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.

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.