Do you ever notice things about your life and think “I wish they were different?” or maybe you see what has happened and blame others for how you think and feel. In either case, in this episode we will talk about owning your result and taking responsibility for what is going on in your life. This is the best news ever, because it means you have the power to change it.
I want to start off by telling you a story.
There was a woman who lived in a beautiful little town in a valley between a bunch of mountains. This woman, let’s call her Jamie, loved to run. She loved where she lived and loved to find new roads and new trails to run. Each day, before Jamie began her run, she would say a prayer to be guided to a new place that Heavenly Father wanted her to see and that he would protect her so she wouldn’t get hurt or run into danger. Then, Jamie would take off running. Sometimes, she would start running from her house and see where she ended up. But sometimes she decided to get in her car and drive closer to the mountains so she could find a new trail. She loved to explore and see all the different trees and grasses and flowers. She loved running into a stream or finding a hidden waterfall. There were so many beautiful things in this world and she couldn’t wait to explore it.
One day, Jamie went running on a trail she hadn’t run before. It had lots of twists and turns and in some places it got really rocky and steep. There were places where it was dark and lots of trees had fallen down and blocked the path. There was lots of trash along the side of the trail and it wasn’t a pretty trail. In fact, it wasn’t what she had expected at all. But instead of choosing to see the beauty in what she had found, she got really angry. She started yelling at God for prompting her to go this direction and on this path. She blamed God and started blaming all the nameless people for leaving the trash and making her pathway harder than it needed to be.
Today we are going to talk about owning your result.
Was it God’s fault Jamie decided to run on this trail? Was it the nameless people who left trash that ruined her run? Or did she just blame Him because things got hard and blame the people because she decided to think that the trash ruined her run?
So let’s take a quick review of our CTFAR model. The Model is the tool I use in every single coaching session with my clients and in my self-coaching.
C – Circumstance (neutral, the facts)
T – Thought (gives our circumstance meaning)
F – Vibration in our body, emotion
A – Action/Inaction, How we show up
R – Our result (no one else’s) correlates to our thought, proving it true.
A lot of us like to try and put other people in our result line, which doesn’t work. For example, let’s say your husband says something like “Why is dinner not on the table” when he got home from work. Oh…doesn’t something like this just make your blood boil? Doesn’t he understand how hard you’ve been working all day? Doesn’t he realize what a stressful day you’ve had with the kids? What happens when you get mad? Do you say mean things back? Or maybe you withdraw and are quiet, but you continue to think of how horrible he for saying those things to you.
Let’s plug this into a model.
C – My husband says words, “Why isn’t dinner on the table?”
T – He shouldn’t say that
F – Anger
A – Say mean things to husband or withdraw and stew about what mean things you want to say
R – My husband is mad at me
But that model doesn’t work because it’s the husband in the result line. What the result should be is “I shouldn’t say those mean things to him, and I’m angry at myself for acting that way.”
Sometimes it’s tough to see the result and what we are creating for ourselves and our lives and marriages. It’s tough to see that it’s not the other person’s fault. It’s so much easier to blame others for how we are thinking and feeling and the results that we are getting because it’s hard seeing ourselves. It’s hard owning up to our own mistakes. But giving the blame to others puts us in a completely powerless position. When we hand over what we are thinking and the results we are getting, we become a victim and feel powerless to change what is happening.
I have a client who was really struggling in her marriage. Her husband confessed to her that he had been looking at pornography, and it rocked her world. They tried going to counseling so that the counselor could “fix” her husband. And of course there were things that her husband needed to work on, but she quickly realized that she had a lot of work to do on herself as well, which is why she came to coaching.
Let’s look at this example with the model.
C: Husband tells wife he looks at pornography
T: He shouldn’t look at it
A: Shame him for looking at it, Withdraw
R: I shouldn’t do the things I am doing to him, and it hurts my relationship with him
A lot of women come to me, unhappy and unsatisfied in their marriages. They think that their husband is the problem. He doesn’t help around the house. He doesn’t help with the kids. He works too much. He cares more about his calling than he does his family. They have so many complaints about what their husbands say and do. They don’t see that by their judgments and criticisms, they are creating the unhappy and unsatisfaction in their marriages.
Owning those results is hard. Owning that they are creating the life that they don’t want is hard.
So this is where compassion and love come in.
It’s not always easy to have love and compassion for those around us who we feel are behaving in ways they shouldn’t and that they should know better and do better. But then, if we look at ourselves; at our own thinking and saying and doing, shouldn’t we as well? Shouldn’t we know better than to criticize and shame and blame? It’s not that easy right? We are all human. We all make mistakes. We all need love and compassion for our human-ness.
When we can come in with love and compassion, it changes our model. It changes our result.
Let’s look at it more closely, with the same scenarios that had before.
C – My husband says words, “Why isn’t dinner on the table?”
T – (What does your thought need to be?) Of course he’s hungry and wants dinner.
F – Love, Compassion
A – Offer him suggestions that he can make himself
R – I get my own back and show him love too
Let’s do our other model.
C: Husband tells wife he looks at pornography
T: I’m sad for him that he looks at this, but it doesn’t change how I feel about him
F: Love, compassion
A: Tell him I love him and ask him how I can help him with this
R: I love my husband in the best way I know how
Did you know this was possible? Did you know it was possible to create a marriage that wasn’t full of anger, resentment, bitterness, and frustration?
Now, that doesn’t mean you won’t feel these negative emotions sometimes. I do all the time! But that is not the basis for my marriage. For the most part, we are happy and loving and kind. When I do experience these negative emotions, I try to recognize where they are coming from and adjust my thinking. I also understand that marriage isn’t supposed to be happy all the time. My negative emotion is normal and part of life.
Let’s look at this backward.
Let’s say your result is that you are unhappy in your marriage. Maybe this is even your thought too. And your feeling is unhappy, dissatisfied, or something like that. When you are thinking that you have an unhappy marriage and feeling that way, what actions are you taking? Are you doing kind things for your spouse? Are you looking for the best in them? No! Your brain is searching for evidence that you are unhappy, and it will clearly show you every little thing that makes you miserable to support it.
You are CREATING your unhappy marriage by thinking you are unhappy. It has absolutely nothing to do with what your spouse says or does. It’s because of your thoughts. So you need to OWN that. You need to OWN that you are creating your reality.
Now, what do you want to do about it? Do you want to continue thinking and feeling that way? Or do you want to create a better result?
What would it look like if your result was, “I am happy in my marriage.” What if that were your thought and your feelings were happiness, love, understanding, compassion. What actions would you be taking to create that?
Now, I don’t mean that you need to accept behavior from your spouse that is demeaning and cruel. You don’t need to be a doormat and have people walk all over you. Part of loving others is loving yourself first, and someone who loves themselves and realizes who they are and the value they bring don’t let people walk all over them. They have their own back but do so coming from a place of love for themselves and the other person. They show up as their best self because that is who they want to be in every situation.
What would you result be if that were your thought? That you want to be your best self in every situation with your spouse?
I have to tell you a funny story. It shows that even though I know this stuff, I am still FAR from perfect when it comes to this. I also shared this on my Instagram, so if you saw it there it might be kind of a repeat, but I’ll add in some extra detail here.
Last weekend I was in California for an event with a bunch of my other coaching friends. It was a GREAT weekend. We went to our event on Friday and got to hang out with other coaches and friends. Saturday we had a great day at the beach, although I got totally burnt. We ate great food and had great conversations and learned so much from each other. I can home on this high. I missed my husband and my kids like crazy and was looking forward to coming home and spending some much wanted time with my husband.
So I got off the plane and texted my husband, and he said he would leave in just a minute and meet me at the passenger pick up after I got my bags. Well, I found myself very annoyed at this. I had just landed, and he hadn’t even left our home yet, which was 25 minutes away. I got off the plane and headed for the baggage claim. When I got there, my bag was already out. It was seriously the fastest I had EVER gotten my bag. I checked the time, and it had been less than 20 minutes since I had landed and he had barely left home. I was seriously annoyed. But, I had been missing him, and so I tried to push it aside and went outside to wait for him. Another 10 minutes later and he finally came. He popped the trunk, and I put my bag in the trunk and got in the car, annoyed that he hadn’t helped me. See where I’m going here? So I got in the car, and he drove off, without kissing me hello or anything. My annoyance continued. I told him all about my trip and some exciting plans I have for my coaching business. When we got home, he started telling me about what we (we meaning me) needed to do this week on our current home and what he was going to do on the new home renovations. I felt very overwhelmed with the list, on top of the annoyance that had been building and then lashed out. I raised my voice, got frustrated with him, you know how that goes. Well then he’s frustrated with my frustration, and he gets upset too. Then all of our kids got home (mine from their dads and his from their moms), and he lashed out at my kids for different things and then I was mad at him for getting mad at them. It just kept spiraling and spiraling. Needless to say that instead of enjoying my night home with him after being gone for four days, we went to bed angry with each other.
The next day I was able to sit down and do a thought download. I thought about everything that had transpired and took a look at my brain and what had been happening. I wasn’t blaming him anymore. I knew it was me who thought things that made me spiral out of control. I can’t take credit for his spiral, but I could have compassion for him since I had done the same thing. Now, I could have continued to blame him for showing up late, not helping me, not kissing me, not understanding how overwhelming everything was for me. But I chose to take responsibility for my stuff. I then had compassion and love for myself, knowing that I hadn’t had a lot of sleep on my weekend away. I was tired. My back had been hurting, etc. And so I apologized for my part. And he did too…and then everything was fine. So even though I didn’t show up as my best self at that moment, I owned my result and did what I could to make it better later. To go back in and repair and show compassion for myself and him.
I hope that someday I might get to the point where that doesn’t happen anymore. But I am human, and I know that I’m not perfect.
“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know until you lived through it. Honor your path. Trust your journey. Learn, grow, evolve, become. – Creig Crippen
Sometimes my thoughts create results in my life that I don’t like. But I’m owning up to them…and you can too.
Let’s go back to the story I told in the beginning about Jamie and her running. Do you think it was possible for her to still have a great run even when things got hard? Even when there were unexpected bumps in the road and trash in the way? I think so. She could always choose to think differently. She could have chosen to be grateful for the hard and grateful that she could be put on this path to clean up the way for others. She could have gotten a different result that day if she had chosen to think differently.
Can look at your result, own up to it, and do what you can to change it by changing your thoughts? Absolutely! And if you need help learning to live from a place from love, you know where you can find me. Because remember…out of all the emotions you can choose to feel, love is always an option.