Welcome to part five of my seven-part series, where I am dissecting the tool that changed my life, the self-coaching thought model. The self-coaching model is also the very first tool I teach my new clients. The purpose of the thought model is to help you see and feel the life you are currently creating for yourself and to decide if you like it. The model contains five elements that I break down in this series, and at the end of the series, I will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can start using it in your own life. At the end of this post, I share a worksheet that will help you start filling in the first four pieces of the model as you work through your thought downloads, and this week’s action piece.
If you are just joining the series here I want to highly suggest you go back four weeks to my Brain Flossing post and read forward, doing the work included in each step. We started in that original post talking about the process of doing a thought download where I included a Thought Download worksheet to help you get started. Next, we talked about the difference between facts, or circumstances, in our lives and the thoughts we are having about those circumstances. I added in a post after that to help create your partner love list by discussing negative versus positive thinking and how to change negative thought patterns. Last week we talked in-depth about feelings, what creates them, and what they have to do with today’s topic, actions.
What is an action?
An action is the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.
That definition comes straight out of the Google dictionary and I find it quite interesting that it states that an action is typically to achieve an aim, a goal. Contrary to that though, we often take actions that do not lead to the goal we intended, it doesn’t keep us “on aim”. Actions are things we do or don’t do, including inaction. Actions can be something we can see outside of us like giving our spouse a kiss. They can also be internal, as in ruminating over the story we are creating in our mind about last night’s discussion with your partner.
Why do we take the specific actions we take?
We take action based on how we are feeling.
Feeling work is some of the best work you can do in the five elements of the model because feelings are signals and we can feel their vibration in our bodies. Go back to last week’s post for more detailed information about how to discover your emotions. If you think you don’t feel emotions then think again. If you think you don’t feel emotions, you have most likely been practicing repressing emotion. Repressing emotion, or holding it in, is something we do in an effort to protect ourselves from getting hurt, to make ourselves look strong, to hide. Once you start allowing yourself to actually feel the feelings you will learn to love what emotions tell you. Emotions tell us something is happening. When we feel sad we want to be able to feel sad and explore what is happening for us, feeling our emotions is what actually allows those emotions to dissipate or soften. We can know that the emotion we are currently feeling is coming from something we are thinking about. What are we thinking? What is the fact or circumstance that I’m thinking about?
How to take different action.
Learning how to take different actions will require us to learn the first three elements of the model. Because feelings drive how we show up in our lives we want to understand what we are feeling and thinking about the circumstance we are acting in. Once we really understand these three things and how they are impacting the actions we are taking we can start looking at how to take actions we want to take.
- We could look at actions we want to be taking and find some emotions that could drive those desired actions.
- Once we have a few emotions to play with we can start coming up with some thoughts that will generate the desired feelings.
- We can also look at how we are feeling and decide how we want to feel and ask what we might need to think to feel this emotion.
- Then you want to start playing with different combinations and see if they work.
Some thoughts we won’t believe, that’s ok, ask yourself to try a different thought. Maybe the emotion you’re wanting to generate is one you can’t get to right now, try a different emotion that will start moving you in the right direction. The important thing is to start finding something that feels real for you and simply starts moving you in the direction you want to go.
Let’s look at a few examples.
Let’s say you are currently taking a few of these actions around the circumstance of your husband sitting on the couch watching football after dinner:
- Blaming your husband for how you’re feeling
- Complaining that he isn’t doing enough around the house
- Not talking to him
- Stomping around the house
- Sarcastically asking him to do things
- Find more things to do to look busy
- Don’t relax
- Make tasks more important than enjoying husband
- Wanting to change him
- Judging him
- Don’t think of ways to connect
The feeling driving these actions might be disappointed, resentment, self-pity. Maybe you’re thinking something like “He never helps out around the house.” “He doesn’t help me.” “He is lazy.” “My dad does such a better job.”
You could think of different actions you want to take or different thoughts you want to think or the feeling you might want to feel. For this example, let’s just look at feeling compassion or mindful or peaceful or content. What might you need to think to feel any of these emotions? Maybe:
- “I love getting my house in order before I go to bed.” could make you feel peaceful.
- “My husband deserves some time to chill.” could make you feel compassionate.
- “I’m looking forward to my time to sit and chill too.” might make you feel motivated.
- “I wonder if he might be interested in helping me out.” could make you feel curious.
All of these thoughts and feelings will drive different actions like:
- Enjoying doing what you want to do
- Allowing your husband to do what he wants to do
- Kindly asking if he could help but not make it mean anything if he doesn’t
- Planning downtime with husband
- Planning tasks and getting them done within the allotted time
- Plan ways to connect while doing tasks
- Remembering why you like getting things done
- Don’t judge him
As you learn these steps, it will start to become clear to you that it is 100% possible to be in control of how your future dream can become your reality. You are always in control of the results in your life and what you make those results mean. Practice this work, and if you have any questions, please get in touch with me, I’ll help you work through your obstacles. Let’s create the change you want in your love relationship starting today.
Oh, that worksheet I told you about: Model Practice Page
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