We are going to dive into some next-level self-coaching today, so I hope you’re ready. I want to show you how to identify the (often hidden) results, outcomes, and consequences of your girlfriend grumpiness and why they matter.
So, grab a pen and paper if you want to follow along. We are going to go through some self-coaching theory and then dive into some examples. I want to point out that this part of self-coaching is often the most challenging (along with separating out our own subjective thoughts from the facts). So if it sounds a little confusing or unclear, that’s normal. Just keep trying!
Where do your results come from?
The results that we create are the outcome of our actions, behaviors, inactions, and how we show up in the world. So what you do or don’t do, and how you do it will produce results for you.
What determines our actions and inactions? Our emotions. The way we feel in our bodies fuels all of our behaviors and how we show up. So how we feel makes us do (or not do) and what we do creates our results. Simple enough, right?
Where do our feelings come from? Our thoughts. What we think and believe activates the emotions in our bodies. So we think, then we feel, then we act, and voilà! We have a result.
There is a very simple way to write out this equation and it’s called the CTFAR model, or the Self-Coaching Model. It looks like this:
Circumstance: (The objective, neutral, factual situation)
Thought: (Your thought about the circumstance, what you make it mean)
Feeling: (How that thought makes you feel)
Actions: (What you do when you feel that way)
Result: (What is your outcome from those actions)
Your Results: What they are (and aren’t)
The reason it’s so tricky to identify the results of your actions is that you’ve been taught all your life that you can produce results in another person’s life. You can make them think, you can make them feel, and you can make them act. So when we believe that we have the power to make someone else do something, we very often get our results mixed up with the TFAR of the other person.
Here are some key criteria for your results:
- It’s something you have the power to create through your own actions
- Your results do not include another person (unless it’s how you think, feel, and act toward them)
- Your results are always a reflection of the thought you are thinking (use this trick to easier identify the result of your model)
- Negative thinking does not produce positive results, if you think something good is coming out of your negative thinking, you have gotten two CTFAR models mixed up
- If you struggle to identify your result or outcome, spend some more time exploring the actions, inactions, and behaviors you are taking as a result of your thought and feeling
Circumstance: My partner is on his phone while I am making breakfast
Thought: He is taking our time together away from us
Actions: Get cold towards him, short answers only, don’t initiate conversation, no physical contact, ruminate in my mind about with whom he’s talking, don’t make plans for the rest of the day, punish him by “checking out”, think I need to show him it’s not okay or else he’ll just keep doing it
Result: I am taking our time together away from us through my behavior
Notice how your partner being on their phone doesn’t take time away from you. Partner being on their phone is neutral. But when you make it mean that they are taking time away from the two of you together, you activate rejection and perhaps anger in your body which leads to you ruining the rest of the morning and perhaps even the rest of the day that you had together. If you didn’t make them being on their phone mean that they’re taking time away from you, you would have ended up with way more time together that wasn’t plagued by your grumpiness.
C: My partner raised their voice when speaking with me
T: They are disrespecting my boundary
A: Get upset, cry, tell my partner they are not allowed to raise their voice at me, try to get them to understand, ramp up the betrayal, rejection, and panic by thinking about how disrespectful my partner is being, start raising my own voice to get them to respect me
R: I am disrespecting my own boundary by not reinforcing it
A boundary is not a demand of another person. A boundary is information about what you are going to do when another person engages in certain behavior. So when you think that your partner isn’t respecting your boundary and you feel betrayed, you stick around, keep engaging, keep tolerating the behavior, and don’t respect your own boundary whatsoever. If you respect your own boundary, your thoughts, feelings, and actions would lead you to reinforce it and perhaps remove yourself from the situation.
C: Partner mentions ex-girlfriend at dinner
T: Her existence ruins everything
A: Get quiet, don’t engage in the conversation, emotionally punish my partner for mentioning her, thinking that he wants to talk about her means he’s more interested in her than in me, end the dinner early and go home, don’t talk to my partner for the rest of the night, cry myself to sleep
R: I ruin everything with my thoughts about her existence
Remember, the circumstance of the model is neutral. It doesn’t mean anything, ruin anything, or create anything without the participation of your brain. In this example, it’s so clear how what we blame someone else for is often what we are guilty of ourselves. We always think that our thoughts are just true which is why they are so challenging to change. But what we see is that you thinking the thought “HER existence ruins everything” just leads to you ruining everything for yourself. She has nothing to do with it.
C: Partner has not done the chores we agreed that they would do today
T: I always have to take responsibility for everything
A: Get upset with my partner, tell them they didn’t do the chores, ask why they don’t want to help out around the home, tell them that it’s unfair that I have to do everything, raise my voice, blame partner for how I feel, try desperately to think of ways to change partner’s behavior so that I can feel better, put all the responsibility in this situation on my partner
R: I am not taking responsibility for my own thoughts and feelings
This is a tricky one! A lot of you will probably think this is a completely reasonable way of thinking in this situation. But it just leads to frustration, annoyance, and anger. These feelings often lead to behaviors where you’re blaming, accusing, and thinking in very black-and-white terms. When you act this way you are not taking responsibility for yourself. You are shifting responsibility for how you feel onto your partner and their (lack of) chore actions. So when you’re telling yourself how responsible you are and how sick of it you are… it’s ironic that you’re actually not being responsible for the one thing you should be taking full responsibility for. Which is yourself.
What to do with this information
Okay, now what? What are you supposed to do with your results?
This is actually one of the biggest keys to changing your grumpy thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Once you understand the only outcome of thinking, feeling, and acting the way that you do and you 100%, truly believe that this is what you are creating for yourself… it becomes quite difficult to continue doing it. Because you know that it’s not actually creating the result your brain thinks it is.
Our brains think our grumpy, jealous, controlling behaviors produce safety, protection, power, seeing it coming, preventing it from happening, and so on. But the truth is that most of the time, it just produces disconnection, not taking responsibility for your own thoughts and feelings, trying to change someone else to feel better, and so on.
So if what you’re thinking and feeling isn’t creating the result you think it is, then there’s no good reason to continue thinking it… unless you want to torture yourself.
It is also extremely important to learn and understand that what your partner does or doesn’t do goes into their ACTION line, not into your RESULT line. You cannot make or prevent them from doing anything. They have free will to do whatever they want no matter what. So trying to control their actions is just never going to work.
And if you ever struggle to decide if you want to continue thinking something or if you want to switch it up, all you have to do is identify your result of the thought, what it’s producing for you in your life, and then decide if you like that result or not.
Do you want to create more of it? Okay great, keep thinking the thought. Do you want to create a different result? Then you need to change your thinking.
I never tell my clients that they should or shouldn’t change the way they think, feel, or act. But I do show them the outcome of these thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Then I let the client decide if they want to create more or less of that specific result.
I also want to point out that changing your thoughts/feelings doesn’t mean switching them 180° and feeling the complete opposite to create a better result. Sometimes you’ll go from not being okay with something and thinking thoughts that produce more negativity and conflict to not being okay with something and communicating it in a clean way and setting boundaries, simply because you change the way you think about it.
So changing your thinking doesn’t always mean changing your opinion. It just means that you switch your perspective and the feelings you activate in your body in order to produce a better outcome.
If you want help identifying your results and making these changes in your life, you need to come work with me inside my private 1:1 coaching program. Click the image below to read more and apply! I can’t wait to hear from you.