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A New Adventure Begins!!

This is the beginning of a new experiment for me.

My current plan is to write a blog post each week; maybe I will do more. Maybe no one will read them. I guess time will tell. I’m not sure what it will look like or how it may change over time but it is a start and I can build from there.

For now I will just say that whatever this becomes is a way for me to continue learning and developing myself, and maybe guide others who are on a similar journey.

If I look back to how I arrived here, I could say it has taken me 51 years (I mean that’s how old I turned on my birthday last month :)). Or maybe this journey has been 16 or so years; that’s when I first had the thought that maybe I could become a Life Coach. But at that time I had small children that received nearly all of my attention and it didn’t seem possible.

The concentrated intention of this journey began roughly in 2018, when I was in a very different place mentally and emotionally. And I could never have scripted arriving to this point. That may be a story for a different day but for today, I am excited for where I am, and I am excited for the direction I am heading.

Over the past three years we have had lots of changes, some planned some not planned, and it has brought me challenges along with growth. Once I determined that I could choose the ways to grow that I wanted, my growth accelerated.

Now my hope is to share some of the ideas and tools I have learned with others who are looking to choose their growth or navigate the “surprise” growth they are currently experiencing.

There is an old African proverb that I loves which says,

If you want to go fast, go alone.

If you want to go far, go together.

-African Proverb

I want to bring as many people with me as possible, and want to see how far we can go!!

Remember……… It’s ALL good!

The concentrated intention of this journey began roughly in 2018, when I was in a very different place mentally and emotionally.

Hello Friends!

Hi!

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.


Emotions Are Not Problems to Solve – Part 2

So…. now that we know what feelings and emotions are, and what causes them, how do we “fix” them?

Here is the secret!!! Emotions are not problems to solve and therefore, they are nothing that needs to be fixed!

Recently I had the chance to go to Disneyland and California Adventure…twice in about 5 weeks. The first visit was with my husband for our 30th wedding anniversary. The second visit was with my youngest daughter, my oldest son, and my son’s girlfriend.

On both trips, we did one park each day. There were some similarities and some differences between the two, as could be expected. And each time it was interesting to notice the other park visitors as well.

Here is just one thing that made me think…..

Emotional Whirlwind on Pixar Pier at Disney’s California Adventure

In California Adventure there is a ride called the “Emotional Whirlwind”. It features characters from Disney-Pixar’s movie “Inside Out”.

I commented to my son’s girlfriend how it would be nice if the real life emotional whirlwinds were similar to the ride. It could be deemed a “kiddie ride” in that it goes up and spins in smooth moderate circles. Aahhh, the understatement of it all.

My emotional whirlwinds remind me more of a ride like X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain!

X2 roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain. It is a 4th Dimension coaster built by
Arrow Dynamics.

You climb nearly 200 feet backwards to prepare for the first drop only to realize that it wasn’t the actual drop, and you climb a little more before the REAL drop only to have your seat flip around 180 degrees as you drop 215 feet facing toward the ground! There are twists and turns….back flips and front flips….flame throwers and heavy metal music. It is terrifyingly amazing!! And you may feel a little bit sick afterwards! haha 🙂 But I digress……We can discuss my love of rollercoasters a different day. Today we are talking emotions.

In the movie, 11 year old Riley moves with her parents from Minnesota to San Francisco and has to leave all her friends and memories behind. The bulk of the movie is portrayed by the “emotions” that control Riley’s brain. The five main emotions are Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger. And although not an emotion, I loved her imaginary friend Bing-Bong and the role he plays as well.

In the beginning it seems as though the movie is favoring Joy’s interpretation of what things mean and how they should be remembered. Joy tries to direct the other emotions in what they should “do” for Riley. But soon we see that all the emotions play their own necessary parts and that one is not more valued than another. The movie helps us see that depending on where we are at in our lives plays a big part as to how we can remember things with joy, sadness, disgust, fear or anger. The feelings surrounding our memories can soften and even change over time. And because of the complexity of our brains, some of the greatest memories come with a combination of emotions.

After all, if the circumstances are neutral, we can have multiple thoughts about any given circumstance, which leads us to multiple emotions about that particular instance. So given that, we can allow various emotions to be present for us in our own lives as well.

“Many people talk about positive and negative emotions, but I’m not convinced that is an accurate description either. What if all emotions just were? And some were a more preferred level of comfort for us, while others were some level of discomfort? “

Hello Friends!

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.

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”

– Orson Welles

It is this allowance of emotion that gives us the rich fullness in our lives. We can learn from all the emotions that we have if we look at them with curiosity and compassion. We don’t need to be in a rush to “think our way out of the difficult emotions”. What can we learn? Why do we feel a particular way? What are the thoughts fueling those emotions? Are they helpful in some way? How are they serving us?

Rather than “solving” the emotional problems as it were, we can become more scientific and collect data and information as to the roles they play and how they are there to give us information. There will be some emotions in specific circumstances that are short lived. That’s fine. Just remember….. there is nothing wrong with you because you are feeling a particular way. Sometimes all you need is patience and understanding.

Many people talk about positive and negative emotions, but I’m not even convinced that is an accurate description either. What if all emotions just were? And some were a more preferred level of comfort for us, while others were some level of discomfort? How would things be different if we learned how to allow the discomfort of emotions in our journey to reach towards the things we truly want in life? We do have some control over our emotions, because we can challenge our thinking. I’m just suggesting that maybe we don’t always need to. After all, in the majority of grading scales, 60% is passing. What if life is the same way?

Orson Welles once said, ” If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” Similarly, I prefer, “It’s ALL good in the end! If it’s not good, it’s not the end!” Maybe this is just one chapter in your story. Maybe it’s the messy middle. Keep going. Keep writing your story. Turn the page and determine for yourself what to do with these emotions.

If you would like to look at some of the emotions you might be thinking need to be solved, or if you want to work on processing and letting go of some of your lingering emotions with me just “Contact Me” and send me a quick email. Or you can “Schedule a Consult” for a free session to discuss what you want to work on and how to get started.

And as always…..Remember…..It’s ALL good!!

Emotions – Part 1

Our feelings or emotions are what drive all of our behaviors. We may think that we can hide our feelings from those around us but they “show up” in subtle ways that those around us can sense on some level. This can be especially true with negative emotions. Human beings can “read” other human beings even if they can’t articulate what they are noticing. Sometimes you just “sense” something is off.

Our most effective actions are driven by feelings or emotions that are empowering. These emotions might not always feel good. When I am trying something new I am putting myself at risk of failure which will most likely feel uncomfortable. But it is feeling those things outside our comfort zone like fear or commitment…..grit or determination, maybe even that failure, that moves us forward. Determination is empowering even when it doesn’t always feel good. It is more difficult to take empowering action in our comfort zone.

We can definitely use will power to get us through a situation, but generally our will power will only last so long and the ability to force our way through comes to an end. When we learn to harness the power of emotions, when we choose to be intentional in the way we want to feel, that is the beginning of the real work.

That is not to say we should try to avoid all negative emotions. We are supposed to feel the negative as well as the positive. Negative feelings usually signal to us to avoid, turn back, or stop what we are doing. Sometimes it is referred to “Fight or Flight” behavior that is there to protect us. In our present world however, those dangers our mind is creating are not generally real dangers. When we can become aware of those emotions and recognize we are actually safe, we can continue to move forward.

And it helps to keep in mind that we would never be able to appreciate the positive emotions if it weren’t for the negative emotions. What is happiness without sadness? What is joy without sorrow? What is peace without unrest? What is success without failure? The scriptures tell us, “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things…” (2 Nephi 2:11, The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Christ)

As we discussed previously, emotions are just vibrations in our bodies. As humans our thoughts can cause “chemical spills” in our brain that lead to physiological responses in our bodies. Maybe it makes our heart race, or maybe we feel a tightening in our chest or throat. Maybe it is a “buzzing” or “electric” feeling in our skin. Whatever the vibration is, it is in correlation to the emotion we are experiencing.

This week will be short and sweet (is that even possible for me? ;)), as I am currently out of town with some of my kids creating some emotions. Emotions I am cultivating today include…… love, childlike wonder, energetic, a little bit of fear, excitement, exhilaration, gratitude, exhaustion, fun, frustration, a hint of sadness, disgust, and joy, lots of joy!!…just to name few.

So next time we will talk a little more about our emotions and whether or not emotions are problems that we need to solve for. We will look briefly at the “emotional whirlwind” that is any given day and how we can handle “the storms”. And just maybe, I will share some personal examples of what emotions look and feel like for me, and how you can start to notice what they look and feel like for you.

Our most effective actions are driven by feelings or emotions that are empowering. These emotions might not always feel good.

Hello Friends!

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.

If you would like help in working through some of the emotions you might be seeing as a struggle, or if you want to work on processing and letting go of some of your lingering emotions with me just “Contact Me” and send me a quick email. Or you can “Schedule a Consult” for a free session to discuss what you want to work on and how to get started.

And as always…..Remember…..It’s ALL good!!

The Solution – Part 2

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming……..and with several examples to illustrate, this one may seem long too. Or maybe it’s just me being long-winded 🙂

So with last week’s short detour, now we can take a look at how some complete models could look, depending on our thoughts and feelings.

Remember our model…..

CIRCUMSTANCES lead to

THOUGHTS which create our

FEELINGS which drives our

ACTIONS which creates our

RESULTS which is evidence supporting our thought

Now that we have the whole model, let’s look at some of our original examples to see how the model would play out in each case.

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

Action – complain to others about the temperature, “scan for problems”, lose focus on the things I need to get done, ruminate on all the bad things

Result – I create a miserable day for myself

OR…….

Thought B – What a beautiful Day!!

Feeling – Joy

Action – look at opportunities, focus on tasks at hand, encourage others actions,

Result – I create a beautiful day for myself


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 and look bad for work!

Feeling – Frustration

Action – drive more aggressively, act apologetic, make it a big deal that I’m late, short tempered with co-workers,

Result – I look bad because I don’t like the way I am showing up at work

OR….

Thought B – This might be a while. I have time to call my sister!

Feeling – Efficient

Action – make calls, catch up on audio book or podcast, think of other things that I can use the time to accomplish, look for positive outcomes

Result – I use the time wisely to continue the things I can accomplish

We can see more of what we are creating, sometimes unknowingly, for our own lives. And when we are willing to take a look at that as an observer, not as a critic or judge, that is where our true power lies.

Hello Friends!

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.


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

Action – don’t speak to her, complain about her to others, think of other times this may have happened

Result – I act rudely in my response to her and towards others

OR…..

Thought B – I wonder if she is doing okay? That’s not usually like her.

Feeling – Curious

Action – talk to her, find out what is going on for her, allow her grace and understanding

Result – I show up with compassion and grace for her and for myself


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

Action – avoid looking at account balances, don’t pay attention to spending, ignore communication from bank

Result – I prove to myself that I am not good with money because I don’t take responsibility for my choices

OR…..

Thought B – Good thing I have been budgeting this month. I am figuring this out.

Feeling – Empowered

Action – track spending, make a plan for my money, follow through with decisions on purchases,

Result – I find evidence for how I am figuring it out. I am accountable.


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

Action – emotional eating, not treating my body well, judge my actions harshly, beat up on myself for past mistakes with eating

Result – I don’t lose weight and continue to look for external “problems”

OR…..

Thought B – Well that math adds up. Good thing my body is still working for me and doing what I ask it to do.

Feeling – Acceptance

Action – let go of past judgments, speak to myself with compassion and curiosity, treat myself kindly and make choices that would be more advantageous for my body, appreciate the good that my body does

Result – I notice how my body is working for me and I work to make healthier choices for my body.


Notice how the different emotions fuel very different actions in each of these examples. That could lead you to think that the “problem” is the emotion we are feeling, but remember….. All problems are thought problems. We will talk more about emotions next time. If we look for the thought behind the emotion we can be more aware of where our true power lies.

This is not to say that some thoughts upon examination are thoughts we need to keep any longer. That may be true in some cases, but in most cases, it will serve you more to just question the thought, and try to determine in what ways it might be serving you. How is the thought true? How is the thought not true?

If you put that thought in a model and complete it, are your achieving the results you are working towards? That is the power of using the model. We can see more of what we are creating, sometimes unknowingly, for our own lives. And when we are willing to take a look at that as an observer, not as a critic or judge, that is where our true power lies. We can begin to create our results, by fostering the emotion necessary to motivate the actions. And we foster those emotions by intentional thoughts and mindfulness.

What results are you struggling to create? Is it losing those 20 pounds of “baby weight”? (My baby is sixteen now 🙂 I am finally losing the weight) Is it letting go of some of the overwhelm that seems to fill your days and life? Is it just allowing yourself to be a human who is not perfect but continues to show up authentically for yourself and others?

If you would like help in finding the results you are creating, or if you want to work through how to achieve the results you are after with me just “Contact Me” and send me a quick email. Or you can “Schedule a Consult” for a free session to discuss what you want to work on and how to get started.

And as always…..Remember…..It’s ALL good!!

When Life Happens :)

Warning: This might be a little longer read, but it’s more for me than it is for anyone else. 🙂

CIRCUMSTANCES lead to

THOUGHTS which create our

FEELINGS which drives our

ACTIONS which creates our

RESULTS which is evidence supporting our thought

It’s all well and good to know these things, but what does it look like in real time with a real human brain?

A year ago last week I began my coach certification process. I was working full time as an office manager for a small manufacturing company (shout out to Epic Manufacturing) with 2 high school kids living at home and 3 adult kids living out of state.

Certification was a 6 month process with reading, videos, zoom classes, practicums, coaching practice and evaluations, etc., culminating in a test and at last certification. Then I started another 6 month program to help me continue to develop my coaching skills. I also left my job as the office manager with a busy summer ahead of me and uncertain plans as to what I wanted to do with coaching.

There were 2 options for the continuing program curriculum, Entrepreneur or Applied Coaching. With the underlying belief that I am not a good business person I, of course, chose the Applied Coaching track.

Slowly over the course of those 6 months I decided that maybe a small private practice would be an option for me. I don’t have to be “not a good business person”. That is just a judgment and a thought on my part. This business could look like whatever I wanted it to. And there was no rush for me to make this happen.

That was around the middle of July. “I can start small and figure it out as I go. No pressure, no big deal.” If only my brain remembered that plan. 🙂

I would start by listing myself on The Life Coach School’s Directory of Coaches….EASY!!! I just need a picture, a description of who I serve and what I do, and a live website. Okay!!!…. “I can figure out a website! It doesn’t have to be perfect.” That took a few days but I had a live website and submitted my items for the directory on August 6th.

Since I had a website now I should write blog posts and share them. And I should probably post on Instagram. But I’m not going to do it all the time!! Enter “The Calendar”. The calendar is a 12 month, 3 ft x 6 ft calendar to use in my office. So I will write a blog post every Monday, that’s easy enough. And I will post on Instagram on Wednesdays and Fridays. Done! On the calendar! Just follow the schedule.

“…with the help of coaching we can recognize there is another way…because let’s face it…..life happens to us all! And that is a wonderful and messy thing that we get to experience and learn through and grow in. How amazing is that?”

Hello Friends!

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.

When I follow the schedule I show myself that I can keep my word to myself. Easy enough!! I managed to do that for 6 weeks in a row!

And then there is the planner… If I am going to make this a real business maybe I should learn something about business. A year long program with Jody Moore seems like a good place to start! Self-paced, low-key with calls twice a month to help me along. Sounds like a plan!

Planner is a perk of the “Business Minded” program with Jody Moore

So last week, just a few highlights of my circumstances:

  • My daughter was injured in the last 3 minutes of her 2nd Varsity football game and we needed to figure out what was wrong
  • We saw an orthopedist on Monday morning
  • Monday was the closing webinar for my Applied Coaching track. It was complete and I could take an exam by Friday
  • Early on Monday I was notified that I had 48 hours to take a proficiency test and submit the necessary items to be considered for a coaching position opportunity
  • We went to have an MRI Monday evening
  • A blog post was not written on Monday
  • She had a previously scheduled appt on Tuesday
  • Tuesday at 8:45pm I submitted my items for the coaching opportunity
  • We saw a second orthopedist on Wednesday for the results of the MRI
  • Her ACL was fully torn, MCL partially torn and she will require surgery
  • We attended the high school volleyball game to support friends on the team.
  • We had a church youth group activity Wednesday night that I was helping with
  • I did not post on Instagram on Wednesday
  • It was her birthday on Thursday
  • She had an away football game on Thursday
  • With not going to football practice before school we were on a different schedule than before
  • I didn’t do my daily walking 4.25 miles with my friend all week
  • Saturday her soccer team did team and individual pictures before the game
  • Saturday there was a surprise party for her planned by her friends at our house

So….. in the sea of all those circumstances it is curious to me that my brain continues to focus on the things not done. The loudest “neon light thoughts” were things like:

  • “Here you go again! Not keeping your word to yourself. Your business will never go anywhere”
  • “How can I make this better for my daughter?’
  • “You can’t even take the time to write a blog post?”
  • “Not even an Instagram post?”
  • “You have 8 more hours before you application items submission is due. It’s not due until 5am. You should look over it….rerecord the video…..analyze the written answers……analyze them again. You know they are not good enough for you to be considered.”
  • “You should have done something to make her birthday special”
  • “If you were a better mother her birthday would have been different”
  • “Why are you wasting time on your phone and/or the computer?”
  • “You are so lazy! You haven’t walked all week!”

and on, and on , and on……….

I have the tools to recognize that these are just thoughts and not facts. And most of the time I could “manage” my thoughts. But what I wasn’t doing was allowing the disappointing emotions to be there. One of my coaches, in an effort to help me process some of the disappointment I was feeling, gave me a great analogy to see it. It’s like that emotion is your young child. And you are busy with at task when they come up to tell you something. You “shhh” them and tell them “just a minute,” putting them off, and putting them off. But that doesn’t make them go away. And sometimes, the lack of attention can cause an emotional erruption. I told my daughter it was okay for her to be upset, and she didn’t need to think, “It’s all good!” in that moment. It wasn’t all good. And it might be a long road before it was. But why couldn’t I give that same grace to myself.

Here is the thing, tools and strategies that I have learned and that I teach to others are wonderful ways to move forward through challenges we have, or towards things we are trying to create. But when we use those tools and strategies as weapons to punish ourselves for having human thoughts because “we know better”, just adds unnecessary suffering to our disappointment and pain. It happens, but it is often exhausting. And with the help of coaching we can recognize there is another way… because let’s face it….. life happens to all of us! And that is a wonderful and messy thing that we get to experience and learn through and grow in. How amazing is that?

So even with out a blog post or Instagram posts, my business is still moving forward. I have no power to make things better for my daughter, but I can help her learn that it’s okay to allow herself to be upset about it for a while and process that disappointment. She was where she wanted to be on her birthday, on the sidelines with her football team. Would it have been better if she could play? Sure, but that is just arguing with what is for the present. With the help of her friends I was able to be a part of a special birthday surprise and a fun night of celebrating her! And sometimes wasting time on your phone and/or computer allows you the mental space to handle ALL. THE. THINGS. That is life.

Maybe you have a lot of Circumstances in your life as well. I would love to help you look at how you are feeling about them and where those feelings are really coming from. We can even work through and process some of those feelings and learn ways to help yourself alleviate some of the emotions we sometimes take on ourselves.

And if you made it this far…. you are a true Champ!!!

If you are interested in checking out what thoughts are bringing you unnecessary pain or discomfort, or if you would like to work through your models with me just “Contact Me” and send me a quick email. Or you can “Schedule a Consult” to get started.

And as always…..Remember…..It’s ALL good!!

The Solution

Now that we know what the real problem is we can keep in mind the “problem” is always our thinking. So let’s discuss some solutions.

The main coaching tool I use to find solutions for myself and to help clients find their solutions is called the Self-Coaching Model. This model was developed by Brooke Castillo at The Life Coach School where I was certified. Sometimes it is called the CTFAR model.

Using The Model we can find solutions to any problem! That may seem like a bold statement but I have seen it in action. And sometimes it helps us become aware that it might not even BE a “problem”.

You were introduced to some of the components of The Model in our prior posts. Remember…….

CIRCUMSTANCES

(The facts or “math” of the situation)

Lead to

THOUGHTS

(The meaning we assign or the “drama”)

Create

FEELINGS

(Emotions/vibrations in our body)

That’s the C, T, and F of the model.

The final two pieces to the model are the A and the R. Those signify our ACTIONS and our RESULTS. So to finish it out…..

FEELINGS

(Emotions/ vibrations in our body)

Drive or Fuel

ACTIONS

(Action/Inaction/Reaction)


Create

RESULTS

First let’s review a little more about feelings. We touched briefly on feelings in the last post and we will look at it in this model, but we will talk more in depth about emotions/feelings in an upcoming post.

Emotions are just vibrations in our bodies. As humans, our thoughts can cause “chemical spills” in our brain that lead to physiological responses in our bodies. Maybe it makes our heart race, or maybe we feel a tightening in our chest or throat. Maybe it is a “buzzing” or “electric” feeling in our skin. Whatever the vibration is, it is in correlation to the emotion we are experiencing.

Our emotions drive or fuel our ACTIONS. The things we do or don’t do, say or don’t say, our tone or inflection, how we show up in the situation, are all fueled by our emotion. Maybe our action is something we hope will diminish the vibration we are having in our body. Maybe it is just a lot of mental action – spinning, confusion, overthinking, ruminating, analyzing. Maybe our action is to retreat or pull away, to make ourselves small. Maybe it is massive momentum forward. It all depends on the emotion driving the action.

But these ACTIONS (or inaction/reaction) create our RESULTS. Our results are evidence or proof that supports our original thought driving it. The results are your life, what your world looks likes or who you are. The most important thing to know is that your results are entirely in your control. That’s how we work to choose the results we want to bring into our life.

We will look at some of our original examples next time to see the whole model for each or those examples, but for today just remember…..

CIRCUMSTANCES lead to

THOUGHTS which create our

FEELINGS which drives our

ACTIONS which creates our

RESULTS which is evidence supporting our thought

We will keep learning about these components and how they interact with each other but for now just take time to notice how this is happening for you. What results are you getting that you want to change? What thought would help you towards that result?

If you are interested in finding your solutions, or if you would like to work through your models with me just “Contact Me” and send me a quick email. Or you can “Schedule a Consult” to get started.

And as always…..Remember…..It’s ALL good!!

Using The Model we can find solutions to any problem! That may seem like a bold statement but I have seen it in action. And sometimes it helps us become aware that it might not even BE a “problem”.

Hello Friends!

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.

The Real Problem – Part 3

So our final piece to the REAL problem…. after Part 1, and Part 2…..

…… if our circumstances are just neutral, and the real problem is what we are thinking about our circumstance, and if it’s what we are thinking that triggers our emotions, why is that the REAL problem?

It can become problematic when we don’t look at our thoughts or examine the feelings those thoughts are creating. And the only reason it might be any type of problem is because it is those feelings that fuel all of our actions. Those actions (or inactions) are what create our results.

So we can think that it is the circumstance causing our problems or “making” us “feel” a certain way, but it is really our thinking. Our thoughts are always what is creating our feelings (it’s never our circumstance).

As human beings what we are really wanting is to feel good.

And on the flip side, the only thing we are trying to avoid is a negative feeling.

When we learn to recognize that it is our thoughts that create our feelings the world can open up for you. You become able to feel whatever you want, anytime you want, if you pay attention!!

And now we can look at why we might think some of those thoughts.

How is our brain serving us and protecting us?

If we find ourselves in a circumstance that we think of as challenging or new, we may encounter some negative feelings. If our brain tells us, “You can’t do it. You should quit now,” it could be a way of protecting us from those negative feelings. If we fear the feeling of failure or disappointment from a less than desirable outcome, our brain tells us that quitting or “failing ahead of time” will hurt less and therefore keep us safe.

If we think that the way someone treated us is what is causing the negative feelings, then our brain tries to convince us that they are the problem and we have no control over the situation. But that also is not true.

When we learn to examine our thoughts and take responsibility for our own emotions we can gain the emotional intelligence for success.

Becoming aware of the distinction between our thoughts and our circumstances as an observer, with curiosity allows us the opportunity to release the judgement. In that awareness 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.

So the summary of the REAL problem…….

CIRCUMSTANCES

Trigger

THOUGHTS

Creates

FEELINGS

Now that we can see what the REAL problem is, next week we will look at how to discover solutions to the problem.

If you are interested in finding your solutions with me just “Contact Me” and send me a quick email. Or you can “Schedule a Consult” to get started.

Remember…….It’s ALL good!

When we learn to examine our thoughts and take responsibility for our own emotions we can gain the emotional intelligence for success.

Hello Friends!

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.

The Real Problem – Part 2

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

OR…….

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

OR….

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

OR…..

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

OR…..

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

OR…..

Thought B – Well that math adds up. Good thing my body is still working for me.

Feeling – Acceptance

The traffic isn’t what is making me frustrated, but what I am thinking about the traffic that is fueling that emotion.

Hello Friends!

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! 🙂

The Real Problem – Part 1

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!!!

Most often the actual “problem” is not a problem at all! It is something completely different. And that is the best place to start.

Hello Friends!

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.

What Even Is A Life Coach?

So…………

What even is a Life Coach? How is it different than a therapist?

What do you do exactly?

Why would I need a life coach?

Wouldn’t a therapist be better?

These are all questions that have come up, and I’m sure will continue to come up so I thought I would share with all of you.

What is the difference between life coaching and therapy?

I used to say that many therapist tend to focus on the past and help you reconcile things there, while a life coach helps you focus on the future and what you would like to create.

Now I usually answer in this way…….

If you had a surgery and needed help to get back to normal functioning, you would go see a physical therapist.

If you were mostly healthy but wanted to get stronger, you might hire a personal trainer.

Both are super valuable, and both have their place and expertise in helping you.

If you are in the process of recovering from unprocessed trauma, overwhelming grief, or the effects of addiction, or abuse, a therapist can be very beneficial helping you through that recovery.

If you are dealing with other less serious challenges, or are looking for another source of help because you feel like things could be better, I would recommend a life coach.

I am a personal trainer for your brain. Thoughts are optional. Seems unlikely though right? Your thoughts might be helping you or they might be holding you back. You can choose which ones you want to fuel your actions. It takes effort and practice.

Together we can look at the things you are struggling with and see if there is a different perspective that might help you move forward.

Do I have the answers to make your life better? No…. but I have tools that can help you determine those answers for yourself.

My goal is to “show” you how you’re currently thinking and how that leads to your current result. It is your decision to determine if you want to change that thinking or result and how. It can make all the difference in the world if you choose.

How do I know? Because I know what coaching has taught me. It has changed the way I think…… about myself, about my relationships, about the challenges I struggle with, about my life.

What I have learned and what I will help you learn just reinforces my overarching thought…..

Remember………It’s ALL good!

If you were mostly healthy but wanted to get stronger, you might hire a personal trainer.

I am a personal trainer for your brain.

Hello Friends!

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.