Ep. 17 | How we get from unintentional thinking patterns to intentional thinking patterns using the Self Coaching Model

How We Get from

Here [Unintentional Thinking]


There [Intentional Thinking]

Using the Self Coaching Model

Podcast Ep. 17

Printable Download: Self Coaching with Tara Simkins

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Viktor E. Frankl

  1. Learn + Understand the Self-Coaching Model;
  2. Commit to Coach Yourself on a Daily Basis; and
  3. Live on Purpose from the Clarity of Your Future Self.

1. Learn and Understand the Self-Coaching Model


The Model is made up of the following parts:

Circumstances:  This one teaching saved my life:  My Circumstances, the events in the world, are NEUTRAL.  If you can learn to believe that the circumstances in your life are neutral, too, it can save yours.

This means cancer is neutral.

The number on the scale is neutral.

The number in your bank account is neutral.

Your job is neutral.

Your house and whether it is clean or dirty is neutral.

Your kids and whether they are invited to that party, do their homework, clean their rooms, get into that school … it is all neutral.

The driver that cut you off in traffic … is neutral.


Think about it for a moment.

Reality is neutral.

It simple is what it is.

Neither good nor bad.

Rather, our thinking makes it so.


For me, when Brennan was going through his diagnosis, multiple relapses, treatments that failed, treatments that he responded well to, if I could view all of it as neutral, I felt a tremendous sense of relief.  It it was all neutral, then nothing had gone wrong.


Think about your life.

Your circumstances.

Now, consider everything as neutral.

Does it provide relief to you?

Do you want to argue with me?

Do you want to argue with the reality of what has happened in your life?

Realizing that you can continue to argue ~ this shouldn’t have happened … he shouldn’t have “gotten” cancer … that person shouldn’t have cut me off … she shouldn’t have said something to me about xyz … ← can you hear the manual in there?


Seeing my circumstances as neutral brings me to acceptance … acceptance of what I cannot change … which empowers me to change what I can change … and that always begins with how I am thinking about a situation.


The circumstances are the facts, and only the facts, of the situation.


→ space between what is happening and how we respond via our thoughts, feelings and actions.


Thoughts:  What are my thoughts about the situation?  What am I making the situation or my feelings about the situation mean?  What are my “unintentional” thoughts … the thoughts that I automatically think that create feelings of stress about my situation?  How might I see this situation differently? ← this great question is from A Course in Miracles as is the teaching … Things aren’t always as I believe.  Learning that you have the power to choose what to think and believe about your circumstances, this is moving from unintentional thought to intentional thought.


→ space


Feelings:  How do I feel when I think this thought about the situation?


→ space


Action:  When I feel this way, what do I do?  How do I act?


Result:  What is the effect of this action on me and my life?


Space between:  This is where our power to realize that we are not our thoughts our emotions or our actions.  We are so much more. We are the thinker of the thoughts, the feeler of the emotions, the doer of the deeds, the decider.


Shorthand for the Model:


C:  ___________________________________________


T:  ____________________________________________


F:  ____________________________________________


A:  ____________________________________________


R:  ____________________________________________


The model can be worked multiple ways, for multiple purposes, and from multiple angles.  The Model is a tool that provides clarity, relief, insight, and a path forward.


If you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed, etc., you can use the Model as a mindfulness tool in and of itself to become aware of this relationship between our circumstances, thoughts, feelings, actions, and results.


If you want to set a goal, including the wellness goal we are going to set today, you can start with the goal you want to achieve by putting the goal in the Result line and work the Model backwards, plugging in the Thoughts and Feelings that you will need to think and feel on a daily basis to fuel the Action necessary to achieve that Result (goal).  


You want to begin to embody that future version of ourselves by experiencing those thoughts and feelings now instead of deferring those feelings for a year:


C:  ____________________________________________

T:  ____________________________________________

F:  ____________________________________________

A:  ____________________________________________

R:  ____________________________(2019 Wellness Goal)


Note 1:  you are not your Thoughts.  You are the thinker of your Thoughts.  A huge part of wellness is understanding this and intentionally learning to expand the space between the situation in which you find yourself (stimulus) and your Thoughts (response), so that you may become aware of unintentional, default thinking and the results those unintentional thoughts creats in your life and intentional, on purpose thinking and the results that creates in your life.


Note 2:  According to the World Health Organization, “Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.”  While depression is triggered by a constellation of factors, one of those factors is how we habitually think about the world and our circumstances in it.  Learning how to think intentionally in a manner that creates more peace and less stress in your life may protect you from the depths of depression. It certainly was a contributing factor in my recovery from my own depression and also a contributing factor in warding off a depressive incident prior to the one I experienced.


PrintableDownload: Self Coaching with Tara Simkins

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