The Self Coaching Model

As you may already know, I am a certified Life and Marriage coach. I got my certifications through The Life Coach School as a life and weight coach, and The Gottman Institute as a marriage educator. I can’t say how fortunate I have been to have such excellent training and mentorship from these two organizations. The tools and strategies that I have learned in my training are the reason why I am able to help my clients create results in their relationships. I am honored to be apart of this work. 

One of my favorite tools, the tool that helps me solve any problem in my marriage and help my clients do the same, is the Self Coaching Model. I learned this from my mentor, Brooke Castillo, and it has changed my life. 

Today I want to share with you a quick overview of the Model. I know that you are going to love it too. 

So in a nutshell, the Model is the tool that I use to help my clients look at what is going on in their brain. Most of the time we feel like our individual circumstance, thoughts and feelings are all swirling around in our heads and getting all jumbled and we have no idea how to make sense of it. 

I see this happening with my clients when they come to me saying something like, “I don’t know why I yelled at my kids. I was frustrated and then something happened and all of a sudden, I was yelling. Why did I do that??”

We’ve all had moments like that, right? We are going along and then we do something that seems so out of our control. It seems like it just happens to us. We say things like, “I lost my temper” or “I just couldn’t get myself to do it.” Or “I just got so mad”

The Model helps us make sense of why we do what we do, when we feel like we have no control over it. 

Let’s look at an example. 

Several nights ago, my two older boys, who share a room, were getting ready for bed. And when I say that, what I actually mean is that they were supposed to be and getting ready for bed, but they were actually playing a game on the floor in their room (loudly) and playing music (again very loudly).

I sat in the other room and the thoughts in my brain went something like this:

This makes me so mad. They always do this. Don’t they know how rude they are being? I have told them at least three times in the last ten minutes that they need to stop and get ready for bed. They are being so disrespectful and obnoxious. I have to fix this right now. They are old enough to know better.

At which point, I stomp into their bedroom, yell at them, threaten, and make sure that they know I am angry. Not one of my finest parenting moments, but one that I know is really common. 

So it is tempting to think that I had no control in this situation. My sons made me feel mad, right?

The Model helps us see what is really going on. Take a look. 

Circumstance- Boys playing after I asked them to get ready for bed

These are the boring facts of the situation. I asked them to get ready and they played a game. It’s pretty simple right?

Thought- They are being disrespectful and rude

This is the primary thought that I am having about the circumstance. Notice that this thought is charged with all kinds of emotion and judgement while the circumstance is pretty emotion free. The Circumstance is just the Math of the situation while the Thought is all the Drama. 

Feeling- Angry

My thought is bringing up a lot of anger in me. Again notice it isn’t the circumstance that is bringing up anger, but my thought about it. The thought always creates the feeling. 

Action- yell, threaten, try to make them feel guilty, stomp

The feeling always fuels the actions that we take. In this case, I felt angry which led me to act in a way that I don’t like to act as a mother. I made choices that from that feeling of anger that are not leading me to be the kind of mom that I want to be. 

Result- I was disrespectful and rude to my sons and not being the kind of mom that I want to be. 

I ended up exhibiting the exact same behavior that I was getting mad at them for doing. Ironic, huh? 

By using the Model, I can see what actually happened, understand the part that I played in it, and start to see what I can do differently the next time this happens. I can make a plan and choose intentionally how I am going to think, feel and act when my sons don’t fully follow my instructions tonight when we are getting ready for bed. 

It helps me make sense of the sometimes swirling mess inside my head so that I can make choices intentionally moving me in the direction that I want to go, not just react instinctively to what ever happens around me. It is empowering on the highest level. 

It has changed every relationship I have, including my relationship with myself. 

If you would like to know more about The Model, or if you want some help applying it to a situation that you are struggling to make sense of, I can help. 

Click the button below to set up a no-obligation 30 minute coaching call where I can help walk you through this process for any situation that you are facing.