Once upon a time, exactly one year ago, I was going through it.
Really going through it.
I had just gone through what seemed like the worst thing that could possibly happen in my life—the guy I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with left.
I remember thinking “I don’t know how I’m going to ever get better, but I’m going to. I’m not going to let him take more from me than he already has. I’m not going to let this ruin me. I’m not going to be like his best friend, who was still moping around crying at bars an entire year later after his girlfriend had left him.”
I vowed to come out of it better than I went into it.
In the midst of feeling awful, I decided to try everything. Looking back this was the key to getting out of it. I took action. I didn’t wait for time to pass. It’s like the Andy Warhol quote, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” I really understood this, and knew it was up to me to feel better.
I relied on close friends and family. I went to therapy. I read books. I listened to podcasts. I even watched YouTube videos.
One day I landed on The Life Coach School podcast.
I listened to one episode, which led to two, which led to 10, which led to listening to every single episode—over 200—in a matter of a couple weeks. (Like everything else in my life, I didn’t dabble. I went all in.)
In a matter of a couple weeks, my life completely did a 180 (if you’ve read my story, you already know this).
I learned how to manage my mind completely. I am 1000x better and happier than I ever was even when I was with that guy. They call this post traumatic growth, where you come out better than before the event happened.
I remember my therapist telling me I didn’t need to come back and asking me, “how does it feel to be healthy?” I remember laughing and saying “pretty damn good.”
Brooke Castillo teaches a lot of different topics on The Life Coach School, but most notably she teaches the tool called the Self Coaching Model that I am going to teach to you here that is at the root of all the personal growth I had in the last year.
The Self Coaching Model
I learned the Self Coaching Model from Brooke at the Life Coach School, but it’s worth mentioning that she created the tool, but didn’t invent the theory. These are facts of the universe. They’re how the world works. There are many other thought leaders who refer to components of the Model without calling it this. The Self Coaching Model is just the most practical tool I’ve seen for applying these theories.
The Self Coaching Model has 5 parts:
Circumstances are all the facts of the world (think provable in a court of law). Circumstances are completely neutral. They’re neither good nor bad. Circumstances include other people, your past, and all the other facts of the world (like, my hair is blonde).
Thoughts are sentences in your head. Thoughts that are repeated enough become beliefs. Thoughts are trigged by circumstances but are completely optional. Thoughts cause feelings.
Feelings are vibrations in your body caused by your thinking (contrast this with sensations, which are caused from outside your body, like hot or cold). Your feelings cause all your actions.
Actions (or inactions or reactions) are what you do (or don’t do).
Results are the effect of your actions.
The Self Coaching Model shows you that your thoughts cause your feelings, your feelings cause your actions, and your actions cause your results. Circumstances are neutral.
Truths About The Model
Here are a few more truths that the Model is based on that will help…
- You can’t control other people or your past.
- When you argue with the past you lose (100% of the time).
- Nothing outside of you has power to make you feel a certain way.
- It is not your circumstances, but your thoughts about your circumstances, that create your experience.
- You attract what you think about.
- Feelings are vibrations in your body that lead to action, inaction, or reaction.
- You can’t permanently change your results without changing your beliefs.
- You can feel better now, without anything in your life changing.
- Choosing your thoughts is the most important component to feeling better.
Solving Any Problem With The Model (Example)
You can use the Self Coaching Model to solve any problem you’re having right now as well as to create the exact future you want.
Here’s an example of solving a problem using the Model.
Circumstance: My husband didn’t plan anything for my birthday.
Thought: My husband isn’t thoughtful and doesn’t care about me.
Action: Avoid husband, withdraw, give cold shoulder
Result: Less time spent with husband; less connection
In this example, the circumstance of your husband not planning anything for your birthday is completely neutral. It’s a fact that’s neither good nor bad. It doesn’t have meaning until you give it meaning. Now, you might get 1000/1000 people to agree with you that your thought is justified, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. Your thought is just a thought that is completely a choice. And your choice is causing you to feel sad. Despite your intentions, feeling sad only affects you. When you feel sad, your feeling of sadness doesn’t jump out of your body into your husbands. You suffer by choosing to think this thought. The beauty is that this is a choice.
Here’s the same circumstance with an entirely different result.
Circumstance: My husband didn’t plan anything for my birthday.
Thought: I know my husband loves me and wants to celebrate with me, so I will remind me about my birthday.
Action: Plan birthday with husband
Result: Enjoy birthday with husband
Notice that the thoughts in these two Models are optional. The outcomes of each thought are very different results.
Your thoughts and feelings aren’t happening to you. You’re choosing them. You’ve probably just never leaned how to do this intentionally. You have the power to change your thinking and feeling without any of your circumstances changing. This is magic.
Design Your Dream Life With The Model (Example)
You can also use the Model by filling it in backward (starting with the Result line) to determine what you need to do, feel, and think in order to get the result you want.
Here’s an example of designing your dream life with the Model
Circumstance: online business
Thought: I know I am going to create a seven figure business.
Action: implement everything I learn in the course I just took, get business coach training, launch coaching program, launch podcast, run Facebook ads, grow email list, learn direct response marketing
Result: seven figure business
The key to filling out an intentional model is to make sure the thought your create is one you believe. If you choose a thought you don’t believe, using that thought won’t lead to the result you want. Your thoughts only create the results in your life when you believe them. This is why affirmations don’t work. When you repeat sentences you don’t believe, nothing changes.
Examples Of Thoughts And Circumstances
Because it’s soooo easy to mix up thoughts and circumstances, here is a breakdown of some examples for you…
Examples of thoughts
- I don’t make enough money
- I am fat
- My boss is rude
- I hate my job
- I can’t afford my life
- My mom doesn’t respect my time
- The airline shouldn’t have lose my luggage
Examples of circumstances
- I make $75,300 per year
- I weigh 165 lbs.
- My boss said, “You’re not very good at this, are you?”
- I have a job
- I pay my bills
- My mom did not show up on time
- The airline lost my luggage
If you get nothing else from this post, know this: it is never the circumstance causing your feelings. It is always your thought about the circumstance causing your thinking.
You Can Believe Anything
The thoughts you think are entirely optional. You can decide what to think. You can think anything you want.
For example, you believe you’re going to live until you’re old. But really, you might die tomorrow. The truth is you have no idea when you’re going to die. But you believe you’ll live a long life because it’s useful.
How often do we spin out into believing things that don’t serve us? I used to be so guilty of this! It’s self sabotaging.
When you take responsibility for your thoughts, you take responsibility for your feelings, actions, and results. This is how you can design your dream life. It’s up to you and that is great news.
I’m doing it and it’s working. Not only did I use this for recovering from my breakup, but I also used a similar tool to get into an $18k coaching program and run my business full time.
How To Start Using The Model
To start using the Self Coaching Model in your life, keep in mind the two main ways you can use it…
- To solve a problem you’re having (it could be something you’re going through, how you’re feeling about something, or anything else you want to deal with)
- To plan for your future
When you use the Model, become the watcher of your thoughts and feelings. Separate yourself from your thoughts and from your feelings. Ask yourself:
- What am I thinking? Why?
- What am I feeling? What thought is causing that feeling?
The awareness you’ll get from this lesson alone can be a complete gamechanger.
To use the Model yourself, fill out this cheat sheet:
First, identify the problem or issue you’re having.
Second, categorize it as a circumstance, thought, feeling, action, or result.
Third, fill in the rest of the Model.
Finally, notice how it’s your thought causing the problem—not the circumstance.
Once you have completed this Model, you’ll be tempted to hurry and change your thinking.
You can change your thinking, but most people do it too abruptly and without much compassion for themselves. So, I strongly suggest you just become the watcher of your mind and notice that anything you’re feeling or experiencing is the result of your thinking.
Once you’re ready to change your thought, you can create a new thought and a new Model. Then, practice that new thought. Make sure you believe it. Again, practicing a thought you don’t believe doesn’t help you.
- When filling out a Model, the circumstance has to be neutral—it can’t have adjectives at all.
- Example: “I have $2,345 in my checking account” (a circumstance because it’s a neutral fact that’s provable).
- Example: “I am dead broke” (not a circumstance because it’s not a fact no matter how many people would agree).
- Start from the top and work your way down when you’re solving a problem.
- Start from the bottom and work your way up when you’re designing your dream future.
This Isn’t Woo-Woo
The Self Coaching Model isn’t all airy fairy and manifestation.
You don’t just repeat thoughts (affirmations) and expect a completely different future.
That’s not how it works.
What you believe (truly believe) will create feelings in your life. Those feelings create the actions you take, and those actions lead to the results.
Your actions always lead to the results, but if you only focus on changing your actions without changing your thoughts, you’ll fail because you’ll self-sabotage or come up with excuses as to why you don’t want to do what it is you want most. Just look at your past for evidence of this.
A Final Note!
Realizing that every feeling, action, and result you have in your life is because of a thought is life-changing.
The good news is that you’ve created all the results you have in your life. If you want new results, you have to believe new things. It’s the new beliefs that will lead you to take the right action.