A Model Example

Yes, I am a trained coach but I am also human. I too work hard on my own self-coaching when my mind starts to go nuts!. I too get stuck. What do I do? I get tutored from time to time by my coaching colleague on my own thoughts. Here is a recent case in point. I used the Thought Model that I coach on (Circumstances, Thoughts, Feelings, Actions, Results). I've outlined my model for you below. Although I listed a number of thoughts and a number of feelings, I always suggest doing a model on each separate thought, but...here goes. Aside from my coaching practice, I also provide coaching consultation for a start-up business. A month of work went by and I received payment which I deposited into my bank. The bank sent an email to me a few days later informing me that the check was marked "Insufficient Funds" and deducted from my account. My inner critic quickly started talking to me and in a nanosecond sent my mind spinning in the wrong direction. All sorts of (unpleasant) feelings started to erupt from those thoughts along with a number of ideas of how I would act. As I was observing my thoughts I quickly made the choice in an effort to feel calm, to think "the owner must not be aware what happened, let him know". This thought helped me to feel a bit more calm, moving me to a decision to text him about the problem. He quickly replied, "I'll take care of it tonight and transfer the payment to your bank". The transfer didn't come. The next morning, still no transfer. Even after a number of back and forth texts to remind him. My mind now becomes a war zone with incoming bombs of negative thoughts, one after another. Unintentional Thinking Model:

C -     Insufficient Funds T -     The owner doesn't value me. The owner is taking advantage of me. What an unprofessional business man he is. The owner gave me a check he knew was not good. I will resign Monday F -     Disappointed, disrespected, anger. A -     Can't sleep, Can't focus, Unpleasant mood impacts enjoying those around me. R -     Resign; Remain unpaid, conflict with owner

How did that choice in thinking serve me?  It didn't. It was unproductive. I like the owner and deep down I knew I wanted to continue working for him and his program. I also knew that I would jeopardize this if I allowed my current way of thinking to overcome me. I needed to ask myself what evidence do I have to choose thoughts that he is unprofessional? That he doesn't respect me? That he lacks integrity? What evidence do I have that he is doing this TO me? No evidence. I called my coach friend for some tutoring on this. A simple question helped put my scenario into a different perspective. My friend asked, "Pretend that this situation didn't happen. How do you generally think about the owner? What is your experience of him having worked together?" Here's my answer in a new (Intentional) Thought Model: C -     The owner T -     He is juggling 50 million issues at one time. He is overextended. He doesn't have enough support to help him organize. He is challenged getting so many things done. I like him. He is passionate about providing quality service. He enlists my feedback on programming and puts my suggestions into action. I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt. F -     Calm Hopeful Respectful Encouraged A -     Able to approach him in an articulate and deliberate way. R -     Expectations and boundaries around payment. Can make an informed decision. What if I chose to think: This has never happened before, In knowing him I know he had every intention when we spoke to take care of the problem, knowing him he got sidetracked. This has nothing to do with me. I like to work with him, I believe in his mission. Immediately, my feelings shift away from anger and resentment to a more neutral feeling that allows me to enter into a conversation with him that comes from a more kinder, gentler place. And with this type of feeling, I can show up in a more empathic and hopeful way that may serve me better as I set my own boundaries toward payment expectation moving forward.  Most importantly I will show up coming from a place of respect. Who doesn't need coaching?