turn to change your life. Let’s go.

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