Managing our minds and taking ownership of our lives requires intentional self coaching on a regular basis. But what does this actually look like? There are lots of ways people do this, but I’ve found that cleaning up our mind is like cleaning a cluttered walk-in closet. Best organized by first being emptied out. I’ve always been a words girl, and I learned at a young age that it’s through lips and pencil tips that our thoughts become untangled.
Over the years, I perfected a method that I still use today when I feel overwhelmed by circumstances in my life. I first grab a piece of paper and quickly brainstorm all the things my mind is racing with that need sorting out. I continue until my mind feels uncluttered before opening my journal and dating the corner. Then, one-by-one I pick away at them, spilling all my thoughts & feelings until each one has been crossed off. I’ve found solace in this method, but I don’t always have time for it. So when I learned how to self coach using the model method, I was grateful to find the express way. As a bonus, it also brought swifter change.
Where to begin?
I keep a notebook that I use just for my self coaching models. It’s often fulfilling to look back over the pages and see how far I’ve come by changing my thoughts. There are two different ways that you can go about self coaching. I like to think of them like taking a peek under the hood of my car to keep it running at its best: Either a “Full diagnostic” or “maintenance check”. If there’s a specific problem you’re wrestling with, work on that one issue until you see change. All of your work below will stay on-topic. Perhaps you have a difficult relationship that challenges your love-ability. Run models and self coach on that every single day until you see a shift in your thoughts and feelings.
If you’re pretty stinkin’ happy with your life and just want to strengthen your emotional, spiritual & mental health, then you’ll treat your coaching as maintenance and work with all your thoughts, regardless of how many topics they span. For today, we’re going to stick to the “full diagnostic” method though, so you can see how this works if you’re coaching on a specific topic. Once you understand this, it will be easier to apply to “maintenance” type self-coaching.
The Self Coaching Process
Step One: Do a “Thought Download”
- Make a list of all your thoughts in bullet-point format. These are all your thoughts about one circumstance. All your thoughts. Unfiltered. (Be sure you’re not editing as you go. Your list must be unfiltered in order to get a real picture of what’s going on in your mind.)
- After you’re finished with your list, take a step back. First put a “+” or “-” next to each one so you get a clear view of whether your overall thinking on the subject are positive, negative, or balanced.
- Then evaluate each line and determine if it’s a “Thought” or a “circumstance”. (Read the linked blog if you have any questions at all about the difference. This determination is a key step!) Label each bullet point either “T” or “C”. Notice how objective your thinking is or is not about this subject. (Don’t judge; just notice.)
Newbies: If you’re brand new to thought work, just doing daily downloads will increase your level of self awareness substantially!
Step Two: “Unintentional Model”
1. Clearly state the circumstance in a factual way that no one would agree with.
2. Pick one thought from your list & plug it into the “T” line of your model.
3. Continue working your way down through the model, making sure to keep each line “connected” to the next.
C: My mother-in-law asked “Didn’t anyone teach you to keep house?”
T: “She’s so critical”
A: Get snippy, notice everything she says that’s critical, complain to my husband about everything she does
R: I become critical of her.
Newbies: Again, just “Step Two” will increase your awareness of whether your thoughts are useful and whether they’re creating the results you want. There’s no need to rush onto Intentional Models. Allow yourself to think your current thought and feel however you do, without jumping to change it. You may decide to keep your thought and feelings. Just make sure you like your reason!
Step Three: “Intentional Model”
This is more advanced work and you may need someone to help you apply it at first–especially if you’re stuck thinking your circumstance is causing your feelings. (It’s not! Remember, your thoughts about your circumstance create your feelings.) Don’t move forward until you’re able to see that and see how the circumstance could be neutral.
- Copy the same circumstance as your first model.
- Ask yourself, “If this was never going to change, what result would I want that is in my control? Write that in your result line. (Remember, another person can only be in your “C” line, because you can’t control their T’s, F’s, A’s or R’s.)
- Work your way up the model, by asking connected questions.
I’ll use the above example, working from the bottom up so you see what I mean.
(I would actually write it in the same order as above CTFAR, but work from the bottom up.)
R: If my mother-in-law was going to continue asking similar questions/statements throughout her life, what result would I want that is in my control? I respect that she’s my husband’s mom, and don’t feel a need to have a close relationship with her.
A: What actions would I need to take in order to get that result?
Let her comments roll off me, remind myself that I’m respectful because she’s his mom and we don’t need to be close. Avoid topics that are likely to open up room for criticism.
F: What would I need to feel in order to take this action? unattached
T: What thought would I need to think in order to feel this way?
“I respect her because she’s his mother, but that doesn’t mean we have to be close. “
C: My mother-in-law asked “Didn’t anyone teach you to keep house?”
This is easiest to apply when you’ve seen or heard a live example, but so many of my clients ask for something to refer back to that I thought I’d share it with all of you as well! Give it a try- I guarantee that even if you only apply step one or two, it will change the way you’re thinking, feeling, and the results you get in your life! If you’d like a little help applying it to you personally, reach out to me or schedule a free consult with me by clicking below.
This is my very favorite thing to teach people because I love that moment when their face lights up and I can see they truly “get it”.
They tell me that a huge pressure just came off their shoulders.
That they wish they had learned this years ago.
That this changes everything.
Not sure how to apply this to your own life? Why not do a mini session with me?
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