SO……. what is the REAL Problem?
In any situation, in anything that maybe isn’t quite what you want it to be, whether it is a goal or result you are struggling working towards, or something that is causing you actual pain and suffering in some way, there is a problem.
Most often the actual “problem” is not a problem at all! It is something completely different. And that is the best place to start.
We can look at this as……
Circumstances verses Thoughts
So what is my definition of “Circumstances“?
Circumstances are the facts of any given situation.
They are the things that happen outside of us that we can not always control. They are not subject to opinion (yours or anyone else’s). Everyone would agree on the facts. You could prove them in a court of law.
My favorite descriptor is “The Math” of the story. There is no drama involved. Circumstances are completely neutral, and can tend to be really boring.
Examples of factual circumstances would be things like:
The weather = the actual temperature on the thermometer – It is 109 degrees outside
The traffic = the number of cars present moving at a particular rate of speed on specific roads
Laundry = the amount of clothes that are clean or dirty; folded clothes or unfolded clothes
Other people’s behavior = words they say or actions they take/don’t take in specific situations
The amount of money in your bank account = $X in my account
Our weight/number on the scale = the amount of gravitational pull on the mass of my body at any given moment
SO what are our “Thoughts“?
When circumstances happen around us, our brains then add meaning to those circumstances. That meaning is what I refer to as thoughts.
Thoughts are subjective. They are opinionated. Thoughts are the drama or the story we tell ourselves around the circumstance.
To decide if what is happening is a thought or a circumstance ask yourself, “Could this be proven in a court of law?” If the answer is no, it is a thought.
The reason this is so critical is because our thoughts are OPTIONAL. You can choose your thoughts!! If that weren’t true we would all think and feel the same way, and have the same opinions and stories about all the circumstances we face. We are all very different, and often we think about things differently, which proves that the circumstance itself is neutral.
The other reason that this is critical is because our thoughts are the reason for our feelings. The emotions that we feel are in response to the thoughts that we have, the meaning that we are adding to the circumstances.
In Part 2 we will look more at our thoughts in relation to our circumstances and how those thoughts influence our feelings.
If you want help in sorting out some of your circumstances and thoughts (“Math” vs “Drama” or “Fact” vs “Story”) click on the “Contact Me” button and send me an email. You can also click the “Schedule a Consult” button to have a free introductory coaching consult with me.
In the meantime, try looking at your own thoughts and circumstances and see what you notice. And maybe once we understand our thoughts and feelings a little more you can see why I say, “It’s all good!”
Remember…..It’s ALL good!!!
I’m Michelle. I am learning how to minimize my overwhelm, perfectionism, and people-pleasing and I am ready to help you do the same. I’m a certified Life Coach and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Come with me and learn how.