SO……. what is the REAL Problem?
Last week we learned that most often the actual “problem” is not a problem at all.
We started the discussion on
Circumstances verses Thoughts
Remember, circumstances are the facts of any given situation. They are the “Math”.
When circumstances happen around us and then our brains add meaning to those circumstances, that meaning is what I refer to as thoughts.
Thoughts are the “Drama” or “Story” in the situation. And thoughts are OPTIONAL!
And remember that it is our thoughts that are the reasons for our feelings. Any emotion you are having is because of the thinking, the meaning that you are adding to your circumstances.
So if we follow the examples we started with to learn about circumstances let’s look at some possible thoughts and feelings that may arise.
Circumstance – The weather = the actual temperature on the thermometer – It is 109 degrees outside
Thought A – It’s miserable hot outside today and I have so much to do!
Feeling – dread
Thought B – What a beautiful Day!!
Feeling – Joy
Circumstance – The traffic = the number of cars present moving at a particular rate of speed on specific roads
Thought A – This is taking forever!! I’m going to be late for work!
Feeling – Frustration
Thought B – This might be a while. I have time to call my sister!
Feeling – Efficient
Circumstance – Other people’s behavior = words they say or actions they take/don’t take in specific situations
Thought A – That was so rude of her!!
Feeling – Defensive
Thought B – I wonder if she is doing okay? That’s not usually like her.
Feeling – Curious
Circumstance – The amount of money in your bank account = $X in my account
Thought A – I’m not good with money. When will I ever figure this out?
Feeling – Irresponsible
Thought B – Good thing I have been budgeting this month
Feeling – Empowered
Circumstance – Our weight/number on the scale = the amount of gravitational pull on the mass of my body at any given moment
Thought A – I will never lose weight! Something is wrong with me.
Feeling – Shame
Thought B – Well that math adds up. Good thing my body is still working for me.
Feeling – Acceptance
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.
All of the thinking that happens in our brain automatically without me even having to direct it, determines whether I feel happy about the circumstance, or if I am upset or even if I am just neutral about the circumstance. I just need to be aware that it isn’t the circumstance itself that is what makes me feel that way. It is the thoughts that I am having that drives those feelings. The traffic isn’t what is making me frustrated, but what I am thinking about the traffic that is fueling that emotion.
So next week, in the final segment of “The REAL Problem” we will look at thoughts and what they are trying to do for us. How is our brain serving us and protecting us? We don’t have to be judgmental of our thoughts, but we can just become aware of the distinction between our thoughts and our circumstances. In that awareness, we can begin to see how they are optional. And maybe we will choose to be more intentional about our thoughts if that is what we want. Maybe we won’t. But as we become more aware, it becomes more of a choice for us.
If you want to visit with me and take a look at some of your circumstances and thoughts, click on the “Contact Me” button and send me an email. Or you can click the “Schedule a Consult” button to have a free introductory coaching consult with me.
And remember….. It’s ALL good! 🙂