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Ep #103: The Process of Change

A few episodes ago, we started talking about the process of making changes in our lives. Today, we continue this conversation about wanting to change from one model to another and look at this process in a more simplified way.

Listen in as I explain why making changes in our lives is so difficult for most of us and lay out the step-by-step process that you can use to transition from the old models to new ones. We also get into how to bridge the gap between the two models and what it takes to make the new model unconscious.

Don’t miss this important episode that will surely help you make the process of change easier, as well as empower you to create your life deliberately.

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Listen to the show

What You will discover

  • The exact steps for the process of change.
  • Why change is so difficult for many of us.
  • How to bridge the gap between two models to make the new one unconscious.
  • How our brain works when we try to adopt a new way of thinking.
  • Why we have a difficult time with  our identity in our 40s and 50s.
  • What you can start doing today to make the process of change easier.

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Get the Full Episode Transcript:

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Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast where it's all about real clients, real problems and real coaching and now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Hello my friends. Here's what's up. I am in the process of planning my trip to Italy with my family in June and let me just tell you that I'm excited. I love Italy. Chris and I went to Italy for my girlfriend Renee's wedding years ago and we stayed in Lake Como and the wedding was at the most beautiful house on Lake Como. It's still one of the highlights. We had such an amazing, amazing time so it will be interesting going back to Italy and not drinking any wine because I think we drank our way through Italy last time but honestly I'm excited about it.

I can't imagine spending any evenings or nights or days not feeling my best there and I mentioned to you guys that I'm not drinking right? That I have no desire to drink. I cannot wait to talk to you guys all about that in my upcoming program. Here's the deal. I want to create new programs and I want to work with the people that are already in my programs and I also need to sleep. I have a family and I'm going to Italy for two weeks in June.

You guys, I cannot wait, my girlfriend Jody and her family are going to meet us over there so that's going to be exciting. All right, here we go. Let's talk about what we're going to talk about today. We're going to talk about the process of change and I've talked to you guys about this a little bit already in a couple of sessions ago and I want to talk about it more in a simplified way. I just did a call with my certified coaches.

All of my certified coaches get a class with me once a month and it's all included as part of their certification and we talked about this process of change, of wanting to change from one model to another model and I presented it in a way that I hadn't presented it before and I want to share that way with you guys here because I think especially for some of you who are newer, this will be really helpful.

I will be sharing it with them as something they could use with their clients but while I was teaching it to them, I demonstrated it on them. It was really powerful for them to see it. Here's what I want you guys to think about and I'm going to give you a process of how to do this and this is the exact process I gave to them so ... to get some inside scoop which is fun and of course many of my certified coaches listen to my podcast too so this is good repetition for all of them.

Let's talk about this in just a really easy way. Think about something in your life that isn't working, that isn't what you wanted to be and what's great about this process is it can be something big or it can be something little. I have found the more specific you can be, the better. If you think about something very specific that isn't working instead of I'm unhappy in my life, be really specific. Pick one thing about your life that isn't working instead of a big generality.

You picked this one thing and you can write about it for a while and in fact, I recommend that you do that. If you're a coach working with clients, you can have them write about it or talk about it for five minutes, just tell me about something that isn't working and a lot of times, I think just asking that question, I think I've talked about this on the podcast before, maybe it was on my business podcast I talked about this but last year, one of the things that I did is I sat down and I asked myself two questions what's not working and what is working it totally is such an easy question was doing it to prepare for a mastermind totally changed everything for how I look at my business and my life.

Those two questions are extremely powerful. Asking yourself what isn't working and even just thinking about something really small that isn't working can have a huge impact on changing your life. The second question you're going to ask yourself is what am I doing that is creating this result that isn't working. If the thing that isn't working is that you're overweight or the thing that isn't working is that you aren't paying your mortgage or if the thing that isn't working is that you don't have enough clients or if the thing that's not working is you have too many clients and not enough time, whatever it is then you're going to ask yourself what are you doing that is creating that result.

For some of you, you may feel like, "I'm not creating this result." But you always are. That's how the model works. Your actions create your results so what are the actions that you are taking that is creating this result or lack of result in your life? What you'll have after you've answered those two questions is you will have the R-line of your model and then you will also have the A-line of your model.

The other thing that you'll have that's really powerful is that you will have taken responsibility for your results. A lot of people don't like this because they feel like it's blame like you're blaming me for my results but I like to think of it more as responsibility. If you can create a negative result, you can create a positive result and that's a beautiful thing. Take responsibility for the actions that you are taking in your life that are creating the results that you have in your life.

As it pertains to this issue, you want to ask yourself what is the result I want to create. What's interesting here and what I noticed on my call with my student was that when it comes to what we want, most of us are very vague. I want to do more marketing in my business. I want to have more clients, I want to lose some weight and with all three of my students, I want to have some systems was the other one.

One of the things that you want to do is what exactly do you want your result to be and the more measurable, the better. You have your current result and your current action. Now we're going to a new model, we're putting these two models right by each other and you want to look at the result you want to create and then and be very specific and then ask yourself what are the exact actions I need to take in order to get that result.

What you will have is the bottom half of two models and there will be a gap in between those models. This is a great place to start with a client because you can show them the responsibility that they need to have and take for their lives without being too confrontational or blaming them or anything like that. Then what you can do is fill in the rest of the model. The way that you do that from the bottom is you ask yourself, "Okay, in the original model and the thing that isn't working, what I'm doing to create that result."

Then ask yourself, "How do I feel that drives me to take that action?" Maybe the action is overeating, what are you feeling when you're overeating? Maybe the action is procrastinating, what are you feeling when you're procrastinating? Feeling that F-line and then ask yourself what are you thinking that causes you to feel that way and then you will have filled in your first model and then you want to do the same thing with the second model.

What is the result you want? What will you have to do to create that result? What will you need to feel in order to take that action and what will you need to think in order to feel that way? Your circumstances should be the same. Now you have two models, one is where you are and one is where you want to be. Now, there is a gap between them. There is a space between them. I've been calling it the river of misery and the reason why is because the process of change is very uncomfortable.

If you remember what I've told you in the past few podcasts, what I've told you is that your brain likes to be efficient and it likes to be unconscious and it likes to be effortless. I'm with it. I like all that too but when you're changing or the exact opposite of that, you're cumbersome, you're awkward, it takes a lot of effort, a lot of attention and it's very tedious. That's why change is so difficult because we're in that river of misery, because we're having to pay attention, we're having to be deliberate, we're having to be uncomfortable, we're having to be awkward.

We're doing all these ... we're trying to learn how to ride a unicycle, we're falling all the time. We're in that process of change. In fact, one of the things, I love the unicycle example and I've been using it a lot with Master Coach Suzy. Her son is the one that gave us that example. I like to picture ourselves like riding unicycles from one model to the other and you're going to fall down a bunch of times.

It's that river of misery that we're in between and we're trying to change from one unconscious habit to a conscious habit long enough to make it unconscious and the process of keeping it conscious enough and repeating it consciously enough is challenging for most of us. It's challenging for most of us to be able to stay in that conscious space long enough to make something unconscious. We like to be checked out, we like not to be paying attention.

The repetition that is required to do that and one of the terms I love is mental rehearsal. We need to rehearse it mentally so much that it becomes real to us. When you look at those two models on the piece of paper in front of you, the way that you will know which result you will be creating in your life is which one you focus on the most. One of the examples that I used was somebody who wanted to lose weight and one of the coaches I asked her, I said, "How often are you focusing on how overweight you are and how often are you focusing on your ideal weight?"

You're going to know which result you're creating because you will know which one you're creating because when you look at those models, the one that has the most pulled the most emotion. For example, if you want to believe that you can be thin effortlessly. In the beginning, you won't have a lot of feeling around that because you won't have practiced that thought and you won't believe it enough and you won't have visualized yourself in that space and you won't have done the work to overcome the obstacles to get to the place where you can believe something that you don't yet believe.

Most of us want to believe something but we're not willing to practice believing it. I gave the example a few podcasts ago with mental rehearsal of being like an actor and practicing your lines and then practicing acting as your character before you actually go on stage. That's something I want you guys to encourage, I want to encourage you guys to do. I want to encourage you to be that character that is already in that future place that you are and the way that you do that is by visualizing and practicing it in your mind.

One of the things that I've been asking myself a lot is what would the person who you want to be do in this situation? How would she handle this situation? Would she be eating this way? Would she be talking this way? Would she be doing this kind of work? Sometimes when I think about myself, would myself that makes 20 million dollars a year be working on this issue or would I have someone else do it or would I delegate it and asking myself those questions from that space really is clarifying for me.

What would I be worried about? What would I be thinking about? You have to think as if you're already there. When you visualize yourself already there, already in that new model, then you start to feel that new model, you start to be that new model and when that happens, that's when you create that result. Writing down a new model doesn't activate it. What activates the model? The feeling. You can't just think of thought because it will never get past that T-line until you actually feel that feeling, until that T really creates that feeling then you know that you don't yet believe it and you have to keep practicing, practicing, practicing.

The process of change is actually quite cumbersome and it is a process of unthinking and then new thinking and creating new thinking so if you think about your brain and you think about those neural pathways and you think about that ingrained neural pathway in your brain, you have to deprive that of any juice, you have to deprive it of all electricity. If you think about a neural pathway, I don't know why this just popped into my head but I have boys so it might be why having those electric cars going around on the track.

If you unplug it if there is no electricity, if there's no friction there, then the car doesn't have the ability to go around the track and you want to light up a new neural pathway. You want to light up something and activate the new neural pathway and practice it until that feeling is alive, until you've memorized it, until you can step into that new version of yourself. If you think about your conditioned patterns that you already have, you have genuinely memorized them, not by just thinking about them all the time but doing them all the time.

You literally have to make the new neural pathway as memorized and more enticing than the old one. That's going to take some conscious forethought, that's going to take some energy and some focus and some consciousness. This is cumbersome but it's a beautiful thing because it wakes you up to your life. It wakes you up. I was reading recently that one of the reasons why most of us have such a troubling time in our 40's and 50's when it comes to our identity is we've memorized so many patterns of action that we think all of the things that we do are who we are.

We actually stop thinking about our future in a positive, creative way and we start just reflecting on our past. It's really important to make sure that you allow yourself to be uncomfortable, that you allow yourself to create change in your life on a regular basis and keep that neural plasticity, that brain continuously turning over and learning new things and being active so you don't lose the ability to really I think supervise and manage and create literally your brain.

It's okay that the process of change takes the effort because if you put enough effort into it, then you will ultimately create the change that you want in your life and then that change will become effortless. That's what you want to do. If you're thinking about this in terms of the mental rehearsal, one of the things I want to encourage you to do is whatever that new thought is that you want, whatever it is that you want to believe, I want you to practice every single day even for just five minutes, practice that thought, practice feeling the way you want to feel, creating that emotion you want to create.

Practice doing as many of the actions as you can possibly do to create that result you want. Every single day, you may not feel like it's making a difference but if you practice a thought every single day even for just five minutes. After 30 days, you will be in a significantly different place in your brain than you were when you started. It doesn't have to be a huge overhaul in order to make change.

It can be just one thought everyday, practice, practice, practice. That is the process of change and have you ever had that experience where one day you realized, "Wait a minute, this used to be hard and now it's completely effortless." I remember when I really had to think about this and now I don't have to think about it at all. That's the process of change. So many people stop right in that process so they've already endured the awkwardness and the discomfort and the tediousness of it and instead of keeping ongoing through that river of misery to the new model, they turn around and go back.

Don't do it, keep going forward until your new model is effortless. All right you guys, let me know how this goes. I have found this to be a really easy way to think about where you are and where you want to go and you can do this as many times as you want with as many things in your life as you want. You can be practicing six, seven new models that you want to integrate into your life and why not.

You have 24 hours in a day, at least give yourself half an hour of that day to think and create your life deliberately. Have an amazing, amazing week and I'll talk to you guys next week. Take care. Bye bye.

Thank you for listening to The Life Coach School Podcast. It is my honor to show up here every week and connect with people that are like-minded, wanting to take their life to a deeper level with more awareness and more consciousness. If you are interested in taking this work to the next level, I highly encourage you to go to thelifecoachschool.com/howtofeelbetteronline. It is there that I have a class that will take all of this to a deeper application where you'll be able to really feel and experience how all of these concepts can start showing up in your life. It's one thing to learn and actually, it's another thing to truly apply it to your life. I will see you there. Thanks again for listening.

8 Comments

  1. Love this episode! The unicycle example was great. Here’s an extension of the unicycle learning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFzDaBzBlL0. The Backwards Brain Bicycle hits on neural pathways and how we have to practice, practice, practice, endure falls, the plasticity of children’s brains over adults’. What I love about this video is that once the guy in the video learns how to ride the backwards bike and integrates that learning, he can’t go back to his old behavior.

  2. Hi Brooke – I loved this episode! So helpful, as always. I’d love to learn more about the brain and how it deals with change. In this podcast and an earlier one about the brain, you talked about the brain wanting to be efficient and look for patterns. And then when you introduce change, you need to create new neural pathways. I’m wondering what resources you used to research these areas and where you learned the terminology. If you have any tips on books, websites, etc, I would love to know. This whole subject matter is fascinating to me! I’m a career coach and my clients really struggle with making a career change and looking for a new job. I’d love to be able to explain the science behind it so that they don’t feel like it’s a character flaw.

    Your work is incredible, Brooke. I’ve referred your podcast to many people and they are hooked! Thanks again for your constant inspiration.

    1. Hi Janna,

      Thank you for being a loyal listener AND for sharing Brooke’s podcast with others! Great question – Brooke will address this for you in an upcoming Questions & Answers episode. Stay tuned!

      Carina

  3. Hello, Brooke —
    I love all your podcasts, but this one really hit me between the eyes. I have not thought about using the model backwards to create the world that I want. It is so simple it is almost like…. BAM! I shoulda had a V8 (old commercial).
    I was really struck by this statement: “I was reading recently that one of the reasons why most of us have such a troubling time in our 40’s and 50’s when it comes to our identity is we’ve memorized so many patterns of action that we think all of the things that we do are who we are.”
    Can you recall what it was that you were reading? I want to dig deeper.
    Ciao! (I know you will LOVE your Italian June!)
    Karen

    1. Hi Karen,

      Thank you for being a loyal listener of Brooke’s podcast and for posting your question here. Brooke will answer it in an upcoming Questions & Answers podcast, so stay tuned!

      Carina

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