Episode 17 – How to Solve Any Problem

When coaching my clients, they come to me with a variety of issues.  Any problem can be classified into 1 of 5 categories

  1. Circumstance
  2. Thought
  3. Feeling
  4. Action
  5. Result

Using a model developed by Brooke Castillo at the Life Coach School, I can help my clients get better results in their life no matter what the issue is.

Today’s episode will give you a very basic overview of The Model with some examples of how I have used it in my life and the lives of my clients.

I’ve also included a self-coaching worksheet here so that you can get a copy of it and work through some of your issues on your own.  While it may seem simple, it can be harder than you think, which is why you need my help.  Sign up for a free mini-session and we can work through a model together and I can help you see where you can make some small changes in your life that will give you BIG results!

Download your FREE Self-Coaching Worksheet!

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Show Summary:

Last week we talked about what life coaching is, and why I think everyone needs one.  This week I wanted to share with you the Model I use with all of my clients in every single session I have with them.  This model was developed by Brooke Castillo of the Life Coach School and it is really amazing.  I’ve seen it work over and over in my life and in the lives of my clients.  So let’s get to it….

So when I work with my clients I talk to them about the issues they are having.  Every single issue can be broken down into one of 5 things

  1. A Circumstance – Circumstances are things that happen in the world around us.  Things we don’t control and can’t directly change.  They are FACTS.  
  2. Thoughts – These are the sentences that constantly run through our minds.  Sometimes we are aware of these thoughts, but many times we are not.  We think thoughts based on the circumstances in our lives.  We can’t change our circumstances, but we can change what we think about them.
  3. Feelings – Feelings are the vibrations we experience in our bodies and they are directly tied to the thoughts that we think.  They are different that sensations, like hunger and physical pain.  Emotions are voluntary because we can change what we feel by what we are thinking.
  4. Actions – These are the behaviors, reactions, and sometimes inaction that are directly related to our feelings.  If we want different actions, we can choose different feelings.
  5. Results – These are the effects of our actions.  Choosing different actions will give us different results.

So….our THOUGHTS about our CIRCUMSTANCES cause our FEELINGS, which cause our ACTIONS and ultimately give us our RESULTS… by understanding that process we can make amazing changes in our lives by choosing to think different things.

So when a client comes to me and tells me the problem they are having, it ALWAYS falls into one of these 5 things and together I help them see how they can make changes by changing the way they are thinking.

Let me illustrate with a few examples…

First I will give you just a very basic example with TRAFFIC

C: Traffic

T: I hate traffic, it always makes me late, and I start off the day bad

F: Grumpy, frustrated

A: Not as productive

R: Bad day at work

C: Traffic

T: I will take advantage of this extra time I have in the car to listen to my new audiobook

F: happy, fulfilled

A: productive

R: good day at work

So that’s a very BASIC example.  Now I want to give you an example from one of my clients.

This client is just recently divorced.  She has custody of her 3 girls, works, and was trying to find a new home to live in.

C: Recently divorced

T: This is so overwhelming, and I have so much to do, I am not getting time with my girls

F: overwhelmed, tired, frustrated, inadequate, depressed

A: inaction, sleeping

R: not getting done what she needs to and not spending time with her girls 

C: Recently divorced

T: I can do everything I need to and still have time to spend with my girls

F: Confident, Happy, Empowered, Productive

A: Gets done what she needs to and spends time with girls

R: Better relationship with her daughters and feeling good about herself

See how just changing her thought gave her completely different feelings, actions, and results, even though her circumstance was the same?

Now, I know this seems super simple.  And in some cases in can be.  But in most it is not.  Changing thoughts that have been in your brain for long periods can take a while to change.  But it is definitely possible.  

It’s important that you just begin to notice your thoughts.  Notice what you are thinking and what emotions, actions, and results you are getting as a result of those thoughts.  As you begin to notice them, then it will make it easier to change them.

As members of the LDS church we believe that one of the greatest blessings we have here on earth is the gift of Agency.  Most of the time we think that agency is just choosing right from wrong.  Good from evil.  But I believe that learning to consciously choose even the thoughts that we think is the highest form of our agency.

So when you begin to notice your thoughts (Eckhart Tolle describes it as becoming A Watcher) your brain will naturally choose thoughts that are familiar and easy.  Be compassionate with yourself as your are trying to change them.  Yep…there’s that thought again… and then move on to your new thought.  But don’t get mad at yourself or beat yourself up for continuing to think the same thoughts you’ve been thinking for a long time.  That is totally normally.  Just be compassionate and understanding and continue to work to think the new thought. As you consciously choose to think the new thought it will become more natural and you will start to see the changes in yourself. 

Now you may think…ok, I can do this. Why do I need a Life coach? And maybe on some things, you can. But I find most people need some help. Especially at first. A lot of people get confused on what are their thoughts versus what is a circumstance. Many times they’ve been thinking thoughts for so long they think that their thoughts are facts. 

I have another client who was also recently divorced for the second time. It has been pretty devastating for her. She was feeling depressed, exhausted, sad, and angry. She said her circumstance was “I am alone”. But I showed her that that was actually a thought. It wasn’t a fact. She isn’t alone. She has children, and grandchildren, and friends who live her and support her. But that thought was causing her so much pain. Together we found a new thought that fueled her to use her story to help others. To serve others. This made her happy. This made her feel like she could move forward. It changed her course. Now, that doesn’t mean she still doesn’t have dark days. Dark hours. Dark moments. But they are far less. 

Something else I want you to understand is that it is ok to have negative emotion. We don’t need to (and we don’t always want to) change what we are thinking so that we never experience negative emotion. I tell my clients to expect about 50/50. 50% positive and 50% negative.  But let me give you an example of not changing a thought that causes negative emotion. 

When my grandma passed away in January I was obviously sad. Thoughts about her not being here anymore and missing her made me sad. But I wanted to be sad. I wanted to miss her. So I didn’t try and change those thoughts. 

Sometimes my kids do things that irritate me. Sometimes I want to be irritated, so I don’t work to change the thought making me irritated (like, “they shouldn’t do that”) and sometimes I do (“of course they do that, they are teenagers and that’s what teenagers do”)

So now I want you to try this out! Download my self-coaching worksheets And then find me on social media @amandaloudercoaching and let me know how it’s going for you.

I would also love to help you dive in a little bit further and coach you on whatever you need. Sometimes we need a bit more than what we can do for ourselves. Even I still have a coach because I can’t always see the issues I am creating for myself. 

Alright friends thats all I have for you today. I hope you have a good week, especially if your kids are headed back to school. We will see you next week!

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