How to Get Over a Breakup

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  • “When you have a breakup, learn. Don’t blame. Don’t be mad. Don’t try to get back. Don’t try to recover everything. If the breakup is definitive and it is done, you must also learn to let go.”
  • We often experience many negative emotions after a breakup. In this episode, learn how to get over a breakup and use your experience to fuel your personal growth and long-term happiness.
  • “Architect the best you. Use this breakup as a breaking point from your old ways of assuming, your old ways of doing things, and your own limited thinking.”
  • Watch the video to get the full training.
  • Going through a breakup is a painful experience. Consider these four tips if you’re going through a tough time and need help moving forward with more wisdom, joy and passion.
  • To use your experience to fuel your personal growth, begin with completing the worksheet for this training here.
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I’m Discouraged, What Should I Do?
Four Decisions that Changed My Life
Three Transformational Events in My Life
Love Yourself More (Sort Of)
How to Attract More Love





[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

How do you get over a breakup?

I get asked this question all the time, and if you’re in that situation where you’ve just ended a relationship or you ended a relationship a long time ago and it’s still bothering you, this video might help.

And of course I don’t know if some random dude you’re watching on the internet can actually help you deal with some of the deep, dark, frustrating, sad things that happen when you break up with somebody you love, but I’m speaking about that from experience. So, I’m going to share with you four big ideas that can help you in dealing with a breakup, but also recognize that if that’s where you’re at, I’m sorry to hear that. I know how hard that is.

Some of you guys know my origin story that got me into personal development in the first place was a breakup.

I broke up with the first woman I ever loved, and we were high school sweethearts. And that breakup sent me into a deep depression. It sent me into suicidal thoughts. And I don’t know what would’ve happened to me if I hadn’t been in a car accident that was unrelated that helped me snap back into place.

It helped me realize, “No, I want to live my life.” Because previous to that, when that relationship ended—because I had my whole identity tied up into that relationship—I thought I ended. I thought my life was over.

So if you’re somebody who has been told, “Well, stop being so dramatic,” or your friends tell you, “Just get over it,” I’m not going to be that guy for you today who just makes it sound so easy. I understand those dark nights where you wonder who you are and what your life’s about, and all that happens when you break up with somebody—especially somebody who maybe you cared for, or they broke up with you.

Either way, it doesn’t feel good, whether or not you did the breaking up. Sometimes that can feel really good, but there’s still stuff there, you know? And if someone broke up with you, there’s still stuff there too. So I hope that in this discussion today, we can find something that will help.

So I’ve got four big ideas for you.

1. Phase Two Philosophy

The first idea for you that really helped me is this philosophy called Phase Two Philosophy.

And what does that mean? It means that you’ve got to look at whatever has happened to you in the past, whether it’s a sad thing, a failure thing, a breakup thing, a bad day. You’ve got to say, “Okay, that was phase one. Now I’m in phase two. Phase one was all about experimenting, learning, developing. Now, I’m on to phase two—innovation.”

It’s giving yourself a mindset that says, “Everything that has happened to us, there was a reason. If we don’t know what it was, it’s okay, but at the end, there’s a product—you, me, us and where we are now. And now we have to start to go into phase two.”

It’s like that philosophy you’ve heard before, that metaphor of a new chapter. That’s what you have to think. No matter what the previous chapters said, it’s a new chapter. If you broke up with somebody or you’ve been broken up with, today is the day that you go, “Okay, who do I want to be now, separate from that person or separate from that relationship? What’s the ideal me look like, sound like, talk like, and work towards? How does the ideal me talk with other people, relate with other people? How does the ideal me focus on getting things done? How does the ideal me move about in the world, now in phase two? Because in phase one, I learned.”

And that is so critical.

When you have a breakup, learn. Don’t blame. Don’t be mad. Don’t try to get back. Don’t try to recover everything. If the breakup is definitive and it is done, you must also learn to let go.

But you know what? It is impossible to let go unless you accept that now you’re in phase two. Because if you keep trying to stay and live in phase one, and every day you keep thinking about them and you’re following them on social media, and you’re still in phase one with your behaviors, you’ll be miserable.

So you’ve got to let phase one go and step into phase two by saying, “Okay, phase one was learning. What did I learn about myself in that relationship? What would my better self do in the next relationship? What did I learn about people, and what did I learn about vulnerability? What did I learn about love?”

Because I’ve always learned, if you can have the learning mindset, recovery is easier. If you can look back, not to blame, not to complain, not to moan, not to be sad, but rather just to explore, to be here today in phase two—to observe.

Kind of like flipping back through a couple of the chapters and just looking for a theme, looking for a learning opportunity. “Ah, okay that’s good to know. Now, this new chapter goes this way.” That’s what phase two philosophy is all about.

Learn, got it, here I am now, make the product better, make us better, make each other grow. And I know that sounds weird to say “product,” but this is how we would think about this. As an example, if you’re thinking about engineering or product development.

And we’re all humans in development, right?

You’re now you 2.0 or 3.0 or 4.0. You’re in a new phase, baby. So if you can step into that new phase with a learned mindset, that will help.

Second, you’ve got to be grateful for phase one.

It’s hard. When you’re hurt, when you’re mad, when you’re upset, all you want to do is hate that phase one happened. “Why did this happen to me?” But I want you to be grateful for who you now know you need to become. Be grateful for that. Be grateful for the times you did have love. Have plenty of nostalgia. Be thankful for those beautiful moments in life that this person gave you in the relationship without needing to cling and get it back.

You can be free from something and appreciate it.

I had lots of things happen to me in ninth grade and eleventh grade that were beautiful and great times with friends, but those friends aren’t here in phase two. It doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate those times with my friends. Same thing in relationships. You can still appreciate those things, but they’re not here in phase two and you’re okay with that.

Because you’re just grateful for everything you learned along the way. I know that sounds flippant to say, and you might be like, “Yeah Brendon, I’m not grateful. I’m mad.” I get that, but I’m here to tell you that your development will not proceed until you can see phase one through a learning mindset and a grateful mindset. Until you can do that, you won’t live your life. You’ll be stuck there.

If you keep thinking about it and thinking about it, I’m like, “Great, think about it, but think about it for two things—learning, number one. Think about it for gratitude, number two. And number three: what will I do now? Who am I now?”

That’s this phase two philosophy. You’re starting a new phase of your life.

2. Pour Yourself into Your Friendships and Passions

Second big idea, I want you to pour yourself into your friendships and your passions. Pour yourself into your friendships and your passions. When you’re hurt and you’re upset, you know what you want to do? Withdraw.

You want to go hide in a cave. You want to isolate yourself. But what you don’t need now is a great dose of loneliness, my friend. What you need now is a social connection. Because in your relationship in phase one, you had a connection there and it was a social connection. It was an intimate connection, but it was a social connection. You need a new social connection, and you don’t need to go find a new person for that.

You can still have a connection with your friends. So go re-engage your friends. Go out with your friends more than you used to. Be responsible. Go out with your friends more. Schedule more lunches. Schedule more dinners. Schedule more walks with your girlfriends or your buddies. Get outdoors, be with your friends, and schedule a time.

Don’t be like, “I’ve got nothing to do this weekend.” Pick up the phone. “Hey, Pete, do you want to go out? Hey, Sarah, should we meet up?” Don’t sit there and wait for them to come to you. Because remember—a funny thing happens when you’re in a breakup. Time slows down. And for you, the hours are torturous and the days are horrible. But for everybody else, they’re just going through the day waiting for the next time that they can go hang out, so their life is proceeding.

Because when you’re sad, time slows down. You really feel it. And I think biology and evolution gave us that so that we could be contemplative and so we can learn. But for you, time’s going a little slower than your friends, so don’t be mad if your friends aren’t all pouring themselves into you. They don’t know. They’re just going about their day. Right? Nothing changed for them. So you’ve got to be proactive in reaching out to your friends.

Pour yourself into friendships. They’ll help you not only feel good and laugh, they’ll also give you that social connection feeling.

Also, pour yourself into your passions. Whatever you are curious about, I want you to dork about and go deep on. I mean, if you’re curious about this type of movie and filming, or you’re curious about this type of business, or you’re curious about this topic, go get the books, watch the videos on it, take a course on it.

Deep dive into your passions. Dork out. Obsess a little bit. Because that little bit of obsession about the things that you really love will also introduce that feeling of passion and love that, obviously, you cannot replace from a person or an intimate relationship. But listen, isn’t it true, we should all pour ourselves into our passions anyway?

We all know that phrase—be passionate, live with passion. Well, do that. Don’t allow yourself to just mope all day. Listen, I’m totally okay when you break up if you have four or five days of nothing but a snot-driven Netflix binge, chip-eating, bad food, bad drinks, bad everything for six days to mope and feel bad. Everyone’s allowed that.

But that can’t be your life.

So you’ve got to re-engage your passions, and don’t wait three months. Don’t wait and say, “I’ll do it a year from now when I feel better.” Because you know what? You won’t feel better. You are going to generate better feelings. You’re not going to hope that one day you’re happy. You’ve got to start generating happiness.

If you’ve heard me teach anytime, I always say, “The power plant does not have energy, it transforms energy from one quality to another higher quality of utilization.”

Meaning, you’ve got to take all that sadness and at some point, you’re going to have to transform it and start generating that energy into more positive things for yourself. I hope that makes sense.

3. Deep Dive into Personal Development

Number three, I want you to also do a deep dive into your personal development. Not just the things you’re curious about or interested in, not just your strengths and your passions. I want you to do a deep dive into personal development. Watch more videos like this from me or other people. Go watch a bunch of videos on TED. Listen to a bunch of podcasts. Read a bunch of personal development books and don’t be embarrassed by it.

Because you know what? Self-help is necessary right now. You need to do personal development like a pro. Your personal and professional development is critical right now. Don’t wander the woods of sadness for five years and wake up five years later and go, “I’m not any better than I was five years ago.” We’ve all been there and that sucks.

Instead, architect the best you. Use this breakup as a breaking point from your old ways of assuming, your old ways of doing things, your own limited thinking, and say, “You know, I want to become a positive, optimistic, very mindful person. I want to be a person who’s happy and joyous.” And you’re going to have to learn to deal with your thoughts on that.

If you ever hear someone make fun of personal development, they’re not realizing that all personal and professional development is teaching you better ways to use your mind. And if they’re making fun of that, let that be their thing.

You need to learn to use your mind better to become happier right now.

Is there a better time to train than right now when you had a breakup on how to use your mind better, how to learn how to be more fulfilled and satisfied, learn how to be happier and more positive, learn how to control your thoughts? Because otherwise, your thoughts can betray you. Your mind can start thinking about things that happened and who was blamed. That’s not good.

So get into personal development. Listen to podcasts, watch the videos, go to the bookstore. Pick up three books today that are personal development. Even if you think the titles are cheesy. That’s okay. You’re probably sad—you’re cheesy too right now. You might be a cheesy metaphor of a breakup person on your couch watching Netflix and eating the chips and all the bad food. Cheesy is okay right now. Allow yourself a little bit of cheesy personal development. It’ll make you feel better. Clearly, if you’re still watching me, I think you’re just fine.

4. Get Momentum

Okay, last big idea. The fourth big thing—you need to get some momentum, my friend.

If you think about it, in any given relationship, there’s a compromise, there’s give and take. And sometimes in your relationship, you prioritize a lot of other things but not the projects or the passions or the goals that you had. It’s not that relationships slow us down. I am not saying that. What I’m saying is, I bet if you think about it, there are a few things you’ve been waiting to do. Try setting three goals related to those things you’ve been waiting to do each day and then knock off those three goals or tasks—doesn’t matter if they’re big ones or little ones. In the morning, just write down three things you’re going to do that day and reliably do them.

Everyday, do three things to move yourself forward.

Because you know what the heart loves just as much as love? The heart loves progress.

And when you have progressed in your life, your brain goes, “Oh, I’m doing okay here. I’m doing good here.” We know that as you get more momentum and progress in your life, your self-confidence goes up.

As your self-confidence goes up, so too does your social connection ability. You’re more confident and you’re more able to be interested in people again. And I think that’s really important.

As you get more momentum, you feel good about yourself, you’re more willing to engage people. You’ve got to make sure you’re doing things that make you feel good about yourself again, and that requires daily tasks and goals that you do consistently.

I hope these four ideas helped you today, my friend. Again, if you are in a breakup and it’s been hurtful, sad, and challenging, I give you my heart right now. I understand that. I’ve been through that several times in my life. But I also want to let you know, in phase two, or in phase three, or phase four, or five upcoming for you—things will get better. You are stronger than you think, my friend, and the future still holds good things for you.

So consider what I’ve shared today. Go put yourself out there. Keep living your life. Have that idealized version of you. You can choose to go through this in a way that is disempowering, or this is about to become the most empowering time of your life.