Manage the Drama
Chapter 10 of Make ‘Em Beg To Be Your Client!
One of the main reasons why I chose to overeat most of my life is because it made it easier for me not to feel my feelings. I think Brooke Castillo explains this really well, in that she describes your body like a like a glass jar. Imagine you put a coin into a glass jar and shake it. There’s going to be a lot of noise, right? It’s almost like I’m making a musical instrument. If you were to fill that glass jar up with cotton balls, and then put the coin in there and shake it, you would not hear the same level of noise. The cotton balls would be buffering that sound. The reason why I ate was to soften that noise. The coin, of course, represents your feelings. I didn’t want to hear all that noise, so I ate (food, not cotton balls). It worked very well. I am super impressed with my ability to come up with that solution.
What this led to, as a side effect of drowning out the feelings, was an extra 150 pounds of weight I did not require. In fact, I was extremely uncomfortable in my body because I was stuffing it all the time. I was like busting out of my body. Maybe you can relate to some feelings making your coins jingle loudly in your own glass jar. Maybe you have your own cotton balls, whether they be food or something else. But an emotion is just a sensation passing through your body. It’s not the end of the world – no one comes and takes your children away because your feelings are unpleasant. You don’t die. You can actually feel a feeling and not be harmed. But before I learned this, it definitely felt like I was going to die, and so I would stuff things into the jar.
One day, my coach, Brooke Castillo took me to a ropes course in Lake Tahoe. On this ropes course, we were challenged to climb high things. When you climb a high thing, you very often feel a sensation in your body, especially if you’re 300 pounds. There was this particular activity on the course: a telephone pole, which we had to climb. We’d get to the top of the telephone pole, stand on it, and then parkour-style, jump onto another telephone pole which was approximately a mile away. I think it was really more like two feet away, but it definitely felt like a mile to me, and we were to leap from one onto the next. If you fell, you would die, which is why I don’t want to feel my feelings. (Really, we were harnessed and on like a carabiner, so if you fell everything would actually be fine, but it did not feel that way to me.)
I climbed the telephone pole. Three hundred fifty pounds, by the way, is a lot of weight to carry up a telephone pole. I kept climbing, despite the fact that I did not want to do this, until I got to the top rung on the pole – at which point, I was supposed to stand up on the top of the pole.
I was so proud of myself for making it to the top. I really felt like I did my best. Every single step up the pole was a struggle. I was feeling my fucking feelings, but I kept climbing – I didn’t quit.
When I went to stand on the pole, I had a problem, in that my fat rolls were blocking my leg from bending at the angle that was required to get up there. Part of me was trying to find another way to stand on the top of the pole. (Maybe kneel first?) But I was also thinking, If I get up there I am for sure going to die, because if I stand on it, then I’m going to have to jump to the other pole.
Can you hear like the jangling of my thoughts here?
As I explained to Brooke, “I totally get that other people could stand on the top of this telephone pole. I watched other people do this. But for me, it is clearly different, because of the shape of my body.”
Brooke wasn’t buying it, yet I kept arguing. “No, I understand it can be done, but obviously I can’t do it. Let me show you my fat rolls. See? My leg can’t do that. I’m not flexible.”
Brooke stood at the bottom of the pole yelling up to me. You can definitely do it!
I yelled back. Let me just explain one more time.
I had all the reasons why I couldn’t do it, and she finally said, “Look. It’s totally up to you if you want to do this or not. It is not going to change my life. You stand on the pole or not. Your call.”
I said, “I totally get that, but I would like you to acknowledge that I have done my best – like, even though I didn’t jump, I have done my best. Please acknowledge that.”
Brooke disagreed. “Your best would be jumping.”
She would not let me off the hook. But I came back down the pole anyway. Without her blessing. Later, when I tried to explain why I couldn’t physically do what she asked, I really wanted her to acknowledge that I was right. I just had a physical limitation, plain and simple.
“Argue for your limitations, and you get to keep them,” she said.
“No, no, I’m not arguing for my limitations. I wanted to get at the top but I couldn’t do it.”
“I’m not buying it,” she said. “If your son’s life was in jeopardy if you didn’t jump, you would have figured out a way.”
I knew she was right. I actually could have done it. I wanted to explain the ergonomics of my body. But if somebody was at the bottom of the pole with a gun to Jesse’s head…well…I would have stood on the pole and jumped. Which means I was capable of it, and it was only my thoughts that would not allow me to do it.
There is a point at which I won’t be able to teach you another tool. I will have nothing left to give. Because the person who wants the result has to just do it. The only person who can do it, is you. You are the only one who can stop arguing for your limitations, because if you want them, or if you fear the discomfort of living without them, you get to keep them.
When you move forward with creating the kind of business that will get clients begging to work with you, you will be in an amazing new place with a new energy and lots of exciting stuff happening – and that will bring up more beautiful resistance of its own.
This process of becoming the leader of your movement – stepping on to a bigger stage where clients are begging for the chance to work with you – isn’t about reaching the top of the mountain and relaxing. You know what you can see from the top of the mountain? More mountains. With each of those tactical steps in getting there, a million things are going to go wrong, and they’re supposed to! Those things that go wrong are going to bring up feelings in you that you will not want to feel. Then to avoid feeling them, your thoughts will be telling you either stop doing the tactic, do a different tactic, or just decide you should give up now, because no tactics will ever work for you – ever. Those are the feelings we want to manage, but the truth is, they never, ever, ever go away. That’s the bad news. They actually only get bigger. The good news about the fact that they never go away is that, as long as you don’t quit, you get much better at managing them.
In this book I’ve given you a list of possible awareness activities. There is an awareness activity that works for you. I hundred-percent promise. It kind of doesn’t matter which one you choose, as long as your pick one of them, which is why I want you to commit to that action for 90 days. I know that way it will bring up the negative emotions you are trying to avoid feeling and working through that emotional minefield is the secret to your ongoing success.
If we can catch these thoughts and change them, your tactics will end up changing if they need to, but for the right reasons, and with no drama attached.
I look forward to you failing at your landing page. I look forward to you embarrassing yourself at a networking event. I look forward to you having a terrible sales call, where you start off by giving the price and don’t close any sales. And the reason I look forward to all of those things, even though it sounds like a terrible experience, is that is how you will be learning how to manage your thoughts, and to come out of imperfections (and even humiliations) with the full knowledge that you are still the best in the world at what you do for who you do it. That is going to develop your confidence and your ability to stay clear in your purpose – in other words, the way you get clients begging to work with you.
You are at the top of the telephone pole. Do not stop before you stand on the telephone pole. You cannot go back in time and recapture this moment. This is the life blood of your future. This is your future self out here, stand and jump!
Get the rest of the chapters of Make ‘Em Beg To Be Your Client! here.