Ep #56: Questions and Answers
As I mentioned at the beginning of this podcasting year, I am adding two more episodes a month – one of them being a questions and answers show. So if you would like to get your questions answered on the show, please leave them in the comments of this post or in the comments of any upcoming Q & A episode posts.
On this Q & A episode we cover an array of important topics ranging from making decisions about taking action, boundaries and thought management, to the level of proficiency you need to have in certain areas of your life in order to be able to coach others. Don’t miss this value-packed episode of listener questions and answers!
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Listen to the show
What You will discover
- One of the biggest mistakes people make as they are deciding to take action in their lives.
- What you need to do to feel that you are doing exactly what you are meant to be doing.
- Whether it is ethical for coaches to tell clients they can help them with an issue they themselves haven’t yet mastered it in their own lives.
- How to set boundaries without making them sound like a threat.
- Why you don’t necessarily need to dissolve certain thoughts.
- How to bridge the gap between a “deeply seeded” belief a new positive thought.
Featured on the show
Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
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 everyone! I'm so excited to be here at the microphone. It's kind of been a long journey here to this microphone today. And here's why. I have decided, and I have decided this about a month ago, that I needed a private space to record my podcasts. I know that some of you have been listening this whole time and often you will here a puppy in the background or a child in the background, or maybe even the UPS guy coming to the door, and I am usually having to weave in my podcasting time, in between the puppies having a nap and the kids getting home from school, and my husband making breakfast.
And so, I decided I want to get an office. Which is a big step if any of you guys are life coaches, you know one of the luxuries we have is working from home, but I've felt more and more that I want to get an office that I can do my call in without having to run and hide in the closet when the kids get home, or when the doorbell rings, or when the gardeners come. And, it's so exciting. So, I've found a place that has a beautiful view, and I will take a picture, and put it in my Friday Coach Like coming soon, so you can all see my new office. We just got it set up, just got it going. I have like three picture frames with no pictures in there yet. I have a bunch of flower vases, they still have the tags on. But, I needed to get this recorded. I just got an email from Pavel who does all of my editing and he said "Yo, where's the podcast?" and I'm usually way ahead of time and I went oh my gosh I thought I had another week...and so I'm going to take care of this one right now.
And here's the thing, as I told you guys since we completed the first year is that I added two more episodes per month, so I'm adding one episode which will be a Q & A from you guys, and I'm adding another episode which will always be a phone interview that I do with a coach... One of my coaches and their philosophy and what they've taken at the life coach school to their own level, and hopefully offer you something fantastic in the mean time.
So this one, episode 56, is the Q & A, and I have so many questions built-up that I am not going to be able to answer them all. One of the things that I want to encourage you to do is to ask questions in the comments on the blog over there at the life coach school and I will for sure read all of those questions there and I will answer them here. So, I know that many of you questions that other people will benefit from hearing me answer, too, so that's what I'm going to do with these once a month Q & A sessions. And eventually, I might get very fancy and have you guys record them so we can hear your voices, but as of today I don't have that set up so maybe you can tell me what you guys think about that in the future. If you think we should do the recording, you can tell me in the comments maybe.
So let's get to it, let's get to some Q & A. I pulled some emails that I got from you all. And, actually in the future I just prefer if you put everything in the comments on the blog at www.thelifecoachschool.com based on whatever episode you're listening to. It’s just www.thelifecoachschool.com slash whatever episode, so this episode would be www.thelifecoachschool.com/56. If you have a question just put it there, and then I can go through and use all of those questions for the Q & A. That makes it so much easier for me than having to sift through emails, and a lot of you guys are emailing me directly.
So in the future, I would really prefer if you could just put it in the comments. That would be great! And then, I'm also going to answer some questions that I got from a webinar that I recently did. I just did the webinar in the ten best schools of life coaching, and people just went nuts with questions, and I just didn't have enough time to answer them at the end. So I'm going to answer some of those questions here today. I'm going to try and keep this relatively short. I like to keep them all under thirty minutes. I like to keep these Q & A's to twenty minutes, so let's see how we do.
All right, so the first one I'm going to do is a question, and its a long question but I'm going to read the whole thing, and then I'm going to answer, "Hi Brooke, I'm stuck between a rock and hard place. I'm completing season one of my podcast show in a few weeks. I've decided to take some time off because I want to decide whether I want to continue producing the show. I like it... I get thousands of downloads every month, and I get feedback from my listeners. However, I started it with the intention of monetizing it soon. Its been almost nine months, and after many communications with potential sponsors, I have yet to get someone on board to sponsor, thus, not monetizing. I didn't put 100% of my effort into finding a sponsor, but I've contacted over thirty brands or more. None the less, they have left me feeling like my brand isn't able to be profitable, and like I should quit doing it because it's taking time away from my family."
Right now she is considering it just a hobby because she isn't making any money. "Ever since I became a mother again last summer I felt very fulfilled by my role as a stay at home mother and wife. My husband and I have a very successful real estate business, however, I stopped working with him when I was four months pregnant. While at home, I've started the podcast because I've always worked and been very successful at every job I've had. I've always gotten promoted and earned more money. Like you, I feel successful in everything I do. I wanted something fun to try and do at home, as well as try and grow it into a business. I think I've been defining my success with the podcast based on earning money. I haven't earned money with it, so I've doomed it unsuccessful. I've left all of my jobs when they got hard, required a lot more work, or after I felt uninspired by them. My excuse for leaving to another job was I have to find my true purpose or career, then I'll be really fulfilled and won't leave another job. But I always feel uninspired or bored and leave my jobs, I even failed to swing real estate but I loved working with my husband. Now I'm at an important crossroads. Do I continue with the podcasts? Do I go back into real estate with my husband? Do I stay at home with my daughters? I worry that if I stay at home with the girls longer, I will feel bored and will want to work or do the podcasts. I don't understand why I always do this. It's really hard or I get really bored. Its really disconcerting for me as an entrepreneur being indecisive, and always jumping around because the work gets hard or I get bored can effect my family. My husband feels offended and judged because I haven't gone back to work with him. He told me last night that I think his career is dumb, but that can be further from the truth. He's uber successful and provides a good living for our family from his career. He truly loves what he does, he's great at it, and I'm so happy for him. I did the model on my thoughts, and one thought that came up was my work isn't going to make a difference anyway. Also, I'm not making money from the podcasts, anyway, so I might as well quit it. It's as if I don't validated or appreciated, then I quit. I'm desperately tired of quitting things. I'm desperately tired of feeling like a little Mexican jumping bean hopping from one idea to the next. I'm great at everything I do, but how do I know what I'm supposed to be doing. I know I gave you a lot of details but I think I needed that brain dump. Hope to hear from you soon."
Okay so, you did give me a lot of details, and one of the reasons why I picked your question, and I wanted to read it, is because I get an email that sounds very similar to this very often. And, I like all the details, and I like looking at where your mind is, because it really helps me to be able to coach you. Now its challenging because I can't ask you questions, and I can't get more information as we go through.
But, I think there's a bigger lesson here, that I think everyone can benefit from. When we are taking action in our life, when we are deciding what we want to do with our life, we often feel like we will wait and see how we feel when we do it and then we will decide if we want to keep doing it. We will wait and see what our experience is of it, and then we will decide. And that is one of the biggest mistakes that I've seen with most of my listeners, my students, and my clients.
You're waiting to see what the experience is, and yet you are the one creating the experience. That's why most of us have these patterns in our lives of continuous thought, feeling, action patterns. We are expecting a different result but we are actually doing the same thing, even though the job looks different, we are doing the same pattern of action.
So what's happening for you, is you are expecting your job to provide you with a sense of purpose. You are expecting your job to give you a sense that you're doing what your suppose to be doing, in essence. And what I want to offer to you, is that that is not your job's job. Your job's job is not for you to develop a sense of significance from it. Your job's job is not responsible for how you act or how you feel.
Now I know that so many of you think it is, that so many of you are expecting your job to give you some sense of purpose, and I have to tell you, that, your sense of purpose has to come from you. Now, that's not to say that once you start really accessing your self and your own sense of purpose and your own sense of direction in your life, that you won't change jobs, but when it comes from an authentic place, meaning when you get to the place where your managing your mind, and then your action looks different, then your going to have that effect of that thinking, feeling, action line.
But when you try and change your action, like when you try and change what you're doing before you change how your thinking and how your feeling, you end up repeating the pattern. The action can't solve this for you. So, whether you go back to work with your husband, whether you keep doing the podcasts, whether you go out and get a job, whether you stay home with the girls, is not going to determine how you experience your life. What's going to determine how you experience your life, is how you think about your life.
So when you look at these options, I think you're looking at them hoping they will provide you with some sense of correctness. And what I mean by that is, you said, "You know I want to be doing what I'm supposed to be doing." And, I think that, we believe that if we believe we are "living our right life" and when we are doing what we are suppose to be doing then we will somehow feel complete. And I want to tell you that what you do in your life does not provide you with that sense of completion... That doesn't provide you with that sense of wholeness, right?
What you do in your life can only create results, it can't provide with a sense of feeling about your life. The only thing that can provide you with a sense of feeling of your life, is the way you think about your life. So, when you come back to the podcasts, you have set yourself up and you said you did the thought model on it, that the podcast is only useful to you is if you can monetize it.
Now let me show you some thoughts that I've seen. The podcasts is only if I can monetize it, I've reached out the thirty people in order to get advertising on it and therefore I can't. They've said no, so I can't monetize it, right? That's really the only way is to get advertising. And so therefore, maybe, I shouldn't do it. And what I'm suggesting is you back up, and stop taking actions that will give you results that will then allow you to change how your thinking. And what I mean by that is if someone had said to you, yes I will monetize your podcast, I will be willing to pay you this amount of money per episode for you to do it, at that point you would have said 'Wow, my podcast matters, its important. Someone is willing to pay me for it because I have thousands of downloads." And what I want you to see is, if they decided to cancel it, or if they decided now to pay you for it, then you would change how you feel. And what that means is you're giving credit to your thinking to an external source.
So, my podcasts has value is a thought you allow yourself to think if they pay you for it. My podcasts doesn't have value is what you think if they don't pay you for it. And what I'm saying is don't give those external events or those external people credit for how your thinking.
You get to decide whether it has value or not. And let me tell you why this matters. If you decide ahead of time, before you go out to sell yourself that your podcast has value to you and the people that are listening... First of all, you are going to have a much better chance of getting someone to advertise on it.
But even if you don't, let's say you go to thirty brands, and they all say no, then, if you still believe, and you should because its a belief you started with, that your podcast has value, then you are going to find another way to monetize it. You are going to find such a deeper sense of wisdom available to you to be able to create what you want in this world. But when you rely on other people to validate you, to put value on something for you, then you are at their mercy. And that's always going to have you stumbling. That's one of the issues that I see.
The other issue that I see is that you are very upset about this fact that you keep quitting, and the way you are describing it to me as if its something your doing without having control over it. Now one of the reasons that I think you keep quitting, is that I think going back to this idea that your job is suppose to provide you with something. I think you have a sense of entitlement, as if your job should provide you with happiness, a sense of purpose, a sense of completion. And of course, you're going to quit when your job doesn't provide that for you because your job can never provide that for you.
Now, how your husband feels about you not being a realtor with him is truly how your husband feels. And I don't thinking you should ever take responsibility for how someone feels. But you have to ask yourself what is the reason why you’re not going back to work with your husband. What are your thoughts about it, and is it because you don't think that that job is going to provide you with something that that job can't provide you with, Okay? That is really important.
I'm always saying this. Your sense of purpose has to come from who you are, not what you do. You start with a sense of purpose, and you bring that purpose to every job that you do, to everything you approach. You don't wait and see if you are going to like something, you decide you are going to like something, and then you approach it with that energy because you have complete control. Don't rely on the circumstances to determine your feelings. You get to decide what to do with those feelings.
Okay, so, where do you go from here? What do you with all this information that I've just given you? Well, here's what I would suggest. First of all, you have to decide what is it, this emotion that you are seeking. This sense of purpose. This sense of I'm doing what I'm suppose to do.
What do you want to feel? What does that thought 'I am doing exactly what I am meant to do and it is valued'... What feeling does that give you? And that, we need to generate now, internally, before we make any decision externally. What's going to happen is when you make that effort to create that sense of internal emotion, is anything blocking it will come up for you. All of your doubts, and fears, and worries, and frustrations will all come up. And those, we need to have a really clean look at. And we need to really understand and work on those thoughts that are blocking you from accessing your true wisdom and from taking the action you generally want to take.
And once we clean up those thoughts, then you will be able to access a much deeper sense of purposefulness and completion in your life. And from there, you will know, you won't even have to make a decision, you will know exactly what you want to do because you won't be relying on your job, or the sponsors, or your husband, or anybody else to provide you with a sense of happiness or purpose. You will only rely on yourself. And when you are feeling that sense of purpose, from that place of abundance, you will know exactly what you want to do with your time, and with your energy, and where you want to make your most contribution.
So, I hope that helps, if it doesn't, make sure you go to www.thelifecoachschool.com/56 and we can continue this conversation. I know that people will be very interested on your thoughts and where you’re coming from. And I would like to know, from you, what you need to believe and think about your self in order to feel as if you are doing exactly what your supposed to be doing. And stop looking outside yourself for those emotions, and those confirmations, and that approval, and that value. You have to get that from within.
Okay, next question. "Hi Brooke, I really love your Friday Coach Like and the distinction you make about letting the tools do the work. It’s not about us, but about our clients. That is so freeing.” Now if you guys don't take Friday Coach Like, what I basically said in that Friday Coach Like is that a lot of coaches come to me and say they don't know if their ready to be a coach. They aren't sure if they are going to do what it requires to do because they don't have it all together yet. And one of the things that I told them is to rely on the tools of life coaching, and not necessarily on themselves. The tools work, and if you can hold the space for your client, you can absolutely give them perspective and help them.
So what she says is there is a lot of talk between coaches about how unethical it is for coaches to proclaim to their clients in their marketing about how they can help them with an ex, that they themselves haven't achieved it. “What are your thoughts on this? For example, I can help you make money in your business, but they haven't actually done this. Is this different from what you're saying?" Well, here's the thing, I don't think that it is unethical to tell someone you can help them. Ever. I think if you’re willing to help someone, and you have tools that will be able to help them and your a life coach, I don't think there's anything unethical about that or not. I think if you can't help them, if you think you can't help them, and you know you can't help them, and you sell that you can, that's unethical. So I just want to make sure we're really clear. There are a lot of coaches out there who haven't achieved the level of success that they are claiming that they can help other people achieve. And so that's something to really think about.
Do you have achieve that same level of success in order to help someone else achieve it? And, I would say no. I would say if you look at thousands of coaches in the world that have helped players in sports get to a level much further than they've ever been able to achieve, I think that's a testament to that being possible. I don't think I have to have made twenty million dollars to help someone clear the way for them to make twenty million dollars. I don't think that I have to have had a son whose homosexual to be able to help someone else who has a son whose homosexual. I don't think I have to have been molested as a child in order to help someone else whose been molested. So, I don't think I have to have accomplished or experienced the same things that someone else is needing help with.
I absolutely do not think its true. But here's what I do think is true. I think it’s very important for people to be working on themselves in order to help other people work on themselves. I think the best way for us to understand what our clients are going through, and understand the tools, and to process and be able to hold space, I think comes from working on ourselves. I don't think that I have to have lost all my weight in order to help someone lose all their weight. I don't think that I have to be completely out of debt to help someone get out of debt. I really genuinely don't.
But, if I lie about that, that's unethical. If I lie and say that I have done that, then yes, that's unethical. But here's the thing that I think is so interesting, is you say, there's a lot of talk between coaches about how unethical it is. I don't understand that talk between coaches. I don't understand why anyone would ever want to claim that another coach is unethical, or put another coach down, or be negative in that way. And you aren't saying that it was you, and so I'm not saying that is you, but I really want you guys to notice if you are doing this in your own lives. If you are putting other people down, or calling them unethical, or saying that they are not effective because of your opinion. Because I don't see the upside. Honestly. I don't see the upside of calling someone else unethical because they want to do, like you had said, I can help you make money in your business, but they haven't actually done this. I mean, I think you can help other people in their business even when you haven't done it. I really genuinely do.
I think you can understand stuff intellectually, but maybe you’re blocked doing it yourself for whatever reason, but you can help someone because you have a perspective. And so, I don't really think it’s any of our business to decide whether they can help someone or not. And I certainly don't think it’s useful for us to be calling them unethical.
What I think we need more, especially in the coaching industry, everybody helping each other, and everybody contributing to each other, and supporting each other... and cheering for each other. I think that that's whats really important, so am I saying something different? No, I'm not, I don't think so.
I think I'm saying that just having someone in your life that you spend an hour with every week talking about what's going on in your mind, I think is extremely helpful. I have had so many of my students, when we go do our six day training, I sit down and we coach each other as part of that process, and I can't even tell you, when I come away, these are brand new coaches, they are certainly not as experienced as I am, and they don't have as much financial success maybe as I do in coaching, and they don't have as much experience.
But it doesn't matter because they are able to help me so much by just being there, and allowing me to spill my mind to them. Allowing a space for me to hear myself think out loud, and for pointing out stuff that I can't see from my own perspective. So I would absolutely say that I could hire any of them, and meet with them once a week, and my life be changed for the better for it. So, that's my opinion on that.
I got out on a soap box a little bit, but I think its really important for us to step back and look at our own minds and see that certain things that our mind does help us and are really useful, and certain things that we do with our minds is not useful.
Okay, this question is again a response to my Friday Coach Like, and she says, "Does this apply to weight loss coaching? If you haven't lost weight using the system, are you credible?" This is the same question, and I'm just going to tag it on. Absolutely. Your credibility doesn't have to have any thing to do with what your able to do in your own life. I genuinely believe that. I think you can absolutely help people in a way that maybe you can't help yourself. And I think that it’s absolutely credible to do that in a way that feels true to you. I don't think you have to have lost all your weight using the same system as somebody else in order to help them. I absolutely don't.
There are reasons why. Now if you don't believe that that system works, and you don't think that you would be able to use that system and lose weight, I absolutely don't think that that's useful. Using something that you believe doesn't work, I think is in congruence with yourself, and then your going to have a problem trying to coach from that space. But do I think you have to have arrived? Absolutely not.
Okay, here's a question about boundaries, and she says, "Can you describe how you would set a consequence to make sure it’s not a threat?" Okay so hopefully you guys have all listened to the boundaries podcast. And the boundaries podcast is episode number 12, so if you go to www.thelifecoachschool.com/12 you'll be able to see the boundaries podcast and can learn more about boundaries there.
But just in summary, a boundary is something you do for yourself out of love of yourself and the other person involved. So basically what you will say to someone is if you do something, that's your statement, I will, and that's your consequence. And so, one of the things that I teach is that threatening people to do something is not useful.
So a threat is something that you say that you are going to do, and then you don't necessarily follow through on it. Or it's something that is with the intention of hurting the other person. So for example, one of the examples that I use a lot, is if I were riding in the car with someone, and they started smoking in the car, a proper boundary would be: If you continue to smoke, I'm going to ask you to pull over and let me out of the car.
So, they request is 'if you continue to smoke'... The request is really stop smoking, but the answer is 'if you want to keep smoking, you can,'... And that's the most important thing with all boundaries. You can continue to do whatever it is you want to do. That's the truth, all people can, but if you continue to smoke, I'm going to ask to get out of the car. That's not a threat. I'm not threatening you. I'm not trying to hurt you. I'm trying to protect myself. That's very different. A threat is something like 'If you don't give me money, I am going to take the kids and leave.' That's a threat. That's not a way of protecting yourself, that's a way of threatening another person and manipulating them. So, that's a really good question.
The next question, "Does it ever happen that you use the model and are questioning or dissolving a painful thought, and then realize that its not the thought that needs to be dissolved?" So, I think its interesting, this word about dissolving a thought. Someone earlier had asked me about stopping a thought, and here's the thing. I don't try and teach people to get rid of thoughts, or dissolve thoughts, or stop them.
What has to be the first step is just to understand the effect of our thinking. So if we're thinking something, and that's causing us to feel something... If we're thinking something and its causing us to do something, understanding that connection is often enough. Just understanding the connection between the two, all right, and so you don't even need to dissolve it. You don't even have to take any active force to do it, it's just a knowing that changes everything. It's an inside that changes everything.
So, when you ask is it not a thought that actually needs to be dissolved, maybe the thought doesn't need to change at all. Maybe just understanding that that's the reason why you’re doing something, that that's the reason why you’re feeling something, may change everything. Maybe you don't even need to not think the thought, right? Maybe it's just understanding the power of it. So, yeah, I mean I would say that often times I do find thoughts in my brain when I'm looking in there, and I understand them in a whole new way. And so, I don't need to actually do anything with the thought.
All right, I am going do one more question. Let me see where we're at because we're already over thirty minutes. I'm going to do one more question, and then the rest of these questions, I'm going to take over to the Q & A for next month.
"Hi Brooke, if a story that doesn't serve us, example I’ll always be fat, is embedded super deep, how do we bridge the gap between dropping that story and forming a new thought?" Here's the thing, and this is something I want to remind you all, there are all no thoughts that are embedded super deep. There's nothing that's hard to get at.
What a thought is that's a belief system, is just a thought that your brain is very good at thinking. Its not that it’s any deeper, its just that your brain is very efficient at thinking it. So I want to make sure that you understand that's a distinction. So you may not even be aware of it because your brain is so good at thinking it. It's kind of like you're not really aware of putting your foot on the brake petal when you're driving. You don't have to think, "Okay Brooke, time to put your foot on the brake petal." That's a thought that happens, in my head, but I'm just not aware of it because it happens so quickly because my brain is so efficient at thinking it. That can be the same thing for a thought that you're having as I'll always be fat. It's not that its super deep, its just one that you've thought so many times, your brain is good at it.
So bridging the gap between dropping that story and forming a new thought is as simple, and truly is as simple, as understanding that that is a thought you're thinking often. And, the more awareness you light on it, the more aware you become of thinking it, and the more you connect the effect of how you feel when you think that thought, the easier it will be to continue to decide to keep thinking that thought, or to think something different.
So the difference for me, and with all of my weight loss clients, is when they notice that they are constantly overeating, they want to change that behavior. But I asked them to back it up and find the thought that is driving that behavior. Find the thought that you are very efficient at thinking. And when they start noticing, 'Oh my gosh, I'm always thinking I'll always be fat, I'll always be fat, I'll always be fat,' and that's what leads me to overeat. Which is so ironic, right, because that thought wants to be proven true. And the more aware I am of how often I think it, the more it makes sense of why I'm always over eating. And that insight, in and of itself, begins to dismantle the pattern. Because once something that's unconscious, becomes conscious, and once we make a decision to do something different, it may feel awkward and unfamiliar, but because we are now conscious of what we're creating, we can change that pattern... And we can change it quickly.
I've had clients, as soon as their aware of something, they change it immediately, and they never look back. Once they really get that they’re the cause of something, that change can be instantaneous. It's a deeper understanding than just understanding it intellectually. We need to truly understand that we're the cause of our own pain. We are the cause of our own actions. From that space, we can gently, doesn't have to be by force, change into a new pattern of thinking. And it does require a commitment because our brain is going to want to go to the old pattern of thoughts.
Okay, that was a lot you guys. I didn't mean for that to go on so long, but there were some really good questions, and I wanted to address them all. And I have to say, recording my first podcast in my new office has been amazing. There's these beautiful trees right outside, and there are squirrels jumping all over them, and they're beautiful. The sky is completely crystal blue, and it is silent in here. So, all right everyone, I will talk to you... Now this one's going to be published on Monday, so I'm going to talk to you again coming up this Thursday. Two podcasts, one week. You are welcome, y'all.
If you are at all tempted to come and see me in June, we still have spaces in our six day training. What are you waiting for? Let's do this! Go to www.thelifecoachschool.com/training, and let's get it done. All right everybody, have a wonderful amazing day, I'll talk to you soon.
Thank you for listening to the life coach school podcast. It would be incredibly awesome if you would take a moment to write a quick review on Itunes. For any questions, comments, or coaching issues you would like to hear on the show, please visit us on www.thelifecoachschool.com