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The foundation of what we teach in Self Coaching Scholars is the Model, a tried and true method of bringing awareness to your thoughts and creating the life you want.

In its purest form, the Model is a powerful tool for dropping deeper into your life.

We get lots of questions about the Model. How long does it take to believe a new thought? How strict should you be with what goes in the lines? How do you use an intentional model?

I thought it would be super helpful to answer some of the most commonly asked questions we get here on the podcast.

Tune in today to gain a deeper understanding of the Model and how to use this amazing tool to create the results you want. Even if you’re well-versed in the Model and use it often, this episode will advance your understanding so you can use it even more effectively.

The Model has been life-changing for so many people, myself included. I can’t wait for you to dig deeper into this tool and start seeing the results it helps you produce.

What you will discover

  • The main purpose of the Model.
  • One of the biggest mistakes we see with the Model.
  • How to start using your Intentional Model.
  • Why being strict in what you allow in each line allows for more insights.
  • The power you gain by sitting in unintentional emotions.
  • What it means if you’re struggling to let go of an Unintentional Model.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode number 365.

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.

Well, hello my beautiful friends. Can you like, feel spring coming? I have to tell you, Austin in the spring, amazing. Amazing. I can feel it coming, the water, the sunshine, loving, loving, loving it. I have such an amazing view from my place and I look down on Lady Bird Lake and there are so many people out there rowing and canoeing and kayaking and paddle boarding. It feels like life, rebirth and life. I’m so happy today.

Today I want to talk to you about the Model and one of the things that comes up as soon as I teach someone the Model is 100 questions on why it is this way and how we can fix it and how to make it better. And I always say this Model is tried and true if you stick to the rules of it, it will change your life completely.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t questions that come up. So I queried a bunch of the questions that we get on the regular about the Self-Coaching Model and we’re going to cover them and answer them in this podcast. But first, before I do that, one of the things that I want to tell you, especially as I give you some more advanced tips and tricks about it is that the Model in its purest form is always the most powerful.

So when I teach advanced classes and when I try to teach different tricks and different ways that I use the Model, sometimes people will lose sight of the simplicity and the elegance of just the basic Model and using it to drop in deeper to your life.

So I want to start with the idea that the main purpose of the Model is discovery and awareness. And it’s very powerful to understand the concept of watching yourself think. And when you can understand that your brain is incredibly designed to observe itself, the human brain is designed and you can observe your brain with your brain, when you really get how powerful that concept is, you don’t need a lot of fancy tricks.

Even the process of doing a thought work, which basically is emptying your brain of your thoughts so you can look at it on paper is one of the most powerful things you can do. Understanding what is going on in your brain and becoming aware of it and then evaluating the influence of those thoughts on your life is all you need to change your life completely.

Because when you really get the concept that your brain is thinking thoughts that are creating your emotions, that are driving your actions, you can see how you are consistently creating your own life and you’re either doing it consciously or unconsciously.

And most people, before they get the Model, before they understand that their thoughts create their feelings, before they understand that they can observe what they’re thinking about, they are living an unconscious life. They are thinking thoughts and thinking that those thoughts are observations. They’re thinking that those thoughts aren’t optional.

So if you meet someone who’s going through life like, life is hard, most people who haven’t done this type of work will not understand that life is hard is a thought, is an optional thought. They’ll think they’re just observing the world. They’ll think that life is hard is a fact and they will show up in their life thinking that thought, feeling that feeling, and acting from that place.

We don’t need to get fancy to discover that. We just need to write one Model. We just need to hear the person say it one time. We just need to look at the results in their life and see the thoughts that are causing those results.

If you’re a coach, using the Model in that way is sufficient for three years of coaching. No need to get fancy. One of the biggest mistakes we see and partially it’s because we teach the Model this way on purpose is that once people discover their thoughts, once people discover that they’re having negative thinking, they want to annihilate them.

They want to go in and find every single negative thought they’ve ever had and destroy it because they’re afraid, “Oh my gosh, I’m having all these negative thoughts, that’s determining I’m going to create negative emotion and negative action, I’m going to create negative results, I need to shoot all these thoughts with a machine gun so I don’t keep creating this negativity.”

And that’s how I felt too by the way. Although that is the first step, once you really understand the power of awareness, your need for destroying old thoughts and coming up with new thoughts becomes much less important. It’s almost like you’re cleaning out your house and you’re discovering a lot of dust.

Let’s say you move your couch and you discover a lot of dust underneath. Finding a new thought is the equivalent of finding a new coach to put over the dust. When you discover the dust under the couch and you simply clean the dust, you don’t need to cover it back up again. You don’t need to come up with that new thought again. You just simply clean it out.

You don’t have to destroy it. You have to understand, “Oh, this is where the dirt is coming from.” And by understanding it, by seeing that it’s there, by understanding the source of the problem, you can gently let it go without having to have a new thought to cover it up really quick.

And in fact, oftentimes when we try to come up with a new thought too quickly, we miss the deep understanding that our thoughts create our feelings. Because when you truly understand that your thoughts create your feelings, that the reason you’re feeling the way you are is because of your thinking, when you really get that, you don’t need to scramble for a new thought because it’s like you have an epiphany that your thoughts are optional.

So you don’t need to come up with a new one. You can just gently let that one go. So that is my first real tip for most of you, especially if you’re new to the Model. Don’t be in such a hurry for that brand new thought even though that can be super effective and create a lot of momentum. It’s also very profound to drop into understanding a Model that may have been running your life, your whole life.

To understand that life is hard is simply an optional thought that you never have to think again can explode your life into something brand new. And when you’re in too much of a hurry to, “Life is great, life is fun, life is wonderful,” when you’re in too much of a hurry to get to that next thought, you sometimes miss the power of just understanding this one.

So that’s my first tip. Don’t try to get too fancy too fast. Look at the Models that are currently running your life with curiosity and interest and understanding. And see if instead of trying to annihilate those thoughts, you can gently let them go.

Oftentimes when we’ve had a lot of thoughts that we thought were just simply observations about the world, we’re very attached to them even though they’re negative. “My mother ruined my life. My father was a terrible man. I had a very abusive terrible childhood.”

We don’t see those as thoughts. We see those as observations in the world, we see those as truths. And we live our lives according to them, without questioning whether they’re helping us create the life that we want. We say no, that’s just simply an observation that’s simply true, it’s not optional. Then we get locked into a Model that may be producing a result we don’t want.

And when we see that we can question any thought in any Model, and even if it is true and even if it is an observation, we don’t have to continuously think it, then we feel the expansion, then we feel the opening, then we feel the options that are available to us. Not just to people who had great childhoods and great mothers and great fathers, but to us as well, to anyone who chooses to believe and interpret and make meaning in a much more conscious way, instead of in a reactive, default way.

Okay, so let’s dive into some of the most common questions that we get with the Model. The first one. “Now that I came up with this Model, what do I do with it?” So this question is referring to someone who’s come up with an Intentional Model, meaning they’ve come up with a Model they want to live into, a thought they want to think, a feeling they want to have, an action they want to take, and a result they want to create.

And so once we have this new Model, she’s saying well, what do I do with it now? Now I have this Model that I want, how do I practice it? How do I live into it? And what’s beautiful about a new Model is you can incorporate it in four very powerful ways.

The first way is you can start practicing the thought that you’ve now created. And you need to practice it in a very specific way. You need to practice the thought in a way that produces the feeling you want. So it’s not enough to just go around and say, “I’m a wonderful person, I’m a wonderful person, I’m a wonderful person,” if it’s not generating the emotion that you want in the Model.

So there’s a practice of thinking a thought, “I love myself,” or, “I love you Brooke,” and generating with that thought the emotion that I want to create, which is love. Now, if I say to myself, “I love you Brooke, I love you Brooke, I love you Brooke,” like that, or I write it down, and there’s no emotion tied to it, I’m not doing any good.

That’s just an affirmation that’s falling flat. But if I practice, no, I love you, Brooke, I love you and I drop into the feeling that that thought can create, when I really mean it and I really connect to it and I really feel it, that’s when I start generating emotion on purpose. And when I can think a thought in a way that produces that emotion, then I’m going to be inspired to take action.

If I am practicing loving myself by thinking loving thoughts about myself and to myself, I will take action from that loving place. I’ll put healthier food in my body, I’ll get dressed up and take care of my hygiene, I will keep my home cleaner, I will be gentler with myself when I make mistakes, I will plan my day more carefully, I will get more sleep.

It’s amazing how the focus on the thought and the feeling then generates a lot of the actions. And the result will be a much more loving relationship with myself because I have created an Intentional Model that I’m willing to practice.

So practice the thinking that generates the emotion. That’s a practice. Take action. Take massive action based on that Model. So sometimes it may take a little while for you to be able to generate an emotion, especially if you’ve hated yourself for a long time and you’re trying to generate a feeling of love, or if you’ve been procrastinating and you’re trying to generate a feeling of motivation.

It may take a while to practice the thought and feeling. One of the other secrets to creating a new Model is to take massive action from that Model. So if the action of loving yourself is going to sleep earlier and putting lotions on your body and taking baths and honoring your commitments and telling the truth, then you do that as well.

So you’re practicing the thinking and feeling, you’re meditating into the emotions and the feelings, and you are taking massive action based on that new Model. That will help solidify a new Model in your life. You can approach it from those directions and you will know if you’re doing it correctly because your results will change. You will start producing results based on the new thought, feeling, action programming.

Second question, “How do I stop believing this unintentional thought?” And this is what I was referring to earlier. If you have a thought that you want to stop believing, first you have to recognize that it’s a thought. And even though you may have it in a Model and you may see that it’s a thought, you may believe it so deeply, you may think it’s so true that you’re unable to let it go.

Because even though you know intellectually it’s a thought, it feels like the truth. It feels like an observation. So don’t try and wrestle thoughts like that away from yourself. One of the best ways for you to stop believing an unintentional thought is to recognize that all thoughts are optional and to separate your thought from the facts.

So when you look at a thought, maybe I am unworthy is a thought that many people have, I’m unworthy, and you think that you have a lot of evidence for that, oh, look at this and this and look I’ve done this or whatever, to prove that true, one of the ways that you can unbelieve that thought is first recognize what the facts are, without making any opinions or judgments or try to produce any proof.

Another thing that you can do is prove the thought wrong with contrary evidence. So if you’ve always believed that you’re unworthy, you go through a process of defining all the ways that you are worthy and seeing that you are, and that it’s just as true - this is something I learned from Byron Katie, that it is just as true that you are worthy as it is you can prove that you aren’t.

And when you see that, that thought is then optional based on the evidence provided, much easier to let it go. And the other tip that I have here is that sometimes if it's a really deep-seeded belief that you’ve believed your whole life, you don’t have to stop believing it right away. You can just stop choosing to think it on purpose right away.

You don’t have to unbelieve a thought to stop thinking it. You may think you’re unworthy. Just stop thinking about it for a minute. Just let it go. Start thinking about other things and focusing your brain on other things. Believe me, that thought will keep coming back and it’ll keep reminding you it’s there, but don’t try to be too aggressive. Don’t try and wrestle thoughts to the ground.

Third question, “Can the result be a feeling?” It can. I don’t recommend it is. I like when the result is showing you what you’ve created in your life based on your thinking. So if the feeling is unsatisfied or the feeling is frustrated or the feeling is ungrateful, what does that feeling drive you to do in terms of an action and what is the result of that action?

Now, if your action is producing a new thought, which is then producing a new feeling, I recommend you put that in a new Model instead of putting a feeling in the result line. Now, I’m not as a stickler for this as some of our instructors. Some of our instructors are very strict about what you put in each line of the Model. I’m a little bit more flexible.

But I will tell you that if you stay strict in what you put in the Model, you get different insights. The more sloppy you are with what you put in the Model, I think the less insight you can get. So even though I’m saying that I’m more flexible, I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing.

I think our best instructors are the ones that are very tight about what they allow in each line of the Model and that requires me to think deeper and find more insight. So I would recommend you follow that.

And of course, in Self-Coaching Scholars, you can take your Models to your coaching sessions. You get one coaching session per week when you’re in Self-Coaching Scholars. You can take those Models and have them reviewed for accuracy.

And I highly recommend that you do that, especially if you’re one of those people that is saying, “I’ve been coaching myself for so long and I still am not making as much progress as I want.” My guess is you’re not dropping deep enough into your understanding with your Models and you can get help in your coaching on that.

Also, you may not be discovering many thoughts that you’re having because you think they’re just observations. It’s very challenging to access your own thinking when you think your own thinking is the truth. So that would be my recommendation.

This question, “How do I believe a new thought?” It’s kind of the flip side of the other one, which is how do I stop believing this unintentional thought. Believing a new thought is practicing the new Model, practicing thinking and feeling and actions.

And then another thing that you can do, which I recommended earlier, is create evidence. Create as much evidence for the new thought as you can. Look for it. Go throughout your day and expect yourself to find 10 things that you can use in the world to prove that you are worthy. 10 things within each day.

And when you start focusing your lens to look for something, to look for evidence to prove a new thought, you will believe that new thought much more quickly. It takes discipline. It takes practice. It takes energy. Absolutely worth it.

I want to make a note here that if this is your very first time listening to the podcast, this is your very first session, you may not know what the heck we’re even talking about with CTFAR, with thoughts, feelings, actions, with circumstances.

I want to recommend that you, first of all, join Self-Coaching Scholars. We’ll teach you it from the ground floor, we’ll teach you every single thing about the Model. But you can also go back to episode one and listen to the first 10 episodes of this podcast that will really bring you up to date on what the Model is if you’re feeling confused. There’s a lot of basics that you need to learn before these questions would even make any sense to you.

“How long will it take to believe my new thought?” That is completely up to you. That is completely up to how much practice you’re willing to put in to creating the emotion in your body with the new thought.

Some people have - and this is me too, some people, all it takes is recognizing that you’re thinking the thought and that it’s optional, and you never think it again. Sometimes it just takes an intense level of commitment, like for me when I decided I would never say I hate my body again. That was just a level of commitment in that moment, I changed it immediately.

But there are other thoughts that I’ve had to really work on and practice and notice and replace and live into. So it depends on you and your level of commitment and your willingness to practice that new thought and create new evidence for it.

Next question, “How does the Model help me in day-to-day life when I’m not sitting down writing thought downloads and Models?” That’s a great question. So what happens when you start doing this work, what happened for me and what’s happened to many of my students is you start thinking in Models.

So you start recognizing thoughts that you’re having. You start noticing feelings that you’re having, you start noticing actions that you’re taking. And as you start noticing all these different things that are happening in your life, your awareness increases. And as your awareness increases, your power to make decisions about what you think, feel, and do becomes increased exponentially.

So whereas you may have felt like you were at the effect of your life, you felt like your life was happening to you, once you start using your Model, your lens of looking at the Model and seeing that everything in your life is something you’re creating and that your thoughts and feelings are optional, that’s when you really start feeling powerful in your life.

And another incredible bonus on top of that is you start understanding other people’s Models. So instead of looking at their actions as something that’s happening at you, you start understanding that everyone else in the world is also acting from a Model. They’re acting from their programmed thinking and feeling and actions.

So when you start witnessing that, when you start observing that, you stop taking things so personally. You start seeing that people are doing the best they can with the thought Models that they have programmed into their own brain.

Next question, “Why would I stay in an unintentional feeling that I don’t like if I can just change my thought?” Such a good question. Okay, so an unintentional feeling is what we would call an unconscious negative emotion.

So if you’ve been going through your life and you’ve just been feeling anxious and you’ve just been feeling frustrated, or you’ve been feeling depressed or ugly or stupid or any of these things that some of us create for ourselves without even knowing it.

And then we discover that wait, the reason I’m feeling this way is because of a thought that I’m having, I’m going to get rid of this thought right away and replace it and feel better right away. And in the beginning, that’s what everyone does and it’s a beautiful thing because it helps you understand the power of your own thinking.

But when you allow for a negative emotion, when you hold space for it and you process it and you don’t try to eliminate it, something even more magical happens. You start to realize that there is no emotion that you can’t feel.

And when you open up your palate, when you open up your ability and your capacity to feel all emotions, you open up an emotional access route, an emotional intelligence that makes you less afraid of being in the world, specifically less afraid of being your amazing, unique, authentic self.

So if you’re not afraid to feel frustrated, if you’re not afraid to feel afraid, if you’re not afraid to feel humiliated, you are going to show up in your life in such a more powerful way. You’re going to take bigger risks and set bigger goals because you’re willing to go through the emotions that will present themselves when you’re living your life out loud.

If you’re constantly trying to swap thoughts so you can get out of negative emotion, you don’t learn how to feel on purpose. You don’t start to understand that emotions aren’t for avoiding. Emotions aren’t for running away from. Emotions are part of the experience of being alive. And there is no emotion that isn’t able to be felt by you.

And when you’re in an emotion that you’re willing to feel, the obviousness that you’re creating it with your mind becomes even more, I would say, astounding. And you watch yourself think a thought, feel a feeling, think a thought, feel a feeling, and you start recognizing that powerful connection between your thoughts and your feelings.

And that’s when it becomes easier to not just process a feeling all the way through, but also to let that thought go. That’s not to say that there will be many times in our lives where we will choose to have negative emotion. We simply just want to make sure that if you’re feeling a negative emotion, you’re doing it consciously and you’re doing it on purpose.

For example, when something happens in the world that you want to be sad or mad about, when something happens in your life, when you lose a loved one, when somebody treats you unkindly, you choose your emotions, you choose the thoughts you want to have about that.

And we’re not suggesting at all that you should choose to feel happy about bad things. We’re not saying that. We just want if you are going to be feeling a negative emotion, that you’re doing it in a conscious way so you understand your own agency in your own life as it applies to thoughts and feelings.

So an unintentional thought Model is one that you are unaware of. You unintentionally were thinking thoughts and feeling feelings. So when you recognize, hey wait, I’m feeling anxious, I’m feeling frustrated, maybe right away you’re not going to be able to access the thought that’s causing it. But if you can stay within that emotion without buffering, without overdrinking or overeating or doing drugs or escaping into social media, if you can allow for that emotion to be there, your awareness will increase. Your ability to see the thoughts that you are thinking that are causing your emotions will increase.

And because we’re all having about 60,000 thoughts a day, that work is never-ending. You never become completely aware of all of your thoughts, change them, and then you’re done. Especially if you’re someone who is creating a bigger and bigger life for yourself, you will be creating new unintentional thoughts as you grow.

And when you’re able to feel your emotions, you will get access to your awareness of those thoughts much more quickly and you’ll also be able to continue functioning in life even through all of your negative emotion.

“How long do I have to stay in the Unintentional Model?” Well, you don’t have to do anything. That’s really good for you to know. You don’t have to stay in the Unintentional Model. Because the good news is if you don’t stay there long enough to recognize the thoughts and to have the complete awareness and to process the emotion, it’ll come back.

So I recommend that you stay with Models as long as you can until you feel like you have some authority over them. But if you want to jump to a new thought, that’s fine too. If you’ve not processed that original Model, it’ll come back.

“Why won’t my Unintentional Model go away?” This is a very good question. If you have programmed thinking from your childhood in your brain about who you are or what the world is, you will have a very challenging time differentiating that thought process from a fact.

And when Models won’t go away, it’s because we believe in them so deeply that we think they’re actually facts. We think they’re actually true. And because of that, they have become part of our identity, they become part of who we are.

So even though they may be causing us a lot of negative emotion and negative action, we have to go through an identity crisis to let it go. We have to give up the part of us that has believed that for so long.

So I mean, I have a client who believes his dad is the cause of all of his misery. And as he thinks that thought, he feels terrible and acts terrible and shows up in ways that he doesn’t want to show up. But he can’t let go of that thought yet because it’s such a huge part of how he has defined himself.

And so in order to change that Model, he literally has to have an emotional death. A cognitive death of that Model. And that is not as easy as it sounds. And so if you’re feeling like you have a Model that you can’t let go of, it’s probably because you’re grasping to it because of the familiarity and because you build your identity around it.

You have to be willing to be reborn, literally, in the sense of all those neural pathways and all the support and all the evidence that you have, you have to be willing to let it go. And it may be one of the legs that’s holding your table up because it’s how you’ve defined yourself. And you will have to go through some “destruction,” cognitive destruction in order to rebuild that and that’s not easy.

So that’s my guess. If your Unintentional Model isn’t going away, it’s because it’s now become intentional. It’s now become something you don’t want to let go of. And my recommendation is to just be gentle and kind and loving with yourself as you go through the process of, and the fear of becoming a new version of yourself. It can feel very discombobulating to go through that.

And the last question is, “Why should my intentional thought be in the present tense?” Great question. You have to remember that when you are creating a new Model, you need to live from within that emotion. So if for example, you’re creating a new Model that’s creating a new result you want, let’s say you want to make 100 million dollars like me, you have to start creating the emotion that will generate that result now.

And most people want to put it in the future tense, which then puts that emotion in the future tense, which doesn’t have you feeling it right now. So it’s like, I’ll feel so abundant when I have that money, or I’ll feel so excited. And so you’re actually inadvertently preventing yourself from feeling the emotion that would create the actions that you need to take to create the result.

So it’s very important that your new Model be in the present tense so you can start identifying literally, creating a new identity with that Model right now so you can show up in a way that will have you taking actions, as if you already have it. And when you take actions as if you already have it, that’s what ultimately creates it.

Alright my friends, that was a lot of Model tips for you. Hopefully that helps, especially those of you who have been using the Model for a long time. I can’t recommend enough that you get coaching, that you get feedback on your Models, that you practice your Models.

If you’re someone who feels like you do lots of thought downloads and lots of work and you’re not getting anywhere, my guess is you’re not truly dropping into the understanding that is the epiphanal understanding that your thoughts create your feelings.

You’re trying to bargain with your thoughts, negotiate with your thoughts, and change them without truly understanding that thoughts are optional and that you’re making them up and that there are no thoughts that you have to believe, even if they’re true.

So go in and get your coaching, get your help, get your feedback on your Models. Let it be tedious in the beginning. Let it be challenging. Go through them with a fine-toothed comb. That is how you change your life. Have a beautiful week everyone. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye-bye.

Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the Make sure you type in the I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.

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